No sugar tonight

As it is the tradition to almost never go to church in this household, but to certainly engage in various religious traditions picked at random, I almost always give something up for Lent and this year I decided to give up sweets. I know how boring that is, and that I've been more creative and interesting in the past with my sacrifices. I mean, everybody gives up sweets, am I right?

But it's a good one, because ever since the birth of that baby J and I have been in a near perpetual state of fatigue and I finally get why people tie lack of sleep with gaining weight: it's because a Pop-Tart will sure as hell get you over that 3 p.m. slump!

I want to clarify, before I get accused of lying for the purpose of creating a more exciting narrative (liarism? blogfibbing?) that I'm not an awful eater or anything. In fact, I'm a pretty good eater. I eat whole, healthy foods as much as possible, we cook a lot and I buy local and organic when I can. Take that.

I try and encourage (force) my family to do the same.

I don't even consider myself to be a person who has a big sweet tooth. Nora obviously got her love of sugar from her Uncle Vinnie.

But sweet stuff when you're kinda tired all the time and all you want is comfort is really, really tempting. And J and I have gotten to a place where some Ben & Jerry's and a night of TV is, like, the ultimate, and I'd like to move beyond this phase of our lives. More running and less ice cream, although the television can stay. Especially if it is "Downton Abbey."

So I gave up sweets and besides a little bit of cake at my sister in law's bridal shower the other day, that I somehow rationalized as beyond the rules, I've stuck to it. It's hard, but honestly, I feel better all the time and that is keeping me on task.

J decided to give up sweets, too, which is helpful and I think must be pretty difficult considering his lab seems to be constantly gathering for fancy chocolates from faraway lands and birthday celebrations.

Of course, in typical fashion, he's constantly upping the ante and trying to outdo me, making martyr-like statements like, "Oh, I'm not going to have sugar in my coffee. That's a sweet."

I don't even take sugar in my coffee, so I wasn't about to fight that battle, but I saw where he was going and had to explain that this was not a contest, and that sugar in one's coffee or afternoon tea - which I do enjoy - is not what I meant by "a sweet" and that during Lent you have to resist the urge to set yourself up for failure by going too far with the whole thing.

Like when I told him that I'd had a Morning Glory muffin at the coffee shop the other morning, and that I didn't consider that in breach of contract because it didn't fit in with the category of bad habits I am trying to break. And he was all smug, going, "Well, I'm not going to have things like that," and for a minute my competitive spirit really surged and I thought about how gung ho I could get with this thing and pummel him with my far superior knowledge of sugar content and nutrition in general, until I remembered how incredibly happy I'd been when I got that muffin.

So I very quietly responded, "Well, I am." Slow and steady wins the race and, hey, maybe this is a contest after all.