For most of my generation Lent has lost it’s religious meaning and instead has manifested in to a period of restriction and another fad diet.
I’ve seen it (and done it myself) countless times where people give up all the foods/drinks they believe to be ‘bad’.
This is where the problem begins. Labelling foods into groups of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ or foods you are allowed to eat and others you feel guilty for eating is where many falter before they’ve even gotten started with their ‘diet’. This unhealthy relationship with food tends to spiral out of control pretty quickly and ultimately leads to people giving up on their health and returning to their old ways. How many times have you heard of someone giving up chocolate for Lent… but they’ve had a Dairy Milk bar by day 2.
I’ve experienced first hand the reason as to why this happens. Pyscologically, if you tell yourself you can’t have something, you actually think about it more than if you were not restricting yourself and it is ALL you want!
Whereas, I have not said to myself that I’m not allowed to have chocolate, I just don’t have it regularly and this works. I don’t often think about it and if I do have it I don’t feel bad or feel like I have to punish myself in the gym because I had it!
So rather than ‘giving up’ something for Lent… start to make lifestyle changes today, tomorrow or whenever you feel ready. Don’t tell yourself you can’t have something but instead start to look into a healthier alternative and maybe swap out some of the things that don’t make you feel so great! You’ll notice real, sustainable changes and you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything!
And if you still feel like you have to get involved in Lent, give up something unrelated to food. Last year, I gave up having negative thoughts about myself and my body.
Day 1 – 30 minutes Cross-Trainer
I was really lacking motivation before this workout. I’m really not a fan of the cross-trainer as I never really feel like I get the same workout as when I run but I understood I just had to get it done. I alternated between high-resistance and speed to vary the intensity of my session – which kept my head in the game a little longer. In the end, I actually left the gym feeling grateful for the low-impact workout!
Day 2 – Rest
Day 3 – 3 miles
I ran on the treadmill in the morning before work. I watched a BBC documentary about SAS training to pass the time. I’m starting to get bored of the indoor workouts and am getting excited for the better weather to come! Training in the Summer months is always a lot more enjoyable but the hard work has to continue throughout the Winter! I finished my session with a bit of foam rolling (painful but necessary!)
Day 4 – 5 miles
The weather was so terrible so I had to run on the treadmill at the gym. Generally, if I can avoid doing anything longer than 3 miles on the treadmill I will but in this case I just couldn’t run outside! I’ve really grown to prefer being outdoors and running where I know the finish line is when I make it home rather than the mental game of when you stop on the treadmill.
Day 5 – 3 miles
Another pre-work run in the gym. As much as I prefer running outdoors, I like the atmosphere in the gym in the morning. It’s other like-minded individuals chasing similar goals and that motivates me! I finished up my workout with some core work and more foam rolling. Brandon and I then had a fun sober Friday evening at his Granny and Grandad’s for dinner, followed by a night with the space geeks at The Royal Observatory in Edinburgh! I’m finding lots of alternatives to nights out and still have a social life whilst abstaining from drinking throughout my training.
Day 6 – Rest
I had a relatively productive rest day. I went to get my nails done in the morning and then we were over at Brandon’s Mum’s house clearing our stuff out of their garage as Stuart is getting a treadmill (so you know where I’ll be when that arrives!) I got up at 8am and didn’t sit down again until well after 5pm. We also went and got our food shop for the week (between Aldi and Sainbury’s) so we’re all set for meal prepping!
Day 7 – 10 miles
I left the house in a crop top and sunglasses and enjoyed gorgeous weather for about 5 miles and then I got soaked! I don’t mind running in the rain – in fact I quite enjoy it… It felt good and I really settled into the run. I found my rhythm and my splits were pretty even. My average pace was just 0.01 seconds faster than last weeks 9 mile run – which shows how consistent my pacing has become!
Total: 21 miles
I’ve had another good strong week of pushing myself and have proven to myself (again!) what my body is capable of. A little self-belief and I might actually be able to run this marathon!
Bring on week 4!