Lent 2014

I’ve had several things on my mind for Lent this year. As I mentioned in my 2012 Lenten explanation, I don’t have a lot to give up this year. I’ve quit drinking coffee, my diet has been mostly clean and my alcohol intake is fairly limited. However, after watching the three lectures by Dr. Richard Johnson on the dangers of sugar, I’ve decided to give it up including all sweeteners. I had no idea but in the metabolism of sugar, the body actually loses ATP because the fructose metabolism requires ATP. We are starting to see more and more research that confirms sugar to be major contributor to inflammation, chronic disease, obesity, diabetes and more. Our bodies aren’t designed to ingest the quantities of sugar, especially calorically dense simple sugars like high fructose corn syrup. Long story short, while I don’t eat a lot of sugar these days, I have cheat days and I’d like to see what it’s like to do without completely.

I’m hoping to get a blood panel done by WellnessFX so that I can measure any changes over the course of the 40 days of Lent. My current physician isn’t that interested in actually figuring out the biology behind why certain markers (like low thyroid) are happening. She’d much prefer to give me a pill and while I’ve been doing that for several years, I’d like to try a more biological approach through diet and nutrition. WellnessFX is a startup that provides blood panels at a decent cost that look more deeply into the results than just the topical numbers. I learned about it from Kelly Starrett’s Mobility WOD. Kelly is a pretty credible source in the CrossFit and physiology communities so I’m going to give it a try.

On the non-giving up, self improvement, improve the world side of Lent, I’ve been thinking of several things. The first is to not buy anything that isn’t made in America. Obviously, this would have to come with some caveats as everything we buy these days is cheap Chinese crap. But I’m not planning on buying much at all for the next few weeks so not sure this would have the daily impact that is in the spirit of Lent. The second is to not use anything a single time. Our culture has become a throwaway culture. Everything is trash immediately from the styrofoam our Big Macs come in to the plastic spoon we use to stir our coffee at work to the commodity consumer items like TVs and electronics. This would be a daily sacrifice which would mean I would either have to start being really creative with the styrofoam containers from the downstairs deli or bring my lunch every day. Finally, tonight I thought about committing to a single hobby for the entire 40 days. By committing I mean do it every day. In the list to choose from would be writing, practicing the piano, practicing the sax, taking a picture and working on learning a language.

I think I’m going to go with a blog post every day for Lent. Assuming all goes well, I can move on to the rest of the list after that, a “new habit every 40 days” kind of thing. Wish me luck, I may need it.