Day 3 of My First 72 hour Fast

Reaching out to God in the last stretch of my fast.

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Once again, it’s been a while since my last post… almost 10 days, actually! I’ve been keeping busy with my goals, but I do hope I find the time to post more often, soon.

I talked about my new goals of fasting for my health in my last post, which, thankfully, I have continued pursuing those fasting goals. So far I’ve completed 2 48 hour fasts and after today, I’ll have completed my first 72 hour fast. My biggest problem is what I do after I fast. Once it ends, it’s like I want to eat all the food I have been denying myself, so I binge. Thankfully, I get full very easy, so even when I overindulge, I can’t do it too much. I’m making strict plans about what I will eat after I break this fast, so hopefully I will stay on track!

I’ve decided to dedicate this final day to God, even if I only have about 9 hours left of this 72 hour fast. Although God deserves more than just 9 hours, I hope He blesses me. I thought about researching and pursuing Biblical fasting when I got started with fasting in the first place, I just never got around to it. I wanted to challenge myself and simply get started with it, so I did. Now, I’m realizing how much I am probably missing out on through this experience since I did not include drawing closer to God in my goals.

There are many benefits of Biblical style fasting, but there are a few that I’m going to be focused on. First and foremost, I want to draw closer to God. Through a closer relationship with God, I will be able to feel His presence throughout my day, talk to Him like I should and feel his pullings on my heart towards pursuing the things that He created me to do. This brings me to my next focus for my Biblical fast: making decisions. There are many who fast just before making decisions. I assume that the abstinence from food or other distractions (since some people choose to fast from sex, TV, Social Media, etc.), helps one to focus on the problem that they’re trying to solve or the decision that needs to be made. I also believe that fasting, and replacing food with time spent with God (reading the Bible, praying, reading Biblical based literature, etc.) will allow a person to draw closer to God, which will help them to make the best decisions since God is their new focus.

Here are some Bible verses about fasting that I will be holding onto:

“Even Now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

-Joel 2:12

This passage tells me that God wants us to lean on Him in times of sadness and loss through fasting. Although I have not lost anyone recently, I have been feeling the burden of sadness due to my husband’s health as of late. Perhaps God will bless me with the knowledge on how to aid my husband in turning his health around.

Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant -the Ten commandments.

-Exodus 34:28

This one tells me that God wants us to draw closer to Him so that we can share His words, and speak His truths to do amazing things.

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

-Luke 4:1-2

This passage is a powerful one because it tells me that through fasting and drawing closer to God, He will provide for us the strength we need to reject temptations and stay true to our purpose and God’s design.

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

-Matthew 6:16-18

Although obviously, I am not fasting in secret, I hope God sees my intent in sharing my experience. I am not doing this in hopes to gain attention, but in hopes to perhaps inspire others to see the value in this pursuit.

Today…

  • I’m thankful that I have lasted as long as I have during this fast. I’m thankful that although I had not asked for it, God provided me with the strength I needed to keep going when it was most challenging.
  • I’m thankful that this fast was easy as far as my physical symptoms. I had no headaches or other problems that some get.

Tomorrow…

  • I’m thankful for the nutritious food that I plan to eat later on today. I hope God blesses my body with it and I hope He uses it to keep me healthy for the fast that I will begin in His honor immediately after my meal.
  • I’m thankful for the plans that God has in my future which I hope will be clearer to me through my fasts.
  • I’m thankful for the changes in my health which I have complete faith in God that I will see very soon. More than simple weight loss, I know God will hear my prayers about my health concerns and enable my body to heal completely.
  • I’ve decided to put my faith in God that my husband’s health will soon be of no concern to me; that he will realize his mistakes, cling to God, friends, and family for support, and make the changes he needs to make to become healthy.

Thank you for reading, I hope this post inspired you for the better! Have you ever fasted or considered fasting? What are you thankful for today, and what do you have to be thankful for in the future?

Yoga Day 15

Well, last week was an interesting one. While I didn’t do yoga as much as I planned on doing, I did accomplish another goal, which I’m really very proud of. I was able to complete a 48-hour fast, eating nothing and only drinking salty green tea. I should have eaten better once I broke my fast, since I kinda undid all that work, but just the fact that I did it (and it really wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be) just tells me that I can do it again, and make it count! I’ve already started another fast after my dinner last night (about 20 hours in!), and my goal is to keep going after 48 hours, as long as I’m feeling OK.

Fasting is a rather controversial subject. There are people staunchly against it and people (like this doctor who explains her reasoning very well ) just as strongly supportive of it. People that are against it compare it to starving, and so believe that it is unhealthy. With research, I’ve found that it can be very beneficial to almost anyone when done correctly. For example, a properly utilized fast is arguably the cheapest, quickest and most healthy way for a person to eliminate body fat. I don’t have much weight to lose, if any (since I’d like toned muscles), but I’m not exploring the fasting lifestyle for it’s weight loss benefits. Although I do have some body fat (like most people) that I would love to never see again, I’m doing this for its other health benefits. Fasting has been shown in many studies (like this one) to help the body heal from many different ailments, and I’m hoping that it can help me with mine as well. More than that, I want to be an example for all the people in my life who are struggling with certain issues. I’m hoping I can show them how doable it is, and how worthy it is to simply give it a try.

Today…

  • I’m thankful that I live in a country where food is so abundant that we actually struggle with eating too much. This provides for us the practical opportunity to develop our strength of self-control. It is an everyday battle, but I believe we as a people can find our way there with the right people leading the way.
  • I’m thankful that there is such an easy and historically used solution to many health problems available that literally anyone, no matter how much money they have to spend, can try!
  • I’m thankful that God provided me with enough endurance to last through my first 48-hour fast! Completing such a milestone gives me the confidence to continue with this way of life and keep thriving for more results.

Tomorrow…

  •  I’m thankful to be on another fasting journey, and I’m thankful for the results that it will give me.
  • I’m thankful for Cole Robinson’s selfless pursuit of helping people achieve results to become healthy and happy! He may be rough around the edges, but gosh-darnit, that just shows his passion for his work! I’m thankful that if I keep following his protocols, I will achieve awesome results!
  • (off topic) I’m thankful that I worked up the courage to call the pediatric dentist about my son needing sedation dentistry. I’m hopeful that he won’t need this level of dentistry in the future and pray that we can use the most healthy methods of dentistry to handle the issues he may have right now.

Alrighty, I’ll end it here today, gotta get back on track! Comment below if you started your own change, or have something that you’re thankful for, whether it be something you have or that is coming in the future! Hope you all have a great Monday and a great week!

Yoga Day 8

I hope all of you are having productive and joyous Mondays! I had a lazy weekend, so I was happy to get back to being productive today. I did a little cleaning, grocery shopping, and hope to get some yoga done today, but for now, I’m sitting here, remembering the need to be thankful.

Today…

  • I’m thankful that I was able to quickly get some shopping done before my son got home from summer school (2 hour days go by quickly!).
  • I’m thankful that I was able to be productive today, and hope I can continue to be productive!
  • I’m thankful that I still have time to sign up for fall classes… hoping that I find a teacher and a class that I want!

Tomorrow…

  • I’m thankful that with continued use of my orthodontic trainer, my teeth will become straighter. I hope the journey will be as painless as possible! Also thankful that my teeth should be straighter (perhaps not perfect) by my birthday in 3 1/2 months!
  • I’m thankful that my kids are capable of playing together nicely, even if some days all I see is them trying to mess with each other and be naughty.
  • I’m thankful that knowledge is just a few keystrokes away. I look forward to everything I might learn in the future regarding countless subjects through the internet or knowledgeable people. I feel so blessed to have been born in such a day and age!

What are you thankful for? I hope you all had a great Monday!

Yoga Day 3

unsplash-logoBranden Harvey

Well, yesterday started out productive… I got my blog writing done, did dishes, bought groceries… but by the afternoon, my hormones kicked my sorry behind and Aunt Flo joined in on the fun. I was also enduring a headache most of the day. I’m ashamed to announce that I did not get around to my yoga time. I’m going to do my darndest to get it done today. I woke up early today because of a headache… I tried to make good use of that time… but I still haven’t done my yoga. After I digest my lunch a little, I’ll follow along with one that’s especially for PMS. I try not to take painkillers whenever I get a headache or whatnot (which is why I didn’t take them yesterday), but I think today will be a painkiller day.

Today…

  • I’m thankful for painkillers. I fully understand that most of the pain we feel in our bodies is simply our bodies communicating a need to us, but while I try to figure out what it needs or how to fix it, I’d like to not feel like poop.
  • I’m thankful for humanity’s history of medical knowledge, which includes trial and error with herbs and other natural remedies. There have been numerous things throughout the years that I’ve used to my advantage based on this knowledge.
  • I’m thankful for days that aren’t encumbered by pain or discomfort. Today may not be so much fun, but tomorrow will likely be better.

Tomorrow…

  • I’m thankful that my needy daughter will soon be content with playing by herself or with a friend without needing to drag me around whining, “mommy, mommy mommy!”… I’m also thankful for the time right now that I have my daughter to myself.
  • I’m thankful that Summer doesn’t last forever… even in a southern state! I look forward to the fall, my favorite time of year!
  • I’m thankful that, by next summer, if all goes as planned, we will be living in a house with a nicer A/C, and will be able to keep our house much more comfortable!

What are you thankful for? What do you do for yourself on days when you’re feeling off or sick? I hope your “hump day” was better than mine! See you soon!

Yoga Day 2

Yesterday I wrote about acquiring the inspiration you may need on any given day to help you continue with your desired habits, but today I’m going to go ahead and write about my current change. I’m happy to report that I was able to follow along with a great yoga video that was focused on relieving back pain, yesterday. I’m pretty sure that I will continue to do that video this week because I’m just tired of my dang back pain! If I continue to practice yoga, I’m sure that my pain will fade. If you’re interested in the video I’m following, you can find it here. I was considering working through one of the many 30 day yoga challenges, but I’d like the freedom to choose my yoga routines.

Today…

  • I’m thankful that my husband is working from home today. I love the opportunity to see him, even if he’s mostly busy on calls and the computer.
  • I’m thankful that my son didn’t pee the bed last night… even if he did still pee in his trainer, at least it didn’t soak through to the bed like it had been the previous 4 days. Small favors, right?
  • I’m thankful that we’ve reached the point, financially, where if I need to go buy groceries in between paychecks, it’s no longer an issue. For the past couple of months, I’ve been able to buy groceries every week, which is great for planning weekly meals.

Tomorrow…

  • I’m thankful that if I continue to do my yoga, I will feel healthier and my back pain will fade.
  • I’m thankful that it’s already evident that if I continue to work through each of my 21 Day Change goals, it will keep getting easier to follow through with my changes and stick with them after the 21 days are up.
  • I’m thankful that if all works out and we get to buy my in-laws’ house next year, I will have plenty of room to practice my yoga in the house. Here, there’s enough, but it’s definitely squished!
  • I’m thankful that the more I get my husband used to eating healthier at home, the more he will enjoy it and not be so disappointed when I won’t go get him unhealthy fast food.

Have you challenged yourself with making a change, yet? What will that change provide for you in the future, that you can be thankful for?

Inspiring Change

When I hear the word “Inspiration,” I think of an artist of any kind (a painter, musician, poet, etc.) seeking that special sort of influence that will grant them the ability to create something awesome. As someone who has spent a lot of my free time pursuing artistic endeavors, I am very familiar with the idea of inspiration and how important it is when you are trying to create.

What I never considered was its role in establishing good habits. It may not be what you’d expect either, because it goes beyond getting the idea to establish a certain habit. What I mean is, inspiration in continuing with the desired habit can make the difference between forcing yourself to get up and do something and being driven to do it out of a sheer yearning for it. You may be asking, “Well, how do I get this inspiration?” Don’t you worry! It’s probably easier than you might think! Everyone and every change can be inspired by different things, but I’m just going to share a few of the things that have worked for me, that I believe can be tweaked in different ways to be used for almost any desired change.

How to Find Inspiration?

  • YouTube. Watch a video about it on YouTube. For example: during my 21 Days to Better Cleaning Habits Change, I would watch one of the many “Cleaning Inspiration” videos, which basically consist of people cleaning up their houses while showing their tips and tricks. Something about watching those videos just makes you want to get up and be as productive as they are. On days where I just don’t want to get up and do it, I take 10 minutes to watch one of those videos while drinking some coffee, and when it’s over, I throw on some upbeat music (not unlike workout music) and I start cleaning like a fiend!
  • Movies. In the same realm of watching YouTube videos would be to watch a related movie to the habit you are trying to maintain, or change you want to begin. For example, I always want to get back into writing and recording my music when I watch the movie “Once,” which is one of my favorite movies.
  • Friends. Another way to inspire yourself is to make friends with people who share your same goal. This allows you both to keep each other on task with the habit. You can talk daily or weekly, set your goals, and basically keep each other accountable. You can also text or call a friend when you’re struggling. What are friends for, right?
  • Vision Boards. Check out this website here for tips on how to make up a vision board. To me, it could consist of anything you think is relevant to your goals. For example: To help inspire my cleaning, I could take pictures of my house after I’ve finished cleaning, and post them on my vision board so I can be reminded of how great my house can look when it’s clean. Instead of a vision board, you could also hang a pair of pants or a dress that is the size of clothing that you are trying to lose weight to fit into, etc. on the wall or whatnot. I like to post pictures of delicious looking healthy foods on my refrigerator. This way, when I go in there to eat, the first things I see are the healthy foods. This can help me crave them more than the unhealthy foods.
  • Reading. This could be books, blogs or different websites or articles on the subject that you are seeking inspiration for. Nowadays, you can find information about literally any subject online. Just Google it. (Hint, this blog counts!)

Do you have any good ways to inspire your desired changes? Have you tried any of the above methods with any luck? What change do you want to make? Thanks for reading! I hope you all have a happy Monday!

 

Getting Organized…

I rarely follow through with my plans and ideas. I’m great at planning it all out, writing it all down, making lists, etc. but actually following through with things is a big challenge. The psychiatrist in me thinks it’s somehow linked to my fear of failure… like if I follow through with something, and it doesn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, I would’ve failed, so I just quit right in the beginning. At any rate, I don’t like that part of me. Besides being totally awkward and shy, I think my procrastinator/unfinisher trait is probably the thing I hate the most about myself. This is one of the major reasons why I’m doing these 21 Day Changes. I’m hopeful that each change can bring me closer to being a serious, all-the-time finisher.

OK, this will sound familiar… in fact it should if you’ve been following my blog… But, starting on Monday, July 9th, I will be doing a 21 Day Yoga Change. I tried to start a Yoga Change 2x during my 21 Day Better Cleaning Habits Change, but when I felt like it was all too much, I focused on just cleaning and set the yoga on the back-burner. This time, I think I’ll be able to do both, but I will still have to be strong and keep myself from being side-tracked.

Today…

  • I’m thankful that, yesterday, despite certain sleepy children, I was able to get the tasks done that I had set out for myself… even if it happened later in the day, making it harder to get other things done. I’m also thankful that I still have today and all weekend to prepare for my next 21 Day Change.
  • I’m thankful that my kids behave very well (even without devices!) while going shopping or out doing whatever errands. I hope I can continue to keep their good practices up throughout their childhood! I loathe the day that my son has a meltdown (as many autistic children do) and I will have to endure the judgmental stares and comments by uneducated idiots.
  • I’m thankful that my daughter no longer pees in her trainers at night, nor does she have accidents but on the extremely rare, unexplainable occasion. I currently have a plethora of trainers and diapers (which I bought before she was fully trained) for my daughter that she will likely never use, which makes up for all the trainers I have to keep buying for my son.

Tomorrow…

  • I’m thankful that my son is going to start his second half of Summer School on Monday… which means I need to make sure he’s all ready. More stuff I gotta do today!
  • I’m thankful that I’m starting on my 21 Day Yoga Change starting Monday, which should help me with my back pain and perhaps help me get into better shape.
  • I’m thankful that I have had numerous chances to start over with all of my many plans and ideas, and I will continue to have chances in the future to finish them. I think I’m ready to let myself try at them all, even if it means that I will fail.

What are you thankful for today? What are you thankful to look forward to in the future? I hope you have a happy Friday, and I will see you all on Monday!