Mardi Gras always arrives the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.  As a kid going to Broome Country Catholic Schools, I always thought it was cool to get ashes on my forehead.

To this day, I look forward to Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent.  You don't have to be Roman Catholic or religious at all to observe Lent.  Many people I know, use the 40 days of Lent as a guide to make small changes in their life; to cleanse their bodies by eating healthier.  Some chose to give up something or even begin a new exercise program that they stick with.

I actually do all that.  Last year, I had a blast giving up anything that had a 'known sugar.'  For me, that meant no candy, desserts, sweetened ice tea, soda, beer and wine, nothing that is prepared with sugar. That means I was drinking a lot of water, green tea, and eating more fruits and veggies.  A more natural diet will make you really think outside the box.

And not going out as much will save me money.  When I do, I would do a club soda with lime or an iced tea.  Also, getting more serious in the gym allows me to train stronger and this year, it means participating in a power lifting meet at my gym.

Last year, I enjoyed going to church more and feeling incredible with eating better.  This also led to a better focus in many aspects in my life and trimming my gut was nice too when the warmer weather hit Binghamton.

It's not for everyone but works for me.  If you are the type of person who enjoys a challenge and can remain strong when your family and friends try to tempt you, then join me on a 40 day journey.  It's actually fun and hey, it's only for 40 days.  It may just be the best 40 days you've ever spent in the Binghamton area.


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