ash wednesday action.

Palermo, Sicily

I told y’all I would talk about my trip to Cologne today, but it’s Ash Wednesday. Normally this does not mean a whole lot to to me because a) I’m a horrible Christian b) I’ve never successfully completed a Lent period c) my Lents have nothing to do with bringing me closer to God, which is the whole point of Lent (I think).

So what will make me accountable this year over others? Well, this year we have a little reward-punishment action going on. We travelers need our mula, so Maggie and I will be placing 5 Euro in a jar every time we skip the workout until Easter. Winner takes all. Added incentive is this little Easter Weekend trip to Sicily we just booked with our crew here. We will be flying into Trapani and either exploring that area, or making a short trek over to Palermo. Plus, I’m putting it on my blog, so now y’all all know I’m supposed to be all “shredded” post-Easter.

Shred. Shred. Shred.

I’ll be spending at least once a day with Queen J – Jillian Michaels and her 30 Day Shred. It’s only a 25 minute workout, so I really have no excuse not to do it. I currently have no weights, so I’ve been using beers. This probably says all sorts of things about me, but I hope you read: FUN. I also don’t think any of you realize how much I am dreading this. When I get home from work, I either a) leave the house immediately to go meet people b) cook with people or c) lay in bed and catch up on TV – hanging out with Jillian falls under none of these.

For those of you unfamiliar with the 30 Day Shred, Jillian does a 3-2-1 method: three minutes strength, two minutes cardio, one minute  abs. There are three circuits plus a warm up and cool down. The “Lose up to 20 pounds in 30 days!” attention grabber is certainly wishful thinking, but I’ll report back after Easter.

No morning stops at the bakery.

This is difficult because 1) I have to get up and make breakfast. 2) It’s next door to my office. 3) I am addicted to my morning Laugenstange. Laugenstangen are made out of the delicious pretzel dough. My morning stops at the bakery make me feel super German, especially since the ladies all know my order now. Sorry Frau Bäcker, I’ll see you in April.

Deutsch lernen.

I really used to love learning German, but lately I have carved out zero time for it (SO MUCH GOOD TV ON). Since I started working at the company back in September, I am not surrounded by it like I used to because we all communicate in English at the office. This makes my whole learning German via osmosis desire much more difficult. So daily, I am going to do something in German, whether it’s conversing with someone, reading articles, working in my German book, or watching a “How I Met Your Mother” in German, it’s happening.

Are you giving up or making any new commitments for Lent?

If you put something on your blog, are you more likely to do it?

  • Ashley of Ashley Abroad

    Great ideas! I don’t really know what to do for Lent but like you, 40 days from now I want to be in better shape and speaking much better French (obviously in your case, German.) And have fun in Sicily, I’ve always wanted to go there! Let me know if you want to do a weekend trip in Europe at any point this year, good travel buddies are hard to come by :)

    • ifs ands & butts

      We should DEFINITELY plan a weekend trip somewhere. It’s all I can do right now since I’m having to save up vacation days, but I’d love to do something in March or something, I’m pretty open then, except for the 9th when I’m in Paris :)

  • Heather

    5€ every time? Man, that would get real expensive for me real fast. I hear you though, before summer rolls around I need to get back on the workout train… I did pretty well last year but I had bathing suit fear staring me in the face. This year it’s a bridesmaid dress, so hopefully it’s as effective.

    I have that same German book. It has dust on it. But that’s what the German boyfriend is for, oder?? Haha.

    • ifs ands & butts

      It might get expensive for me, but so far it’s working. I already know I don’t want to do it today, but I also know I don’t want to pay 5 Euro the first week haha. And I do like the German book, but mine is pretty dusty right now as well. Too bad the German and I never speak German… whoops

  • bevchen

    Oooh, good luck with Jillian! I have her “No more trouble zones” DVD and it KILLS me! I have no weights either – I’m currently using tinned pineapples! (Beer?! But it will go flat! :-()

    I’m definitely more likely to do things if I put them on my blog – hence the 30 German towns before 30 and 35 before 35 lists being up there. Knowing people are waiting for updates makes me more likely to actually get off my backside and DO something!

    • ifs ands & butts

      Ooo good point on the beer – but I think I’ll still sacrifice it because reusing these same two beers is way easier and cheaper than going to Karstadt Sport (read: I’m so lazy). The canned foods are a good idea though, maybe I’ll do some scavenging.

  • Helene in Between

    i am giving up sweets for lent. I too am not a good christian but always participate in lent. love the idea of putting money in a jar if you miss a workout. what great motivation! and jillian. she is the best and worst.

    • ifs ands & butts

      I already want to skip my workout this evening. The money is the ONLY thing that stops that haha.

  • Megan

    well im hardly a good christian, but i did decide to do lent this year. i gave up bread and red bull. i actually have no faith in myself to be honest. but im gonna try. i only gave up red bull because its so pricy. so when i travel i may or may not drink it 😉 hhaha.

    and sicily sounds fantastic.

    jealous :( ill be in belarus seeing zero beaches. but hopefully gaining a little cultural perspective LOL

    • ifs ands & butts

      Whoa Red Bull is a great one – I spend so much money on those suckers. When I see them for 1 Euro at the discount grocer sometimes I literally buy 10. But yeah, I can only imagine how much one costs in Norway. I wish I could give up bread -it’s practically impossible in Germany I swear. So excited to hear about Belarus, I know you’ve been looking so forward to it!

  • sixth tractate

    I love your blog!! Great post as well. I’m your newest follower :) Would you mind checking out our blog & following back via GFC and Bloglovin’? Looking forward to your next post! xx

  • Katrin

    Haha, I love that you use beer instead of weights. Good luck with the workout. I completely forgot about the fact that it is Ash Wednesday so I need to figure out a plan what to do. :)
    I looooove Laugenbroetchen so much! Miss them!

    • ifs ands & butts

      Seriously my favorite bread ever, which is why I need to give it up for a bit :)

  • Sara Louise

    Good luck with your shredding, and your German! :)

    • ifs ands & butts

      Nope, Jillian and I are not friends right now.