Giving Up, Taking Up and Getting Out

17 Feb

Today marks the beginning of lent in case you didn’t notice all of the facebook status notes regarding what people are giving up. Soda, fast food, beer, coffee, sex and work – all the usual suspects!

Last year I gave up alcohol. Then I failed. So I altered my sacrifice to giving up only hard liquor and allowing beer. Then I failed. Then I figured Jesus wants me to be happy and I went on a three-day bender to make up for it.

Anyway. I don’t stick to a lot of Catholic… erh… requirements if you will. But the Lenten sacrifice thing I’m a fan of. I like a good challenge. As long as the challenge stays clear of my drinking.

My dear husband has gone the traditional route and given up his coffee. Though it would have been nice if he’d thought of that before we spent $7 on a big can of coffee Monday. Oh well, now it can sit proudly atop the refrigerator and mock him with its caffeinated goodness.

He’s attempting to make up for the coffee by downing several cups of black tea. I think he’s just going to have to pee a lot but to each his own.

I’m going a different route this Lent and giving up something less tangible.

And before you make a guess it is not swearing. My foul mouth is not a bad habit or something to be abandon in lent, it’s a part of my character and it stays.

And it isn’t excessive Internet surfing, the reading of trashy romance  novels, or gossip magazines. I love those things too much.

It’s a full-on Lenten Lifestyle Makeover. What the hell does that mean? I don’t even know. I was just being dramatic.

But I am giving up, taking up and getting out!

I’m giving up feeling negative about myself and that includes making snide or negative comments about myself and size of any of my various body parts. (As for the rest of you, well, I’ll continue to talk trash about you. You aren’t a part of this.)

I’m annoyed – hugely annoyed – by negative female bull shit. I’m fat. My thighs jiggle. My middle is thick enough for two people. There’s so much junk in my trunk I killed my suspension and that’s why I’m short like this.

Bull shit. Makes me nuts. Are women unaware that they were made, intentionally – by the very God we make Lenten sacrifices for – to be rounded, softer, to look like they were capable of or had in fact carried and birthed children? Apparently the entire species is unaware since we subscribe to mocking ourselves, trying one fad diet after another or working ourselves so thin we aren’t capable of actually making and carrying babies.

Maybe some day I’ll truly be able to believe what I wrote above about how women should look – or at least believe it as it applies to me. I believe it for other women already.

But, as is the point here, I am just as guilty as everyone else. I often wonder how that happened. At what point in my life did I say, “Hmm. Seems high time I start complaining about my weight.” or “Damn, I’m way too satisfied with my hair so I better start complaining about the rise and fall of my ass cheeks.” I don’t know.

Honestly. Makes me sick. (But not sick in a purging-my-dinner kind of way. That would be counter productive to this Lenten sacrifice.) I am not fat. I know that. I am not covered in warts, molding like the old guy in Braveheart, smelly or cursed with bad hair.

It’s just that sometimes I feel like crap. And as an intelligent woman, it’s disturbing to me that my thought process consists of: I feel like crap therefore I must be fat and ugly.

My self loathing seems to always heighten this time of year despite the absence of short shorts and bikinis. I would wager it has a lot to do with winter and a lack of physical activity.

I mention this daily at least.

“I wish we could get out, go for a walk, do something physical!”

To which my husband replies with the typical husbandly response to the phrase “something physical” and I’m forced to throw something at him and remind him gently that Jesus doesn’t support the Sex Is Exercise theory. Which sparks conversation on how I use religion as convenience but that’s another blog.

Long story short, if my butt no longer wants to be the victim of negative thoughts and words, it needs to get moving. Not because it needs to be a smaller size but because it needs to be more than an extra cushion between me and my sofa. (Really, though, what else can an ass be? I’m not sure what I was going for there.)

So along with giving up my negative thoughts and words I’m taking up movement. (excercise was too strong a word) I’m going to the YMCA this evening to buy a 3-month membership that will get me moving through the remainder of the winter months. By April, I should have no trouble getting outdoors a few times each week to walk the miles and miles of paved walking trails that surround our house. I have never stepped foot on them. And I wonder why I feel like crap.

Hopefully, with the strength of the Lord and the price of the YMCA, I will be inspired to get up, get out of the house and make myself feel better. And eventually with that, I won’t have a reason or need to talk shit about myself since hopefully I will feel better even if I don’t look different. Until then, it will be a sacrifice for sure.

But my nasty-talkin’ lips are sealed.

P.S. – If you’re wondering what I did for Fat Tuesday you would be correct to guess I laid on my couch and poked my stomach and called it names. Then I ate a cookie.

P.S.S. (or is it P.P.S.) – If you’re thinking this is a way of me simply taking care of business, kicking a bad habit and coping out of really giving up something I can’t go with out – like chocolate or wine – you would be correct again.

P.S.S.S. (I decide on the S’s) – In my defense! For health reasons I gave up all caffeine 7 months ago and haven’t touched a single caffeinated beverage since. And I work on a campus with a Starbucks. And I LOVED raspberry mocha. No mocha, no Dr. Pepper, no rum and coke. Just me, my organic tea, some water and the occasional caffeine-free carbonated beverage. So there. And Jesus knows about that too! So it counts!

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