– from the Old English “Lencten”. Lente – Springtime
– probably from Old German “Lenzin” meaning Spring. Even today they have a word – Lenz – meaning Spring
The first known use of the word is in the 13th century, when they denied themselves meat and dairy products for forty days. It was the Starving Time, when nothing was yet growing, and the winter stores were all but gone. Eventually they relented (hehe, see what I did there) and ate meat on Sundays while sticking to fish the other days.
We use the term now to talk about the period of forty days before Easter Sunday, the time Jesus fasted and prayed in the Wilderness; today the Germans use “Fastenzeit” from where we get our English word “fast”.
Anyway. Lent normally passes me by in a blur of chocolate bunnies, eggs and sweets that all seem to be in the shops just after Christmas. Last night I decided that this year I would fast from chocolate and sweets.
For me, this is huge.
Every time I sit at my laptop to work my brain goes, “SNACK, LOUISE” and I have found myself over time to be consuming more and more without realizing what I’m doing, or even remembering. It’s something I have been doing mindlessly and so I thought: Enough.
Today is the first day. Ash Wednesday. Quite appropriate, really – time to resurrect something from the ashes of my sugar addiction. I went grocery shopping and did not buy chocolate. At the moment I feel quite good; not only did I resist temptation, I also saved money!
This is not the first time for me; I fasted from chocolate once before when I was 18. The first few days were horrendous, but after that it got a lot easier and when I began eating chocolate again, I found I wasn’t bothered. For all of a day or two.
What went wrong between then and now?
Well, firstly, many years passed. Secondly, forming a habit is far easier than breaking one. Sitting at my laptop and staring at a blank screen is not conducive to chocolate resistance either, and I have a
fondness weakness for After Eights. I did reduce my inhalation of these mints to just half a box a day, but then found myself looking inside the cupboard for chocolate biscuits. Oh dear.
So. Time to do something about it. The Full Monty. (Not literally, who wants to see those wobbles :P) Can I just say that next week we will be on holiday in a place that does fantastic rum truffle chocolates. Uh Uh Uh. Ok, end of pity party.
I need to do this, I need to screech the brakes on this slippery slope to diabetes and who knows, maybe lose a pound or two in the process:)