Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fat Tuesday - here it comes

I'm really really glad that I have a nationwide holiday-based day to sit back up, clear my throat, and get myself back on track. This past week was just a total waste. Friday night Brian and I had dinner at Barossa, a wonderful restaurant that features organic and natural food, but very high end. We both started out with a delicious lentil and ham soup that had a touch of some flavorings we couldn't quite place -- saffron perhaps? -- and then I had the crab crusted black cod with a oyster souffle, Brian had the steer tenderloin. It was actually a perfectly fine meal to stay on track. It's the rest of the week that did me in. I hate to belabor the poiht, but at least I can analyze this down: I was sick, I reached for comfort, and my comfort was food. I needed medicine, but I chose food. And yesterday, for some stupid reason, I had this craving for the corned beef hash they make in the cafeteria. It gnawed at me all morning and I finally gave in. It's like I'm slipping back into old habits: I blew it earlier in the week, so why not just ruin plan completely.

So tomorrow begins Lent. Catholic dieters all over the world give up chocolate for lent, we give up carbs, we give up sweets, we give up all this stuff in honor of a guy who fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. (These days his twelve friends would have staged an intervention and gotten him into some sort of program to put on some weight, but that's beside the point.) And usually by the first Friday of Lent, we've eaten that candy bar, thus ensuring a good thousand days in Purgatory. There are some Lenten seasons where I was already guaranteeing my handbasket reserveation, business class straight to Hell by breaking the resolve. Those were the seasons when I had the Hershey bar shortly after I'd gotten my ashes.

This whole being fat thing is Purgatory for me anyway. I wasn't always fat, and Purgatory is supposed to be temporary. And so is this fat. But you have to work to get out of purgatory. You have to be good. Purgatory is for people who have to think about what they've done and let the guilt gnaw away at us. So what to give up for Lent that will still work for me?

Unplanned food. That's it. If its not on my plan for the day, I won't eat it. That includes those damn Girl Scout Cookies that arrive this weekend. I will enjoy them, but the will be planned for. 40 days and 40 nights of thinking about what I'm eating. Not putting anything in my mouth that "runs counter to my weight loss goals." This is going to be a pain in the ass, thinking about it all the time. But that's what Lent is about. 40 days and 40 nights of thinking about how you're wrecking your life with stupid shit. Because even if purgatory is a pain in the ass, it sure beats the hell of being fat forever.

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