Today is a fasting day.Even though I know it’s good for me (I’ll elaborate on this in a later post hopefully), I never approaching it relishing the feelings of hunger and possible weakness.
At my church we’ve been called to fast every Thursday, at least until 6pm. We’re doing this for several reasons, but the main reason is to see families and the role of the family restored in this country. We believe that the family is part of Gods plan for our societies and that family breakups can be blamed for a lot of troubles we face today. But that’s not what I’m commenting on.
When we first started fasting regularly (about the beginning of the year), it was something I did almost begrudgingly (after all who wants to go hungry?) because it didn’t align with my goals. At the time I was still going to a regular gym, trying to lose body fat and build muscle through regular weight training and making sure I ate enough protein, so any day in which I wasn’t eating was a day of lost muscle mass, or so the magazines told me.
It turns out that regular fasting fitted in nicely with my goals, I just didn’t know it. Once I started looking at the warrior diet, I started to see that there are many health benefits to fasting and that loss of muscle mass isn’t a concern. (Some interesting studies can be found here and here)
But the main thing I’m thinking of today is who much easier my fast is compared to how it would have felt several months ago. Previously by the time the afternoon came around I would start to have a headache and possibly feel nauseous. I remember one day a couple of years ago when I fasted that by the time I got home I felt so terrible all I could do was lie on the couch. However, recently fasting has become easier. I’ve noticed that since (mostly) removing grains and starchy carbs from my diet my body is no longer trying to burn glucose as fuel and that I can go for periods without food without the headaches and nausea and loss of strength. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not exactly a walk in the park. I have to decide to do it. I still feel hungry and once or twice today I’ve stood up quickly and gone slightly light headed, but it’s a lot easier than it was.