For lent this year I’ve decided to challenge myself and give up sugar, sweeteners and social media. Mad? Probably. But I do have reasons and thought I would share them. Some relate to both social media and sugar, other only to one or the other.
1) Seasonality and tradition:
I think it’s important to observe the different seasons and times of the year. We celebrate Christmas and Easter, we look forward and expect during Advent and Lent is a time for fasting, reflecting, remembering. I feel in giving something up I am being a part of an ancient tradition and that it will be good to take the time to stop, to think and to remember.
I’m hoping that in giving up sugar I will eat a healthier diet. I’m not giving up staples such as bread which have a tiny amount of sugar in them. I am, however giving up all sugary food such as cakes, biscuits, chocolate, sweets, alcohol, ice cream. I’m also giving sweeteners as they can have a really bad effect on health. So no diet drinks, squash or other artificially sweetened food. There are all sorts of negative effects of sugary foods. The obvious ones such as increased diabetes risk, weight gain and tooth decay. There is also some research saying that too much sugar can cause mood swings as one drops from sugar highs to lows.
If you’re interested you can read various articles about the negatives of sugar. Here are a few.
It’s true. I spend far too much of my life on Facebook and Twitter. A quick “I’ll just check it” turns into an hour. I lose sleep, time when I could be doing something creative, seeing friends in real life, reading. Instead I’m on Facebook getting a constant update on people’s relationship statuses, the weather, what everyone’s eaten that day, the fact that they’ve had an amazing or terrible day. So I’m using this time to stop the constant stream of updates and spend more time reflecting, being creative, engaging with the world and with my God who deserves more of my time.
Read this blog post from someone who gave up social media for a month http://lifehacker.com/5918784/how-30-days-without-social-media-changed-my-life
and this one from someone who doesn’t think giving up is the answer http://vickybeeching.com/blog/why-i-disagree-with-giving-up-social-media-for-lent-2/
Anyone who knows me will know I’m very stubborn, so it’s a good test of my willpower and it will be interesting to see how I cope without things which are currently a major part of my life
As a family we also wanted to give something during the time of Lent and do something positive. So we’ve signed up the “40acts” challenge. Every day during lent we will be emailed a “generous challenge” and we’re doing to try and do as many as possible. ://www.40acts.org.uk/
I’m hoping that this challenge will change my thinking, perspective and way of life. Hopefully not just for these 40 days!