I thought I should say that Lent is officially over for me. I have decided that I will continue to eat sweets sparingly, but it was nice to dive into a triple chocolatey fudge cake concotion tonight, at Jimmy Mak's in Portland. Yesterday I ate a piece of lemon roll cake and a chocolate square, and I definitely felt like I ate a lot of sugar. I guess I'm now climatized to sugar on the 2nd day, since I ate that chocolate cake and a half a piece of chocolate. I had to really practice some mental exertion in abstaining from the many other choices of sweets today. I totally admit that when I knew I couldn't eat anything like that, it was a lot easier to say no, even if I did miss out on some good treats (which I remember, including: a pomegranate soda float with vanilla haagen dazs, brownies and other delectable bars of lusciousness at Jarred's wedding, chocolate chip cookies that Jake made and ate all of --even keeping them in the freezer, Grenadian chocolate bars being passed around at Pam's house, doughnuts from various bakeries, mochi ice cream, a chocolate tasting party with fancy world varieties... the list goes on, and I remember it, believe me). For most of Lent I told myself, "Oh, I'm definitely eating that when I'm done with this." I haven't, yet.
Was it spiritual? Well, in a way. I didn't keep up with my spiritual goals as well as that physical one (I think it's easier for me to do without something than to start something-- as far as habits are concerned), but I did feel good about it. I think it was nice to be physically connected with my cravings, if that makes sense.
I don't think I feel the need to quit sweets forever. Not because it's too hard-- I imagine it would get easier and easier, as it was for those 40 days-- but because you miss out a lot on social eating. I didn't realize how social eating sweets can be. People feel uncomfortable when you don't partake of dessert, or I used to make a treat when friends came over. Some people might say that's what's wrong with our society or socializing, but I think it's actually a positive thing. Eating sweets should be a social thing, not a thing you do by yourself (well, at least not all the time). I really think it's perfectly fine to use it as a common experience to bring people together and relate in that way.
I've started reading "French Women Don't Get Fat", which is a narrative/lifestyle book (Shelley passed it on to me), and I find that I'm agreeing with her idea. Eat with your mind, not just your stomach. Enjoy your food, eat food you really like (not just stuff that's healthy or fat-free), but savor it instead of stuffing it. I'm definitely not an advocate of dieting, counting calories, or any other form of food denying--- Indulgence shouldn't seem so counter to being healthy.
So I'm eating sweets again, and I'm being healthy too.