I’ve now been fasting for about 12 days and what I can say for sure is that I need time to refocus. I have broken the fast a number of times, but when I went grocery shopping yesterday I didn’t buy any meat or dairy. While the rules of the fast say that when travelling the rules are relaxed because you shouldn’t turn down food that you are offered I’ve been able to mostly get away without breaking the rules while travelling, not entirely but mostly. The biggest struggle is when I see that box of chocolates on my living room table and just eat one without thinking. The biggest struggle is when I take a second portion of the vegan food I’m eating because I can.
But the benefit has been enormous. All of that thought into what I am and am not eating has given me a lot of perspective on how casually I treat food. I eat junk when I’m just a little hungry instead of waiting to make myself something nutritious. I eat too much when there’s lots of food in front of me even though I should realize I’ve already been nourished. I eat too much when I’m emotional so I can focus on the food instead of how bad I feel about whatever is irking me at that moment. I don’t think about what I eat, I don’t savour what I eat, I just eat.
But this applies elsewhere too. I use facebook because it’s there. all the time. I put music on to drown out wherever I am instead of to listen and appreciate the music. Instead of being mindful, living where I am and approaching myself and the wonders around me honestly, I just consume.
So I’m fasting this lenten season. I’m going to focus more on the gifts God has given me. And when that moderate hunger strikes, I’m going to be patient and appreciate the time until my next meal so I can remember the wonder of the food I will eat eventually.