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Fasting - and its problems!
Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:30 pm
Hi guys, it's been a long time since I have looked at this forum, but I have run into a little problem. I have been praying a single rosary every day since Christmas, and lately have stepped it up to half an hour prayer in the morning as well as 3 mysteries in the evening. Perhaps the next stage was fasting, so that is what I decided to do.
So, last Wednesday I decided to fast for the first time ever, and it didn't go too well!
I was hoping some of you regular fasters would be able to give your experiences and daily routines on Wednesdays and Fridays.
I had a few problems wrt eating bread. I had bought some hi-fibre bread that I was planning to eat on the Wednesday, but ended up feeling sick by the evening time after having it for 3 meals during the day!
Also, I felt very light headed during the day (which I assume was due to the lack of food??) and ended up not being able to concentrate fully at work so took a half day.
By the evening time I felt that I was so worn out that I just ended up watching tv for about 4 hours lying on the couch. I'm guessing when you fast, you are not supposed to do anything to excess other than Pray, but by the end of all this, prayer was the last thing on my mind!
Maybe it was just because it was my first time, but I'd like to know if it gets any easier?!
Any comments or opinions are welcome!!
Thanks in advance,
Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:18 pm
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. This is important. Then you will be less inclined to fill up with bread.
Start of lightly with the bread, nothing to heavy. High fibre is probably overdoing it.
Try a morning to start with, then build to morning and afternoon, and then later try the full day.
Don’t go hungry.
Go for a walk, morning and afternoon/evening.
You are maybe taking on too much at once – all those prayers and fasting. If you are not careful you will end up doing nothing.
Try a slower build up. And I’m talking months! Our Lady did not ask the visionaries to go flat out straight away. It took a couple of years, at least!
Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:28 pm
Joey I'm laughing reading your post because I can definitely relate! Yes - it does get much easier. At the beginning it's about finding out what works for you. It's important to remember - especially if you are working - that it's not about limiting the amount of food - but about the type. Sounds like you found a bread that doesn't work! To this day, certain bread isles in supermarkets will literally turn my stomach - just the strong smell of the bread or yeasty smell - whatever it is.
I had switched for a while to non-yeast breads like Irish soda bread, but after a few weeks of that, I found it hard to eat that as well. I laugh with my husband and say I should go on an ice cream fast and lose any desire for that as well! But what I did find that works - although it feels a bit like cheating - is corn bread, sometimes crackers, sometimes regular bread toasted, and other times just not eating is easier. It's also important to remember to drink enough water. I'm not good at this, and this can lead to the lack of energy you mentioned more so than the lack of food.
Another important thing for me is to plan ahead for the fast days. If I have the breads on hand, then we can bring them with us if we go out and we aren't searching for something that will work. There's a great recipe for fasting bread on here - but honestly I haven't tried it yet. Try different things to find what works for you. I'm sure others will have some good advice.
Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:38 pm
I first got interested again in Medj in 2006 and so far I am praying 2 rosaries, 2 divine mercy chaplets (some days one or none) and sometimes fasting on Fridays on bread and coffee and even more rarely on bread and water. I recently fasted from the internet instead of from food for health reasons. I find the self-deprivation very hard to do. It's now 3 years since I started and as you can see, I'm still not up to what Our Lady asks of us.
Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:05 pm
Pray every time before you start!!!! Start with a hearty bread and start slow...like include juice or fast for a little shorter when starting, like sun up to sun down!!! Good luck!!! Praying for you!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:45 pm
Interestingly I find it easier to fast by not eating at all. I do have water and maybe one coffee in the morning. There is a fasting bread recipe somewhere on the www.childrenofmedjugorje.com
I admire your efforts but slow down. As Bluecross said you may end up doing nothing.
Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:26 pm
Joey we all probably have experienced some issues with fasting. I too started slowly.
Sometimes I struggle during at work when you are so busy your calories are more expedited and sometimes your energy starts to wear down by the end of the day. Especially when you work 10/12 hour shifts.
Be careful too if you have any health issues, I myself suffer from migraines so if this occurs I offer up 1/2 the day for a fast. Go slow, offer up as much as you can to her. Our Lady understands. Good Luck.
Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:51 pm
Some words of motivation
February 25, 1988 "Dear children! Today again I am calling you to
prayer to complete surrender to God. You know that I love you and
am coming here out of love so I could show you the path to peace
and salvation for your souls. I want you to obey me and not
permit Satan to seduce you. Dear children, Satan is very strong
and, therefore, I ask you to dedicate your prayers to me so that
those who are under his influence can be saved. Give witness by
your life. Sacrifice your lives for the salvation of the world. I
am with you, and I am grateful to you, but in heaven you shall
receive the Father's reward which He has promised to you.
Therefore, dear children, do not be afraid. If you pray, Satan
cannot injure you even a little bit because you are God's
children and He is watching over you. Pray and let the rosary
always be in your hand as a sign to Satan that you belong to me.
Thank you for having responded to my call."
January 25, 2001 "Dear children! Today I call you to renew prayer
and fasting with even greater enthusiasm until prayer becomes a
joy for you. Little children, the one who prays is not afraid of
the future and the one who fasts is not afraid of evil. Once
again, I repeat to you: only through prayer and fasting also wars
can be stopped – wars of your unbelief and fear for the future. I
am with you and am teaching you little children: your peace and
hope are in God. That is why draw closer to God and put Him in
the first place in your life. Thank you for having responded to
Message of July 25, 2005 "Dear children! Also today, I call you
to fill your day with short and ardent prayers. When you pray,
your heart is open and God loves you with a special love and
gives you special graces. Therefore, make good use of this time
of grace and devote it to God more than ever up to now. Do
novenas of fasting and renunciation so that Satan be far from you
and grace be around you. I am near you and intercede before God
for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call."
Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:52 pm
Wouldn't it be great if we could develop our skills in prayer and fasting to the point where Satan can't touch us :-) Oh well back to practice
Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:25 pm
Wouldn't it be great if we could develop our skills in prayer and fasting to the point where Satan can't touch us
Interesting point, Leo. Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness and was tempted throughout.
I don’t think it is a matter of satan being able to touch us as more us wanting to accept what satan has to offer – meaning we give over our will to the wrong guy.
I guess satan thought Jesus might be weak in resolve because of his 40 days of fasting but is was satan who went away exhausted of ways to tempt him.
From my own experience, if I cave in on fasting it is usually because I listen to the voice telling me it doesn’t matter for today, I can start again another time.
And I don’t think it is a matter of me being weak-willed. In fact, it’s the opposite. My will is very strong and that’s why I cave in, if you see what I mean. My will reigns.
This is why Jesus had such strength and power against temptation. He completely gave over his will to the Father.
Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:39 pm
Thanks Bluecross that makes sense, though I see a bit of the irish logic shining through. I guess also that if we were able to pray and fast to the point of Satan not being able to touch us in the way I originally interpreted then it would be like removing free will.
Admittedly years ago I prayed a number of times something like "Dear God, I freely ask that you remove my free will so I can only do good."
Not suprisingly (in hindsight) it wasn't answered.
Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:43 pm
Not suprisingly (in hindsight) it wasn't answered.
That’s because free will is a gift of God’s love, and God does not withdraw his love. He knows best.
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:00 am
Ever noticed how often on fast days someone with bring a nice cake etc into the office to share.....
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:08 am
i find the same way, leo, that if i just don't eat i don't get hungry. for some reason, if i drink a cup of warm plain chicken broth it quiets my hunger like nothing else!
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:26 am
i am like you leo and mamamary.. i simply don eat. bread makes me sickish.. so for go it. i drink water.
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:03 pm
Thanks for the help guys. Perhaps I am taking on too much at once. For the past couple of days for example I have just been praying for the sake of it but my heart wasn't in it at all.
I can see what you mean about bread making you sick. I don't think I could stomach any more hi-fibre bread!
Maybe I will just try fasting for one meal on Wednesdays and Fridays for now and see how that goes.
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:10 pm
Joey for me jumping in with both feet - as far as fasting goes - was the way to go. But I did start and did it for a few months and then fell into doing it only one day a week or so as I got into the thinking that I can always do it another time if Wed or Friday didn't fit in with our schedule. I may have even stopped fasting completely for a while, I'm not sure. But when I started back to it, I just kept it simple and did it on Wed and Fri, but I do often break the fast at midnight now whereas before I used to wait until the following morning.
I wish I could do the three mysteries like you do. I'm still doing just one mystery each day, but we do other prayers as well. I remember what's been said that the Blessed Mother says it's better to say one Hail Mary with feeling than endless prayers meaninglessly. But some days it is said by rote or my mind wanders, etc..
You're doing great living the messages!!!
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:16 pm
fasting had kind of an unexpected effect on me--certainly a good one! i had been having some minor stomach upset, certainly related to what or the time of day that i last ate. on fasting days, this problem just seemed to go away. it certainly made me think about having a self indulgent attitude toward food (which could have been part of the reason for the stomach discomfort!)
this discovery about food in our lives, led me to think about other things in life that are toward the excessive, to look at these things too in the light of a 'fasting attitude'.
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:30 pm
I recently fasted from the internet...
Star... Now that is what I call fasting, considering you are the forum’s top poster!
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:38 pm
Bless you, Bluecross, but it wasn't as hard as bread and water - that particular fast gets really really hard for me around dinner time, when I am craving a proper meal, and all evening. That last hour before midnight goes soooooo slowly.
I'm trying to think of other potential fasts since I have been messing about with my medication since the beginning of January and at the moment I have a constant (slight) headache and no energy or stamina. It seems a bad idea to fast from food.
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:38 pm
I agree with Bluecross - that's a wonderful fast Starbright! There are many ways to fast.
Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:51 pm
I think I went in way too quickly into all this. Since last week, I have done a complete u-turn. I haven't even bothered saying the rosary or praying at all, and didn't go to Mass last weekend either. It's as if trying to fast that day made me lazy or something?!
Might just start again...but this time, I'm not going to pray just for the sake of it....one rosary a day and see how that goes! Might just skip desert on the fast days,and see how that goes.
Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:05 pm
Might just start again
i can't help but think that in spite of our failures or successes with fasting, how PLEASED our lady must be that we try!
as a mom, i think back to the days when the kids were little and would try so hard at a new skill...if it were talking, or walking, bike riding or solving a new math problem.
they would try, and fail, dissappointed much more in themselves than i could possibly ever be! but back up they would go again, with a pat on the shoulder and a few encouraging words from mom.
it is the same with us and our heavenly mother. she tries to ease us into a spiritual life, guiding us to not bite off more than we can chew, start small, a few prayers here, a fast day there. take time, she is there if we stumble or fall to pick us up to go again!
Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:24 pm
Just saw the post of Star fasting from the internet, I have never tried that but that is a good idea. I think that might be one o the most difficult fasts in todays world.
Maybe I will give it a whirl.
Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:57 am
Keep going Joey, Jesus fell a number of times.