Is it just me, or are people always giving up chocolate, meat and cheese? If that's not a testament to just how beloved our food-crack has become, I don't know what its!
I love this fatty trinity so I tried to imagine what it must be like for my devout friends who are giving up their choice items for a portion of their spring. Since I have to live a gluten-free lifestyle, I really get it—it's not easy doing without the things you enjoy. But in the presence of Lent-followers and educated discussion, I decided to make a short list on a few things I should probably give up.
The top of the list is coffee. Good, rich, dark, piping-hot coffee. Ah, my dark elixir (Dear Coffee, how do I love thee...). This is the strongest drug running through my veins, and it's always a challenge to quit. But why would I quit? My mental health needs this more than any physical reason could deter me at this time. I sound like an addict don't I? OK, maybe I should just cut back a bit.
Next up is cheese. Salty, funky, creamy, hard, melty, pungent, earthy, mild, fatty cheese—yum. In my mind, I am sitting in a cafe in Paris with a cheese plate and espresso right now. Once upon a time, an ounce or two of cheddar would satisfy the urge. But now my tastes are more refined and my appetite more hearty—so a block of melted gruyere (on top of anything really) is just a typical Saturday night.
Chocolate—What, you think I would give that up? Give me a break! Never!
As I continued down my list of guilty pleasures and I began defending their honor (there's nothing wrong with bowl of ice cream!), I realize that there truly is nothing wrong with anything I eat. I am the one who is eating it out of control—the food doesn't challenge me to do so. What's wrong, is the way I idealize these silly things and give them power.
What I really need to give up is imbalance and dependancy. Which has nothing to do with a salty or sweet morsel—but has a thing or two to do with "everything in moderation."
I have found it a much simpler task to swear off something altogether than to accept it into your life with gratitude. And this is not just the case for food, mind you. It's much easier to convince yourself you hate a frienemy (or anyone with whom you are fighting) than it is to temper your emotions and embrace any small aspect of that person. Ah, ha! The greater picture!
So the real hit-list of items I should try to refrain from are not tangible. They are the trite mental attachments I have made directors. And I wouldn't just go and swear off attachments either, because there's no moderation in that. The things that stick with you are those achieved over time.
But sure, I'll still cut down on the coffee.