The Catholic Detox kicks off: What Are You Giving up For Lent?

By Aisling | February 22 2012 | 43 Comments

terrifying scary nun

 It’s that miserable old time of year.  Jesus died for us and now we must suffer along in sympathy with him by being abstemious until Easter.  Eating only dry bread, drinking only black tea.  We’ll swear off red meat, alcohol, chocolate and cigs and purge ourselves of all the crap.  Oh and you had your pancakes yesterday and used up all the eggs and sugar in the house didn’t you?

So that’s it for 40 days.  No more you hear.

Of course – of course! – in Ireland we have a handy Lenten variation.  All bets are off on St Patrick’s Day to enable us to drink as much as is humanly possible.  You can eat and drink all you like and gorge on those bars of Galaxy that have been looking longingly at you from the newsagents counter.  Guilt free for one day!

Now hardly anyone does a full Lenten fast these days – but a lot of people use it as an excuse to go on a diet or target one specific baddie like fags (and in Ireland that means cigarettes of course, in case I get outraged comments from abroad).  School kids will give up sweets; adults will give up booze or desserts.

So what are you giving up?  Everything/nothing/something in particular?

Or think it’s all a load of Catholic Guilt and you’re having nothing to do with it?

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43 Replies to "The Catholic Detox kicks off: What Are You Giving up For Lent?"

  • rosey says:

    Okay, this will make me sound like a 12 year old but: chocolate, sweets, cakes and biscuits. Don’t smoke, never even considered alcohol, but the bane of my life is my sweet tooth. I also can’t give myself a pass for Paddy’s Day because that’d be that – it’s either all or nothing with me I’m afraid.

  • papillon says:

    The idea of “giving up” is crazy… I mean fags, chocolate, are all toxins and to not use/ eat them would make you feel better so where’s the sacrifice?

    and best not to get me started on the whole catholic guilt thing. I’m not a believer anyway so I’ll keep schtum on that one.

  • RedAlert says:

    Giving up chocolate again…every year I do and every year I fail, not this year though…I will have willpower :)

  • Sandy Beach says:

    Lent is when I find the willpower to give up all the bad stuff – I think it’s because there’s an end date. Anyway I’m off the bad stuff, the usual; sweets, chocolates, biscuits, cakes, etc. I hope to lose lbs and lbs.

    I’m also off purchasing. My wallet and credit card are taking a little break.

    I’m toying with the idea of taking up Kill Jill 30 Day Shred.

    You may notice it’s all for my benefit.

  • Robyn says:

    I’m still on pancakes today. Well it is a sin to waste food, and they were made yesterday, so that’s my excuse.

    I am going to continue to stay off crisps for lent (been off them since new years, and doing quite well there)

  • cheekyapple says:

    Well my Boyf is giving up sweets, chocolate, crisps, fizzy drinks, etc so I have to too or he would totally cave. But the key thing I’m giving up this year is cheese – my weakness!

  • Mise says:

    Not a thing. Never once gave up anything in 32 years, so I’m not going to start now.

  • I’m already trying hard with food as I’m on Slimming World so white bread, butter, treats and goodies are all out or restricted anyway. So I don’t think I’m going to give up anything else food wise.

    I think instead I might ‘do’ something, instead of giving something up.

    A friend has decided to spend 15 minutes a day (building up to more if she can) in silence. No phones, TV, internet, talking…just silence to meditate and maybe even pray..for a time out kinda? I know it might not sound like much but sometimes finding the time and space to do that can be hard and we all have busy lives.

    I like that idea and it’s not something I do, I abhor silence, I always need something on in the background, or to be reading, or to be people watching. SO I might do something like that.

    Other years I tried to give up swearing, but I failed miserably so I might try that again.

  • daisy says:

    Robyn I could never give up crisps I adore them, try to limit them to once a week though. Im giving up chocolate, biscuits, cakes the usual kind of stuff!

  • Daisydaisy says:

    I don’t do lent so won’t be giving up anything and I might even have a nice juicy steak for dinner this evening!!!

  • SLH says:

    Chocolate … and I think I might go with alcohol too. I’ve really cut down on the amount I’m drinking, but of course everyones looks at as if I’ve got “some good news” to tell them… Might use this as an excuse to cut out a little more.

  • niamhy_dee says:

    I’m not a believer either, but I think it’s a good chance to make a change. I’m going to try to stay off sweet treats – not savoury ones though because a girl has to have something – and get some kind of exercise every day. I run twice a week and skate once a week, so the other days will be a nice walk, or maybe some Pilates.

  • Amy says:

    Giving up the drink!! Fingers crossed this will transform my body into a skinny mini even though I only drink one night a week (it’s Lent so there’s no need for logic)

  • niamhy_dee says:

    SLH, I HATE the way ppl assume you’re preggoed just because you’re not drinking! I either tell ppl I’m driving, or that I’m on antibiotics for a nasty UTI, that normally shuts them up :D

  • Robyn says:

    @Daisy, It’s been easier then I thought. If I’m in the mood for crisps I go for some popcorn instead. And I adore cheese & onion, so I am surprised how easy it has been.

  • MilkyMoo says:

    Karen I love that idea of spending 15 minutes in total silence – I bet it’s really hard! I’m not a believer AT ALL but if I were to try anything I think this would be it. Not for Lent though – in life!

  • joanna says:

    Robyn & Daisy – feel you on the crisps! With hindsight, I genuinely think that as a child I was addicted. We had to take crisps on holiday abroad with us or I’d just have a total breakdown, akin to if my parents had had to go without their fags. Bless my parents, they were all into healthy food and had never allowed crisps into the house but I used to get them at school and they had to cave and allow me them for the sake of a quiet life. Managed to break the habit when I was about 14, haven’t had a single one since. Must really be something in them to make them so hard to give up! (That and they are yummy!)

  • Sarah says:

    last year i gave up meat and a year on i a fully fledged vegetarian! best decision of my life.
    At the time i gave up the usual sweets chocolates, and processed foods. It made me so energetic and i felt fantastic. needless to say the sweet tooth overcame me so i am back on the sugar detox again this year.
    I must admit i am not religious at all! but its a good excuse for a detox. :)

  • Grá says:

    Last year I gave up the internet, was going to do the same this year but haven’t quite managed to start it yet. :) I’m giving up all fast food, sweets, chrisps and trying to cut back on my tea, if I cut back to one cup a day I might be able to cut it all out by the end of lent. Taking up yoga (well going to attempt to do it every evening after work) I was going to give up the TV but I was told that I’d be mad to do that.

    I’m going to try and give up alcohol but I must admit there is still peer pressure (or as we call it beer pressure) in my group of friends. Most of them accept it when I’m not drinking, we all buy our own drinks too because we realise we are all on differnt levels and want to drink at our pace weather it’s water or beer BUT…..one of my friends who doesn’t go out with my main group of friends and who I tend to go out with alone pushes drink on me to the point that I actually can’t say no. I have told her that I’m not drinking in the past but it doesn’t work. Recently on a night out she started buying me vodka & cranberry juice even though I was only drinking cranberry juice as I was recovering from a kidney infection and was still delicate. I had to pretend to drink it and told the barman not to put vodka in the cranberry when she ordered it. I know at 28 I should be able to say no but I actually can’t, it’s just easier to pretend to have an alcoholic drink.

    Sorry about the long post

  • Twinkletoes says:

    It just occurred to me how handy it would be if you’d just found out you were pregnant but didn’t want to tell people yet. Say you’ve given up the drink for Lent!! In Ireland not drinking seems to be the first way people guess.

    Anyway, I’m not giving up anything this year, but always used to give up the sweets as a kid. I probably should do the same, but just can’t find the willpower.

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