Lent comes around far too often. A yearly chance to demonstrated that I have no self control.

Lent wasn’t even a part of my upbringing. We were Methodist (I think, we could have also been lethargists, the Methodist church was the closest to our house). Lent made its way in to my life in my 20s I think. Probably to impress someone I fancied (watch me deny myself pleasure! Because that’s a sure way to hook someone in. Probably more useful than impressing people by my ability to put my fist in my mouth). Lent took many forms of failure. Failing to stop drinking. Smoking. The only times that it was successful was when I gave up Facebook and another time when I gave up peas. Which was a bit of a cop out but after so many years I was that desperate for a feeling of success.

This year I boldly decided that this year it would be added sugar and refined carbs. That would be challenge enough. Cutting those out of my diet had been really helpful in pain management in my past. Maybe the Lenten period could help me cut them out again. Lent coincides with a transformation challenge at the gym. Everything was aligned for success.

At week 4. I realised had to check how long it had been because unlike the first few days when I could tell you how many hours, and almost minutes had passed because it was agonising, I had settled in to routine. My pain disappeared half way through week 3, and the cravings went a few days before that. Morning teas and shared lunches are approached with planning rather than trepidation. It felt like this could go on beyond Lent.

Apart from the self sabotaging habit that I have of putting things in my mouth to be polite. It started with swallowing broad beans whole as a child. It hasn’t ended. There have been far too many questionable items that have gone in there so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings

My daughter wants to have a doughnut with me over the Easter Holidays and I’m telling myself that the worst thing that I can do for her development, the action that will guarantee that she lives a life unfulfilled, is to not share that doughnut. I love her, I promised her, and so I must eat it. And the hot cross buns because it’s tradition, and the chocolate eggs. It would be rude not to and I hate to be rude. I know that eating these items could easily lead to me eating more and more. Even before that food has reached the back of my throat my brain is lit up like a Christmas tree. I feel at once both at ease and exhilarated. A primal response. And I want more. So much more. Even knowing that I will feel so unwell after when I get hit with a bout of post prandial hypoglycaemia. Even though I’m setting myself up for weeks until I can get this beast back under control. I’ll put a variety of things in my mouth just so I don’t upset people. It seems I value being polite over my own sanity. Somehow I believe that if someone has gone to the effort of buying budget hot cross buns, then our relationship, however distant, will not survive me saying “No”.

Thankfully Lent has given me an excuse to trot out that people could live with. I have politely and apologetically declined a whole host of treats and I still have the same amount of friends and family members that I had back when all this began. Practicing a polite no, instead of a polite yes. Knowing that the people I love want the best for me, and the people who don’t care about my goals, for whatever valid reasons, don’t require me to eat their homebaking in order to feel complete.