Ever since I've been a kid, I've always fasted to some degree on Ash Wednesday and this year was no different. I have been giving a lot of thought about why I do this or why people fast in general (for religious or spiritual reasons anyway) because I've had increasingly mixed thoughts about why I do this. Am I just doing this to feel like I'm a bigger person? Is this just making ego feel self-important by making myself suffer for a day and feel really good that I could get through it? I don't think so... I've come to the conclusion that it can also serve a much greater purpose than merely feeding your ego (haha, feeding your ego, by not feeding your body...).
What was bothering me was that I do recognize that I'm extremely privileged (as many if not most of us who have time to spend reading or writing blogs are) and that not eating for 24 hours is not going to make me understand what it's like to be starving or disenfranchised or needy. However, I think the purpose of a fast like this is to put your life into perspective, to make you realize how much you do have at the end of the day, that you have the choice to fast at all while others don't even get such an option and have to despite their will. By fasting for one day, I realize that unlike so many, I can eat tomorrow, that if I feel hungry during some part of my day, it's not a big deal compared to what others have to suffer. It helps me realize, 'what am I complaining about, really?', when there are so many bigger problems out there... Whenever you feel like something is going wrong, whether it's being stuck in traffic for longer than you wanted or finding out that the ingredient you needed at the grocery store is sold out, a day like today makes you realize you've got it pretty good and that your problems are so not real problems.
Being today, I've also been giving final thoughts on what I want to do this year for Lent and I do believe that choosing to grow or become a better person during the next 40 days is much more important to me than denying myself a particular food or food group. I've come to realize that while not eating sweets or fasting during the day was okay for me to do as a kid, I want to do something that actually matters. I realize now that Lent is not suppose to be about suffering, or self-pity, or denying yourself something. Like I mentioned yesterday, it's suppose to be about growth and introspection. It's ultimately suppose to be a time to reflect on oneself and become a better person. So that's what I'm choosing to do.
Though I try to live this way every day anyway, I'm going to focus even more on having 40 days of only positive speaking and thoughts about anyone or anything, if not positive, at least having no negative talk at all. I also want to try to promote my personal growth a little bit every day, whether it's by reading a chapter from books that have been recommended to me about manifestation, personal growth, etc. Though all these exercises do seem to be all about me, the goal is ultimately to turn myself inside out and be about everything but me. It's to help me release my issues and negativity and self-doubt to only leave room for gratitude, openness, and positivity towards myself and others.
Obviously no recipe for today, since it was a fasting day. I did have a green juice after my workout though, because in the spirit of 'this isn't about depravation', I understand the importance of recovering and maintaining optimal health after a heavy workout!
Workout of the Day
I switched things up today by doing lower weight and higher reps. The beauty about making slight amendments to your routine is that smallest thing can make the biggest different! Just making this slight change left me exhausted (or maybe it's because I'm fasting?):
5 minute warmup on stair climber
4x12 ab ciruit on stability ball
1x30 dumbbell chest press
1x30 tricep cable pulldowns
1x30 shoulder shrugs
1x30 dumbbell lying chest flyes
1x30 dumbbell frontal raises
1x30 ab stability ball roll outs
5 minutes of stretching