My uncle had a birthday party get together at my parent’s house last night. My mom cooked dinner, chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. And of course there was cake and ice cream. She has been really supportive throughout my fast, and she made sure to let me know that there would be cake and ice cream before I even arrived. That helped me mentally prepare, which was needed because I don’t know that I’ve ever been to a birthday party and intentionally avoided cake and ice cream. We all sang Happy Birthday and they cut the cake and scooped up ice cream. I politely declined, even though it was super hard. It smelled and looked so good. One of my cousins came up talking to me and she got so close I swear I could smell all the flavors wafting off of her plate of cake and ice cream. I really wanted some. But, I remembered my commitment to my 21 day dessert fast and my commitment to God.
As I was listening to a podcast earlier in the week the guy defined “sacrifice” in a way to make sacrificing seem less painful. He described sacrifice as giving up something that you love, in exchange for something that you love even more. Cake is one of my favorite foods. Cake symbolizes happiness and celebration to me, and I wanted to be a part of the birthday celebration. However, I realized that I was still there in the presence of my family and I was still able to celebrate with my uncle even though I didn’t eat cake. I had to pray that God gave me the strength not to give into my sweet temptation. Finally, they were finished and snapped the lid back on the cake, trapping the delectable aroma back in its cage. My mom even offered to make me a fruit smoothie, so I wouldn’t feel left out, that Lady is so sweet! I was able to leave the party with my head held high, proud that I stuck to my commitment. This morning when I got to work, there was chocolate cake on the kitchen table because one of my coworkers said that “chocolate cake makes a fantastic breakfast.” But, throughout the fast, I’ve noticed myself getting stronger and stronger; I no longer feel the extreme compulsion and lack of control over sweet foods. Of course I still want donuts, when I drive past the shop, but there is a big difference between wanting something and feeling like you have absolutely no control over it.
The girl who shares the office with me came in and told me how good the cake was and that I should try some. I had to tell her that I was taking a break from desserts. There was no need for lengthy explanation, but sometimes you have to stand up and let people know so they won’t continue to pressure you. When my lunch break was over, there was one lonely piece of cake left on the counter, and I kind of wanted it, but not really. Soon after, I pretty much forgot about it. This is so different than how I would have reacted a few weeks ago. Before, I would go back and check on the cake, hoping that I’d be able to get a second slice and nobody would notice that I was being a greedy pig.
As I go into finish up the last few days of my fast, one way that I can sum it up is that I’m starting to feel free. And people are continually telling me that it looks like I’ve lost weight. I have no idea what the next phase or stage will be for me but I know that I no longer want to be dependent on the scale or food to help determine or fix my mood, I want to rely on something greater.