one man's ceiling
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
  gung hay fat tuesday!


yes, it is the conflagration of celestial events that pushes the chinese new year up against the end of mardi gras. and being neither chinese nor any sort of practicing christian it may strike some as a bit odd that i tend to observe the forty days of lent by giving up some food item, but there it is: i am that bit odd.

in the past i have gone to extremes. i have given up chocolate (very heard) and all carbs (extremely hard) all meat (not so bad for the first 20 days or so, but then i was living a few doors down from a burger joint...) and once i gave up on giving things up, what you might call a protest against an idea that i really don't find fault with. yeah, i do that as well, protest things in principle that i later have to admit i don't quite believe in.

and just to be fair, i have twice practiced daytime fasting during ramadan just to see if i could do it. you know, it really wasn't so bad, but it also wasn't that hard to slip back into a regular eating schedule either.

this time around the word is pasta. givin' it up in all its many glorious forms until some time after easter. since i'm normally only eating pasta once a week i'm only giving it up for a five or six weeks, but that's not going to be as easy as it sounds. i like pasta.

i also recognize that those are very heavy carbs and i could really use to drop a few pounds.

like maybe forty pounds.

like between now and the end of july. when i'm hoping to go to europe and not wanting to be the ugly american schlepping his lard ass around the great cities of the old world. but that goes into diet and exercise and not what i'm talking about now.

right now i'm talking about the last meal. i'm talking about dropping huge piles of chili with beans on top of spaghetti with two kinds of cheese, 'cause that's the way i roll when the pasta's goin' down.

having consumed more than i should have -- because, yeah, it tasted superfine yummygood -- i now feel bloated and i don't give a damn. the next week will trot by like a breeze and then things will get rough. but i know i can handle it. i know because last year i pretty much cut all high fructose corn syrup out of my diet, with a handful of exceptions. i know because i was once heavier than i am now -- not by much, but enough -- and i know i've lost that weight in the past. and i know that as an american male in his midlife i need to get back down to a more human size if i expect to live to see 92, which i do.

and i know that the journey of a thousand calories begins with a single bite. and that i can cut back on the evil foods of my life if i cut them back ever so gradually. the same way i gained all that weight. and after forty days i hope to find that i don't crave the pasta, and that i can build on that by dropping something else just slightly more significant. like sugar.

so tonight, hey! pasta away! and tomorrow, when i wake up groggy with the carb hangover i'll know i partied about as hard as i wanted on the eve of lent.

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