America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
Lenten Season Diet Plan More Popular than Ever
By Steven Haas
3 April 2016
A study by the Christian Faith Group found a common trend in the Lenten sacrifices put forward by followers this 2016 season. Traditionally, Christians of all denominations adhering to the belief in self-denial forfeit a luxury from Ash Wednesday to Easter as a form of penance. More and more Americans, however, are not using the opportunity to grow closer to Christ but as an attempt to lose weight before beach season.
The study found previously common themes such as television, cigarette smoking, and luxury spending have fallen in popularity in recent years. This year's personal goals tended to involve not eating fatty foods or drinking sugary beverages and often reflected a less ambitious version of the individual's already failed New Year's Resolution.
Frank Welch, a Methodist from Calabasas, California, explains his decision to give up carbohydrates and high sodium foods: “After my New Year's gym membership free-trial ran out at the end of January, I just never got around to officially signing up. I figure I'll just focus on eating healthier food for now and start working out when I have more free time.”
Mr. Welch also stressed that his attempt at getting in shape would be different from previous ones because: “This time God's watching.”
Another such individual, Ted Callahan, in addition to giving up all processed sugars, also vowed to do 50 push-ups and 100 sit-ups each morning. When asked why this was important he responded: “Doing physical activity when you wake up boosts your metabolism and encourages muscle growth. And also for Jesus.”
Steven Haas is a stand-up comedian, screenwriter, and author. He was selected as a Finalist in the 2016 Beverly Hills Screenplay Contest and recently published the satirical screenwriting guide The Screenwryter's Toolbox.