I thought a little more about my lent post yesterday and I have a few words of advice for anyone considering giving something up for lent (outside alcohol. If you are thinking of giving up booze, do it. Only good things can come of that)…
If you are in early sobriety JUST DON’T DO IT. Being sober is your number one priority. Anything else is just added noise. You don’t need added noise. Treats can be a vital part of getting sober. They replace booze, they feel special and they start you on a path of self kindness rather than self deprivation. Most of us are pretty darn hard on ourselves when we are drinking. Withholding treats can play into that negative mindset and should be avoided.
I still feel like I am in early sobriety some days. After all, we live one day at a time.
If you still feel this is a good idea. Try it, if it appeals to your sense of self compassion, not your sense of self improvement. Choose something reasonable. All or nothing thinking is very common. I used to believe I was successful BECASUE of my ability to be all in. But, as I heard on a recent episode of the Bubble Hour, I now think I was successful IN SPITE of being that way. Inflexibility is rarely the secret to success.
Remember – Giving up chocolate or candy or cake for 40 days is not the answer to weight loss or fitness. And there are no prizes at the end of it.
BUT IF IT MAKES YOU FEEL BAD STOP. This advice is for myself more than anyone else. I have a long history of getting a “high” off self control. Starving, excessive exercise, etc. None of it helped me like myself more. It just made me an anxious, brittle person. This is why I chose chocolate (well, my kids chose it and I agreed to go along). I can still have cheesecake. Skittles, chips. Maybe even fruit – did you know I gave up fruit for 3 years in my low carb obsession. 3 years. I was that sure sugar was the enemy, because it couldn’t be the booze….
Unconditional self acceptance is the secret to happiness. Being comfortable and content in ones own skin brings a joy like no other. But it is hard. Advertisers want us all to be discontent so we feel we need to change things, buy things use their products to be acceptable. The fitness industry berates and criticizes us to get our dollars. Facebook shows us peoples perfect lives, never acknowledging that we are all human.
If you want to try changing something up for lent, that’s great. Do it as a form of self experimentation. Acknowledge your reasons and be willing to change your plan if it doesn’t work out. No pressure and no pain.
Because we all deserve to be happy and healthy!
Stillness and peace