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Lent is over again ...

.... why do I always give up the nice stuff ?

Lent is a Christian tradition where people give up something they enjoy for 40 days as a way to practice self-discipline and reflect on their faith. It's kind of like a personal challenge to see if you can stick to it and remind yourself of the importance of sacrifice.

In reality, more people nowadays give up something for Lent just because they want to try to be healthier or save some money. And that's ok as well.

The key is to choose something that will be challenging but not impossible to give up, so you can really feel a sense of accomplishment when you make it to the end. And who knows, maybe you'll even decide to keep it up after Lent is over....

Whether you're doing it for religious reasons, as a personal challenge or indeed both - like me - giving something up for Lent should be a rewarding experience.

I give up nice stuff for Lent because it turns out, I've got a secret superpower – the impressive ability to turn even the most delightful things into sacrifices. I mean, who needs a star bar when you can savor the bittersweet taste of self-denial instead, right?

I always give up chocolate, and find it relatively comfortable - So this year, I decided to give up bread as well. Let me tell you, it has been a lot harder than you would think. When I look down my favourite things to eat, Pizza sits in my top 5, as does a Lamb Bhuna with Garlic Coriander Naan. Then working in B&I contract catering, a breakfast with just half a slice of the naughtiest fried bread 😋.... no more. It's a good thing I didn't give up carbs altogether, or I'd be a goner. Giving up on chocolate was easy compared to bread.

I'll admit, the first few days were really rough. I caught myself absentmindedly reaching for bread, only to be met with disappointment. Visiting Greggs and denying myself a Belgian bun, or Starbucks and not having a cinnamon swirl - I mean, it's almost masochistic behaviour. You know what though - I'm actually feeling pretty good. Less bloated, and proud to have found a way through.

So, while giving up bread for Lent may have seemed like a crazy idea at first, I'm glad I took on the challenge. It's a good reminder that sometimes, stepping out of our comfort zones can lead to some pretty great results. Plus, we are saving a ton of bread from the waste bin, so there's that too.

Perhaps subconsciously I use Lent as an opportunity to channel my inner saint and become the patron of renunciation.... Or maybe I am just looking for a creative way to amuse family by turning Lent into a month-and-a-half-long personal trial.

Whatever my reasoning, I always embrace Lenten traditions. I countdown the 40 days to when Easter rolls around, and I am reunited with my beloved niceties. Safe in the knowledge that I will savor them with newfound appreciation. After all, what doesn't kill your taste buds makes them stronger.

So last night was Good Friday, and Friday we always have a takeaway.... Five Guys took a right pasting, and our Deliveroo driver called at the local Spar for a double helping of fruit and nut.

Enjoy Easter.


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