Fasting is a loaded word in diet culture. Fasting for Lent has a totally different meaning.
On Fridays we fast during Lent. No meat. Minimal, simple meals. Take today’s lunch for example: carrot ginger soup with some thai basil leaves from my garden.
I must admit, I was a little worried when I learned of the fasting aspect of Lent and its importance. 35 years of being conditioned by diet culture has made food restrictions triggering for me. Restrictions translate as control in my mind, until the pendulum swings over to the other side where deprivation explodes into a “screw it” mentality.
Just THINKING of fasting forces me to check myself and be aware. I can simply notice the old patterns burned into my brain from years of dieting. *Oh there they are, yep, they are still in there * I can notice the trap, but not fall into it.
This Lent I will not fall into the trap of labeling foods as “good” or “bad” and the internalizing those judgments. My mind wants to go there but my soul feels differently now. Over the past few months on my walk with God, I’ve been blessed to be able to see things differently.
Fasting isn’t about control, being “good” or trying to be perfect. That’s what I made it about, but that’s not what God made it about. I made it about me, but God made it about Him.
As beautifully stated in “Lent the promise of prayer, fasting and almsgiving” by OurSundayVistitor:
“The discipline of fasting helps us recognizeour true hunger – for Christ – and seek a closer relationship to him to satisfy that hunger.”