Here’s the thing I’ve learned about diet and exercise…or really any healthy habit:
I’ve learned that I love to control things.
Anytime I can control the shit out of something I will do it. Measuring out food, getting my workout in, watching the number of ounces of water I drink…It’s all control. And because of that Phaeton Level 12 Control I’ve reached, I’ve always just figured I’m really good at diet and exercise.
But diet and exercise, or any choice you turn into a habit, aren’t supposed to be about proving how much you can control. They aren’t supposed to be about willpower or strength or personal stamina. To me it’s supposed to be about your intention. What’s the INTENTION behind my awesome diet and exercise habit?
Welp. It’s control. My intention is to control the few things in life I think I can control because there’s so much I can’t. Maybe yours is to look good naked or a really pure reason like being an example to others so you can help them. But mine is control.
I only just freaking figure this out today.
Today is the first day of a 21 day fast that many churches ask their followers to participate in. When I first heard our Pastor mention this yesterday I was all…Nope. Fasting for 21 days? During the run of a theatre production? Amen and amen? Nope, and nope again.
Then, of course, I learned I wouldn’t be subsisting on water and rice cakes for three weeks. The suggestion of the church is that I fast consciously and with intention from anything I feel called to abstain from. The church recommends choosing what’s known as the Daniel Fast, because in the bible Daniel ate vegetables and water to protest King Nebuchadnezzar. I am going to try this kind of fasting, but I’m not going to be all rigid and freakish about it.
Because then I would be fasting to prove I was in control. To prove I could do it. I wouldn’t be fasting with the intention of staying conscious throughout my day, making decisions based on where and how I feel led to serve and based on what’s best for those around me. And that’s what I really want to do. My daily rituals and routines are all great, but IF the intention behind them is simply to prove I can do them…well then what good are they?
This week, I’m cutting out all meat except eggs. And I will continue to cut other things out of my diet as I go along until I’m fully vegan by the end of the 21 days. My experience will be mine, one of humility and honesty, just me and God. I won’t be sharing with everyone how well I’m doing, letting everyone know if I fell off the wagon to prove how “human” I am, nor will I be documenting each and every meal I prepare and eat. This will be my own little journey and it’s only me I have to face in the mirror every morning to answer the question, “Am I doing this all for the right reason?”
This is the last you’ll hear me speak of it.
If you can think of something you might give up for 21 days WITH THE INTENTION of gaining focus in your life, getting conscious with your choices, and whatever else fasting opens up for you personally, just know that silently I am right there with you.