So, for those who don’t know, I’m a Mormon, and as a Mormon, I fast (go without food or drink) for two meals on the first Sunday of each month. For short, we call it Fast Sunday (real original, huh?). We do this for several reasons, but the most important being the idea that our spirit is stronger than our body. Showing that we can halt the physical body’s demand for food, even for a little while, allows us to more fully focus on spiritual things. We can develop a closer and deeper relationship with God by fasting. Well, Fast Sundays have always been hard for me because of all the feelings of deprivation, scarcity, and restricting habits that I used to use. I always found it so hard to ignore any pangs of hunger that came and when the time would come to finally eat, I would think of myself as starving, and I would inevitably overeat.
Well, this last Fast Sunday, I was cautiously optimistic that this time would be different. And my optimism paid off—for the first time in years, I was able to have a genuinely tender and special Fast Sunday. When hunger pangs came (as they always do), I was able to acknowledge them for what they were—hunger, rather than thinking of them as somehow connected to my past restricting habits. I was able to feel the hunger, label it on the Hunger Scale, and then continue on with my Sunday. When the time came to eat, I labeled my hunger and it wasn’t nearly as “starving” as I had previously labeled it in my thoughts. In fact, I felt perfectly content to simply eat a normal amount of food and feel satisfied with it. And, because I did not have to focus on the gnawing sensation in my belly, I was able to comfortably focus on my Savior, and on His words, and on growing my belief and love for Him. It was so special, and I think (again cautiously optimistic), that all future Fast Sundays will continue to be just as special.