I’m an extrovert. I thrive when I am around other people whether I am sitting in a crowded room reading a book, or having conversations with new and familiar faces. When my son has preschool, sometimes I will go to a coffee house and do work having a nice cup of coffee and soaking in the atmosphere. So when I dropped him off at school, I drove to the local Starbucks, ordered a drink, and sat down and began working. The problem? I’m not supposed to have coffee during my fast. But the troubling thing was I didn’t realize it until I had to figure out what I was going to eat when I had to take my son to the doctor. Luckily Panara had some items I can eat, so we stopped there, ate, and took my son to the doctor’s office.
I have had difficulty with fasting, due to my unhealthy relationship with food. Throughout my family history, we have been a family of emotional eaters. An emotional eater (EE) is someone who uses food as a way to comfort from any emotional distress or pain they endure. Going through a break-up? an EE will eat a tub of ice cream. Bad grade? a trip to McDonald’s is in order. I didn’t realize I was an EE until my Junior year in college where I went through a battle of depressions and ate out taco bell every night. So when I do a fast, I tend to subconsciously grab some food and eat it and it takes me a few moments to realize, “oh crap, what am I doing?” The same thing happened at Starbucks. Dropping of the kid, drive to the coffee shop, get some coffee, write up reports, read my devotional, leave the coffee shop, go to the office, leave the office, pick up kid, etc. It’s in those moments of failure, where I decide, “should I give up? I broke the fast!”
Routines are evil. I am convinced of this due to how repetition can lead to bad habits. When that bad habit has been established, it then becomes part of the routine. For those who smoke, we may assume that it is the nicotine that causes people to light up. But for some, it is part of the routine. stressed out? smoke a cigarette. 9:45? time for a smoke break. Even when one tries to quit a habit, more times than not the difficulty is not only the “good feelings” that habit gives him/her, but a routine is also a big cycle to break.
Even though I messed up with the coffee, I continued on track with the fasting for lunch and dinner. Giving up has been part of my routine, but not any longer.