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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Intermittent fasting - God is my sponsor; He holds me accountable.

It’s been almost 80 days since I started intermittent fasting and every day is a blessing.
(Canyon says "Hi.")

How did I get from there?

To here?

(Yes, I'm always wearing my baby.)

How did I go from discouraged and fat to liberated and on a path to healing and health?

I was absolutely certain I would never find anything that would help me take control of my body.

My life would be regret, denial and food.

I was going to have foot pain, back pain, belly fat and other obesity-related problems.

That’s how American’s age, right?

A few days ago while fasting, I was in the kitchen preparing a Sunday dinner for me and about 30 of my favorite people in the world.  I made homemade lemon bars, chocolate zucchini Texas sheet cake, chopping fruit, mixing salad and on and on.  Staring out my kitchen window, I had an epiphany. 

Why was I not tempted to eat even a morsel of all the food right in front of me? 
Food did not control me.
Food was the last thing from my mind.

I thought about this for a moment and reflected on diets of my past.  Food had always been a temptation for me.  I would sneak and deny.  Problem was, I was lying to myself.  Food was the reason I was overweight.  Sure, I’d been pregnant and gained weight, but ultimately food was my master.  I blamed it for so many of my problems.  I ate with resentment, always rushed, always wanting more.  I hated it, but didn’t have the slightest idea how to change.

The beauty of intermittent fasting and prayer is I became present.  No longer do I live in a state of either procrastination or rush.  The small pulses of hunger throughout the 16-hour daily experience (and I promise hunger can be empowering) are like little mental post-it notes; reminding me of how strong and blessed I am.  With prayer leading the way, I’m in a constant state of learning.  I talk to God throughout the day and it keeps the negative voices in my mind hushed. 

So while chopping fruit I decided to ask God, “Why am I not tempted to eat any of this food?” 

Before I share the answer, I must say my relationship with God has changed even more then my food habits.  My relationship with God is the primary reason I fast every day.  When I’m present, I recognize God in ways I’ve never experienced before.  Before fasting, I didn’t know God is always with me.  I didn’t feel worthy of such a gift.  God’s presence in my life had nothing to do with my worthiness, but everything to do with His love for me.  When I finally hushed my mental dialogue of negativity, I could hear God.

So, when I asked God, “Why am I not tempted to eat any of this food?”  His answer made me gasp out loud.

The answer was: I am your sponsor.  When you fast, I hold you accountable.  

When this amazing idea entered my mind, I literally giggled.  That happens a lot now.  My relationship with my Heavenly Father makes me smile and laugh and celebrate.  I talk to Him in the kitchen, on my afternoon runs and in my bedroom on my knees.  I love my time with Him.  Where I once felt shame, even put off praying because I lacked faith, I’ve become a daddy’s girl to Him.

I was in Sedona a few days ago walking in the canyon along a creek bed trail with my family. 

Late in the day, the counselor took the kids back to the car and I stayed to listen to the creek.  I loved the way water shimmered and carried on.  The rocks glistened with earth colors as the clear water rolled over them.  

I’ve always loved water and find it healing to my soul.  I was nearing the end of my 16-hour fast and decided to say a prayer.  I was praying that day for on of my hero’s Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an international coalition to expose and oppose forced abortion, gendercide and sexual slavery in China.  I expressed my love for Reggie and prayed she would be blessed on her path.  The woman is unstoppable and has the courage of a lion.  I admire her greatly and see her as a role model for women.  

After my prayer, I started up the trail when something in my mind said “Ask God what He wants to say to you?”
“Ok,” I thought and walked back to the spot I’d just been praying.  I folded my arms and asked “God, what do you want to say to me?” 

At that moment, I turned my head ever so slightly when I saw something that took my breath away.
A water fall.

I’d been standing in that very spot for how long and hadn’t seen a water fall?  Buried in the ivy and camouflaged by a small crevice behind it, there it was. 

Again, I gasped out loud. 
Again, I giggled with pure delight. 

God is so present, He is always there and has so many beautiful things to teach and share.
I stared at the waterfall, knowing God had shown it to me.  God’s love filled my beating heart and hungry stomach.  It would be another hour or so before I ate.  God’s presence keeps me so full.  His glory is rich beyond measure.

Intermittent fasting and prayer is not about food, but about finding the best of life, the best of self and the absolute grace of God.

Despite all the this, despite the miracles and waterfalls, despite how far I've come, despite my desire to know and understand God I still have times I don't know what I'm doing.  I'm like a child who has been taught a lesson and the very next moment I need the lesson taught again.  I'm easily distracted by feelings of doubt and the difficulty of overcoming the odds.

I'm on a journey, a long journey of healing and health.  I will be fasting for a year.  This experience is fragile and to be handled with care.

I was out running yesterday, working through all my emotions when I told God I was scared.  It's still scary letting go, losing weight, writing, struggles with my kids, household demands and late-night baby snuggles that leave me sleep-deprived the next day.  I told God I was scared I couldn't do it and He told me it would be alright.  He would be with me.  He loves me.

My memoir Starving Girl - My 30-day Experience with the Miracle of Intermittent Fasting and Prayer is done, although I have major editing to do.  Here's a peak at my book cover.  

I'm so happy I wrote about my first 30-days of intermittent fasting.  I was on a roller coaster ride and I learned so much about hunger as a teacher, dieting is for victims, food addiction, living in the present, loving babies, overcoming sexual abuse and discovering God's grace.  In the next few weeks, Starving Girl will be up on Amazon and Kindle.  


  1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Laurel! I am so touched by the fact that you were hiking and praying for me. May God bless you in all you do!! Blessings, Reggie

  2. Laura I also want to thank you for inspiring me. I had never heard of intermitent fasting but your testimony and your pictures convinced me to research more and give it a try. I've been doing this for 26 days and I've lost 7 pounds so far. I am amazed at how easily the pounds are melting and I'm not even working out! My body and my mind feel at peace and it's all thanks to you.

    1. I'm so happy for you Lili. Like you, I absolutely love the freedom of fasting. I don't have to worry about any numbers, just praying for those in need.