One of the virtues of a Lenten fast--whether or not you're particularly religious--is that it focuses you on what you have. I do mind being a huge pain in the ass to those around me, since the number of things I can eat, and the number of places I can eat, just shrank dramatically. But I don't actually miss cheese or eggs or butter or meat. The food I'm eating is all delicious and varied (to be fair, I'm at a nice hotel in Florida for the weekend which has been ridiculously accomodating). And because I can't casually graze, I think about food a lot less between meals.

Before I became a vegetarian, I used to think that a meal wasn't really a meal if there wasn't a piece of meat in it. After I stopped being a vegetarian that first time, I actually felt as if I had more choices than I'd had before--because now I was open to the possibility of meals that didn't contain meat. Similarly, temporarily removing something--almost anything--from your diet, by focusing you on the goodness of what is left, can actually leave you with a richer set of choices on the other side of the fast.

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