This is the time of the year when we all start thinking of ways to improve ourselves. Those of us who believe that our spiritual being directly effects our physical world turn to fasting as a way to achieve that goal. The purpose of fasting is not only to cleanse the body of toxins, but, to cleanse the soul as well. However, one must prepare for such an event. In my younger years, I found out quickly that preparing myself helped to achieve the desired results, both, physically and spiritually.
In actuality, if you are going to begin a one-week or more fast, the preparing starts weeks in advance. You can prepare yourself first by deciding what exactly you want to achieve. What results are you looking for? Do you want to lose weight? Are you ill, and see the fast as a way to healing? Are you looking for a closer walk with God? Whatever, your goal is, you will want to prepare your mind and body for your fast. Whatever they are, please consult your physician before beginning any type of fast or diet.
In preparing your spirit, you will want to increase your prayer time and bible reading. This will help you in focusing on what your true fasting purpose is. Fasting for fasting sake isn’t very beneficial to the body or the soul. As my former pastor would say, you are just missing meals. Take this time to begin a journal. Write down what you are feeling and/or any new revelations about your life. You should begin to see what areas need improvement and how to best go about doing this. During this time, you will also want to reduce your television watching. Eliminate unnecessary conversation, especially gossip. This may mean turning the ringer off on the phone, or avoiding the water-cooler at work, unless, of course, it’s to get a drink of water.
While you are preparing your spirit man, you will definitely want to prepare your body. Going from eating regular to straight fasting, is more like starving your body. In that case, your body will feed off of itself and the many toxins that are built up it. You will most likely become ill and your fasting experience will not be a satisfying one. Start by eliminating or limiting junk food weeks before the fast is to begin. Eat healthy meals, with fresh fruits and vegetables, this will strengthen the body and will actually help your body endure the fasting period. The week before the fast, cut your food consumption considerably. Stay away from red meats and try eating soups and drinking more fruit juices.
During the weeks of preparation for your fast, you will definitely want to drink plenty of water. The water will help flush your system of toxins and make your body feel full, thus, diminishing hunger. Eight glasses or more is perfect.
Whether you decide to fast for one-week or more, if you prepare your body and soul, you will have a much easier time abstaining from food and outside distractions. Remember this a time of cleansing of more than just physical toxins, but, a time to renew the spirit and the mind. During your fast, drink plenty of water and juices. Some people opt for partial fasting, which is merely, eating one meal a day, usually soup and crackers only.
Just as you eased your body into fasting, you will want to ease your body out of fasting. The day after the fast, don’t rush off to the fast food joint or all-you-eat buffet. Instead resume eating soups and juices, adding more solid foods as days go by. Go over your journal and use it to help maintain a healthy lifestyle, both physical and spiritual.