i fasted (water only)all yesterday because it was ash wednesday. then today im trying to stick to the rules of Lent. im normally vegan so for me to give up meat means nothing. ditto for dairy. so im trying to stick to the '1 meal a day' and 2 snacks way of fasting. today i had an orange and an apple and im hungry. i will probably have a can of beans later, maybe on toast. i know when you are hungry you are meant to remind to pray. but what about?
i read about this thing called religious anorexia which is when you fast too much and become anorexic as a result. i didnt know that existed. also i didnt know orthodox christians end up fasting 200 days a year.
fast is also different from anorexia nervosa: it is disciplined diet, not total abstention from food. During a religious fast, you still eat, you just abstain from certain foodstuffs. Traditionally, people have fasted by eliminating luxury items from their diets, such as meats. You could have a fast that consists of eating whatever you want, but drinking only water. Orthodox Christians recognize five levels of fasting:
Abstaining from meat
Abstaining from meat, eggs, milk, butter, and cheese
Abstaining from meat, eggs, milk, butter, cheese, and fish
Abstaining from meat, eggs, milk, butter, cheese, fish, oil, and wine
Abstaining from all foods and beverages except bread, water, juices, honey, and nuts.
Note that the fifth and strictest level describes John the Baptizer’s diet, and it is may very well have been the fast that Jesus undertook for forty days in the wilderness. (Christians reenact this retreat during Lent.)
i also read this:
"To fast, just omit an item or two from your diet—something that you would normally eat during the course of the day. Every time you get an appetite for those items, you will be reminded of your fast and that will remind you of the reason for your fast, and you can pray instead of eating. This can have immense spiritual benefit. You are simply using your belly as a spiritual snooze-alarm
Do you fast and pray? If you don’t, your spiritual life is unbalanced. If you are a soldier of the Lord, you can hardly expect to be commended for your conduct if you never check into headquarters for instructions.
Follow the ancient Christian custom of morning and evening prayer.
Have a nice, long chat with God first thing in the morning and in the late evening. If you have a habit of taking a daily walk, you could resolve to talk to God during that entire walk, to talk things out.
It’s commendable to pray at each meal and before falling asleep (which would be four times a day) but grace tends to be perfunctory and praying in bed might end in sleep rather than a real conversation. (Nothing wrong with that except you don’t get to talk things out.) While this results in more prayers, I think God would prefer fewer prayers and faithfulness in prayer. If you think it’s necessary to have quality time with your children, how much more would God want quality time with you?
Fast whenever you need intensive prayer.
Your appetite acts as a prayer alarm; instead of eating your usual treat, you pray. That keeps you focused all day long. "