Thursday, February 21, 2013

Failing at Fasting

A week in, and the fasting is getting a little rough.  I was trying to minimize some snacks, but that kind of went out the door this week.  When I got frustrated by it, you know what bothered me most?  The fact that I've gained a several pounds in the last 6-8 months, and that I'm not going to get them off if I keep eating like I have the last couple of days.  Also, there is the screen time thing.  I'm decreasing some of my internet and TV time, because they have been taking over and I have been ignoring other things that I should get done. So you know what the last couple of days have looked like?  I've been reading almost nonstop and ignoring other things that I should get done.

Fail, fail, fail, fail, fail, fail, fail.

It started to occur to me that I should therefore not worry too much about fasting, since I'm so bad at it anyway, and my intentions are all off.  Just let it go, you know.  Maybe just add some more prayer or something holy like that.


The devil would just looove that, I'm sure.  For the love of all that is good and holy, since when is being bad at something a good reason not to do it?  If I'm in school and I'm bad at math, I should work harder, not give it up altogether!  If I'm too weak to work out like I would like to, maybe I should start working out and build up some strength.  If I can't hike a mountain that I want to hike, I don't sit on a couch, I get up and work on it until I can climb it.  When we're not good at something, we shouldn't therefore do nothing, but rather try harder. As I tell my patients all the time, if an exercise were easy, you wouldn't need to do it.  If I had all the self control in the world, how would fasting be needed?

So instead of quitting, here's my plan.  I'm not going to worry about the rest of these 40 days.  Nor am I going to worry about the last couple of days of failure that I can't change. I'm going to work on today.  And then tomorrow, I'll work on tomorrow.  I'll still try to minimize snacks, but not to the point of being too hungry, because I've been too active for that and hopefully it will also help me be less concerned about what the scale says. And I'll try to be more intentional about spending some time doing the things that need to be done.  While I am, I'll try to use that time to pray for the intentions of anyone reading this particular post.

I can't be the only one that messes this up.  What do you find that helps you?


  1. You´re not the only one. I haven´t fasted and I stopped excercising. The good thing is that I´ve been praying every morning. I would advise against cutting the snacks because then you´ll get so hungry you´ll want to eat a whole cow. Keep the snacks and do smaller meals.

  2. I really like your attitude about just worrying about today, today, and tomorrow you can worry about tomorrow. Isn't that an AA saying "One day at a time"? Little by Little you'll get there. I have faith that you will! Praying it gets easier!

  3. I fail all the time at fasting! I do work on it one day at a time but I do map out some sort of plan because I NEED structure. Me without structure=doing nothing. Having an accountability buddy helps me because I am a people pleaser so I don't like to let anybody down if they ask me and I can share my struggles with them as well.

  4. I hear ya on the frustrations! I am notorious for minimizing something, only to add in something else that is equally distracting or fattening when it comes to fasting. Since I tend to go crazy after Lent when giving something up, I am working on moderation this time. Same food, but limited portions. Still on Fb, but only once a day. Still watch tv, but only on certain days. Even this is NOT easy, and then I feel silly! But I love your approach to taking things one day at a time! Much more manageable that way. I agree to try not to get too terribly's easier to snap that way ;)

  5. I love your paragraph about "being bad at school does not give a reason to quit, etc", as I am always taking the easy way out. I am SO there on fasting, exercise ... you name it! :-) Oh my. I feel better that I'm not alone, but I do like your "just focus on today" approach!

  6. I am in the same exact boat. With dessert and screen time. Yikes! Praying for you...glad we're in this together, :)

  7. I've been so frustrated with myself lately because I so often find myself defeating myself before I even start. Knowing how out of shape I am and how much work it takes to get back into shape, I don't even want to take that first morning walk/run. I just want to be in shape, great at prayer, comfortable with contemplative silence, willing to give up whatever God wants me to without complaint - and I want to be there RIGHT NOW. Your one-day-at-a-time approach is really the best. And it also helps me to remember that God doesn't expect us to be perfect. He just wants us to put in the effort, to make the step towards perfection (even if it's a teeny step at first), and he'll fill in the rest. :)