In part one I explained that my pastor, Donnie Miller of Trinity Family Church, has been preaching a series this summer that has been designed to be a spiritual summer training program. He started off with prayer and journaling and has moved through fasting to silence. Donnie challenged us to fast 1 24-hour period a week for 4 weeks. Here was the challenge: Fast for 4 consecutive Wednesdays. Fast for a 24-hour period. Eat breakfast, and then don’t eat until breakfast the next morning. Sounds pretty simple right? Well, here is how it went.
I ate a descent breakfast at McDonald’s with my wife and little ones. I had no problems skipping lunch & dinner. Then I went to help a friend with his flooded basement. A little manual labor here, a little sweating and tears there…then he ordered pizza for us. Fast broken. But I learned an important observation: The earlier skipped meals were a breeze! I wasn’t even hungry until I saw that delicious cheesy pizza and smelled the sweet aromas of pepperoni and hot steamy deliciousness, just sitting there in front of my face begging for me to consume! I feel I could have made it with just a little more effort (and the lack of pizza in front of my face)!
I put in a little more effort and I survived the fast! But see, that is way too dramatic of a way to express it! I REALLY WASN’T ALL THAT HUNGRY! I experienced no hunger pangs (fake hunger pain-just the body used to eating at a certain time and gets ready for the food to come on down the ‘ol pipe). I had a bigger breakfast, but I tried not to gorge myself, that is just silly and in the end it does not work. I did drink quite a bit of water and I did drink some tea in the evening (it was hotter than Hades outside, over 100 degrees), I even went to the movies, and get this, I DIDN’T EVEN EAT POPCORN! And I wasn’t even tempted, I even thought about continuing into Thursday! Observation: I understand my addiction. I am taking baby-steps to be the one in control of my own body. I noticed that as I kept busy and drank water, that I was pretty good to go. Another observation: I am not going out of my way to address the spiritual side of all of this.
- (Written while fasting) I am doing well. I ate a good breakfast and here it is 2:37. I am bored. I also need to drink more water. I find myself hungry, but no hunger pangs, I am just bored! I still find it fairly easy to get through the day. I am realizing that I am not actually hungry, I just want to eat; another confirmation that food is an emotional outlet for me.
- (Written after fast) Again, I did it! And again, it wasn’t so bad, really. Most of the time I wanted to eat out of habit or from an emotional response-I was bored to tears in the afternoon, so I wanted to eat! I will say breakfast (today-the day after the fast) tasted extra good and I ate a big lunch. I ate a big dinner too. I like eating. I like food. I’m hungry.
There’s only one more Wednesday to go; to be concluded in Part III.