What Would You Give Up? – Diet Day 41

Let me start off by saying I am not Catholic, I’ve never been Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican, as well as some Baptist and Mennonite. And I’ll likely never be Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican, as well as some Baptist and Mennonite so whatever I may write below this is purely from an observation perspective and has no religious bearing whatsoever. If this post somehow offends you I apologize; that was not my intent.

Today marks the beginning of Lent. I’ll be honest, I had no idea what Lent even was. For the longest time I thought people were saying lint and I had no idea why people were so fascinated with the stuff stuck to the dryer screening that you have to empty before every load.

It wasn’t until after college that I even knew anyone who practiced Lent and could explain to me what it meant. I’ll probably butcher the definition here but basically it is the time from Ash Wednesday until Holy Thursday, which is just before Easter where Christians prepare themselves through prayer, fasting, and self-denial to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I understood the prayer part and I got the repentance and fasting part. It was the self-denial piece that I didn’t quite understand. Each year at this time I would talk to friends who would describe the struggles they had in determining what they would “give up for Lent”.

At first I thought that would be a no-brainer. I would give up brussel sprouts. I hate those things anyway so to have an excuse to not even have to look at one for 40-days would be a bonus. No, you can’t give up stuff you already hate. Instead you have to give up something that is important to you that can show sacrifice. Well that makes things a lot more difficult.

So this year as I talked to friends of mine who were observing Lent (I’m guessing you observe this as opposed to celebrate since who would want to celebrate giving something up for 40-days) I wondered, what would I give up?

The first thing that came to mind was religion but I kind of figured that would defeat the whole purpose so I should probably think of something else. My wife suggested that I give up baseball. Yeah right like that will ever happen. It would be easier to give up breathing. I thought about giving up breathing but I figured that was kind of like giving up religion neither one of those has much of a future if selected.

Somewhere during this pondering I realized that this weight loss program was kind of like my own personal Lent. The day before the diet started was my Fat Tuesday where I went out and had a dinner filled with fat and other things knowing full well that the next day my life would change and I would be giving up pretty much everything that I took for granted that I could eat.

Over the next three months (my estimation of how long it would take me to reach my target weight) I would forego all kinds of goodness that was part of my everyday life. Gone were the days of going to the cupboard and retrieving a package of Hostess HoHo’s that would be washed down with a Caffeine Free Pepsi (the good stuff, not that diet junk). This would be followed by 3 or 4 slices of pizza and I would have another soda. The day would end with a Giant Kit Kat bar or a big bowl of Dreyer’s ice cream while watching television.

Thinking back over those days I wondered how in the world I was still living. Now at the end of the sixth week I find myself not craving any of those things that I loved so dearly before. There is one treat though that I do still miss and one I am looking forward to as a reward once this diet ends.

I’ve already come to terms with the fact that this treat is not good for me and that there is no way I can eat it alone. In fact I am not sure Trina and I together can eat it so it will likely last a few days. It is the Holy Grail of desserts and one that I think about more than a normal person should.

I am talking of course about the Great Wall of Chocolate from P.F. Changs. It is six layers of rich chocolate cake frosted with semi-sweet chocolate chips and chocolate frosting served with a raspberry sauce. The garnishment is a cut up strawberry and a couple of blueberries.

This is not your average dessert. This is a sumo wrestler of desserts weighing in at 2,240 calories with 20 grams of protein and 376 carbs. It has 89 grams of total fat and 21 grams of saturated fat. This dessert alone is four times the amount of calories I am consuming in a DAY! This dessert makes its namesake proud. It truly is a great wall made of chocolate.

So if you are going to give up something for the sake of religion it should be a heavenly dessert that is packed with devilishly good taste. It’s like a religious war in your mouth. Come to think of it, maybe I don’t want Lent to end. It will take me months to work that many calories off after I wake up from the sugar food coma.

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