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The Wrong Intention

When I began my fast ten days ago, I did so with the purpose of losing the flab that had accumulated around my midsection and thighs.

Although I am, for the most part, a healthy eater, over the last few months, I’d developed a few bad habits.

Things began when I went to see Chicky play soccer one weekend.  My stomach hadn’t been feeling right that day, so upon the suggestion of my friend, Barb, I’d gotten a soda to soothe things down.

Rather than a semi-harmless Sprite, I’d gotten my favorite, which I hadn’t had in a long time, a Mt. Dew.

I’d opened Pandora’s Box, for Mt. Dew has always been one of my biggest weaknesses.

As my students can tell you, I became addicted; however, I threw off this habit a couple of months ago…only to fall back into it after only a month.

Sigh.

I’d also begun eating candy again.

Considering that I don’t eat much (I really don’t…you can ask my family), putting these empty calories into my body left them nowhere to go but the troublesome places that cause many people angst.

Now, you must also understand that for years, I’ve struggled with a poor self image…especially where it comes to my physique.

I suspect this developed after years of watching my mom worry about hers.  I believe that she had bulimia when I was growing up, although it was hidden from us and probably not even understood by her.  She’d frequently excuse herself to “get sick” because the food bothered her, but looking back, I think it was, in fact, the disease that plagues many women, for there were signs in other places of her life.

Anyhoo…

I finally got fed up with the roll of belly fat that was beginning to hang over my waistline and knew I needed to change something.

The juice fasts I’ve done in the past have resulted in the loss of such flab, so I was eager to begin.

I must pause again here and tell you one more thing.

One or two juice fasts ago, when I was telling Super Sis about what I was doing, she’d asked (loosely remembered), “What is the reason for your fast?  Is there something you are searching for from God?”

I’d blown her off a bit by saying that I didn’t have that kind of reason…that my intention was purely for health benefits.

Keeping all of the above in mind, let me continue.

I began my fast.

I’ve been so blessed this time.  I haven’t experienced headaches or many hunger pangs.  I haven’t had many cravings (except for peanut butter), and I haven’t felt resentful.

But…

The flab wasn’t coming off.

Still, I have persisted.

Meanwhile, I began reading a new devotion plan on my Bible app, YouVersion.  The plan, appropriately enough, was titled “Authentic Fasting.”  It was a seven day devotional series, and boy, did it have a lot to say about fasting!

Day by day, I learned what the Bible has to say about fasting and that, in fact, fasting is not something to be done for health reasons at all!  Fasting is about abstaining from the things that have led us away from God, focusing on His voice to determine His way for our lives.  Any positive body changes are the result of the fast and should never be the cause for one.

Over that seven day period, I can honestly say that God changed my heart.  He showed me how wrong I’d been going into the fast.  Although I was trying to avoid the things that had made me less than perfect (in my eyes), what I was really doing was avoiding deeper truths about myself and my relationship with Him.

Although I think that it’s fairly obvious to most people that I am a Christ follower, and I do love the Lord, I know the inner dealings of my heart and what a rebel I’ve become.

In small ways, I’ve been avoiding God, whether it’s been by not reading and studying His word daily, not praying as faithfully as I should, by harboring bad attitudes about people or situations, or…gasp…by berating myself when my body isn’t exactly as I think it should be.

At first, fasting is a challenge in self discipline.  Once that’s been mastered over the course of the first few days, and the mind becomes clearer…not clogged by the junk that is routinely put in…a real focus develops, as does the ability to hear God and develop good habits to replace the former.

What it boils to, for me this go-round, is becoming more purposeful about spending time with God on a daily basis.

The last day of my fast will be Saturday.

I know that God still has much to teach me during the interim days.

I am so grateful what He has already shown me.

I’m also thankful that He uses everything for His glory, and that my wrong intentions were turned into something positive and life changing in my heart and soul.

Oh, and that flab I spoke of before?  It’s beginning to disappear…the natural result of abstaining from all of those sodas and bags of candy.

To God be the glory for all of the changes, both physical and spiritual.

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One Response

  1. Good post. Thank you for sharing about the fasting.

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