Lent Starts Tomorrow – Consider Giving Up Excuses

by Nikky Manausa on March 4, 2014

Lent is Not Just About Giving Up Desserts

Although that’s not a bad idea!

Lent is a time when some Christian faiths exercise a period of fasting and penance beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. Many decide to give up something they enjoy, such as desserts, soda, or caffeine (good for those people, I need my coffee and the people around want me to have it!). There are many interpretations as to why we give something up for 40 days (46 days if you include Sundays). I explain to my children the reason that we give something up during Lent is so that we can be reminded of the sacrifices Jesus made for us. For children, giving up sweets is an easy option. Shoot, it’s easy for adults, too! (OK, maybe easier for some of us.)

Even if you do not recognize the season of Lent, I invite you to read on. Hopefully I can motivate you to establish a new healthier habit over the next 46 days, and then for the rest of your life.

Lent is Also About Being Appreciative of the Life We Are Given

Regardless of your faith, or absence of one, I hope you recognize what a blessing every day is. If you need a reminder, just ask someone who has lost a loved one prematurely, or walk into your local children’s shelter, read about some of the most impoverished countries, or reflect on past catastrophic events.

Take a moment to truly look at your own life. Most of us have family, friends, shelter, and food to eat. We also have a body. We can choose to appreciate and nurture our body, or allow ourselves to deteriorate from the inside out. For the majority of us, the state of our body is a choice. If you think your body is “broken,” then please take a moment to speak with a paraplegic, or watch the recent movie, Lone Survivor, and then get back to me about your aches and pains (I say that with love, of course!).

How Do You Show Others You Appreciate Them?

You show appreciation by taking the time to show you care and give thanks. You make sure your family is nourished, their clothes are washed, you make personal financial sacrifices, you listen, and you kiss the boo-boos. You thank your friends for being there when times are difficult and you tell your spouse you love him (or her!). You remind your children how much you cherish their hugs and homemade cards. You praise God for your life.

Do You Show Your Body You Appreciate It?

Reread the paragraph above and focus on the underlined words. We show our body we appreciate it in the same way.  We take the time to provide our body with what it needs through exercise. We nourish it by making healthy choices with what we eat, we listen when something hurts and we kiss our boo-boos by finding ways to heal. Show your body you cherish it by being appreciative of what you have, and praise yourself for what your body can do!


  • “I don’t have the time.”
  • “I don’t have the resources.”
  • “I would if ____ didn’t hurt.”
  • “I can’t because _____”

Enough with the excuses already!

I mentioned in my Post Marathon Recovery Week 4 entry that I had planned to run a race this past Saturday, but I was not able to because my kids’ sports schedules got in the way (that’s important, too!). It would have been so easy to let those 6 miles go, but instead I found a way to still run.

Today is Fat Tuesday, and I had committed to provide the teachers at my children’s school with homemade hot white chocolate bread pudding by 10 o’clock (no, it was not healthy!), I had an appointment at noon, my daughter has gymnastics from 3:30-7pm, my son has t-ball practice at 6:15pm, I promised my in-laws jambalaya for dinner, and I have a school meeting at 6:30pm. Today also happens to be my first day since the Tallahassee Marathon that I had an interval workout scheduled. Oh, and I am trying to get this blog entry published! Am I making excuses and not accomplishing my to-do list? NO. I woke up a little extra early, I did my mile repeats in my neighborhood as opposed to the gym or a track to save time, and I am working on this blog while my daughter is at gymnastics.

Sometimes we have to alter our plans to fit our schedule, or  change our schedule to get it all in. Find a way to remove, “I can’t because ______” from your vocabulary and instead adopt the mindset, “I can because _______.”

Family Fit For Life - No Excuses


I would like to challenge you to commit to yourself for the next 46 days. Go ahead and give up desserts if you desire, but also make a promise to yourself that you will find a way and not make excuses for leading a healthier life. It takes about 6 weeks to break a bad habit. Making excuses is a bad habit. If you need an excuse to be healthier, then use the season of Lent to motivate you. You have 46 days starting tomorrow to make a positive change. I feel confident if you take the time to appreciate your body, you will start finding excuses to make sure you get “it” all in.

Thank you for reading my blog! Please consider subscribing so that I can help keep you, and your family, fit for life!



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