February 16, 2018

Flashback Friday: What I Gave Up for Lent in 2010

Flashback Friday is a series I started recently where I share an old blog post--I have been writing a blog since 2000, and I thought it would be fun to go through past posts and share them here.

Keep in mind, always, that my thoughts and viewpoints have certainly changed over time. I may have written things that no longer apply, or aren't "politically correct", or whatever. I just mean these to be light-hearted posts that are fun to read and make fun of (or relate to, if it's a more serious post). These posts will be unedited, and my writing style probably embarrassing, but life would be pretty boring if we stayed the same all our lives.

This post that I'm going to share is from April, 2010. I am not Catholic, or even particularly religious, but giving something up for Lent was a way to challenge myself--and you know I love to challenge myself! Considering Lent just started on Wednesday, I thought this was a good time to post about it.

For Lent in 2010, I decided to give up white flour. I had been losing weight for about seven months at the time, and had slowly started to develop healthier habits. I loved Dr. Oz then, and he was always talking about choosing whole grains over white flour, so I wanted to challenge myself to try it for 40 days, just to see what happened (if anything).

Here is a picture from just before Lent started in 2010...

I had always hated whole grains because they were... well, grainy. And back then, it wasn't like it is now--there were very few choices at the grocery store for things like 100% whole grain bread, bagels, pizza crust, pasta, or all of the things they have readily available now.

So, this was definitely challenging for me! When I was done, I wrote down some reflections of the 40 days I'd given up white flour...

Week 33, Day 5 (of my weight loss) -- A reflection on Lent

I just wanted to write a little about Lent. As you know, I'm not particularly religious or anything, but I chose to give something up for Lent this year. I wanted to pick something that would be really difficult, but also beneficial to give up. So I chose white flour.

I've always been very anti-whole-grain-stuff, because I just thought it tasted horrible. I ate white bread, white pasta, white rice, etc. I tried whole grain stuff years ago, and it was nasty. But since it's the "healthy thing" to do, I decided to eat only whole grains for Lent.

First of all, it's actually kind of difficult to find 100% whole wheat pasta. The name brands like Barilla have BLEND pastas, not the 100% whole wheat (where I live, anyway). The only brand I could find was the Kroger brand and also the Aldi brand. So I bought those and even after Lent started, I was really reluctant to try them. I avoided pasta for a couple of weeks because I "knew" I'd hate the whole wheat stuff!

To find healthy, low-calorie, 100% whole wheat bread is a struggle too. I finally found one that I liked that was just one point per slice, so I was happy with that.

I tried the Kroger brand 100% whole wheat pasta, and was floored that it tasted good to me! My tastes have changed a lot over the last 7 1/2 months. I can truly say that I don't miss the white pasta one bit.

The only thing I've really missed over the last 40 days is pretzels! I used to eat pretzels with mustard as a snack, and I've NEVER seen 100% whole wheat pretzels, so I just had to forget about them for Lent.

For "Pizza Fridays" at my house, we used to order pizza from a different pizza place every Friday. However, nobody makes 100% whole wheat crust, so I had to start making my own for Lent. I got a recipe for whole wheat pizza dough, and it was FANTASTIC. The whole family loved it.

I threw the ingredients into my bread machine and ran it on the dough cycle. The dough was ready and I could throw together a pizza very quickly. Jerry and I both agreed that it was much better than pizza from any pizza shop. And it was only 6 points for two slices of homemade pizza, versus 10 points for a crappy restaurant pizza.

If it weren't for Lent, I never would have given 100% whole wheat pasta a second chance. I never would have experimented with pizza dough. I would still be eating only white bread. I wouldn't use quinoa in place of rice now. Lent opened up a whole new lifestyle for me! There are a few things I'll go back to--like pretzels!--but I'm definitely going to be eating whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread and whole wheat pizza from now on!

Just a few noteables (about my current diet and exercise stuff):

DIET: Still on track with Weight Watchers. It's been 236 days since my last binge. I haven't even gone over my points in 236 days! I've been eating so much healthier than I ever imagined... without even consciously doing so. I eat mostly unprocessed foods. And I've discovered that my sweet tooth has all-but vanished :) Never thought that was possible, but it proves that you can change your taste buds. Some things that I used to love are now sickeningly sweet to me.

EXERCISE: I'm still training for the half-marathon. I walked 7.6 miles yesterday for my long walk (I was supposed to do 7 miles, but I accidentally went too far, lol). I do a long walk on the weekends, and then during the week, I do a few runs. I need to train for the Warrior Dash in June, which is 3.3-ish miles of RUNNING + obstacles. Today I ran 1.6 miles. I've been increasing a little each week or so.

And here is a photo from just after Lent ended in 2010...

It's kind of amazing what a difference can be made in 40 (or, in this case, 50) days. This difference is not just from eating whole grains--I was counting Weight Watchers Points, which accounts for the weight loss.

I got away from eating whole grains somewhere along the line, but reading this inspires me to give them a try again. I still eat the whole wheat pizza crust, because I love it, but there are some other things I could switch up!

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