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I use Lent to get bikini-season ready

For many Catholics, the 40-day period of Lent is something to be dreaded. For me, it’s an excuse to get bikini-season ready.

Sure, it’s a solemn religious observance. But it’s also the perfect path to more superficial goals. And if I can stay in God’s good graces and drop a few pounds in the process — what’s there to lose?

And lucky for us, Lent — when Catholics around the world give up a luxury or privilege as penance for sins — kicks off on March 1, right after the glutinous season that stretches from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day.

I tried in vain to pass on stuffing and Christmas cookies but gave in to each temptation the holidays threw at me.

But now I’m ready to use Lent to my advantage. Beach weather is just around the corner and by starting early, I’ll be able to reverse the damage I did over the winter.

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The story’s writer will have as much pepperoni pizza as possible before she gives it up for Lent.

(bhofack2/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

So starting Wednesday, I’ll be giving up pizza and pasta to atone for my snacking sins.

If 12 years of Catholic school taught me anything, it was that we should feel badly about something most of the time, and that guilt requires reparations.

In general, I’m a healthy person, so I try to limit how often I eat each of those calorie-packed, carb-loaded meals. But if there were no consequences, I’d indulge in pizza and pasta as often as possible. Who wouldn’t?

Some may say that my Lent approach puts a self-serving spin on the most pious month of the Catholic calendar. But giving up these dishes is — if even for the “wrong” reasons — a true sacrifice for me.

Steering clear of pasta is tough for reporter Ariel Scotti, but she

Steering clear of pasta is tough for reporter Ariel Scotti, but she’ll make it work for all 40 days of Lent.

(istock)

Before March 1, I’ll have my favorites, spaghetti Bolognese and a pepperoni pie, at least once in preparation for my fast. I’ll savor each bite and bid a melodramatic farewell until Easter weekend, when I’ll indulge in my family’s pasta feast.

For six torturous weeks, I’ll ladle sauce over zucchini noodles and spaghetti squash. At least cauliflower pizza crust is relatively tasteless!

I dread the inevitable dinners out with friends, the penne vodka on the menu staring me down. But I did this to myself, and not solely as a means of dropping a few pounds.

Lent is a practice in restraint and self-control. It’s a discipline that will set me up for the rest of the year — or at least until the temperatures start to drop again.

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