14 Feb

I was just reading a Buzzfeed article entitled “17 People Coping With Food Restrictions For Lent” and immediately got annoyed (per usual, classic Alaina). Lent literally is just starting today (or tomorrow, who even knows anymore? I stopped pretending to be Catholic once I was confirmed and never looked back) and yet the internet and forms social media are already getting on my nerves about what people are giving up. Aka everyone is giving up a certain type of food or way of eating because of Lent. I have seen nothing other than food as the common theme of what to give up. Apparently you’re not cool if you don’t cut out everything but water for Lent.

This bothers me for a number of reasons. I just don’t like it when people give things up “for Lent”, when really they don’t even care about Lent and would rather just have an excuse to give something up. So many people just use Lent as an excuse to start dieting, and that’s annoying to me. Just start dieting if you want to start dieting, don’t use Lent as some clever disguise to make it look like you’ll have the willpower to eat only salad for the next forty days. I’d think that you had more willpower if you could just start up trying to eat healthy and lose weight any old day of the week, rather than when it’s convenient to do so. Also, Lent puts an end date on when you’re allowed to give up the diet that you have so graciously started in the name of Jesus, and I’d rather not look at dieting as having an expiration date, but rather look at it from the sense that you should eat better to make yourself feel better and you should do it whenever you damn well please.

I also hate that Lent is literally supposed to be a religious holiday, it isn’t commercialized like Christmas or the other Christian holidays that have lost religious meaning. I know that there are people out there, both young and old, who genuinely give something up for Lent to follow the religion. But, I feel like people now, especially people more my age, are more likely to give something up without even thinking about the reasons why they are giving something up. I’m by no means religious, but to me, it’s like if you’re going to partake in and follow the guidelines of something that pertains to a specific religious event, actually care about what that means. Otherwise, why even bother waiting until Lent to do anything? That’s actually entirely my point. Just fucking go on a juice cleanse if that’s so what your heart desires. Who cares what time of year it is? (Except I don’t encourage going on juice cleanses, food seems to be an important factor in surviving.)

I feel this way about New Year’s resolutions, too. I hate that as a society, we think that we need to have a reason or an excuse to do something, and we can only do these things at certain times of the year. Why bother using that philosophy? If you want to go out and do something, just do it. Don’t try to make a resolution to better yourself and then fail and then tweet about failing at your New Year’s resolution. If you mess up, don’t let it get you down, tomorrow is a new day. That is literally the only time in the entire history of my life I have used a sentence like that and you will never see me be so positive ever again in my life. I think that working for Weight Watchers is really starting to affect me. Being around people who struggle with weight loss on a day to day basis, who start up over and over again on program shows that people do understand that when they want to do something, they should just do it. Fuck having an excuse to, they just get it done. It’s also incredible to see all of the people who have been on program for years, who have been lifetime members for ages, and they don’t just look for a time when it’s convenient to do so.

I get that using Lent or New Year’s or whatever could be argued as a good jumping point to get someone started on their new path in life. Yes, that is true, but I feel like you’re more likely to give something up if there’s an expiration date on it, or once the nostalgia of “it’s the new year, time to make a difference in life!” wears off. If you’re gonna go for something, go for it. And don’t look back. DON’T EVER LOOK BACK.

Also, people need to stop instagramming pictures of salads that are extremely unappetizing. I enjoy a good salad myself, but if you’re going to upload a picture of a few pieces of iceberg lettuce and one tomato, please get out of my newsfeed and actually fall off the planet. I’m not impressed by this salad. That is not a salad. You are going to be hungry in three minutes. Please, feed yourself properly. Thank you.

Ps the title of this post is actually a hashtag that someone on that Buzzfeed link posted to their instagram. Just letting you all know that #catholicproblems exists.

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