Today is Fat Tuesday. I never really liked the name “Fat” Tuesday, especially since becoming a Weight Watcher. To me, it just seems like this day where we can basically toss all of our dieting rules out the window and be fat, and this bothered me for a few reasons.
- One day of indulgence is not going to make you fat. I repeat: One day of indulgence is NOT going to make you fat. You gain weight, I mean really gain, when it’s day after day after day of indulging.
- Those of us on a diet sometimes have a hard enough time controlling ourselves. We need to A) not have a day that encourages us to throw everything out the window, and B) come to terms with the idea that we have the power to have a little indulgence in moderation worked right into our plan. Going to the extreme is not necessary.
Now, all of that being said, I kind of did participate in the “fat” part of today. First, I didn’t really track today, and I don’t even feel guilty about it, but that’s because of some of the decisions I made. I had a regular breakfast (5 sp), but later in the day I got sidetracked with my niece before going to the gym, and that resulted in me getting hungry at my parent’s house, which never results in good choices (Note to self: get better at keeping a snack in your purse at all times.). I treated myself to some crackers (I did choose Triscuits over the buttery onion crackers) and this amazing spreadable cheese my mom gets from the Amish bakery when it visits her work every few months, and followed that up with a handful-ish of peanut M&Ms. Rockstar move..I know.
Every year on Fat Tuesday there is a pancake dinner at my church (the Lutheran church. My YouTube subscribers know that I regularly attend 2 churches. I call one the “Little Lutheran Church” and the other is “the bigger, contemporary church”), so it’s ingrained in me to have pancakes for dinner on Fat Tuesday. My original plan was to go to the dinner and enjoy regular old pancakes with my parents, but I was later informed they weren’t going, so I changed plans and made myself protein pancakes instead. It was a much healthier option, but it was also followed up with a mini chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s. It was delicious, indulgent, and worth every un-tracked bite. At least I’m keeping the healthy and unhealthy choices pretty balanced.. Gold star for that.
Fat Tuesday also means so much more than a day of indulgence. Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent beginning. Lent is regarded in the Christian faith is a time for repentance, renewal, and typically some form of sacrifice, which is why many give something up for Lent. It’s the start of the 40 days leading up to Easter, aka the whole reason our belief system exists. It has been quite a few years since I’ve chosen to give something up for Lent, but instead, I’ve been choosing to add something to my day, sacrificing my time in an effort to spend more time with God (I wrote a whole post on this several years ago). This year, Lent conveniently coincides with my discovery of a new (to me) weight loss book that mixes faith along with diet called Made to Crave. I’m halfway through it (since starting the audio book yesterday..I couldn’t stop listening) and I think its message is perfectly timed for me to use this new way of thinking about healthy living alongside the Lenten season.
In a nutshell, this book talks about as humans we are made to crave, but where we should be craving God, we’ve replaced that desire for other things like material possessions, alcohol, sex, drugs, popularity, and of course, food. The book talks about how this desire to lose weight and get healthy can also be (and should be) a spiritual journey to get closer to God. If we fill our cravings with God, there will be no room to be ruled by food. If we focus on our obedience to God and how he would want us to treat our bodies, which are a gift from him, we can more easily overcome our physical and emotional setbacks and get up and moving.
To many of you, it may sound like a bunch of crap, and if that’s the case, then maybe this isn’t for you, but something in this book clicked for me, and I am so excited to take this new approach to my weight loss. Starting tomorrow, it isn’t about eliminating one thing for Lent. It’s about seeking to be more obedient to God by taking better care of this body he gave me. I want to get better about eating more whole foods and less sugar (perhaps by giving up regular indulgences like candy and non-WW friendly goods in the process). I want to focus on getting stronger and more functional rather than just thinner. While this adventure of mine will last more than the duration of Lent, these 40 days will definitely give me a great start.
Here we go.