Dr. Manny Alvarez: The Ash Wednesday diet

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Let me introduce you to The Ash Wednesday Diet.

Come on, keep reading. Because by the time you finish this diet, you’re going to shed enough emotional weight to prepare yourself to lead a healthy life, and enjoy many years of happiness.

Compared to other diets on the market, which are only interested in helping you look a certain way, The Ash Wednesday Diet is really something special. I call it The Ash Wednesday Diet because it should be started on the first day of Lent. To me, Lent symbolizes mortality. But it is also a reminder of how I want my life to be – or better yet, how my life should be.

For many, Lent is a season of repentance. It is a time to avoid temptation, just like Christ did for 40 days in the desert. So if you’re inclined to follow some simple instructions, get ready to embark upon the most exciting, emotional diet on the market.

Let’s get started, shall we? There are 10 easy steps, and if you follow them carefully, you’ll see successful results.

Oh and by the way, I forgot – you can throw away your scale for this one.

1. Focus on loving God and all his greatness, instead of celebrities, action figures, “real” housewives or even world leaders that think they know best.

2. Be careful of wolves in sheep’s clothing, like politicians, promising you something but taking your liberties away.

3. Set up standards of morality at home. Enough with the casual cursing. Teach kids some etiquette and manners, and use yourself as an example.

4. Spend time with your family, telling stories, and listening to those around you. Because someday you will wish you had.

5. Think of older folks – remember, that will be you some day. And loneliness can be debilitating.

6. Remember that violence begets violence. Young people are overwhelmed with graphic simulations of violence in video games and on the Internet. Cut it out of your life.

7. Be with the person you want, and respect your commitment.

8. In these times of economic hardship, make sure you do not take shortcuts. Honor is man’s greatest virtue. Think of how this country started – business deals were honored with a simple handshake, symbolizing good intentions.

9. Remember that lawsuits are not the only solution to our problems –  though sometimes it may seem that way, with children suing parents, parents suing schools and even the government suing its own people.

10. Finally, stop thinking about how other people see you – but rather, think about how you see yourself. Love yourself for who you are – not for what a commercial or a magazine cover tells you you should be.

So you see, if you follow these simple guidelines, this diet is going to be a hit for you.

By the way, the original version of this diet came out thousands of years ago – in a great book that I strongly recommend. The author knew a thing or two about how to live a good life, in 10 easy steps.

The book? The Bible. The recipe? The 10 Commandments.

This article originally appeared on February 18, 2015.