14 Mar Fasting Forum (Pt.3): My Fasting Experience / Q&A – Pastor Shane Idleman
Fasting Forum Part 3 – My Fasting Experience
Many people think that I have always focused on health and that I don’t struggle. Not so. Although my mother did a great job promoting health, once I left the home, my early years were marked with alcohol abuse, junk food, and neglect of my body—a cinnamon roll and coffee was breakfast and fast food was dinner. My past may someday catch up with me.
Twenty-two Days Of Mountains And Valleys
Recall my earlier analogy: The desire to seek God is greater than the desire to eat.
Week One: I began with a very clean, low-calorie diet for three days followed by water fasting for four days. Unfortunately, I hung onto my morning coffee habit because I was tired and sluggish. I hoped that God would bless my fast even though I wasn’t willing to give up my favorite addiction.
Try to get adequate sunlight, fresh air, and open ventilation when possible. Also, be sensitive to what you are putting on your skin in regard to hair products, deodorant, and lotion.
I didn’t see many improvements, but my voice became hoarse and sores formed in my mouth. I simply viewed this as detox. On day six, I found myself worshipping God more.
Week Two: My weight dropped about 6 pounds. An increasingly painful toothache caused me to resume eating for a few days. My right knee and other joints started to feel better, but a deep pain came first. Before the body heals it often hurts.
Many Christians are surprised that they are not on a constant spiritual high while fasting. Deprivation of food, especially things that we’ve been addicted to, often leads to body aches and pains as well as bad moods and weariness.
Don’t gauge fasting success by feelings alone. God often rewards later in the fast, or after the fast, versus during the onset of the fast (there are exceptions).
Week Three: My weight dropped another 8 pounds after the third week concluded. The first few days were very tough. My toothache turned into a nightmare.
I’m not against antibiotics, but they should be the last resort not the first. The word actually means “against life.” They wipe out all bad bacteria, as well as good bacteria, but they will not always fix the main cause of the infection. By the end of the week, the pain was gone, although I don’t know what the future holds.
During this 3rd week, I had water only, and finally kicked the coffee habit right before the week began. Sleep was deep and I wasn’t very hungry. I could have definitely eaten, but the feeling wasn’t strong.
Remember, fasting is not starving. Hunger does not keep increasing every day. This is another myth that keeps countless people from fasting.
Some say that you should stay busy, others say rest.
Through my studies, I found that vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes are often stored in the body for seasons of fasting.
This was the case in 1973 when a twenty-seven year-old male water fasted for 382 days under the supervision of the Scotland University. His weight dropped from 456 lbs. to 180 lbs.
At one point in the fast, I heard that magnesium citrate can clear the intestinal tract so I bought a bottle. I felt sick until I drank a cup of raw milk and ate a few nuts. Perfectionists would say, “You blew it. Start all over.” BUT…
One of the most difficult challenges for me was the extra time that I had.
One thing that differed from my seven day fast months prior, was that I was sleeping much better during this fast. During past fasts, growth hormone levels were probably elevated along with adrenaline. If you find it difficult to sleep, be encouraged, its part of the process.
Broke Fast: As I was driving home from church on the twenty-second day, I felt tremendous peace about ending the fast. There was also a sense of accomplishment. The breakdown was as follows: Fourteen days of water out of twenty-two days; the last nine were consecutive water days. My weight dropped from 204 lbs. to 189 lbs.
Herbert M. Shelton offers a good reminder, “When a man learns his limitations in food consumption, and respects these, he will remain well.” Shelton continues, “A return to coffee and tobacco, to alcohol and poisoned soft drinks, to overwork and late hours, to unventilated bedrooms and slothfulness, to overeating and the conventual diet” will cause disease to return. Fasting must compliment a healthy diet, not take the place of it.
My Health Plan: my hope is that readers don’t put too much emphasis on health
1) The less we eat the better. Try to stop when satisfied rather than full, and rest the digestive tract as much as possible.
2) I lean toward a plant-based, whole foods approach because of the effect on the body, but I also add a little raw dairy or organic meat. Another reason I advocate primarily plant-base is because most of us cost.
The Apostle Paul, in 1 Timothy 4:3-4, said that in the last days deceiving spirits will “command people to abstain from certain foods; foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving.”
“It’s too expensive” is often excuse! Addiction, poor health, and illness is expensive.
I try not to eat much in the morning. Lunch consists of either fruit and nuts, a plant-based shake consisting of organic almond milk, carob powder, banana, protein, or a bowl of cooked veggies mixed with hummus and avocado.
3) Avoid sugar and consume more good fat. Along with toxic food, sugar is the root cause of our obesity epidemic and most of the chronic diseases that we see today. Enjoy good fats from avocados, flaxseed, and coconuts just like God created. Remember, the life of the food gives life to the body. ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS – Omega’s
NO Essential Carbohydrates –
4) Consider intermittent fasting and/or water fasting once a week.
5) Spiritual health is the priority; it sets the stage for the rest of the day. Begin with it and end with it.
6) Have the right perspective. We must consider overall health rather than a tone physique. What’s going on in the inside of the body is more important than how the outside looks.
7) As you move forward, don’t allow a step back to become a setback. Very few people eat perfectly; however, they learn to make more right decisions than wrong ones. They eventually develop a healthier, more energetic lifestyle. It’s truly that simple.
“The only difference between a WHITE BELT and a BLACK BELT.”