“Before the fast I weighed 290 pounds, was physically inactive and definitely out of shape, pretty much the worst shape of my life.”
I had fasted before, no longer than three days and that was many years ago. I dreaded the idea. However, when one of my best friends told me he wanted to fast for 40 days, that struck a chord in my spirit and I felt I should join him. I realized I wasn’t ready for water fasting and I was thinking about what exactly I should fast. After spending some time in prayer and on the Freedomyou site, which was most encouraging, came to two conclusions:
I knew the fast had to be radical, otherwise there would be too much room for compromise. We decided to include herbal teas in our fast as well…no regular tea and definitely no coffee, and no milk or sugar.
The fast had to be for an extended period of time to have any lasting effect on my spirit, mind and body.
We set our starting date about three or four weeks after we made the decision based on our business and travel schedules.
During my preparation I spent a lot of time reading the material on the Freedomyou site and became very excited about spending more time with Jesus, becoming quiet in my Spirit. I was also looking forward to a physical transformation. Before I started I was very overweight. I weighed 290 pounds, was physically inactive and definitely out of shape…pretty much the worst shape I have been in my entire life. My lifestyle was a mess, bad eating habits (plenty of junk food, very little fruit or vegetables, way too much coffee and way too little water). I was doing little or no exercise at all and honestly I wasn’t feeling too great about myself. My sleeping patterns were haphazard and I often suffered from insomnia. I wanted to regain physical health
I was genuinely concerned about my health but never doing anything about it. I thought at some stage I would get into shape again and everything would be fine. What a dumb way of thinking! It’s never just going to happen.
And so we started a fasting diet. I experienced headaches only on the first two days. The first week was quite tough in terms of hunger pangs, I even dreamt about eating. The 40 days would have to be completed by God’s grace alone. After the first week the hunger pangs subsided but I sometimes had severe cravings for salty foods.
I honestly don’t believe that in our Western way of life we can complete a 40 day fast without God’s grace. Our paradigms and our ingrained habits are very strong.
One of the biggest revelations for me during the fasting diet was how little we actually need. Our bodies just don’t need that much to live healthy lives. Juice for forty days, and I felt terrific for most of the time. I was more tired at night than usual but I got up earlier in the morning, bursting with energy…and I never used to feel that way even after the second cup of coffee. I’m studying part-time and I must say I didn’t always manage to stay up as late at night as I used to. I felt more tired at night and often went to bed at 9pm instead of midnight – 1 am, sometimes even before 8pm. I could put in a solid day’s work though as well as start with an exercise routine. My sleeping patterns were restored I a great night’s sleep every single night, after the first few nights of dreaming of food.
One of the things mentioned on the Freedomyou website is to go for long walks. A few years ago I used to love walking, even just through some of the leafy suburbs or parks in my city. It was time to get into that habit again. The walks were an absolute highlight and I can recommend it to anyone who reads this. Plan a walk and drive out somewhere for a walk. I so enjoyed the walking that I started some light jogging, and even going to the gym a few times, and then started swimming.
Two Months After My Fast
Nearly two months have passed since the end of the 40 days, and I’m in better shape now than I’ve been in for the past ten years. In fact I so enjoy the freedom of my “new” body that I’ve started training for a triathlon. Taking part in a triathlon would be a great way to celebrate by 36th
birthday, that might sound totally strange to you, but fasting for forty days can bring about some amazing changes in your life.
Two months down the line I can testify that the fasting time was a foundational time in my life. I am now more disciplined, especially physically. I eat less since I realize how little my body really needs I train harder and I love it. The body, like a child loves discipline and responds very well to it. Similarly so does the mind and most importantly the spirit.
I lost a total of 40 pounds during the 40 days. During the first week after starting to eat solid foods I gained 6 pounds and I have been maintaining that weight for the past two months. Although my weight has remained constant, my muscle mass has increased and my body-fat percentage has decreased. Better nutrition and more training have certainly played a part in that.
The 40 day fasting diet was like a “reset button” in my life. Isn’t great that God in His wisdom has provided us with this tool to engage in a more intimate way of life with Him, while at the same time restoring health to our bodies and minds!
If you feel called to fast, embrace His call to intimacy. It is a great experience, a sacrifice with great reward!
Related Article: Three Powerful Fasting Weight Loss Stories