Fitness Countdown to Spring

Feb 08, 2008

I have opted, for this pre-Easter period, not to mindlessly eat like a six-year-old raised by wolves, who is then suddenly deposited on the set of Emeril Live during Mardi Gras Open House.


Have you ever given up anything for Lent? What might one typically give up in attempting to identify more deeply with Christ’s privation and temptation in the wilderness? Chocolate, perhaps? “Reality” TV? Alcohol? Tobacco? Coffee? Internet mania? Guitar Hero?

Actually, I am determined to undertake an endeavor possibly more challenging than all these—for me anyway: I have decided to give up nutritional stupidity for Lent. Yes, I have opted, for this pre-Easter period, not to eat like a six-year-old raised by wolves, who is then suddenly deposited onto the set of Emeril Live during Mardi Gras Open House.

I will work to avoid a wide range of behaviors, among them:

1. Eating everything in sight

2. Hunting down and seizing things not immediately in sight, and eating those, too

3. Going all kamikaze with salt

4. Indulging in reckless sugar abandon

5. Taking cheesy and greasy to the extreme

6. Eating due to boredom, frustration, or simply being awake

7. Prepping and polishing off an entire meal while waiting for the original one to cook

8. Scarfing down full three-course dinners when the moon is at its height, then hopping into bed

9. Leaving the house on an empty stomach—an engraved invitation into the Wonderful World of Junk Food Hysteria

Preparation, moderation and awareness will be the keys to success in this exercise—and speaking of exercise, I’ll be out walking five days per week, with my new, cheap, off-brand MP3 player belting out the high-energy hits. What? You don’t believe all this? Well, I’ll be reporting back here Fridays until Easter, unless all this good living winds up killing me.

The super people down at the Butler County Health Department documented my current weight for the beginning of this adventure: 137 pounds. Let’s see if that number changes by late March. (If not, maybe we’ll be looking at the addition of a little muscle to the mix! Here’s hoping!) 

However abstract my Lenten sacrifice might appear to be, it is indeed made in the hope that I may, through conscious cultivation of “the temple” of this human form, find myself inclined more intimately toward the things of the spirit. To this end, I will supplement my nutritional pursuits with periods of solitary prayer and contemplation; with reading of spiritual substance; and with deeds, however modest to begin with.

Come “renew for the spring” right along with me, if you like! If the specific origin or trappings of the Lenten tradition do not draw you the prospect, then maybe the main objective will…

For no matter how you slice it, the next 40 days—or any 40 days you might choose out of life’s calendar, for that matter!—will always provide you with “An Excuse To Be Better”!