UNITED STATES─Fat Tuesday better known as Mardi Gras by most Americans has come and gone. For many, it was all about celebrating in the Big Easy um New Orleans. However, I don’t think people really understand the important of Fat Tuesday, it’s an opportunity for you to get that last indulgence of those items or things that you enjoy before Lent commences.

Yes, there are many people who are quite religious and think if you’re not a religious person you don’t have to really pay attention to Lent. I for one beg to differ. I look at Mardi Gras as an opportunity for a rebirth, an actual cleanse. Many people have probably already given up on their New Year’s resolution and Lent gives you a chance to get back on the wagon and stay consistent with that commitment you made at the start of the New Year.

I for one know I tossed in the towel on my resolution about a month in. It wasn’t the fact that I didn’t want to do it, temptation arose and I just gave into it. However, as of Tuesday I’m doing something that is going to be super difficult for the next 40 days, but if I can succeed at it, it tells me a lot about my drive to resist. I’m giving up all carbonated drinks in addition to sweets. Now let me be clear: when I say sweets I’m referring specifically to candy, cookies and baked goods.

I would not say I have a sweet tooth, but I have a craving every so often that needs to be satisfied. So I have gone 3-4 months with no candy at all, cookies as well as other baked treats. So what does that mean? For Fat Tuesday, I indulged a bit, I pigged out, but not because I knew that I would no longer be able to eat those items, it’s just I wanted to have that last taste.

For others, you may not necessarily give up food items, you might give up cursing, eating out, spending money, watching too much TV, exercising more, etc. Do you see where I’m heading with this? Lent gives you the opportunity to do something that you haven’t been doing that perhaps you want to do. In life sometimes we have so much going on that it’s hard for us to focus on the things that matter. We get distracted and once we throw the towel in, we have no interest in trying to fix a problem that could have been prevented.

I know giving up something completely is NOT feasible for most Americans, so if it’s not for you, than it’s not for you. With that said, you could cut back or reduce the intake for soda, sweets, fatty foods, take out, excessive spending, the list goes on and on and on. Just small adjustments can help improve your overall mood and health. I always look at the start of Lent as an opportunity to prove something to myself. It may not always provide me the success I want, but it gives me the opportunity to prove to myself that if I truly want to make something happen I can if I commit to it.

Written By Zoe Mitchell