Well the holidays are over and we have indulged and enjoyed all the savory meals and decadent deserts that come along with the holidays! Yes, good times, good times! In our church organization we go through a consecration or fast at the beginning of each year. Fasting is primarily a movement of willing abstinence or reduction from certain or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a period of 24 hours, or a number of days (www.allaboutfasting.com). As a collective body we fast from Sunday to Wednesday at 4pm during the entire month of January.
I found a great website (www.allaboutfasting.com) that offers some tips and information about various fast. Water fasting offers the quickest detox and strongest therapeutic effect. It is also the most challenging fast to perform in the first few days. However, with careful preparation in the days before a water fast, one can experience great physical, emotional and spiritual results.
- Water fasting requires a serious committment, so have your mind made up that you are going to make it all the way through!
- You might be surprised by how much time is freed up when you are not eating, preparing food, cleaning dishes, food shopping etc. So have a plan on how you will spend your time. For example, bible reading, prayer, spending more time with your pet and also spend quality time with loved ones are all ways to spend your time while fasting.
- If you are new at fasting it is sometimes beneficial to have a “fasting buddy” someone you can call when you feel emotionally weak, someone who understands and can relate. Sometimes, just knowing that someone else is experiencing the same issues can help you to persevere.
- Days before a fast it may be beneficial to wean yourself from processed foods and caffeine! ( Yikes that is a hard one for me, I love my coffee)
- It is helpful to drink plenty of water to begin to flush your system a few days before you begin your fast and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables which will help reduce the uncomfortable side effects in your first day of fasting.
- Be sure to get plenty of rest during the fast
- Break your fast carefully! Be sure not to overindulge in processed foods, sugar and caffeine that you just cleansed from your body.
- Fasting helps recover the stomach’s natural elasticity and you will be amazed at how satisfied you will feel
on less food. This could be the start of healthier eating patterns as you move forward.
- Dont worry you are not going to die! Contrary to what many people believe, fasting is not starvation. During the fast, the body is breaking down the non-essential tissue (Fat) for energy, while conserving essential tissue.
- Be determined that you will gain some spiritual benefit from the fast and with prayer and bible reading – the possibilities for spiritual growth are endless!
Enjoy and have a wonderful new year!