#40Before40,  On Being a Woman,  On Healthy Eating,  What I'm Loving What I'm Learning

Giving Up Desserts for Lent

This post is #1 of my What I’m Loving & What I’m Learning series. I plan to post #40before40, or 40 posts before I turn 40 this year.

Right now, as I type, I am eating chocolate.

I did manage to make it through the #last90days of the year without eating any sweets or desserts–except for that one time that I licked the brownie batter for my daughter’s birthday brownies, which I totally regretted because it made it so hard to refrain the rest of the month … and except for the pound of See’s Nuts and Chews that I ate in the days between Christmas and New Year’s.

I’m so glad lent is coming up this week. Ash Wednesday is March 6th. Time to give up desserts again.

Andy and I try to give up something for lent each year.  We choose the hardest things to give up, because we are crazy like that. Andy always chooses chocolate or soda. I always choose desserts/sweets in general because I find that I have a really bad habit of eating desserts instead of real food. Homemade treats are my biggest weakness.

Do you typically give up something for the lent season, the 40 days before Easter? For those of you who are new to this idea, lent starts on Ash Wednesday, which is the day after Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, and ends on Easter Sunday.

I personally love the discipline of lent. I think it’s the perfect amount of time to build a good habit or break a bad habit.

The goal is not perfection. It’s choosing to abstain from something or add something to my life that will bring me closer to God. Ideally, the times when I desire the chocolate or the cake, I pivot my desires and instead spend a moment in prayer. It can be a really cool time with Jesus because I can tell him how I am feeling in the moment and listen for his wisdom.

Are you an abstinence person or a moderation person? I am a person who does much better if I say “none at all,” but I have a good friend who does way better if she has one piece of chocolate every day, rather than telling herself No Chocolate.

This week I was at Target and I bought sweets. I bought coffee chip ice cream, Cadbury Cream Eggs (are those gross? If I came from another country and saw those, I would be totally grossed out) and Cadbury Mini Eggs.

I really noticed my bad choices because I had done well for so long. Some sort of shift happened in my brain this week and I bought the bad stuff again. It really is true that when you are more stressed or feeling overwhelmed, the junk food fixes are harder to say no to.

They call it comfort food.

But it makes me feel unhealthy, bloated, and head-achy–not as comforted as I hoped.

Giving up desserts and sweets is one way that I can get back on track with healthy eating. If sweets aren’t an option, I have to find something else to eat when I look in the refrigerator. Fruit? Vegetables? Leftovers? Those are the things I am left with when I can’t eat sweets. I found that I was tempted by sweet cereal, yogurt, or hot chocolate to get my sugar fix. So I had to be careful with those borderline sweets that weren’t technically desserts but were still filled with sugar.

I have found that the best way to say no to the sweets is to not ever buy them. If I have no sweets in the house, I have to eat something else. So what should I do if Andy brings home a bag of candy? I started throwing the junk food in the trash right away. I told Andy to keep his stash of Mini Eggs in his office because if it came in the house, I was going to dump it–or eat it.

I joked that I was going to build an app that was called Junk Food Fairy, and every time the Junk Food Fairy popped up on your phone, you had to “Give” her all your junk food in your house, which meant throwing away anything that was open and giving away anything that was unopened. I am filled with great ideas, guys. 🙂

If your goal is to be healthy and happy, then do what works for you to be your healthiest, happiest self.

What would you like to add or subtract from your life this lent season? Let’s do this together!



This post is #1 of the What I’m Loving & What I’m Learning series. I plan to post #40before40.


Chelsea Rotunno is the author of Goodnight to My Thoughts of You, a novel about life as a Christian teen searching for true love.

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