A few Sundays ago found me standing at the pulpit of my church giving a talk about … how my colonoscopy was the best day of my life. (Seriously, forget childbirth. That hurt so bad I still have nightmares about it. But whatever drugs they gave me for colonoscopy not only gave me amnesia but made me feel aMAYzing. ANYHOW.) Actually I was giving a talk about intermittent fasting. (Don’t ask me how the colonoscopy worked into that. I love public speaking and part of that is probably due to the fact I sort of blank out when I talk so it’s like a double surprise! Whee!) This is a popular subject these days and it may be the one health principle that pretty much every expert agrees on. Which is kinda hilarious since it sucks so much to do.

But it’s not just us nutty Mormons that practice fasting. We’ve been one Gym Buddy short this past month and it’s not because she got sick of us calling out “Hey, I just met you and this is crazy …” daring someone else to finish it. (Try it, it’s like “shave and a haircut, 2 bits. You can’t not finish it. See? Right now you’re mouthing “So here’s my number, call me maybe” aren’t you?) Ramadan, the month-long fast observed by most Muslims, is the reason Gym Buddy Krista has temporarily gone M.I.A.. For some reason she doesn’t feel like working out when abstaining from food and drink during daylight hours which, since Ramadan falls in August this year, means she fasts from about 4:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. – gotta love living on the 45th parallel! I can relate. In a previous post I mentioned how, as a Mormon, I fast at least once a month which means no food or water for a full 24 hour period and Sagan of Living Healthy in the Real World, asked me to write a post about my experience with voluntary starvation.

Spiritual Benefits

First, I would like to say that for me fasting is primarily a religious endeavor, a matter of faith. Fasting isn’t just about not eating and drinking but is primarily about building a closer relationship with God. The 24 hours is supposed to be a time of prayer, meditation, and study. In addition, we donate the money we would have spent on food to the poor and needy in our area so as to keep our focus on serving others. I’m not going to lie: going that long without food or water isn’t easy and sometimes it makes me seriously grouchy but I’m not perfect and if anyone knows that, it’s God. I figure He’s pretty forgiving when I make the kids eat PB&J’s because I don’t want to cook them something I’m going to have to smell and drool over.

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