My Lent Fast

I have never done anything special for lent. I could never decide what to give up or do differently in past years. I watched a dear friend of mine beat a food addiction and lose 94 pounds. She started her journey to recovery and health for lent last year., using a juice fast and following Joe Cross’s lead. I wanted to give up sodas, sugar, breads and pasta for lent – a.k.a. all of my downfalls. Bust then I toyed with doing a juice fast too, or maybe a vegan diet, vegetarian, or now this “clean eating” craze going on. Well, I don’t have a juicer and it’s not in our budget to buy one; I like eggs and cheese too much to go vegan; I like turkey, pork and chicken too much to go vegetarian. My friend is now following the “paleo” diet but I am realyl just not a fan of red meat and again am a fan of milk and cheese. I was discussing lent plans with a coworker who was considering the “Daniel” diet – again, too much red meat for me.

I created the Crystal fast/diet, which turns out is really just more like clean eating:

  • Breakfast – eggs
  • Snacks – fruits, veggies and nuts
  • Lunch – smoothie packed with fruits and vegetable
  • Dinner – a salad with whatever I have on hand including bell peppers, eggs, cheese, and chicken *gasp*!

I also included a complete food fast on Thursdays, only drinking water. I was reading a priests commentary on how he fasts one day a week each year during lent. I want to use this fasting day as a time to reflect on myself and how I am transforming into who God really wants me to be.

I started preparing for lent several weeks before. In mid-January I stopped drinking sodas. I used the step down method by replacing my usual soda with tea. From tea, I then started replacing it with water. In February I started buying more salads, limiting my break intake, and took most of our sweets to the office to let my coworkers finish them off. I was now drinking notion but water all day long with the exception of two meals in restaurants. I have a thing about restaurants – at two separate joints I got very ill after drinking their tea. From that moment on I would only drink a Dr. Pepper, but now I am changing that to water.

We buy groceries once a month so my game plan was to buy the fresh fruit and veggies that were on sale and then stock up on as many frozen and canned fruit and veggies as we could. Walking into that grocery store and getting excited about all the fresh foods we were putting in our cart made me feel like “I AM NO LONGER THE FAMILY’S TRASHCAN”! Let me explain that a bit further, you see our kids and my hubby don’t do leftovers. So whatever they ate I took to work for the next several days, whatever it was, because I don’t like wasting food and throwing it away. My two splurges were a $10 bag of chia seeds and $3 carton of almond milk. If we set aside all of the non-grocery items we needed to buy at the same time (i.e. hair products, socks) we actually did spend less than we normally would have. I went prepared with about 10 recipes I knew I wanted to try. I tallied up which ingredients were used the most so I could choose between buying certain ingredients if I had too.

After I stuffed all of our fresh produce in the fridge crisper bin I realized I should probably look into how to tore veggies properly. Lo and behold each one was different. I frantically ran home to chop up and freeze what I needed to and repackage the rest. Since most of the food was going into smoothies it actually made sense to freeze them (celery, green onion, bananas). I was brave with the first smoothies I made…it was a “green machine” type. Packed full of spinach, banana, radish, and pineapple. I was so amazed at how the spinach is so easily masked by fruit. The second one I made was nothing but fruit, just a personal treat for myself. I added a bit of honey to it but it really made ti too sweet for me. My how times have changed, I would have never said that a year ago!

March 5th happened, it’s time to get serious, the first day of lent. this couldn’t have been a more stressful day than it was. I was busy all day at work and the carpool was 20 minutes late picking me up. That meant I wouldn’t have time to run to the store on our way to the service. But wait, the pharmacy closes before the service will be out and my son really needed his asthma medicine, there would be no other time for me to go. So we ran into the store for just his Rx, was a tad late to the service, then went back to the store to pick up everything else we needed. i was pissed off the whole evening,my top cardinal rule is to be on time! I twas 9 o’clock when we finally got home. I let the kids snack on leftover communion bread in the car because it was straight to bed for them. I luckily resisted temptation, but was starving myself. Fixing a salad from scratch was too time consuming for an already long day so I grabbed two egg rolls from the freezer. The Crystal meal plan really requires last minute forethought, something I’m sure I’ll get the hang of after 40 days. ┬áMy first fast didn’t go completely as planned. I made it through till dinner with little effort. I could have made it through dinner too but we had a potato soup kit that was about to expire. While my doctor suggested leaving potatoes out of my diet, I still don’t like to waste food.

My friend found her wake up call through Joe Cross’s “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” video. The hubs and I found our wake up call through Jamie Oliver’s “American Food Revolution.” A co-worker found her wake up call through “Food, Inc.”. We are killing ourselves and killing our children and it all comes down to education: knowing what foods are out there, knowing how to prepare them, knowing how to put a proper meal together. I’m realizing more and more how many people in my office building are over weight and sadly, clearly obese. With GMO’s increasing the size of our food, it’s not wonder we too are increasing in size.

By March 11, I was getting tired of my eggs in the morning and wasn’t all that hungry either. I switched to having a smoothie for breakfast with a light lunch and dinner. I started a 30-day ab challenge with my friend who is now officially a Beach Body coach. March 17 was hard to get through. I attended the annual Rebekah Assembly of Texas which included three banquet meals heavily laden with breads and sugars but I think overall I did well. I kept up with the ab challenge too. By March 25 everything was going well both with the diet and ab challenge. I had a runtastic run with a new personal best 6K time. I was able to keep up with a pace of running 300 steps then walking 50, and made it running up to the top of the massive hill at the golf course. I was down to 166 pounds (17 pounds lost so far)!! I had to take in my sports bras!! All of my cloths fits much better or are now too big and need to be taken in!!

Last night was the most challenging so far. It was hair-cutting night for my kiddos followed by dinner at the Double Dave’s next door.We ate there last week and had a wonderful vegetarian pizza with whole wheat crust. Tonight however they were having trouble keeping up with the buffet demand and i only managed to grab two slices. I was still quite hungry though so I broke with my lent diet and had the smallest Stromboli stick I could find and small slice of chicken pizza.

I will soldier on today and keep moving forward! There are only 5 days left in the ab challenge and I’ve already started a new one for arms and one for squats. My hubby is now on board with my new eating habits and cross-training more too. My friend is trying to get me to become a Beach Body coach too. I’m considering it, but I think my hubby would be even greater at it. However, neither of us has a “salesman” personality. If this turns out to be like selling Avon, Tupperware, Scentsy, Pampered Chef, etc. I don’t think we’ll be that successful at it. I have a big meeting with my friend this weekend to discuss it in detail. If you have every done online coaching or used an online coach I welcome all of your thoughts on the matter!!