I former days not just Catholics, but many other Christians observed a much stricter Lenten discipline than today. Under the stricter discipline today would be the day when not only meat, but also meat products such lard had to be used up or thrown out. And so today became Fat (Lard) Tuesday.
After the Second Vatican Council, the Church shifted the onus to the individual. The law only requires us to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday from ages 18-60, and to abstain from meat on Fridays from age 14.
These were never intended to be maximums but minimums. It is left to us as individuals to look at our own lives and ask:
How do I need to fast?
From what do I need to abstain?
Let us enjoy today, and at the same time plan tomorrow.
Prayer, Fasting, and Alms-Giving