Monday, February 3, 2014

Fasting and Sea Biscuits


I haven't been able to fast in a really long time.

Not because I have some medical reason not to, but because I've been pregnant/nursing for the last 50 years.

The fact that I could fast didn't even cross my mind when I weaned Leah. I was like, "WOO HOO! I weaned my baby!.... BOO HOO! I weaned my baby! How could I DO such a thing..."

Anyway, it was brought back to my attention two weeks ago, and I thought, gee, well, it's about time I start doing that again.

Now, for those of you who don't know, Mormons fast for spiritual strength, answers to prayers, in behalf of others, etc. It's supposed to be for two meals, or 24 hours.

I think most people in the church only fast for two meals. Or maybe thieves think all men steal....

Anyway, I decided to do my fast one Thursday evening, and that tied into the following day, and I was planning on breaking my fast that night, 24 hours from the beginning.

Now, I've only ever done one 24 hour fast in my life.

It was a great spiritual experience, and I felt very accomplished.

So I thought about doing another one, now that I had grown up so much since the first time.

I wasn't able to finish the whole 24 hours since we had family in town and they wanted to go to Chuck-a-Rama, but I made it about 18 hours. It was good. I felt like I got the strength I was requesting, and I determined to do what Jeremy had talked about for a long time and fast once a week.

This last Sunday was the first Sunday of the month, and for all Mormons that meant it was Fast Sunday.

Now, I didn't approach this fast as I should have. I pushed off starting my fast until midnight, instead of after dinner, since I was cleaning like a lunatic, and was super thirsty.

So, I went to bed, thinking the fast would be fine.

Now, I truly believe that all the talks and lessons on fasting were inspired, specifically about starting after lunch or dinner, and then breaking it the following day around noon, or dinnertime, depending on when you started.

And I know this with my whole soul now from sad experience, but don't take my word for it. By all means, experience it for yourself, and do what I did...

I woke up yesterday morning, got ready for church, fixed the girls' hair, and then toddled off to church.

Church was lovely.

We came home, and fed the kids lunch. It wasn't hard like I was expecting it to be. I thought to myself, "Gee, this isn't so bad! Go me for being strong and not feeling deprived!"

Then we took a nap.

Well, I TRIED to take a nap. By the time we had finished putting the kids down for quiet time, and I had strewn my body across our bed, the hunger started to sink in. It was so distracting that I couldn't really nap. And then a headache was creeping across my skull.

I got up feeling unrested and super cranky.

Jeremy got up later, and was his usual cheerful self, and suggested we invite his mom for dinner.

I agreed, but felt a little awkward about it since I wasn't planning on breaking my fast for dinner, and I thought it might look a little odd if everyone but me was eating. I mean, I might not usually look homicidal, but with how I was handling the fast, and how crunkely my face was, I couldn't be sure...

We survived dinner. It was difficult this time around. Making spaghetti, french bread, and steamed veggies doesn't phase me most nights, but man... I kept myself busy not sitting at the table, and bustled around the kitchen making preparations for today's breakfast.

Before I knew it, dinner was over, the kids were in bed, and we were settling down for a nice, quiet evening, where I could zone out and try really hard not to think about food.

(Yes, I know, I'm pathetic)

Emily then sent me a text, and wanted to play a game.

"Good," I thought. "Something else to distract me..."

My stomach was starting to protest in earnest by this point, and I kept telling it to unequivocally shut up.

It just grumbled and decided to tell its friends to make my head hurt more.

The minutes passed by so slowly, it felt like I had been awake for centuries.

I looked up at the clock, aching for bedtime.

It was 8:30.

And I wept.

It was taking so. long. so. so. long....

We finally rolled into bed two hours later, and I sighed.

At last.

I laid my head on my pillow, and closed my eyes.

They suddenly popped open.

My body had taken over, and started speaking through my mouth.

"I'm exhausted...but I have a giant headache and I'm wired," it said.

Jeremy, unaware of the take-over, turned over and offered to give it a massage to help its headache and calm it down.

This began a sequence of The Body rolling around the bed and squealing while Jeremy attempted to pin it down. After twenty minutes, it finally curled up into a ball, and giggled.

"Did you just giggle?" Jeremy queried.

"Yeah," The Body replied. "I was just thinking about sea biscuits. What if they were put in the sea because on land they scream?"

More giggles erupted from The Body while I was trapped, helpless, inside.

Finally, The Body seemed to relax, and Jeremy kindly massaged its head.

After about ten minutes, The Body turned its head towards Jeremy and said, "If you think I am calm, you are wrong..."

Another series of flailing arms and legs ensued, ending with an exhausted groan, and a limp, "I'm so tired...."

The Body was finally subdued, and decided to go to sleep while I sat in one of the corners twiddling my thumbs.

The next morning, the body had apparently forgiven me, or had given up, or had acquiesced, or called for a truce, because I felt pretty good. I wasn't raging hungry. I felt peaceful.

Calm.

It was nice.

THAT was what I had been waiting for.

I would have gotten there with less grief if I had done my fast differently.

Now I know better for next time.

And I did some research on fasting.

Besides the spiritual benefits, there are many, many physical. I think it is wonderful that God would ask us to do something that not only helps our spirits grow, but our bodies as well.

Some of the physical benefits of a fast are the following:

Energy (I figured that one out)
Euphoria (mine was more like delirium)
Detoxification
Activates Ketosis
Rests the digestive system
Weight loss
Heart Health
Cancer prevention
Overall health and well-being

Apparently, in the health world, a 24 hour fast is a "short" fast. I don't know about you, but that just took the wind out of my sails, and makes me want to cry. I know I'll get better at it. The benefits are far greater than the unpleasantnesses.

Now there are some warnings about fasting. You shouldn't fast when you are nursing, pregnant, or have severe health problems. Even those (like me) who suffer migraines should be careful fasting since it can trigger one. So, do some study. Weigh and measure it.

Anyway, this coming weekend I will do what I have been advised to do.

I think Jeremy will appreciate not dealing with The Body.

P.S.

Tonight Eva asked for a story.

I told her about the sea biscuit that screamed when it came to shore, and kept getting thrown back into the sea to make it stop.

1 comment:

Katscratchme said...

I'm so glad I was able to provide some distraction for you! It was inspired, I guess, since I wouldn't normally ask you to play on a Sunday. ;)
Imagine that... inspired to kill the spawn of Hell on a Sunday. Hahah!

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