I did not want to stop eating chocolate. Then one day I did not work out, I also did not the following day. This turned into several weeks and then months. I also confess, I was bored with what I had done previously.
Just about eight years ago, I lost a lot of weight. I worked out twice a day, seven days a week (DO NOT DO THIS!). The weight came off so quickly that mentally I was not ready for my new body. I became obsessed about the number on the scale. Spending hours analyzing calculating my caloric intake and exercises.
I reached a point where I saw that all my efforts were going into maintaining this number that I wasn’t truly living my life. The reality of losing weight is that it not some magical formula to fixing oneself spiritually or mentally. It is so hard too because as I lost weight, so many people congratulated me on the effort. This approval was intoxicating to be honest. As I gained weight, part of me felt ashamed. That I had somehow let the people around me down.
There is this idea out there that healthy equals thin or fit looking. But the part that can get ignored is that a health is equally or more importantly internal. It has to do with my heart. When I lost all that physical weight, I placed my hope for Joy into my new body instead of Christ.
A few years later I did Whole 30, once I completed it there was no lasting change for me. It is a good system and I learned a lot but the reality is that it is a diet and not God. Earlier this Fall a friend reached out and asked if I would like to join a group of people from our church in doing the Daniel Fast. I said YES! without hesitation.
The Daniel Fast is a 21 day fast where ( in a similar fashion to Whole 30, food and drinks are restricted ). The difference is that the focus is not entirely on the food or losing weight (a by product of course) but in relying on the Lord. I participated because I knew if I tried another diet I would end up in the same place. Most of this year my prayer has been less of myself and more of Him.
In the 21 days I got to see that, I felt an internal change. I saw how much I relied on comfort foods and the habits I had developed without realizing it. There were some hard moments, day ten I wanted coffee so badly! There were a few times that I struggled to make it through the day.
I spent time in prayer and the book of Daniel. As I spent time learning more about Daniel, the more I learned that it was Daniel’s heart for God that sustained him throughout Daniel’s lifetime. That is what I desire, a heart for the Lord such as Daniel’s.
I have noticed a difference with my hunger, pre-fast, if I were hungry I would have to eat right away!!! During and post-Fast, I can deal with it until I can eat. While it is important that I exercise and eat well, it is more important to have a heart that desires more.