This weekend was my first 24 hour pass. It was so fun! Dad and I went to the Springville Art Museum (which is totally legit), then I got my hairs cut. All of them. My hair is now to my collarbone which is great because I got all the nasty damaged stuff removed (a metaphor???). Then we went to the BYU men’s volleyball game where they won and we danced like idiots. AND I saw a friend there who I haven’t seen since 2008, so that was awesome! After that we went to dinner, then a movie, the dessert, then home where I got to sleep in a queen sized bed with big comfy blankets. It was too comfortable I think because I slept 3 hours total. Today is my Grandmother’s 82nd birthday! This morning we went to church with her, and then made breakfast and played Uno until it was time for me to come back to CFC. It was a fairly chill 24 hours and I think I did really well.
So this morning I went to church. I haven’t been to a “real” church meeting since I got here, so I was really excited about it. The first speaker spoke about her mission to Madagascar and how there was so much poverty and people went hungry. She talked about how lucky we are to have enough food, and then she started talking about fasting. (Yes, I finally get to go to church and they talk about not eating. I can’t make these things up.) She talked about how fasting gives our spiritual side a chance to show it’s stuff. A way for us to put off our “natural man” and focus on prayer and meditation. She called the body a “human suit” and said that often we pay more attention to that then we do to our spirits. The next speaker stood and spoke on fasting as well. He said that fasting once in a while is actually proven to be good for health, and encouraged the congregation to fast for a full 24 hours with real intent. Then he said,
“Fasting is a sacrifice. Who here enjoys being hungry or going without food?”
I wanted to raise my hand. I just looked over at my dad and we kind of laughed. My Grandmother grabbed my hand and said, “I’m giving you strength.” The speaker continued by saying that going 24 hours without food or drink is a way for us to focus on our spirits and not our bodies. He talked about how the “natural man” is driven to body obsession, and fasting is a way to strengthen and care for our spirits.
I thought that was an interesting comment.
Anorexia is a body obsession; an obsession to be perfect or accepted in the eyes of the world. For me, fasting fed that obsession (because I obviously was not doing it right); it gave me an excuse to not eat for 24 hours, and also triggered more eating disordered behaviors. After all, I don’t want to eat most of the time. I prefer feeling hungry. It makes me feel important and powerful. NOT eating serves my “natural man” much more than it serves my spirit and God. At the same time I know fasting works, because I’ve felt the effects of it in my life. I don’t know how fasting will fit into my life in the future. I know I can’t do it right now. I fast in my heart. I eat to show God I care about myself and the body he has given me. I eat to strengthen my spirit. I hope that is acceptable to Him.