I thought I would take the time to write up a little bit about my experience with the Daniel Fast. Our church does it together every January and this is my first time attempting it fully. Last year, I fasted coffee, and I thought that was hard! The Daniel Fast diet is extremely restricting- no meat, no dairy, no sugars, no caffeine, only whole wheats, veggies, fruits, brown rice.
Speaking on the diet itself, it actually wasn’t too bad. I only have one day left of the 21 days and I’m feeling pretty good! The first week was hard because I had no idea how to cook any of this food so I was living off basically nothing and getting headaches from the lack of coffee. Green tea was a life saver in the morning. I realized I just need something hot to warm me up and clear those sinuses. The second week we realized we need to learn to cook. We did a little but it wasn’t until this last Sunday we went to a real grocery store and checked out their healthy section. I ate tofurky for the first time, cooked with tofu, learned all the cool things you can make with potatoes, and started to feel good about what I was eating. Through this whole ordeal I’ve lost about 8lbs, but I’ve also added in a little light exercise a few days a week on top of my horseback riding.
Not that any of that is the point of the Daniel Fast at all! They are just added bonuses. The real point of the fast is to draw closer to God. Through this experience I can say I’ve definitely had my ups and downs with it. I started the fast business as usual. Every morning I write in my prayer journal and sometime throughout the day I read a bit of the word. It was my first time fasting so I wasn’t really sure how it was going to bring me closer to God, only that it sure enough would. By week two I was feeling low, depressed even. The enemy was on me for sure! Lies about myself kept playing in my head (I wasn’t good enough, I was fat, I was ugly, no one would ever love me, etc. All his usual plays) Our pastor says that people tend to get moody on the fast because they cover up their feelings with food. Once they fast, the truth comes out. And I guess he was right. I realized that I am still self-conscious and doubtful of myself and I still try to please others instead of being unapologetically me all the time to everyone…so I started to pray about that. I prayed about the two reasons that mattered most to me while fasting and that and I prayed harder for those I love and for changes in me. My mindset started to change. I realized a lot of the stuff I was unhappy with myself about I could change with the help of the Lord. This last week, I’ve felt as close as ever to my God and can feel him encouraging me and helping me through everything.
What I’ve learned through my 21 day fast:
- My body really is a temple. The Holy Spirit lives inside me right now and I need to take care of His home. I will continue to eat better and exercise more, not just because I want to lose weight and look better, but because I want to live longer and healthier to spread God’s way and word.
- If I am feeling distance from God, I have to take a hard look at myself and what I’m doing wrong.
- I learned to recognize the enemy’s lies better and how to not dwell in them and let them take me over. There really is power in saying, even in your head, “Jesus help me” and “Get away from me, devil!” Those are two things I say many times throughout the day now and it’s amazing how immediately the bad thoughts are gone. I never really knew how to take my thoughts captive and always scoffed at people’s advice on it (don’t dwell on those thoughts, reject all the bad thoughts, and other generic fixes). This really does work, though! I didn’t know until I was brave enough to try it.
- I am a princess. I am a warrior. I am a daughter of the King and I am loved beyond all measure.
Have any of you done the Daniel Fast? What was the experience like for you and what did you learn? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!