Yesterday was Mardi Gras, which means today is Ash Wednesday. That also means that as a Catholic I feel compelled to give up something as a sacrifice during Lent.

drinking fountain water

photo credit: joshme17

I’ve decided to give up drinking anything but water.

Those who have been around this blog since the beginning will remember I drank only water for 30 days back in 2011. Not only did I feel great but I also probably saved a little bit of money.

So I’m doing it again. I will be drinking only water for the next 6.5 weeks. I don’t drink alcohol or coffee which may make people think this is a simple challenge. However I drink a lot of soda, juice, and chocolate milk. This won’t be easy.

Here are the benefits I’m hoping to achieve.

1. Be More Mindful of Jesus

Every time I eat a meal or grab a snack, I’ll be tempted to grab something to drink as well. That means I’ll have 5-10 opportunities a day to reflect on my minor sacrifice and think about God. I don’t preach on this blog, but obviously this is the most important part of drinking only water for me.

2. Lose Weight

By drinking only water I estimate I’ll reduce my daily calorie intake by at least 400-500 calories a day. Not only will I reduce calorie intake, but apparently there are other weight loss benefits provided by water.

I do need to shed 5-10 pounds before the wedding (which is less than 3 months away) so hopefully this will help.

3. Become Healthier

This obviously follows very closely with losing weight, but I want to be healthier overall. My cholesterol and blood pressure has been rising slightly over the last few years. I know I need to eat better and exercise more, and getting rid of all the sugar in soda and juice should be a step in the right direction.

4. Save Money

Finally, water is free. Let’s pretend I’m buying a $2 fountain soda at a restaurant three times a week, and I’m also buying a gallon of chocolate milk or juice per week. That’s about $10 per week of savings.

Obviously $10 per week isn’t going to have much of an impact on my personal finances, but it doesn’t hurt.

Readers: Are you giving up anything for Lent? P.S. You don’t have to be religious to spend 40 days doing something to better yourself.