I fasted from all desserts and sweet treats for 21 days, which is nothing short of a miracle. It was my first spiritual fast, with the purpose of getting closer to God and breaking my dependence on sugary food. I learned a lot over these 3 weeks.
1) You can’t put a price on peace of mind. Before my fast, thoughts of my next tasty bite of deliciousness and the excitement I’d receive from it were constantly on my mind. Thoughts like “hopefully somebody will bring in some cookies to work, or I’ll bet I can make it to the donut shop on my lunch break, or it’s the perfect day for Cold Stone ice cream.” These thoughts consumed my mind, which were often followed by feelings of guilt, helplessness and fear of not being able to make better choices.
2) Scripture Works. I read the bible almost daily during my fast. On the most tempting day, when my sister was urging me to eat bread pudding, I had to quote a scripture to convince myself and her that I was strong enough not to give into the temptation. It worked and she stopped waving it in my face. She later read my post and apologized, not realizing how difficult it was for me during my fast.
3) Sacrifice and Discipline. Contrary to popular belief, these are not curse words. Sacrifice is giving up something you love, for something you love even more. I had to give up my sweet addiction in order to gain peace of mind. Discipline is doing the things you don’t want to do, when you don’t want to do them. I had to learn to pick a banana instead of a cookie. I hadn’t eaten a banana in probably 10 years or more, because they “made me gag.” But that day, the banana was good, I liked it, and I’ve been eating them ever since.
4) The scale can’t measure everything. As the weeks progressed, people told me it looked like I was losing weight. I didn’t see it at first, until the day my usually tight pants buttoned with ease. One of my friends urged me to get on the scale. I wasn’t about to pull out the scale from my closet at home and start that vicious self-judging and depressing cycle again. But, one day at another friend’s house I stepped on their scale. I weighed the EXACT same as the last time I weighed. How could this be? I can see the inches lost and so can others. I had to remind myself of the very reason that I put away the scale at home. The scale didn’t scream out “YAY, you’ve gone weeks without gaining a pound!” The scale only measures your current weight, not inches, not a renewed commitment, not your level of discipline and it doesn’t show what you sacrificed. Of course all of those things will eventually lead to a smaller number on the scale, but in the beginning it’s important to focus on Non-scale victories.
5) A Vision. You’re supposed to fast to get a vision. I thought God might reveal my future husband’s name and face. Lol. No such luck, but I was able to start writing and get a clearer vision of my book.
6) You can’t Predict the future. I thought I would instantly start back eating sweets at midnight on the 21st day. To my surprise I didn’t. The next day at work I was thinking “Oh! Now I can finally eat the ice cream in the freezer.” Then I saw how I was obsessing over it as I sat at my desk. I felt like I would’ve been moving backwards, right back to where I tried so hard to break away from. All I know is that I don’t want to do that. I have no idea what’s next. I really don’t want to be one of those weird people who never eat sugar, *sigh*, But I’m taking it a day at time and focusing on my progress so far.
P.S. You might be wondering what’s up with my 5th 5K training? Well, my back still hurts when I do strenuous activity like running. I have been walking though. Yesterday, I walked for about 30 minutes from the oil change place back to work on my lunch break.