I went through my third annual prayer and fasting last month. You would think that since it's my third time, it would be easier. Oh no, it had been more difficult for me. My mind played tricks on me and I craved for food more than ever.
And as if the 7-Day Prayer and Fasting was not enough, I wanted to go through the 21-Day No Junk Food Challenge which I found on Pinterest. Oh, junk food plays a big role on my emotional eating and I had been wanting to cut it back. I figured this challenge would help me curve my cravings. I needed the Prayer and Fasting time to commit to this one, too. If I would do it at another time, I know I would not be successful.
The rules were pretty straightforward. I cannot eat those food items listed in the poster for 21 days. It took every will power and discipline in my body. It was hard because every item on the list belongs to my comfort food list. Yes, not even biscuits or cookies. Cakes, oh how I love them. The no fast food was difficult as Javi and I usually have dinner in a fast food joint before small group every Wednesday. I had to avoid fast food for three weeks. The Nutella and peanut butter were the hardest. Peanut butter was supposed to be healthy so why was it on the list? But I still followed every rule. Twenty one days without these things won't kill me.
Yes, it did not kill me but it made me cranky and irritable. I avoided several aisles in the supermarket. I closed my eyes when I pass by the donut shops even if I can smell the donuts. It was self-control at its finest.
I did not finish the entire 21 days. Half way through the last day, I saw a Goldilocks booth with all the yummy pastries I've been missing. So I had to sink my teeth through those fluffy chiffon slices. But before that after a wonderful lunch of fried curry crab, we were invited to Swensen for dessert. I had a dilemma. Do I decline? Sadly, I did not finish strong I gave in and had a sundae.
It was not a complete failure though - twenty and a half days. Not bad.
So what did I get from the challenge?
I can eat healthy if I choose to. I still have that discipline and self-control. It got me thinking maybe I could have a no junk food weekday and only have them on weekends. Yes, that would work.
Since it is the Lent season, I have heard people pledge to no desserts for 40 days. Now that is taking this challenge to a higher level.
But you know what, everything is possible through God's grace. I definitely cannot rely on my own self control and will power.
Have you done something similar? Or are you going to do something crazy like this one?
I'd love to hear your stories.