My buddy Mick uttered those words in a comment to me yesterday as I began my 46 day long Lenten sacrifice of not eating bread, pasta, etc.
I was slightly amused at first, because I know how Mick hates the Catholic Church and many religious things in general. And…that’s cool, the Mick-Man is his own man and a good guy.
I thoughtfully pondered his comment. Within my mind Mick’s comment raised a good point, but not the one which he had initially proffered.
Allow me to ‘splain…
Four years ago I began giving up meat for Lent. Well, that had become easy and lacked challenge. I almost looked forward to it, because it offered me an opportunity to come up with off the wall meatless recipes for six weeks a year.
So this year, I opted for giving up bread, pasta, and the like…and that’s where we are today.
Of course…that doesn’t answer the question of why I began doing this, nor does it address the concerns raised by the aforementioned Mick.
Back in 2005, before I even began this site, I had ballooned up to 270 pounds and started dieting. Four years ago, I still weighed some 225 pounds. I had hit my wall. I couldn’t lose anymore weight.
I had just gotten my Driver’s License in February of '06 and I hated the picture on it. My head was incredible evidence of how big I had gotten, and I didn‘t like it. In fact, I hated myself. So…
Lent was drawing nigh and I thought…What can I do to push myself over this wall of weight stalemate? And then it dawned on me.
Lent is coming up, I’ll give up meat for those six weeks and eat healthier. I managed to make it through the first Lent and continued the same the sacrifice up to this year.
Today I weigh 173 pounds, and as far as that part of my life goes, I dig it.
I weigh less than I did in High School, although the weight has shifted since then, and I had more teeth and hair, so I still looked better in High School than I do today, but nonetheless…
But, it goes far beyond the weight thing. When my No Knead for the Devil Tour is done come Easter, I will feel better about myself because I accomplished something.
You see…I’m pretty smart, fairly creative, and a hard worker, but I lack discipline. I’m a big picture kinda guy who says, “Fuck the details.”
Using Lent as a timeline to get something done gives me structure for at least part of the year, and it affords me the opportunity to know that if I put my mind to something I can get it done.
It’s not at all about the Catholic Church, but it does in a roundabout way have something to do with religious teachings.
How can I, as it is written in Leviticus, love thy neighbor as thy self, if I don’t love myself? How can I do unto others, as the Sermon on the Mount teaches us, if I don’t want to do a damn thing myself?
No, this has nothing to do with any church, Catholic or otherwise. This is all about making myself a better person. A stronger person. A person who can answer the call when met with change and challenge.
And yes…it really is that simple. I like doing it for myself.
Before I go, I want to post a video for Clay Perry. He made me laugh last night and he digs Schmoop so here it is…
A Half Naked Thursday video that Schmoop and I did a year or so ago. She’s uber-cute at the very end. Enjoy.