I went to Catholic grade school and was even confirmed, but I've never really been a Catholic, other than culturally. My grandparents all were Catholic, but my parents were nonbelievers and I rarely went to church, other than at school. We went to funerals, weddings, and to Christmas Eve Mass with my grandmother.
I remember giving things up for Lent in school, and we had one teacher who, like nic, said that instead of giving things up, we should devote more time to service to others. I understand that sentiment. I am still going to give up something for Lent for purely selfish reasons. I think there are a lot of advantages to giving something up for Lent.
Lent provides a start date and an end date. It's a short enough time that it seems doable, and long enough to give you a chance at forming a new habit. It also gives you a good reason to do or not do something that other people can understand.
I'm giving up nighttime snacking. I am not going to eat anything for two hours before my planned bedtime. I can't just stay up later, either. This is going to be especially tricky on the nights that I teach from 5:30 until 9:30 p.m. I am going to have to eat dinner before class and bring a snack to eat during one of the early breaks. TV snacking, especially, has got to go.
I know there is nothing magical about the time of day when we consume our calories, but for me, nighttime snacks are always extra food. I have already had enough, and I snack out of habit, not hunger. I tell myself I'm hungry, but I'm usually just wanting something. It's never just fruit or vegetables. Usually it's crackers and cheese or popcorn. Besides, late night eating does not agree with me. I always wake up the next day feeling slightly ill if I have more than a very light pre-bedtime nibble. In fact, I was inspired to do this because I woke up this morning feeling crummy. Last night I had crackers, cheese, a few nuts, and a tangerine while watching TV. I had eaten a good dinner, and there was no reason I needed more food. I just wanted it. I'm getting a late start. Yesterday apparently was Fat Wednesday for me.
I even recruited my husband to do this with me.
I'm hoping this will help me sleep better, feel better on waking, and maybe even lose a few pounds.