Blog of Sara Jakša

Lent without Sweets

While I am not religious, the part of my family is. And it is the part of the Christian tradition to observe the Lent during the time from the carnival to the Easter. Well, I think it is called Lent, in my language it is called post, which does translate to Lent, and the descriptions on the internet match? We use the same word for fasting in my country.

I decided that this is a perfect excuse to try and do something that I had wanted to do for a while. Well, I actually wanted to do the no sugar thing, but that seemed a bit too hard. Especially with how little willpower do I have to resist chocolate. And I ate a lot of bread during this time, and I know there is sugar in bread.

I still remember the first day. I think I came to stare at the Milka chocolate. I would be standing there, with the drawer with sweets open, and I would stare at it. The only way that I could survive that, was imagining, that after it is going to be over, I would eat it. It is only these two rituals, that helped me made it through the first couple of days. And I did not cave.

The days afterwards were easier.

I did notice, that it is convenience and more imagined testiness that made me choose sweets. Why do I say imagined testiness? Because none of the sweets are better than raspberries, but I would feel a stronger pool towards sweets. I would feel stronger desire for sweets. (I still do)

But after I figured out the snacking part, it was easier. I always had a thawing raspberries with plain yogurt in the refrigerator. And I ate a lot of oranges. Lots and lots of oranges and other fruit, but the oranges predominated. And drank more strawberry smoothies that I had before in probably more than a year, and that was all toward the end of it. Now, I am not sure how much healthy it was, but it sounds more healthy.

There were three times, that I broke the post and they all show, where do I need to be careful, when I am going to attempt it in a long term.

The first time it was, when I used sour cherries in my yogurt. I still live with my family (I know pathetic :) ), and there were some left over sour cherries. I added them to my yogurt, since I hate food waste. Only days later, did my father told me how much sugar did he pour in (a lot). And this food waste perspective will bring me trouble. I have not been eating meat for almost a decade now, except in the situations, when it was clear, that it will be thrown out. The urge is getting smaller and smaller each year, but it is still there.

Well, the problem will mostly solve itself, once I get my own place. It is the food waste in my home, that is the most hard to deal with. Which is good, because I don't want to spend another decades, going through that again. But on the other hand, I also don't want to wait until I get my own place. Just because I have a limit of about year and a half, does not mean, that it will happen much sooner than that.

Which is why, the two weeks that I spent at the sea side were easier, even though the next two transgressions happened there.

The second time was because of my grandmother. She knew, that I had a no-sugar eating period, and she sends me a apple strudel with my grandfather. And then she pester him, if I am eating right. And she is the type of person, that does not like sweets at all. So I caved in the social pressure. And it was too sweet for my taste buds. But this I know how I will deal with eventually. By going through it. On the long run, once I go do it full time, this is not going to be a problem for long.

But if I am not full time, then my family tries to be helpful by making me to try and break the commitment.

The third one was the first day of menstruation. I think this will be like my cheat day of the month, because there is no way, that I am going through that pain with no chocolate.

Surprisingly, the maturational pain this time around was shorter than usual. And I do wonder if it was because of lack of sugar? Or maybe the chocolate had a bigger effect, because of the lack of it in the days before? I don't know...

Now I am back to my sugar filled days, and I wonder if the sudden lack of productivity compared to that time is the consequence of that? Because I am back on eating a lot of sweets. But I also know, once I came from Austria, I am going to try and make this a more permanent, even if not as strict endeavor. Maybe starting with having the workdays or weekends to be sugar free, with no restriction to the rest of the days? I am still thinking about it.