So, I know there have been several rambling posts about how I am coming back and going to write. I have not been consistent about this, but it has been for good reason. I won’t give any of my excuses, but let’s say that they are real, they have been intense, and they are largely over or becoming past tense.
Now, as for my eating healthfully. That has been hit or miss. I am human, and I am weak. While I was taking a ride on the self-pity train, I helped myself to the all you can eat junk food buffet. See, the funny thing about depression is that for me, I will eat for convenience and to have caloric intake. I take no joy in food, nor do I put the passion and love into it that I should. I’m not an emotional eater, but I do give myself license to eat whatever is easiest, and that is typically whatever I can whip up in a hurry. So it starts that I feel crappy, then I eat crappy food, which makes me feel crappy, which makes me eat crappy food, yadda yadda…
So this has been the cycle I’ve been in for months. Let me say that I have gained back nine pounds, felt horrible, and the depression got worse. I decided that I needed some perspective and a fresh start. I’ve been in a cloud mentally, spiritually, and physically. I decided that one way to gain perspective and clarity might be to fast some. It would also get me back on track toward my physical goals. I have decided to do a Daniel fast. I know that there are some rules about this fast, but I am doing my own version, and yes, it counts. I am giving up something I don’t personally want to give up, so it is fasting. There are many types, and I don’t want to get into legalism with it.
What I want to say is that with regards to fasting, it isn’t always just a religious thing. There are health benefits to fasting periodically, and there are definite mental benefits. I’m not proposing that you starve yourself, but that you choose things to give up in order to streamline your focus. For example, I’ve been distracted by outside forces, and I’ve neglected things in my home. By choosing to fast, I am limiting my interaction with the outside world by being forced to stay home and cook and simplify. This helps me to not become distracted by all the dumb things that don’t matter. I’ve spent more time with my family in the last two days than I have in a while.
If you want to know my spiritual reasons for fasting, I may tick you off. I know that a lot of folks think that you fast to move God or have prayers answered. I’m going to be bold and say, in my most mature voice, “NUH UH!” I don’t give up things I love because I want to somehow bargain with God and get Him to do my will. I do it to shut off some of my senses and put myself in a place of brokenness and humility so that I can find His will. I fast so that I can stop being so focused on my flesh and my desires. It is actually a really good way to start bringing areas of my own selfishness into focus so I can work to change them. I would incredibly egotistic to believe that something I did would change or convince the maker of the universe to do something that He doesn’t have a mind to do.
I believe that what happens when I fast and change my habits is that I change, and as I change and begin to tune in to God more, I change what I ask for. Sometimes it is simply an issue of my praying in a misdirected way and God needing me to change my mind to match His.
I don’t often take the blog down quite this much of a spiritual road, but I think it’s relevant even to the folks who aren’t of the religious persuasion. Abstaining from certain physical habits or activities for a set period of time benefits everyone in some way or another. Even if it’s just to test your own resolve, I highly recommend that you do it. You may be quite surprised with the results.