My world post fasting is indescribable, maybe an exaggeration but meaningful nonetheless. The typical New Years resolution is not my bag. I’m a rebel, have always been. I like to question everything, reason out why I do the things I do, and for that matter, what others do around me. I am the anthesis of the status quo. So when the New Years fast opportunity presented itself I immediately questioned, Why would you be doing this? Because others are, you want to lose weight, what exactly do you want to change? The funny part is, I didn’t really answer the questions, I just let them hang there, in the atmosphere of my mind, the expanse of my soul, the hollows of my heart. I decided to go with it, without over thinking and find the answers while I was there. I’d have plenty of time for overthinking when the fast was complete.
During the 28 days I encountered some obstacles. I abruptly and without reason lost a friend, that hurt, and caused me to really reflect. There was a lot of temptation to run and an overwhelming desire to quit. I felt empty at times which helped me to really understand my vices and how deep the attachment ran. The realization that my vices weren’t comforting at all, they were empty promises that would always leave me wanting. All of these obstacles considered, it was a great time of learning and introspection and it’s hard to describe the self I found under all those layers of want. Much of what I am feeling can be summed up by a quote from GK Chesterton: “Meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain. Meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure.” Too much pleasure is not good for anyone. Pleasure begins its quest to conquer our lives by enticing us with rewards and escape but will eventually suffocate and steal away our lives if not kept in check. That’s what this fast was about for me.
Essentially I gave up the following things: sugar, leavened bread, dairy, meats, social media, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. I usually have at least one bottle of wine a week, maybe two if friends are involved, the nightly glass became me, so I thought. I was addicted to my vaporizer for nicotine, food was my master, and social media, just another trophy in my case of vices. In the past few years I have been eating a modified keto diet that helped me lose about 40 lbs, so this was quite the change. The bible study I did while fasting was by a woman named Susan Gregory, she is an expert on The Daniel Fast and you can read more about her here. She said that thousands of people sign up for this in the New Year but only a fraction of them actually follow through, I thought that very interesting. Aren’t we worth our own time, our own investment?
Yes, I lost my Christmas addition, the sneaky pounds I had no idea I could gain so quickly, but more that than I lost faith in the lie that I cannot change. It’s hard to write the way I feel today, so empty of the former things, the sticky hands that protrude from my heart to snare vices have gone away, and in their place there is light and hope and future. I spent much of my time during the fast reaching out to God, asking him to be all he says he wants to be in our lives. I imagine that there is a vast journey filled with joy and excitement out there, and we settle for a walk around the block, friendly, manageable, boring…safe. I understand more about why James talks so much about fleeing from sin, it hinders and entangles us. It’s as if we are on this most epic journey and many of us are stuck along the paths struggling and fighting ourselves in the thicket of our own making. But the gardener is near and loving pruning is his specialty. I am back on the path today, I look forward to what’s ahead. The sense of peace I feel is overwhelming and nothing lays claim to my mind, body or soul other than Jesus. He heals.
I’ve made some changes that I hope with stick, I won’t be going back to nicotine or caffeine, I am enjoying life not needing those things, why take them back? As for alcohol, not sure yet, I might have a glass of wine with friends or family but I’m not going to drink alone anymore. I would like to continue a very low sugar diet which makes my green apples, crisp and sprinkled with cinnamon, taste like heaven. I will continue to use many plant-based foods in the meals I prepare but will make meat for my family, I might not always eat it. I will keep my social media accounts and check myself regularly.
Something I have started to enjoy again is baking; breads, muffins, flat bread etc. The only major change is that I am using my wheat grinder again and milling my own flour from wheat berries. This is so much better for you than your typical flours used for traditional baking and for store-bought breads. The nutrition is out of this world and it’s loaded with fiber. I may have lost my keto ways with this new eating but I am eating more whole foods and feel good about feeding it to my family. Check out a few of my recent pictures below. And HERE is a great article about the benefits of using fresh milled whole wheat flour.
Thanks for reading. Have you given up any vices lately, thought about it or need prayer?