Saturday, August 26, 2006


Fasting is a topic that has been bouncing around in my brain lately. This week I've been on vacation. One of those vacations where you just stay at home instead of running around trying to see as much as you can see. And then you get home with one day of rest before you have to get back to work and work is the place you end up getting some rest.

So I've been able to rest this week. And I've started this new diet thing where I don't eat sugar or wheat. Or much of anything else. It's called an "elimination fast." My wife is a certified nutrition consultant and she's got me on track with this. My friend Billy and I have begun to ramp up our training for the Disney Marathon so I figured I'd lose a few pounds at the same time. I feel like I'm fasting. I feel that way because I'm having to constantly tell my self "no" to so many of the food options I love soooo much. Although I was busted eating brownies Thursday night after my wife and I came home from our anniversary dinner. She shrieked at me. Shrieked. I committed food adultery. I felt I deserved it because I lost four pounds.

When I was an intern, a pastor I respect very much told me that if I want to gain control of a bad habit, I should fast. The bad habit in question at the time was a smart mouth. I told my pastor that I really wanted to grow up and get it under control. It's evident that this was a way for me to "one up" people, - I'm quick, you see - and I like to make myself first. So I took it to heart and started fasting. He said that fasting is a way to say "no" to your impulses.

I couple of years ago, a friend was diagnosed with a terminal disease. A precious prayer warrior organized friends to fast and pray for our sick brother. I committed to fasting once a week. So for about six months of Wednesdays, I went without food. The progress of the disease has slowed down dramitacally. So much so that now doctors are saying my friend may have been mis-diagnosed.

I lost ten pounds in that six months, too.

I know that last statement seems a little out of place. But twisting God's arm so He'll answer your prayers is not the point of fasting. You fast to learn to deny yourself. And you spiritually fine tune yourself.

The idea is not the being "in tune." The focus is the denying. And that leads to obedience, maturity, spending time with God, and increasing your hunger/understanding for/of God's Word. See?

If you're struggling with a bad habit, any bad habit (yes, even that one) try going without food once a week for a chunk of time.

Any thoughts?

By the way. Before I change my eating habits, I practice first by fasting.


Anonymous said...

Great post here, Bryon. I'm just finishing up a 40-day caffeine "fast". I did this because I knew the habit had become an addiction, and I wanted to deny myself that substance for both physical and spiritual reasons. I may or may not drink coffee after tomorrow, when that 40 days is up.

I'm thinking about what to "deny" myself next, and your thoughts about a once-a-week fast certainly fit into my need for weight loss and spiritual maturity. The no-sugar, no-wheat thing is tough if you're used to having a lot of those things (I am), but it's a great way to accomplish both goals.

Thanks for the post. BTW, you've got some great content here. I'll link to you over at my place.

Anonymous said...

i did a 3 month fast in which i became a complete vegan for those 3 months, it definitely good practice for killing the flesh and i did lose some weight, and i also felt great after the first few weeks, then i started eating animal products and felt like crap again

Bryonm said...

Great testimonial, Pedro. I better not let my wife read this.

Anonymous said...


You should have suzy post some info on this. I for one am interested in meshing a healthy eating lifestyle with an active one. As you know with our running schedules it's difficult to train well while staying committed to a ultra-healthy menu. It seems that the food just doesn't pack the necessary punch for performance. Perhaps you have some links...let me know.