Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Jesus Diet

Disclaimer: I really have no strong pull toward any religion in particular....please take this, as always, with a grain of salt :-D
So fat!  Okay fine, it's the one day I can say that without eliciting an eye roll from the hubster.  Happy Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday!  Are you celebrating today?  Gonna eat cake?  Do a dance?  Earn your beads?  Get your man card revoked? :-D
Yeah, me either.  Though I would seriously kill to go to New Orleans one year for Mardi Gras...how frickin' cool would that be?
But, after today, the party's over.  For 40 days, right?  Now, I'm an (extremely lapsed) Catholic, but when I was growing up, we went to church on Ash Wednesday, gave up meat on Fridays (which, IMO, is a huge conspiracy, but that's a post for another time) and also participated in the Jesus Diet.
What, what the??
As in...we gave up chocolate.  Or Peanut butter.  Or sweets.  Or soda.  Or...you get the picture.  And it was always really, really hard to give up something you love for 40 days for your religion....right? Or were we doing it for the right reasons?
I never really thought about this before.  I've given up non food items, too, like swearing.  (That lasted 7 minutes).  Or biting my nails.  (3 days).  But mostly, it was food.  And, according to the Catholic Faith, this was supposed to help me get closer to God.  Did it?  I doubt it. 
Unless you count "Oh God, I would KILL for a Snickers Bar!" or something.  Rather, it led to a self-righteous 40 days of "Oh, I am such a saint for giving up (fill in the blank), maybe a few pounds lost (though I doubt it-if you give up peanut butter, sub out Reese's for M&Ms= ridiculous justification), and absolutely nothing to do with faith.  Just a self imposed diet for 7 weeks....and what does that have to do with the true meaning of Lent?
Well, herein, "The Jesus diet", as GOMI (Get off my Internets) coined it.  Man, I love that site.  Nothing like bringing down one's ego and getting a little laugh in first thing in the morning. 
Back to our discussion.  Their premise- people give up sweets or "unhealthy things" during Lent to better THEMSELVES, not get closer to their faith or to do good.  Seems selfish and not too "faith based". And, ya know what?  I kinda agree. Might be controversial, might be wrong, but I don't really need to go around parading "giving up peanut butter" for 40 days to (lets be honest here) fit into a smaller swimsuit for Jamaica.  (Oh, did I mention I'm going there?  Pfft :-P).
So, I hereby renounce the Jesus Diet.  Time to find something to do for 40 days that doesn't entail a selfish challenge.  And don't worry....I won't blog about it.  This isn't about me :-)
What do you think about Lent?  DO you give something up?  Why?  Can you relate at all, or am I a total moron?  (Yeah, you don't have to answer that last part).


  1. I can see where you're coming from. It's tough to justify anything that doesn't result in an immediate pleasurable sensation, be it eating, relaxing, or what have you.

    Part of reason that I've been able to keep myself from indulging is that I have re-framed the activity in my mind. When someone offers me something I know isn't healthy, I think of the kids I work with in Tae Kwon Do. I can be a huge inspiration to them if I'm capable of moving and performing at peak levels, and a doughnut isn't going to help me do that.

    The girl I practice with who suffers from Spina bifida doesn't really care how tasty that piece of pizza may or may not have been, she needs me to be 100% alert and 100% in control so I can work safely with her. As long as I have a need to be my absolute best, saying no is the easiest thing in the world.

    I think at it's ideal, lent is supposed to be more about committing an outward act of purification to encourage an inward act of mindful spiritual purification. As a buddhist, I regularly pass on lots of things I might have gone for in the past, but I can do it with smile because I know I'm moving one step closer to a state of selfless awareness, a state from which I'll be at the pinnacle of human ability to love and care for those around me.

    1. And thats exactly what I feel is missing from modern day "lent". It sounds like you are in a great spot with that, and I really admire. Would love to get together for a run and discuss it...you've always been a bit closer to enlightenment than me!