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Fasting at Work: Hard but Worth It

During Lent, check out these tips to help you stick to your fast

(Image: Thinkstock)

After years of working an office job, where you often sit in front of a computer or take business meetings or conduct interviews over dinner, lunch or the phone, I’d began to feel the heavy weight of … well… a few unwanted pounds. I was feeling heavy and tired all the time and even when I’d exercise, I’d still feel slothful and irritable.

I’d heard about the Master Cleanse, so I read up on it, watched tutorials and decided to go for it.  The first day was fine for me. I drank the “lemonade” every time I felt hungry. I’d even sit in the office, as my coworkers ordered scrumptious-smelling Thai food (my favorite) and ate pizza and pasta just 5 feet away from me. It was definitely tempting, but I focused on my goal: to be rid of emotional eating and that heavy, greasy feeling I’d often felt after meals. I’d also shed a few pounds, which would be an added perk.

If anyone asked, I’d tell him or her outright that I was fasting. I even had to assure a lunch buddy that I wasn’t trying to be offensive or awkward by not ordering anything but water. I really couldn’t have cared less if someone didn’t understand.  My health was important to me, and once I put my mind to something, I’m serious about seeing it through.

Don’t get me wrong. Days 3, 4, and 5 got to be quite challenging.  Good thing I had an accountability partner in my Granny. I’d call her when I wanted to eat, and she’d talk me out of it, reminding me that I’d set a goal and should fight hard to achieve it.

I’d often watch more success stories on Youtube, read my Bible, and focus on other goals that were important to me, which I’d procrastinated completing. My sense of smell heightened, my skin cleared, and I began to be in a better mood in the mornings. I even slept better at night and eventually had no desire to eat those fatty foods I’d often craved. I began to realize that much of healthy habits are mental, and eating didn’t have to be some emotional monster that had control over me, but a way to feed my body and keep it strong.

Eventually, I came to the last day. I began to get compliments. People said, “There’s something different about you. You’re glowing” or “Did you lose weight?” I’d quietly take the compliment and smile knowing that I’d pushed myself and made it.

I’m no physician or expert, but I can say that fasting helped me get back on track after years of overeating and slacking on exercise. It also helped me recognize what’s important in life and that eating doesn’t have to have power over my day. I used to be one to get really crabby if I didn’t eat what I wanted, when I wanted it, becoming impatient, rude and surly. Now, I can say I have the power and food doesn’t dictate my mood or demeanor.

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