Today is the first day of Lent. I'm not Catholic, but as I may have mentioned, over the past 20 odd years I've found the 40 days of Lent to be a convenient time to bone up on some type of self improvement/self flagellation. One year I gave up swearing. One year I gave up chips and chocolate. One drastic year I gave up beer. I only found out yesterday from my wife that Lent began today. So last night I scrambled to come up with some things to do without for 40 days. Since I am going to Vancouver for the Olympics, I can't very well give up beer this year. I know a losing battle when I see one.
What I came up with was this:
1. I am giving up eating after 7pm. With my two jobs, I often end up eating supper as late as 10pm, or worse grazing the evening away without really eating an actual supper at all.
2. I am giving up not exercising. (I realize that falls into the ugly double negative category). To operationalize this Lenten Vow, practically speaking it means that for the next 40 days I will exercise at least 20 minutes a day. In a row. So I cannot add up my 30 second jaunts to the elevator and fridge etc. to total my 20 minute allotment.
Sounds good. Sounds healthy. Almost sounds easy. But, failing to plan properly, led to one long arsed night tonight. Day one of Lent started out optimistically. I brought some leftovers to take as my supper. However, they sat fermenting in my bag from 8am until 5pm because I forgot to put them in the fridge. As they included chicken, I had to chuck the lot. I rushed to job number two, ate some almonds, did some work, and scrambled out of there at 6:50pm. In order to meet my Lent requirements, I had to race into a restaurant and eat before 7! It wasn't a social meal, I was alone, but as pennance, I worked the whole time on my duties organizing volunteers for an event involving 250 homeless women that I help plan. I had soup and a salad so it wasn't too decadent. Then, when I got home, having failed to walk the length of myself today, I had to drop off my stuff (it was too heavy to just go for a walk en route), kiss my wife goodnight as she hit the sack, and turn around and head down to our gym.
The good news is that while it is very hard to drag yourself to the gym after 10pm (if you are me), I feel quite lovely in my post gym glow after a nice hot shower and some stretches. I have done what I told myself I would do today. It also feels good having done what I said I'd do regarding 'No New is Good News' for a month and a half. The other good news is that I actually have a gym in my building so I should be thanking my lucky stars not complaining about having to drag my butt to it.
Tomorrow, meal's are part of my work (I have two cooking groups) and my walk is guaranteed because I actually do a fitness walk with clients on Thursdays, so I can breathe easy and keep the Lent Fairy appeased.
Also: re: the Olympic Mitts I sinfully covet but cannot buy because they are new -- I'm still waiting for a miracle in the form of a pair of used ones. In the meantime I vented my spleen during an expressive arts group I subbed in for today. I'll bring home my creative masterpiece tomorrow, as it will have dried by then, and share it with you. Something to look forward to!
PS: My work pal left me an article torn from the Mirror called 'Danforth area residents take on overconsumption'. There is a group there that have been around for 3 years, that has made a pact this year to go without buying anything new for 3 months. (They did 2 months last year and 1 month the year before). They call themselves the Compactor's Club. "The rules of the club are simple: Just try not to buy anything new except food, booze and essential toiletries," said Laurie Smith. "The leader of the group is 'eco-queen' Mary-Margaret McMahon'". At the end of the three months they meet, confess their cheating situations and offer suggestions of ways to handle them without cheating. "If you want to get involved you can contact McMahon at email@example.com."
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