BOLD NEW MOM – Episode 135
This Sunday is Fast Sunday for our family, and for the whole church, actually. But it feels more like a family affair this month, as we are still not back in church due to the pandemic. The children, and Bry and me skip two meal, and donate the money that we would have used on those meals to the church to use to feed the poor. That is basically what happens – basically. And, of course, during the time that we are not eating, we use our prayers and our thoughts to focus on our own needs, our own progress, as well as other’s needs.
So, that is happening this weekend.
And fasting isn’t hard for me. But it is hard for the children. Headaches and “hanger” and fatigue and sensitive feelings, and an overall feeling of disparity. But they do it.
And I think it is a good habit to be in – fasting for those two meals, once a month. It is a good habit to be in for a few different reasons.
“Hunger for a healthy body is not an emergency.”
We fast to prompt a monetary donation to those in need.
“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?”https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/ot/isa/58.6-7?lang=eng#p6#6
“Down through history, poverty has been one of humankind’s greatest and most widespread challenges. Its obvious toll is usually physical, but the spiritual and emotional damage it can bring may be even more debilitating. In any case, the great Redeemer has issued no more persistent call than for us to join Him in lifting this burden from the people…
Perhaps some have created their own difficulties, but don’t the rest of us do exactly the same thing? ‘Are we not all beggars?’ Don’t we all cry out for help and hope and answers to prayers? Don’t we all beg for forgiveness for mistakes we have made and troubles we have caused? Don’t we all implore that grace will compensate for our weaknesses, that mercy will triumph over justice at least in our case? Little wonder that King Benjamin says we obtain a remission of our sins by pleading to God, who compassionately responds, but we retain a remission of our sins by compassionately responding to the poor who plead to us.”https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2014/10/are-we-not-all-beggars?lang=eng
We fast to strengthen ourselves – our own faith, our relationship with ourselves, and our relationship with our Lord. We fast to strengthen our righteous desires and the purity of our hearts.
“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose (your) bands of wickedness, to undo (your) heavy burdens, and to let (you) the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?”https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/ot/isa/58.6-7?lang=eng#p6#6
“It seems to me it is a source of strength, a source of power, a source of blessing that perhaps as a people we are not using enough… The Saints by fasting and praying can sanctify the soul and elevate the spirit, promote communion with the Holy Ghost, and insure spiritual strength and power to the individual. By observing fasting and prayer in its true spirit, the Latter-day Saints cannot be overpowered by Satan tempting them to evil.”http://dailywool.net/fasting.shtml
Finally, there are physical benefits to fasting – whether it is monthly, weekly, or some people fast daily. Jody’s podcast today, Fat Adaptation, was almost entirely about this practice.
“The normal preferred metabolic state of the body. It’s how we were born and it’s designed for optimal health, optimal weight, and optimal energy.”
Our bodies were meant to get it’s energy and strength from using primarily the stores of fuel already on our bodies. They were built that way – they were built “fat adapted”.
We kind of mess with that when we eat poorly or desperately – when we take our cues from our monkey brains, right? That is where most Americans are at today. And, without knowing the exact term, “fat adapted”, before today, I have been working on returning my own body to fat adaptation. I want my body to use it’s fat stores for energy. And not just to lose weight, but, again, this state leads to optimal health and optimal energy. Who wouldn’t want that. But it is a battle, a battle with our lower brains, right?
So, how would I know if my body were fat adapted?
- If you can handle exercise without eating
- If skipping a meal or two doesn’t feel like an emergency to your body
- If your weight isn’t primary carried in the mid-section (this may be specific to women)
And the way to become fat adapted is to change your eating habits. Change what you eat and when you eat. Jody eats two meals a day, 1pm and 6pm. And the meals are dense and high in fat.
“When you are eating several times a day, your body is constantly getting it’s fuel from the ‘pantry’, not the ‘refrigerator’.”
I am, myself, learning what my body is really asking for. I am learning to love my body and feed my body what it really needs. I find that my body doesn’t need food first thing in the morning – in fact, it doesn’t really want food until lunch. I find that if I eat eggs and vegetables for lunch every day, it is simple, easy, and it is exactly what my body needs. And the other meals I feed my body are similar – they feed the needs of my body. Period. And the better I get at understand communication from my body, and the more I learn to trust my body, the simpler my meals are getting, and the more energy I enjoy the whole day through.