The Catholic Church no longer encourages Catholics to "give up" something for Lent. Instead of depriving oneself, the Church believes your soul is better served by doing good works.
Nevertheless I'm old school, and for the past few Lents, I've given up chocolate. But I found I was eating jelly beans by the pound and spoons full of yellow cake mix straight out of the box. So this Lent, I set a higher bar: I gave up sugar. Not sugar hidden in foods like ketchup and peanut butter and yogurt. I'm talking about sugar in plain sight, found in pies and cookies and ice cream.
I discovered two things: First, I eat a lot of sugar. And second, giving up sugar was far harder than I imagined.
This surprised me because I pride myself on maintaining a healthy weight, and fancy myself a disciplined person.
Yet by Day Two of Lent, I was checking the calendar to see how much longer I had to go and bargaining with myself that sneaking my kids' Frosted Mini Wheats after dinner didn't really count.