UNITED STATES—Fat Tuesday or what many people call Mardi Gras transpired on Tuesday, March 5. For many it’s about celebrating, especially in the Big Easy in New Orleans. When I think of Fat Tuesday, I think about gluttony and the notion of eating all the bad things before going through a cleanse of the body. This is also known as Lent. For those in the dark, Lent is when you give up something for 40 days. You may say why is this so important?

Well, it’s important for those of us who started New Year resolutions to only see those resolutions implode in our faces, this an opportunity to take another shot at them. I will acknowledge two of my resolutions went strong for about 4 weeks, then the month of February came around and it all went to hell. One minor slip just turned into me saying, “Well, I tried.” However, I feel I have another opportunity to go cold turkey, and by doing so, this gives me the opportunity to show that I am able to commit to something if I truly put my focus to it.

So what am I doing for Lent? Two things: 1) giving up soda completely 2) cutting out sweets. The first one, I know I am able to do without hesitation. I’ll make water my best friend and do my best to utilize fruit smoothies all natural (meaning fresh fruits and veggies) to comprise a tasty drink or snack. I’ve done it countless times in the past, and I know I can do it again without any hiccups.

Now the sweets, that is another story. I can give up candy no problem, but finding a way to stay away from baked goods will be a bit harder. Why? I’m a person who likes sweets, but I can control my intake. I know you cannot overindulge in such tasty items because they can be bad for your overall health. Will it be easy? No, but anything worth fighting for is never easy. So that is the motto that I plan to utilize.

I mean I even enjoyed a tasty treat known as the paczki. It is a donut that is loaded with sugar and filling. They can be quite hefty when it comes to the calorie count America. A typical paczki has between 600 to 700 calories. That is the equivalent to eating 2-3 slices of pizza. I need you to think about that for a second. Why? You are far likely to be satisfied and satiated with 2-3 slices of pizza, whereas this heavy donut will satisfy your sweet tooth, but you’ll still be hungry in the long run. The realization comes to you how eating certain things that are loaded with sugar, fat and all things NOT good for you compared to indulging in things that are good for you. You start to realize, wow, I should have made much better choices, I could have made better choices, but I choose another path for one reason or another.

Oh, Lent is not just about giving up things, it’s about doing better things as well. So I’m adding just one more thing on the list that I know I should without a doubt be able to accomplish. What is it? To exercise even more than what I’m already doing. I do about 30 minutes of intense cardio 3-4 times a week, but now I want to do strength building in addition to cardio. Why? It’s good to have variety when you exercise because it prevents one from getting bored. Long story short, you should have gotten all that bad out of you on Tuesday, so you can focus on a new, revitalized you on Wednesday (the start of Lent) for 40 days. If you can do 40 days, is there a reason you cannot go any longer? The answer is no, there isn’t, but the choice is up to you.