Fasting for Health or Religion, there is a Lesson for Everyone
I have only fasted twice in my 29 years of living, once for 21 days and the other, 7 days. I fasted from food while the sun was up; therefore, I had breakfast before sunrise and dinner after sunset, and let me tell you, it does not get any easier. People fast for different reasons, as Dr. Jason Fung writes, “When done right, fasting is an incredibly effective tool for weight loss and type-2 diabetes, and it can even slow ageing, prevent cancer, and improve heart health.” When one starves their body of food, the body recycles and regenerates, while consuming its own cells for energy. However, I did not fast these two times in my life for health reasons, but more for religious reasons. I wanted to spend more time with God, and the perfect way for me to do that was to devote my time to him when I was supposed to be consuming food. During my period of fasting, I learned that it is not about starvation, but more about control. I am a food scientist at a local facility where I have to work with pizza almost daily, so the fact that I was not able to consume any of the food while I was working presented control. What I did consume during my fasting hours was liquids, e.g. water, tea, and black coffee. Each day proved more difficult as my brain would signal that I am hungry, which turned into starvation, but each time this happened, I would drink a liquid, pray, and tell myself that it would pass.
Now enters the gym, which I try to attend even while fasting. I have to modify the workouts when it comes to weights, the reps, and even the length of the workouts. Sometimes this would seem defeating, so I have to remember the reasons behind why I am fasting and try to not let the outside world affect me. Fasting for me is very much about mentality. What emerged for me during my last fasting was gratefulness, gratefulness for this life that I am able to live everyday and gratefulness that I am able to fuel my body on a daily basis with nutritious food. Fasting has many forms and I encourage everyone to try a form of fasting; it has a lesson for everyone.
Warning: It is imperative to be conscious that fasting is not right for everyone. Anyone with a pre-existing condition or illness, those taking habitual medication, pregnant women, or seniors should not fast unless purposely recommended by a qualified doctor. Fasting is only appropriate for adults and should not be undertaken by children. ~Rae Fox