Do you ever get the feeling that things in life control you instead of you having self control over them? This is how I've been feeling about a few things lately. So, I decided a little over a week ago to fast from a few things for 40 days. There's some symbolism to the 40-days, but the main goal really, it's to exercise self control (which is a fruit of the spirit) and have mastery over my flesh. Here are the things I am fasting from right now:
1. Sugar. More specifically, desserts. I found myself in the last few months craving sugar. I mean REALLY craving it. Craving it to the point where I would seek it out. At one point, in looking back at my day I realized just how much of it I had eaten *without even thinking about it.* I mean, mindless eating. And truthfully, when I do food diaries, this is the main thing that stumbles me. I eat really well otherwise. Having done Weight Watchers for so long, the healthy eating habits are pretty ingrained: lots of whole grains, no processed food, lean meats, low fat dairy, no white breads/carbs, and fruits and veggies (well, I could really eat more of these). If I took out the sugary things I have been eating lately, my diet as a whole is really pretty good. So, starting a week ago Monday, I decided I needed to go cold turkey from sugar. This has been really tough. Overall, the cravings have subsided. But, there are still days when it crops up and more than anything, fasting from it has forced me to pay attention to what's going in my mouth and so I am not mindlessly just eating. This is a good thing. I feel better and healthier without it.
2. Diet Coke. Not caffeine, but just Diet Coke (though I could probably stand to fast from caffeine too). Many of my friends know just how much I like Diet Coke. I craved (and still am craving) this all the time. This was my drink of choice throughout the day at work (I can buy a huge cup-full for only a quarter) and probably pretty close to daily on weekends. Again, I would crave this and seek it out. I have been known to drive to the corner store just to buy a "DC." So, I am fasting from this as well. This one has been so much harder than the sugar to break. I am still in full-on craving mode for this. Being at work and not walking up to the cafe to buy my daily DC has been tough. I think the amount of control that this had over me is pretty telling based on how hard it has been to not drink this.
3. TV. Now, I actually do not watch much TV. I have never been one to miss something because of a show, or mark the time of the evening based on what's on. I really only have one show that I watch regularly (Lost). I just felt like I was always complaining about not having enough time to read (which I love to do) and even if I was doing something else like cooking dinner, or if I just had 20 minutes to kill I would flip it on. It was more that it was becoming the background noise to my life and filling up time that could have been been spent (even only 20 minutes) doing something else. It was my brainless activity of choice. This one has been easier to break other than the really random times I used to watch, like for half an hour before bed, or while eating dinner. What has been more of a killer to me is the fact that the Seahawks just started their season. Many Sundays I will be working, so I might have to miss the games anyway, but the fact that I am fasting from it has been a bit of a killer.
Fasting is a sure way to reveal your flesh. I have fasted from food for a day many times, and that is a lot easier than 40 days of stuff that you *can* live without. I have never done more than a one day fast from all food, so I suppose when you add days to that it's harder to do.
Only 30 days to go.