What is Lent? (Courtesy of About.com)
"Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count).""Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting,repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ - his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection."
Since all of the purposes of Lent fall in line with things I believe and feel strongly about I have decided to participate in its recognition this year. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (which just happens to be tomorrow) and ends on Holy Saturday (March 30th). For that time period I have chosen to focus on the physical goal of not eating food after 7:00 pm in the evening. I do so well at being moderate and aware of what I am consuming throughout the day and then the evening hits and suddenly all self control seems to go out the window. Now, I feel like I need to add a minute exception to this... sometimes with my work and school schedule dinner is out of my control. If I have no possibility of getting dinner before 7:00 in the evening I am not just going to skip it. It is just as important to health and wellness to not skip meals as it is to be moderate within our meals. But I am going to make every effort to plan and organize so that I can commit to this goal.
Not going to lie... this is going to be hard for me. My cute hubster and I spend our time together at night when the kiddies go to bed at 7:00 pm. Food is a way of bringing people together and bonding and we like to snack together. But I know that it is something that I could do better on and something that I believe will help me to control the urges that seem to penetrate my mind each evening.
Something else that I would like to focus on for Lent would be a subject of emotional health. Fitness and health of the body is not just physical - it is very much emotional and spiritual too. For me, that means that I need to try and clear my mind of worry.
Worrying is something that I spend way too much energy on and something that robs me of peace and stability. The effects of high cortisol levels on the body have been studied extensively and I am literally doing physical damage to my body when I allow myself to get in that state of panic and distress.
So when I find myself overly worrying I am going to pray. I am going to meditate. I am going to write. I am going to do whatever I need to in order to calm myself down. And then the next time something happens I am going to work hard to not stress myself out in the first place.
I believe in total body fitness. I want to incorporate health and nutrition into as many parts of my life as possible. I am grateful for Lent and for the opportunity at this time to take a look at myself and really ask, "How am I doing?"
QUESTION FOR MY READERS: Do you observe Lent? What goals are you hoping to focus on this year?