What I Am Giving Up For Lent

I’m not Catholic, or, really, religious in any sense at all, but I like the idea of Lent — giving up something that you like in order to reflect on the idea of sacrifice (note this is a very abbreviated version of what Lent is). A few years ago my daughter wanted to experience Lent so she and I both gave up something we liked: She the Internet and I my precious, precious Coke Zero. It was a near thing, but we both survived.

This year I’ve decided to do something Lent-ish again, and in this case, from now until Easter, I am giving up something I really like: Junk food. Which in this case I am defining as cookies, candy bars, chips — basically, if it comes in crinkly packaging and/or the primary ingredients are some combination of sugar, salt and fat, it’s off limits until Easter Sunday.

Why do this? One, because I’m currently at 180 pounds (i.e., too much for my own comfort level with my own body) and I need to lose weight, and cutting out all the crap will be useful to that end (I may also — gasp! — exercise). Two, because I’ve never gone six weeks without junk food of any sort and I’m curious to see what happens when I do. I like to think I’ll replace all that crap with, like, fruits and vegetables and such. It’s more likely I’ll just be cranky for six weeks because I can’t have my candy. We’ll see.

I’m telling you so that if any of you see me with a Snickers bar you can smack it out of my hand and berate me for it. I’ve already told Krissy not to let me slide, which I suspect means that the first thing she will do when she gets home is set a flamethrower to our pantry. Let her. Let the cleansing begin.

Farewell, candy, chips, cookies and other assorted crap. I’ll see you again on HOLY GOD APRIL 20 WHY IS IT SOOOOOO FAR WAY NOOOOOOOOO


Anyway, here we go.

Pray for me.

(P.S.: During Lent I will be taking the money I usually spend on crap and donating it to our local food bank. You know. As you do.)

95 Comments on “What I Am Giving Up For Lent”

  1. You don’t have to be religious to love a challenge and to embrace discipline. Flexing those self-discipline muscles in and of itself is a good thing.

  2. My favorite Lent story that I’ve heard came from a friend of my father, who gave up red one year. Yes, as in the color.

  3. One Lent I gave up buying books. It was the hardest Lent I ever, ever did. I had no idea just how strong an attachment to new books I had until then. All the other Lenten sacrifices were so much easier. (Hang in there, Fred).

  4. I’m actually giving up the exact same thing. For many of the same reasons. I’ve added soda to that as well, so all of my caffeine will have to come from coffee. As a lapsed Catholic, I feel somewhat good about what I’m doing, but I’m also terrified of that Costco sized container of jelly beans I have in my pantry right now. This is going to be a tough 6 weeks. Hopefully we can both come out the other side.

  5. John,

    The three best things you can do for your health: 1. Don’t smoke; 2. Lose weight if needed; 3. Exercise. Good Luck!

  6. I actually am Catholic and, yes, I’m giving up something for Lent. There’s a series of addictive websites (the “Not Always” sites–Not Always Right, Not Always Working, Not Always Romantic, etc.) that I worry I’m spending too much time paging through so I’m cutting myself off for the duration and seeing if that extra time gets put to better use.

    Speaking of Lent, I’m off to go get some ashes smudged on my forehead. Yay!

  7. Haven’t decided yet, but I’m shaving my head for St Baldricks again this year (http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/665852/2014 if anyone wants to donate). I normally keep my hair between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch so shaving it is no big deal. Instead I show my commitment by going as long as possible without getting a hair cut. This year I stopped around the end of November and my shave date is April 5th. If I may steal your line:


  8. I am giving up hot showers. Since I live in Minnesota and the water is approximately 32.0000001 degrees Fahrenheit as it comes out of the pipes, I am not giving up mixing enough hot water in to make it nonlethal – it will be lukewarm for me from here to Easter.

    This is the place where I say that I notice and appreciate the respect you afford religious beliefs that are not your own, John — little things like acknowledging that your summary of Lent is just a summary and there is more to it — well, thank you.

  9. I’m giving up home comforts and laziness. If I see myself slide, I have to find something productive to do with my time. Considering I’m moving houses right in the middle of Lent, it shouldn’t be too hard for a couple of weeks at least. In the new house though… I’ll have to be careful.
    Good luck with your Lent!

  10. Instead of giving something up, I like to choose a discipline to embrace, one that will help me be more focused on what I do and who I’m with. So, things like going to bed on time so I’m less cranky and distracted during the day (in theory) or not procrastinating on small tasks others ask me to do for them. Still thinking about this year’s, so I guess I better get on it!

  11. An admirable challenge to set yourself, sir. May the sun shine upon your endeavor.

    No Lent-ing for me. It’s probably worth a blog post or three to discuss why I’m not, why I don’t, why I never have…. But suffice it to say that I don’t feel the draw. I support those who do, though! Giving up dependence(?) on a thing for a season is never a bad idea. : )

  12. I’ve already given up chocolate – bars and biscuits. I’m diabetic and my blood sugar had got way too high. I gave up around 3 weeks ago, signing up to an NHS challenge to eat more fruit as snacks instead and have seen excellent results with my blood sugar. It’s hard though, particularly when you have triggers so good support is vital, which I have through my friends at work.

  13. I actually refrained from drinking and fast food for February simply because I felt they were getting out of hand. It SUCKED, but it worked. Although I am back to allowing myself both, I have had no issues moderating them since I went of the wagon, which is an enormous accomplishment for me.

    For lent, I am not giving up a thing.I accidentally did it a month early, so forget it.

  14. I like the idea. Maybe I’ll try processed wheat products. If I don’t go to the trouble of making my own pasta or bread, it’s out.

    Oh yeah, as a 46 year old geek who hates exercising, the one thing I’ve found I can do regularly is Strength Training. I don’t go to a gym; just have a bench and squat/press rack at home, with bar and some weights. Went through Play It Again Sports and was under $500. I started with Starting Strength book/process last year and am now moving on to more advanced programming this year. I haven’t lost a lot of weight (10-12 lbs) but I’ve lost 4″ around waist and gained it around shoulders. Not too shabby.

    As to why I like it, it doesn’t wear me out like biking, yogging, or other aerobic exercises. Sure, you’re stressing and ending up wobbly legged/armed for a bit, and even breathing hard but it’s a different type of body stress; something I can live with.

    Oh yeah, to avoid some of the big muscle pains the next day, cheap whey protein powder with a glass of milk after workout does wonders. I suffered for 5 months before I tried it.

  15. I think I’ll give up getting bored enough to find out what things like a “Jonathan Ross/Hugo dust up” are as such things tend to be new incidents of the SOS, and about all I can do about such is roll my eyes.

  16. I don’t give anything up for Lent. It’s a non-event for me as a non-Catholic. Besides, at age 48 I have already given up a lot of stuff in order to maintain my health, so screw giving up more, basically.

  17. Yes, I just got home from getting ashes smudged on my forehead, but I stopped and picked up a bottle of wine on the way home. Guess I’m not giving that up. I’m going to try to give up Unnecessary Comparison, using “In existence, no one is superior and no one is inferior. The blade of grass is equal to a star,” as my reminder. Also going to make an effort to do a bit of exercise each morning while still warm from bed and before my attention is captured by the interesting stuff on the internets.

  18. My line from high school was always that I was giving up self-sacrifice for Lent. A friend of mine joked that he was giving up Catholicism for Lent.

    More seriously, I’d been giving it a few vague thoughts this morning, and I think the junk food example given here is a really good one for me. It’s not the hardest thing for me to give up, but it’s close, and I think it’s a better thing to give up for me than the others. (Being good for me is not the point of the original, but I might as well double-dip here.)

  19. Maybe give up some late-night TV and catch up on sleep? More sleep makes it easier to avoid late-night/boredom munchies.

  20. If I gave up junk food, THERE WOULD BE BLOOD in under 48 hours. (Some innocent stranger’s, most likely.) I could more easily go full-on anorectic and just stop eating altogether.

    I’m impressed you’re even willing to try. Good luck, man.

  21. My wife is Catholic and grew up in Very Catholic Country. She’s giving up coffee. Apparently today is Ash Wednesday so she’s going to go get the ash dot on her forehead, too.

    I’m not giving up anything.

  22. I wonder why so many junk foods begin with the letter ‘C’? I’m giving up chocolate and crisps. More importantly for me, I am also going to focus on doing loving things and fun things :). (There is joy in Lent as well as penitence.)

  23. You may be able to fool your body into thinking it’s getting soft serve ice cream when it’s really getting fruit by turning fruit into the equivalent of soft serve ice cream (using nothing but fruit). Check out the ‘Fronana’ device (or you can go to more trouble and do it manually). Easy to do with bananas and other fruit.

  24. I’m doing the same about cutting down on junk food (more tempering my bad eating habits than outright giving it up) and exercising more.

    I also still remember that one Lent a few years ago when I gave up chocolate. Unfortunately, Lent was early that year and two days after Ash Wednesday was Valentine’s Day, the biggest chocolate-filled day of the year. It was… difficult, to say the least.

  25. I’m going to work on saying “thank you” more often and “I’m sorry” less often (for things that aren’t actually my fault).

  26. Some type of food/drink sacrifice is very common from my experience, and I’ve done it before but it’s gotten old to me. I’m Catholic by choice (rather than cradle), and I’ve personally found that I like to work on mental self-improvement rather than physical or dietary sacrifices. So, this year, I’m giving up on negativity to the greatest extent that I can – throwing away chore-war thoughts; trying to be happier on a daily basis; looking for the positives in life, etc.

    I also like to take something up to better myself in addition to giving something up. This year, I think I’m going to try writing more every day.

  27. Well, not being Catholic as well I really never heard of Lent until I was much older. So it’s never really crossed my mind to give up something. I mean I know there is fasting, that a lot of my highly religious friends did giving up everything from sweets to solid food.

    It is a good idea to consider and if I was to give up anything it would probably be sugar in general. For the same weight reasons, round is a shape. But I would prefer not to roll everywhere. So I talk it over with the sugar cookies in the break room and probably cancel the date we have planned for lunch this afternoon.

  28. Oh, wow. I always think of you this time of year BECAUSE of that epic internet thing. I still am in AWE of Athena. AWE. Wow.

    I’m inspired to give up indolence.

  29. I actually am Catholic, and this year I am giving up soda for Lent. As in ALL soda. I got back into that bad habit because I started working retail again, and I need to get rid of the addiction. I will be attempting to bring unsweetened tea with me to work instead.

    You can do this, I have faith in you!

  30. not giving up anything for Lent. Even when I still had “that ol’ time religion” in me, Lent was not part of the routine. Figure I did enough when I gave up alcohol a couple of weeks before Christmas… LOL. Some days at work almost make me regret that. You won’t miss the junk food that much after the first couple weeks. I learned that lesson during the first couple of weeks of basic training ages ago. Mind you, the problem is that when you do start back up, controlling your intake will take more discipline that not eating it at all… probably. ;-)

  31. I gave up chips for Lent last year. On Easter Sunday I had a bag of Cheez Puffs I dug into in the car. SO SALTY. I really should have eased myself back in.

  32. Am I allowed to give up homework for Lent?


    Darn it!!!

    As a Jew, I have never participated in Lent before, but your post has inspired me to try it out. So with that in mind, maybe I can try giving up swearing for Lent, that should be very hard!

  33. John, I gave up refined sugar and starchy carbs awhile back and the first week (or two) is always the hardest. A bit of a modified paleo diet, but you may be surprised, as I was, at how good you’ll feel. The idea that carbs = energy was pretty much blown out of the water for me. My daily sluggishness disappeared and I found veggies tasted better than they ever had before. It’s surprising just how accustomed our taste buds become too all of the sugar and salt out there.

  34. This year I am giving up potatoes, but last year instead of giving something up I did this http://www.40acts.org.uk/ challenge, which is to do 40 acts of kindness or generosity instead. Might be something that people here like the idea of.

  35. I hear Sundays are a day of rest up to and including things you fast from. You could gorge I guess if you wanted to but I’m guessing your body will hate you for it if you do. Good luck!

  36. “…and I’m curious to see what happens when I do.”

    It sometimes takes months or years for the body to settle after a major dietary shift, in part because your body is really an ecology, hosting lots of critters, particularly in the intestines. You’ll likely just see a beginning, but that’s interesting in itself. Good luck!

    After a 30 year soda/diet soda habit, I quit it as a daily routine. Before a hard stop, I was up to 6-10 cans of diet Dr. Pepper a day, with frequent fountain sodas too. Now I drink tea (some of which is decaf/herbal), and have very infrequent fountain sodas. It took about 18 months to get through the major effects, and 30 months later I still get the odd intense craving, invariably triggered by walking into my old employer’s office, where I consumed so so many cans.

    For Lent, I’m giving up computer games, except as required for work. Policing that boundary is going to be very hard.

  37. I am giving up sacrifice for Lent!

    Seriously, I too am giving up junk food. I hope. It’s amazing how easy it is to grab a Hershey kiss from someone’s candy dish and then think “Oh, shit, it’s LENT!”

    I am always impressed by the mental toughness of Orthodox Christians. For them it seems to be Lent most of the time.

  38. I once asked a Catholic friend what he was giving up for Lent. “The Western liturgical calendar.”

    … okay.

  39. Quote- Haven’t decided yet, but I’m shaving my head for St Baldricks again this year

    That is indeed a cunning plan, my lord.

  40. This isn’t a kale joke, although it will sound like one. A woman in my home town, who runs a food program that delivers fresh meals to cancer survivors and people with chronic illnesses, insists that if you eat kale four or five times a week (take a breath, John) it will reduce sugar cravings. I can’t corroborate this, but I am passing it on.

  41. I gave up coffee and soda in favor of green tea about six months ago. So far, I’ve lost 20 pounds without any increase in exercise. I can’t wait to get back on my bicycle again.

    For Lent (I’m not a Catholic or any sort of religious person), I think I might stop smoking and start using my eCig again. If I’m going to get healthy, I might as well go all in.

  42. Beer. I love beer. Beer. Beer. Beer. It’s probably my favorite consumable thing in the universe. And since I almost never drink any other alcohol (I might have a wee dram of whisky if at my folks’ place), this is functionally giving up alcohol. I actually started on Monday because I forgot to buy it on the way home.

    (Of course, for those new to Lenten observation, Sundays aren’t part of Lent – Lent is 40 non-Sundays, which is how Lent starts on a Wednesday and ends on a Sunday — so you can have that day off. I mean not to.)

  43. Also, last year I gave up on internet commenting. I’ve narrowed that down it “internet arguing via comment” but that’s a nice thing.

  44. A few years ago, I gave up procrastination for Lent. I made the announcement the day after Easter. This year, I think I’m going to give up robbing banks in Bombay.

    I know that there are some who would suggest that I should give up chocolate, but that’s not going to happen. Trust me, it wouldn’t be a pretty sight. I tend to turn psychotic after less than a week.

  45. Mean people. I’m giving up mean people. Considering I answer an 800 number at work, this might prove to be difficult.

  46. I leave for a little while and there’s all these blogs and comments …I’ll never get through them!

    Ahem, I will take the plunge and give up opinions. The wife will help me out.

  47. Now if I was going to pray with any sincerity I will have to admit that part of my prayers would be that you would decide you could live without this processed food. There is so much in it that is not healthy and in my line of work I see far too many men dying before their time of preventable, or manageable, health-related issues. So I’m prayin’ that! And we are the same age and it is a battle I’m fighting as well.

  48. I don’t consider candy and chocolate to be junk food, per se. I can polish off a bag of chips, but not likely to eat a bag of M&Ms or chow down on several candy bars. I still allow the fun-size bars.

    I’m no longer Catholic, but I agree about Lent being a time to flex a little self-discipline muscle.

    @ldgilmoure — As a geek myself, I like strength training.

  49. I propose we help you with is one. You pick the charity, and we pledge money per pound lost. Give us some updates, and then tell us what we owe on Easter.

  50. The longest Lent of my (fairly religious) youth was when I was 7 and gave up gingersnaps, which I was crazy about at the time. A gingersnap with a dried apricot on top (or a dozen) made getting through the tedium of the school day manageable. (That and the Afternoon Funnies, which had I really been serious about sacrifice I probably would have given up as well.) Having quit smoking this year, I think I’m off the hook for the next fifteen Lents or so, but I feel your pain. God speed.

  51. Can I give up my faith in humanity? No, wait, that’s already gone. Okay, then I guess I’ll give up my usual attempts at smart-ass remarks.

  52. I gave up Lent when I gave up Catholicism, but I gave up Easter too, so I figure that balances out.

  53. Meat. While I am also generally non-religious there is a quasi-spiritual component. I woke up in the middle of the night last week with a sudden conversion experience: I could no longer morally eat meat.

    I resolved to become a vegetarian, and my conscience thus consoled, I passed right back out again. The next morning, the feeling had completely faded and I had no idea where it had come from, or to whence it had returned.

    Then, Lent! Ah, the opportunity to explore both the possible dietary improvements of reducing the meat in the my diet, and explore the moral implications with a built in exit strategy. Huzzah!

  54. No snacking at my desk (in the office and at home). How long is it until Easter?

  55. Clearly you are not Catholic. I know because you are not giving up something such as the following:

    – Watermelon (annually done by an entire family of friends)
    – Riding bicycle in the snow (annually done by my son)
    – Liver and onions (annually done by another friend)

    Yes, many Catholics are strict letter of the law types. I like to think it will serve them well right up until they come face to face with, ahem, the Big Person. Kudos to you for giving up something that will be challenging and for donating the saved costs to a worthy cause. That being the spirit of the practice.

  56. Hi John! Good luck with your pledge for Lent! I’m giving up French Fries. I love them, but I don’t think it will be too hard.

    Have you tried juicing? I’ve been doing that and I’ve lost 15 pounds. I’ve also ramped up the exercising. I feel better, and my skin has gotten better as well. I still have a ways to go, but juicing is something that I think is going to help me get where I need to be.

    Also, try those little sweet peppers. They make great snacks along with those Clementine mandarins.

  57. No need to do Lent, as I do Ramadan every day. Ramadan lite, as I can drink anything non-caloric during the non-eating hours. Ersatz Ramadan, as I eat, not from dusk to dawn, but from noon to 8 PM. Also, I’m a Buddhist :) What I’m doing is a version of intermittent fasting, Works for me (I’m losing weight) but it’s probably not for everyone.

  58. You might want to re-think this. Are you sure that you want to spend forty days eagerly looking forward to Adolf Hitler’s birthday?

  59. Orthodox Lent, same as the Catholic Lent this year, won’t happen again for 80 years..

    giving up alcohol, sending the booze money to Doctors Without Borders..

    skinny and sober is a hell of a way to get through life, I find.. yoicks.

  60. Given that the start of lent coincides with my masters program being back in session, I guess I am going to be going to be giving up free time and weekends.

  61. I am at the end of my seventh decade. I live in Minnesota. It’s March. I’m about ready to give up, period. I, um, confess I find Lent to be redundant.

  62. I gave up on giving stuff up a while ago. I’m culturally Christian, but a weak tea brand of Protestant. The Lenten season – as a season – resonates with me, but randomized self-denial doesn’t. For a while I was using Lent to try out new habits. One year I walked to work every day, and that habit stuck even after Easter. (Another year, I tried walking home, too, and ended up with plantar fasciitis.)

    Lately for Lent I’ve been doing one thing every day that I’ve been putting off. It can be small and routine. Today, I took out the recycling. It can be a part of a larger task – I usually split doing my taxes into a three or four step process, completed over as many days. It can be something daunting, like finding and hiring someone to build in a sideboard in my living room. (If anyone knows a good carpenter in SF, let me know.) Just anything that I’ve been meaning to get around to and not actually doing. It is perfectly amazing how much crap gets done with this method. I recommend it.

  63. I think I may give up on looking at dark corners of the internet where I’ve observed a’holes congregating. (Specifically, a few corners frequented by “Goons” who, trying to be clever, demonstrate Scalzi’s Law on its failure mode.) The horrified fascination and forewarning of their tactics isn’t worth the agita.

  64. There’s an easier way to define junk food: Taste. If it tastes good, it’s junk food, and you can’t have any. If it tastes horrible, you must eat double portions of it.

    By this definition, of course, you’ll have to give up churro waffles. But you’ll still get to have Coke Zero, which tastes like ass. ;)

  65. I’m not giving up anything, but I applaud you, sir.

    I suggest lots and lots of fruit, both fresh and dried. For a great fruit salad: Use a food processor to shred some carrots and apples, and mix in some raisins and canned pineapple chunks (the kind in juice, not the kind in syrup). Drink the juice instead of letting it go down the drain. Mix in a dash of honey and orange juice.

    Make a big batch and let the leftover salad sit in the fridge for two days under plastic wrap. Take it out and eat; the soaked raisins are delicious. Better than candy.

    Other advice: Pears are good, as are oranges and kiwi fruit. If you feel up to cooking, pad thai is always a great way to get protein. Use firm tofu, bean sprouts, and snow peas for the best experience. It keeps really well, too; I usually make one big batch and then eat it for every meal for the next day and a half. It’s good hot or cold, best with a dash of lemon.

    Whole wheat pasta with cheese sauce or tomato sauce is good, too.

    Good luck, Mr. Scalzi!

  66. As an Episcopalian, I’m catholic (small ‘c’), just not Roman Catholic. So yeah, got my ashes last night, do Lent except on Sundays as noted above, etc…

    My typical smart-ass answer is, “I’m giving up beer for Lent, and giving up Lent for St. Patrick’s Day.” But this year I’ve decided to add a positive thing instead of foregoing something negative. Most likely it’ll be getting to the gym three or four nights a week…

  67. I used to, but I found that I tended to binge on what I gave up afterwards. Also, things tended to get easier when I made it more about choosing what to have and to what extent. Still there’s something to be said for the practice of abstinence as opposed to moderation.

    I suppose if I were to give up anything, potatoes – fries, chips, hash browns, baked, salad form – might be where I’d start.

  68. I’m giving up my evening glass of wine–and I miss it already. I’m also resolved to do some serious non-fiction reading and am into “Washington: A Life” by Ron Chernow. I had to make myself start this but frankly, it’s terrific! Maybe not so much a sacrifice after all.

  69. John… Try p90x3. Its only 30 minutes. Im on week 5 and very happy with it. Quality full body workout. The moves can be goofy and hard to figure out, but im getting good results. Chiropractor has been on me to stop going to the gym and do this instead for over a year. I get alot of back pain from sitting at a desk.

    It really is a good exercise routine. Lots of modifications for those of us who cant do them like the ripped people.

    Steve boyett posted on here that he is doing p90x2. Dont do that. Its for psychos. You will hate it.

    You might to try an adjustable desk. Im thinking of getting one from geekdesks.net. Bing bing gave it good reviews. It is expensive. We both have desk jobs, standing part of the day can help with calorie burn. Its tough to watch your wait when you are sitting all day.

  70. I gave up elevators (unless I need to use one, for work reasons). I also gave up soda on Fridays. I’m already a vegetarian, so I usually try to do something else on Fridays, since the meatless thing isn’t really a sacrifice for me. I’m a lapsed catholic, but I still try to keep some of the traditions.

  71. It should be noted that (at least in Irish Catholic tradition), because Sundays are not counted in the forty days, you can give yourself that day off from your Lenten vows too! Kind of a nice way of helping you along with things if the need arises.

  72. I’m not Catholic, but, okay, I’m in! We are trying to save up for a family vacation in a few weeks, and we will have to play catch up with the bills when we get back. We were already giving up most fast food and dining out (except for the vacation since there will not be any kitchen available) and I was already going to cut waaaay back on my TeeFury buying…so I guess I’ll cut out TeeFury buying all the way until at least April 20, and….no more book buying (other than something my daughter might need for school, but unlikely to happen) until the 20th. I am NOT giving up yarn buying because my sister is expecting her first child in the fall and I want to get started on the afghan!

    No teefury, no new books…I may die.

  73. Donna: You don’t have to eat at restaurants when you’ve no kitchen available.
    Breakfast: Precooked fat free turkey bacon and nearly thawed waffles with strawberry flavored jam OR box cereal with milk and Spam/Vienna sausages/a protein.
    Lunch: Soup with crackers and a plum/apple/peach/… and milk leftover from breakfast (the milk’ll be warm, but edible).
    Dinner: Canned shelly beans with hotdogs plus drained canned spinach* with Bacos and vinegar and, for desert, a cup cake.

    I was going to try for horrible as per the turkey bacon, but couldn’t, completely: You really can eat better than average from grocery stores without a refrigerator or stove.

    *Commercial for a grocery store. Okay, girl who is young enough to be fed spoonfuls of stuff? how does the expensive national brand canned spinach taste? Okay, sweetheart. Now, how does the much cheaper store brand of canned spinach taste?

    As for giving stuff up. Paris Hilton said something like she was trying to go green. Her first effort? turning off the faucet after she washed her hands.

  74. One year I gave up whinging; it was surprisingly hard but also stuck with me after Lent. This year I am being self-indulgent and just giving up candy, cookies, and soda. Giving up sugar in my tea will not happen; some consideration for innocent bystanders must be maintained…

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