What I learnt from Lent (if anything)

Can we all now agree that Lent is over? Everything I've found online about the end date is so conflicting! Either way, I'm done now, and I would say I've been distinctly average at it.

I've never done Lent before. I'm not religious, and I've never really felt the need to give anything up. Everything in moderation, right?

This year, however, I've got to that stage of working in an office where it's just too easy to say 'yes please' to the biscuit tin - and my team so regularly have our meetings at a local cafe that we are more commonly known as The Cake-Eating Marketing Team.

This never used to be a problem for me. I definitely don't have a sweet tooth, and if we're talking junk food I'd pretty much always choose a packet of crisps over a chocolate bar.

I had noticed the amount of sweet stuff I was eating was going up, though, and with sugar now in the news every day as public enemy number one, I attempted to go cold (or at least, lukewarm) turkey.

My Lent promise was to give up cake, biscuits and chocolate. I didn't completely succeed on all three counts.

I allowed myself some exceptions, such as snacks in my Graze boxes that contained chocolate. I also made it very clear from the off that hot cross buns don't count, as there is no way humanly possible that I can not eat them in the build-up to Easter.

I can proudly say that I haven't had any cake in a bloody long time, and really don't want any.

Since starting lent, I really noticed what I was eating and have substituted any sweet cravings I might have with something else. I've drunk more fresh mint tea than ever before, and do feel really good for it.

Saying no to the biscuit tin is also a lot easier than I thought it would be, and also a lot more fun. That smug feeling is great! (Warning: the smug feeling may also help you lose friends.)

There was obviously going to be a slip-up though, and the first was when someone at work brought in a massive batch of homemade chocolate chip shortbread.

I'm not usually a shortbread fan, but OH MAN that stuff was good.

Two pieces later however, and I wasn't feeling so great myself. It really is amazing how quickly your body can respond to what you're putting in it, and notice the difference.

Lesson learned: that kind of sugar overload is not worth it.

After that cheat, I was mostly good. A colleague's work anniversary (yes, that's definitely a cause for celebration) saw The Cake-Eating Marketing Team become The Doughnut-Eating Marketing Team, and a visit to my favourite gelato bar probably gave me my whole Lent's worth of sugar in one go.

So yes, technically, I did fail Lent. But I'm happy I did.

It's made me completely re-evaluate how much of the sweet stuff I'm eating, and majorly cut down. My body is happier, my taste buds are happier and my teeth are happier.

I really wouldn't like some cake or a bourbon, thank you, and after Easter is out of the way I'll be eating minimal amounts of chocolate. Because really, I don't need it, and it's not going to make me feel good.

From now on, it's back to everything in moderation!

Let me know if you gave up something too, and how you did - we can share that smug feeling (even if I don't really deserve it).