My experience with intermittent fasting and prayer has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I started fasting January 3, 2016 and finished January 3, 2017. During this time, I did daily 16-hour fasts. My life needed to change and I didn’t know how out of alignment I was until I had long periods of time without food. I started to see how food controlled me, my mood, my body, my perspective and more. Ultimately, fasting helped me with several very important components of my life and I don’t think I could have changed any other way.
First, fasting kept me present because when I was hungry, I didn’t live in the past or future, but in the now. Living in the moment opened up windows of time and I no longer lived in a state of rush.
Second, I learned to be more grateful. Being hungry forced me to consider the millions upon millions of people in the world who live with hunger every day. I thought of them and prayed for them. I had the idea to donate money to the hungry and this experience was very humbling. When I did eat, I thanked God for my food.
Third, fasting helped stop the negative voices in my mind. When I was fasting, my physical body became weak. Somehow, this process calmed my irrational, self-degrading, negative mind. Fasting was almost like a state of meditation. My mind hushed and that part of me that loves myself, I call it my soul or spirit, that part of me could rise. Let me tell you, my spirit LOVES me. With the love of God (because that’s were I believe my spirit comes from), I was fed love, positive self-talk, beauty, encouragement and more. My best self finally had a chance to shine and my dreams were in reach.
Forth, I lost weight, 30 pounds to be exact and I kept it off. Although this was wonderful, of all that I experienced, weight-loss was not the most meaningful. It was necessary and I’m so thankful I did lose weight, but the other components of intermittent fasting were more essential.
I want to be a good example for my daughter.
I've always got that baby in my arms.
I haven’t written about stopping fasting because my experience has been so very personal and at times, wonderfully strange. Now, with a bit of perspective, I wanted to write how I felt once I stopped fasting. I was ready to be done. The last month of December was difficult. Every day I wasn’t sure how I was going to continue fasting. Food had a very strong pull on me. Many days during the last month, I watched the clock ticking and had my meal ready on the exact minute I could finally eat. I could feel food become more and more important to me. Even when I wasn’t hungry, I was thinking about what I wanted to eat. On January 4th, my first day back in the real world, I was nervous. Where were my boundaries? Could I step back into full-day eating and be alright? Would I gain back the weight I lost? That day, I was all over the place – thrilled to have such freedom, but unsure if I could trust myself. I ate very healthy and at the end of the day, was happy to have the freedom. Second day, much of the same, except one thing – I could feel my mind leave the present, my gratitude was slipping and the negative voices in my mind were like, “Hey, we’re back.” I tried to ignore this, but by day four, my mind was foggy. I didn’t like it at all. I ignored it best I could because I really wanted to be done with fasting. I wanted food more. I carried on, but food addiction became more and more present. I would eat and want more. I would be full and consider what I could eat next.
I prayed about it and it didn’t take long before I recommitted myself back to intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting felt like a lifeline being thrown to me. I’ve learned I need boundaries and with all my battles with dieting, feeling fat, food addiction and negative body image, intermittent fasting is the one tool I can’t live without. I’m so thankful to know the medical benefits of intermittent fasting and that if I pray while fasting, God will use my sacrifice to bless someone else. Recently, I read about the reported the rapes in
Sweden, I committed my fast to pray for the women of . This was a very powerful experience and I was emotional the entire day. I prayed for them and I felt a love running through me that felt like a buzz. I was on a love high. Even as I write this, I can feel that love running through me and it makes me cry. My passion is to help those who have been sexually abused and as I considered the women that were suffering, my fast became magnified. I could almost reach out and hug them. Sweden
Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool. It lifts me up out of the muck. There is no other way I could manage my food addiction and negative self-talk without it. Life is too short to spend another day at war with myself. Intermittent fasting is a gift and I’m so thankful I was led by God to discover how it can help me.
To read more about my experience with intermittent fasting and prayer, click here.
*Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.*