Just Because You CAN Doesn’t Mean You SHOULD

Have you ever fasted? I hadn’t really thought about it until I watched that infamous “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead” documentary with Joe Cross and I fell in love with the concept of it all. Of course it makes sense to give our bodies a break and let it heal itself! The surge of micro-nutrients on that level has to be phenomenal for us.  So my super supportive husband bought me a juicer for Christmas in 2016. I purchased the Joe Cross Reboot book and began experimenting with recipes I liked, the process and the experience. Last year I completed 3 fasts, with my longest being 8 days.

OK – so what really is a “fast”? Well there are many variations and interpretations of “fasting” but I follow Joe Cross’s plan of 4 16oz juices made of 80/20 rule (80% veggies, 20% fruit), then a ton of water, at least 80 oz! The first fast I did I eased into it and began strategically weaning out food and meals 2 weeks before my fasting start date. The 3 days I fasted were good, but they were also really difficult. What I learned I love most about fasting is the CONTROL I feel when I’m fasting. Oh, and the ENERGY! Oh, and how good it makes me feel, and how it really resets my taste buds – ok, who am I kidding? I LOVE FASTING! The biggest piece of this for me is to become closer to God. Spiritually, I feel more connected and divinely inspired when I’m fasting. I pray more (well, mostly for strength to get me through the days, TBH) and I am more dedicated during my fasting times.

Each fast has been a little different but all my fasts last year have been REALLY DIFFICULT! Hunger pangs like I’ve never had to experience before. These “panicked feeling” at times, that “I just want to quit, I’ve completed ___ days already, so 1 plate of pasta isn’t so bad”, you know…. that negotiation that goes on when you set your mind on something and feel like you want to quit.  But in those weak moments, I prayed, I breathed, I reminded myself WHY I’m doing this, I drank water… and the panic and weakness passed! I have learned so much through this process and am excited to share that I am over HALF WAY done with a 10 day fast. Even better than that success was how EASY it was for me in the beginning (usually the most difficult time) – not 1 HUNGER PANG or 1 WEAK MOMENT for 3.5 days!! God really heard my prayers and ANSWERED them for me on this one and proved to me that he DOES perform miracles. Over 3 DAYS without being hungry, or temptations of wanting to eat… THAT’s a mini-miracle for me, let me tell ya! There were even donuts at work the other day, I didn’t even bat an eye at them.

Some things I have learned from fasting:

  • Overcoming the weakness and temptations feel great and is such a powerful reminder that God is always with us, to help us when we feel weak; all the Glory goes to God on this one.
  • Fasting is a great way for me to reset my tastebuds! I CRAVE healthy food, veggies and water.
  • Break my really unhealthy eating habits
  • Decrease my appetite
  • It serves as a catapult into creating healthy eating habits

But then day 4 hit, and I started obsessing over food. I resisted for HOURS, breathed, prayed, removed myself from the area where lunch was being served. But then I broke. When I’m feeling weak and tempted and want to stuff my face with mass cooked chicken alfredo, garlic bread and apple cake (like I did)… I need to remember how I felt after. Sad. Bad that I didn’t resist. Disappointed with myself. It’s just not worth it! JUST BECAUSE I CAN, DOESN’T MEAN I SHOULD!

That needs to be my mantra! JUST BECAUSE I CAN, DOESN’T MEAN I SHOULD!

There is SO MUCH CRAP IN THE WORLD, on a variety of levels, and this fasting is supposed to help me get on track, get disciplined, seek God during the tempting times, get healthy, establish healthy eating habits and reboot.

To wrap this all up in a little fast package – I’ve already learned so much through this experience, and still have 4 days to go! One thing that is blaring to me right now is that I need to give myself grace, love and forgiveness, as God does for us all the time, “his mercies are new everyday”.  I slipped up, ate once in the 5 days I was fasting. I learned from it. I need to move on. Don’t throw in the towel and give up, don’t beat myself up about it, just realize I had a weak moment, and keep moving forward. Celebrate ALL THE OTHER FOOD AND MEALS I have fasted from and the great success thus far! Get back on track. This is symbolic of sin and life to me. There is no way that we won’t sin, shall I dare to say – DAILY! But when we do, we need to recognize it, pray about it, get back up and keep moving forward. If God is going to forgive me of my sins, then why in the world wouldn’t I forgive myself? There is an incredible freedom to that! Another reason that makes his love and grace so hard to fathom – and continually leaves me in awe.

Praising God today for these insights and the strength to continue with my fast!

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