Posted by: cmittermeier | March 8, 2016

Fixed endings… And the danger of having a deadline

We are halfway through lent, and today I want to uncouple my weight loss journey from lent.  I have to, otherwise I will mentally assume that once we hit Easter, it is over. When you’re  working in a life change, you really don’t want deadlines. Life changes are supposed to be forever, well, till the end of this life at least. Placing a deadline makes it very temporary, and that is something I just can’t afford to do mentally.

Temporary changes are a totally different mental muscle set.  We still need them, even when it’s a long term goal.  Short term mental muscles are needed for those burst moments when temptation spikes.  You know you just have to get through a very short period of time, because once past that spike things return to a more habitual life that hopefully does not entail regular temptation spikes.

The habit of eating that I am trying to get to needs to be the goal, not a time frame I just need to grin and bear up till the calendar clicks.

Technically, I’ve had a lot of religious tell me that lent isn’t supposed to end either, that the fasting, extra prayers, alms, are to continue after so that each year our lent just takes us deeper rather than repeating the same year over and over.  While I tend to agree, I also know that after decades as a cradle Catholic who wasn’t doing that, mentally lent “ends”. 

It’s funny though, because I do tend to continue my Lenten devotions well beyond lent, as they suggest.  Eventually I begin to slip up, and fall back into the smaller prayer set, but it certainly goes beyond Easter.  I keep on for a number of reasons, most often not just because I have strengthened the habit muscles, but because the reward of the devotion was carrying me forward.

Maybe that’s what I really want to decouple it from… The do while it pays off/feels good.  

Either way, whether it is to avoid the at this date I get to go back to “normal” and instead replace it with a new normal, a healthier sustainable normal.


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