And if you are... - what? - have you told anyone irl what you are doing? - has anyone asked you why?
I've stopped eating refined sugar (cakes, biscuits, chocolate etc) because I feel that I need to learn more about myself as a Christian - if I'm being honest, any weight loss is a benefit too but a side not the main one. I've not told anyone else as it feels private atm, nor has anyone asked (yet)
Just asking out of interest in others, nothing more.
I'm giving up a whole bunch of stuff (food & non-food), and committing to a set 1/2 hour silent prayer and 1/2 hour Scripture reading per day.
I haven't told anyone IRL, except for one of the foods (my favourite!), which was a penance DD chose for me. She goes around telling everyone about it because I was impressed with her empathy that when I asked her what I should give up she chose something I really like rather than something she likes.
I always feel awkward telling anyone about it because a) it feels like parading my virtue around for no reason (I appreciate that there are sometimes very good reasons to tell others, such as to have an accountability partner when one's trying to give up an addiction, but in my case it just feels more like showing off; and b) we all feel temptation/hunger/cravings or whatever else differently, it's an individual matter. What is easy for someone might be near impossible for someone else. So my penances might sound too heavy or too light to other people, but I want them to be an occasion for me to draw closer to God, not a chance to lose weight or tidy up my life for its own sake. Because I have a leadership role in my church I'm wary of sharing my own personal practices in case they're taken as normative & other people feel they have to do the same.
From previous years' experience, if people ask me what I've given up it's only when they're offering me a particular food and they'll say something like, 'Would you like a biscuit or have you given them up for Lent?' As an general rule, if I were invited to someone else's house for a meal, I would eat whatever was put in front of me regardless of whether it was on my list of things I'd given up or not. That's what I usually do through the year on fast days. If eating out, I'd just choose something plain-ish that didn't have any of the list in it.
I've always believed that, for me, the best thing is to do new, good (difficult) stuff for Lent, rather than giving something up. I've just decided that what I will do, this year, is try at least once every day to stand up to bullies in defence of the meek, even though I find bullying behaviour terrifying. So I suppose what I will be giving up, is my general default apathy
lovelydiscussfish that's a brilliant one, particularly as it's pushing you way outside your comfort zone! How's it going? I'm not giving anything up - I already have to avoid wheat & dairy products in food. I've decided to get back in touch with people I've lost touch with. It's going really well so far, almost like God has turbo-charged it! For example, today a good friend (A) phoned and she'd bumped into someone I used to be friendly with but haven't seen or spoken to for a few years (B). B told A she'd lost my number and gave A her mobile number to pass on to me! I'll text her now as I remember she keeps late hours. Happy Lent, everyone !