Giving Up the Hardest Thing for Lent

St. Mary Magdalen

The Anglo-Catholic Church St. Mary Magdalen

Ah, Lent. The time of the Church year when an anorexic has a great excuse not to eat.

Part of me wishes I could go back to that way of thinking. However, fasting from food was not a prayer for me. This action brought me no spiritual depth, peace, or grace. Instead, I ended up weary physically, haggard emotionally, and disenchanted spiritually. Only the shell of me remained, or so it seemed. Slowly, my recovery brought me back my voice, passion, and hope.

However, now I need to think of something new to give up for Lent. For those who do not know, today was Ash Wednesday. Millions of people are not having (or at least trying not to have) sweets, pop, chocolate, chips, you-choose-the-yummy-food for the next 40 days.

I am not one of those people.

Instead, my Lenten fast will involve food in another way. As terrifying as it is, my prayer and way of spending more time dedicated to my faith is by eating my full meal plan. Starting today, my goal is to have as much of the food that I am supposed to eat as possible. That includes all of the fats which I usually only have 3/4s of and all of the other tallies too. Along with that Lenten sacrifice, I am fasting from complaining about my body, weight, or appearance.

Inside, part of me is screaming. This is horrifying. Maybe it will not work, and I will end up needing to choose another fast. How these two fasts will work together will need to come from strength beyond me. Surviving this Lent will need to include leaning on God, my family, care team, and good friends. That is exactly what I need but fear. Trying to struggle through life alone is so much simpler.

Anyway, telling you about my fast makes it more real and thus more horrifying. Already, all of the food inside of me today (nearly my whole meal plan) makes me feel like I am going to gain even more weight. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I hopefully grow in acceptance, peace, and ability to relinquish control. Also, I would love to hear what you are giving up for Lent if you celebrate this religious season.

6 thoughts on “Giving Up the Hardest Thing for Lent

  1. I think your fast idea is amazing. As I understand it the purpose of lent is to choose something that brings you closer to God. If leaning on does that, would that mean it fulfills its purpose? Praying for you.

  2. Keeping you in my prayers. You inspire me always!

  • MEM says:

    I so wish, so so wish, that more leaders in the pulpit would recognize that there can be physical dangers in fasting. I am not sure if ever I heard a sermon verbalizing the importance for some people TO EAT. If anyone out there listening has the responsibility to guide others in this religious (and increasingly popular in the health world) tradition, please remind people of the caveat to make wise, healthful choices according to one’s physical, mental, and spiritual health.
    HANG IN THERE, Rose with Thorns. One day at a time. One meal at a time. Do your best and don’t try to be perfect at it.

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