Photo Credit: Precious
For the next 45 days, I’m keeping my hands off of any and all kinds of meat. See, you were probably thinking of another kind of meat, which I am still not getting, but stay out of grown folk’s business.
When I made the decision to go without meat, I didn’t even realize that it was the same day as the beginning of Lent. Luckily for me, my meatless journey begins on day 1, so in essence, I get the chance to kill two birds with one stone. Or you can just say that I’m just giving up meat for Lent.
I think I’ve rationalized my decision enough at this point.
“The Lenten season is a time when many Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial 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.”¹
While Lent is reserved for a personal sacrifice to demonstrate our obedience to God, it often turns into a dietary decision and less about religion. People typically give up sodas, sweets, pork, etc. Or, Lent participants will give up habits like cursing, overspending and sexual cravings. This year, I’m going for the gold and removing meat from my diet. I will allow myself seafood (mainly salmon, tuna, crab, and shrimp) because I know removing meat from my diet altogether is a setup for failure.
My body needs the protein. It may sound a little crazy, but it is not out of the realm of possibility. I have also done a 5-day juicing fast in which I drank nothing but smoothies for every meal. I learned a lot from that cleanse, dropped a few pounds and got a perspective on what it is like to live an all-liquid diet. Needless to say, I won’t be attempting that ever again. I tried the 10-Day Daniel Fast recently which restricts the consumption of meat, bread, sodas, dairy, coffee, and everything considered enjoyable. After enduring that holy hell, I think I can stick with this no meat thing.
I find myself doing these types of personal challenges and fasts for several reasons.
1. To determine my level of self-control
To me, there is something powerful about sacrifice. It means you are strong enough to endure self-accountability. A personal promise is one not meant to be broken. Remember that episode of Martin when he went on his super restrictive diet and Gina made all that bomb Thanksgiving food with #hismamabiscuits?
For the next 30-45 days, I’m Martin.
I am a competitive person even if I am the only competitor. I love sweets, bacon, sodas, #UNAAAAAAMEIT but I have to maintain control myself and develop discipline. With Lent, it will help distract me from the stresses of the world.
2. To jumpstart weight loss
As much as I want to drop a few pounds, I am here for overall health improvement. If we’re being transparent here, I am somewhat of an emotional eater. I say somewhat because I’m not always eating because I’m happy, depressed, or sad, sometimes I’m just eating because food tastes good. When properly prepared, food is bomb AF. In our oh so obese American culture, we have trouble deciphering hunger from cravings. This quickly can lead to overeating which in eventually turns into weight gain if not quickly remedied.
Not to mention, summertime fine is always around the corner, so in my mind in order to be snatched, I need to snatch the bad foods out of my diet. This subsequently balances out my immune system and reduces my risk for common health issues associated with poor dieting.
Slim thick with my cute, healthy ass.
3. Religious reasons
God has been looking out for this fool since I was a baby so it’s only right that I sacrifice for Him in order to show my appreciation for the blessings He has bestowed upon my life. If you don’t believe in Him, that’s cool, no judgment here, but I won’t deny Him.
Pray for me, ya’ll.
If you are an avid participant of Lent, what are you giving up this year? My hope is to keep track of my progress and report back to you all when the 45 days is over. Who knows, this personal project may turn into something more long term.