I never understood Ash Wednesday. I mean, I understand it from a religious context (went to Catholic school my whole childhood), but a part of me always wondered *why* giving up things I liked were good. If they made me happy, why make me sad?
Of course, now I am an adult and understand the religious implications of the Puritanical religious mindset (things that give us joy are evil, things that make us unhappy are good), and yet, I still can't shake the Puritanical weight loss mindset (we exercise not because it can release endorphins to make us feel good, we do it because it's painful, and by feeling the pain we know we are doing our body right). That seems as backwards as giving up something you love for 40 days, only to gorge on it on Easter Sunday. Weight loss/fitness/toning/healthy pursuits shouldn't be an absolute that you flagellate yourself with for X amount of days or weeks before promising to 'treat' yourself with fatty foods if you are 'good' enough. It should be, no, it HAS to be a complete and total about face on the concept of healthy living. You don't work out really hard in the morning so you can earn an extra glass of wine at night; you don't starve yourself all week so you can really 'pig out' with your friends on the weekend; and certainly don't kill yourself with pills and vomiting and dangerous practices in an effort to reach some nirvana of size and shape. You know what we call people who used to do crazy shit in an effort to please some Other out there? Martyrs. Believe you me, you do not want to be a martyr for a Kit Kat. Just eat the damn thing, and get on with your day. I'd rather see myself fat than dead, thank you.
I didn't go insane on the gorging today, Fat Tuesday. I had a small croissant and a cup of coffee (not even Starbucks!), and ate some leftovers in the fridge that would have gone off otherwise. I bought a chocolate bar on the way home from baby's booster shots, and that's about it. Tonight I'll probably have a Jack and Coke before bed, but tomorrow I am pretty prepared for the day. I have my food all ready, and my exercise will be walking with baby. No cat of nine tails to flagellate myself with, no sack cloth and ashes, no blood letting for sacrifice to my wicked ways. Just...me. With a shift of priorities.