Quarterlife Fast: Good Friday Celebration!

Photo from diegosalcido.

Update: Fast Completed

(I will be writing periodically to document the Quarterlife Fast/Daniel Fast and how things are going in advance of its’ culmination on Good Friday. Enjoy!)

[divider]

IT IS FINISHED! Kidding.

But seriously. We’ve made it. 21 days of intense sacrifice and searching for great spiritual growth. It moved by quickly.

Some thoughts:

[fancylist]

  • The fast was not what I expected. My expectation was that the fast would have me constantly in the presence of God, 24/7. Having never done this before, I was surprised to note that after the first two or three days my relative hunger vanished. From that point onward I wasn’t constantly petitioning God based on my hunger, but I did notice that my spiritual hunger increased regardless. Although the Daniel Fast had become normal, I still noticed that increasing desire for God and to be in His word. So in a way, I received my desired result but without the journey I thought should take me there. Funny how God works sometimes.
  • This random note… Besides drinking nothing but water for 21 days, my urine has been yellow throughout. Normally (and without getting too detailed), I find that the more water I drink, the clearer it is. Would this be some kind of extended detox?
  • Total weight lost: approximately 15 lbs. On day 13, I stepped on a scale inside the Publix in Palm Beach and found myself at 166 pounds. Full disclosure: I don’t typically weigh myself, so I am not sure where I started, but it was somewhere in the 180-185 pound range. In two weeks, I dropped roughly 15 pounds. Pretty nuts… and that’s with average-to-minimal physical exertion (I haven’t worked out in nine days). Also, I haven’t had a chance to weigh myself since day 13, so I will be sure to do that and report back when I post an article about…
  • Doing a modified version of the Daniel Fast immediately. Overall, I feel great. I will now definitely explore the feasibility of cutting out most dairy, limiting red meat to once every week or two, and continuing to feast on a diet of fruits and vegetables. Purely from a dietary perspective, I’m not sure there’s any way I could ever go back to a fried food-centric diet. (Except for when the first Buffalo Wild Wings in the Palm Beaches opens later this year. Oops.) Seriously though, look for a dietary post based off of the Daniel Fast within the next week.
  • I absolutely intend on… going to BurgerFi in Delray Beach tonight to celebrate. I am expecting that I will, a) love it completely, and b) projectile vomit. Tonight should be fun!

[/fancylist]

You guys are prayer warriors. I love you, all. It’s awesome knowing that we all have support within the Quarterlife community from those who read, interact, and pray. I want to thank everyone that said they would join me in this journey, and if you didn’t, consider doing a fast yourself. I have a couple friends who will start a 10-day fresh squeezed juice fast next week… all you need to do is to target your fast and ask God for help. It’s that simple.

[box_success]Thanks for reading! If you need prayer, let us know. If you just finished your fast, or are starting a new one, we want to know how that’s going. Expect another fast next year, too, and maybe even another 10-day fast thrown in there too. We want to run after the cross and experience God for everything he’s got.[/box_success]

Quarterlife Fast: Day 13 Update

Photo from diegosalcido.

Update: Day 13

(I will be writing periodically to document the Quarterlife Fast/Daniel Fast and how things are going in advance of its’ culmination on Good Friday. Enjoy!)

[divider]

The days are flying by now. We’re onto day thirteen and the closer I grow to God, the easier this fast becomes. I hope you’re staying strong with whatever you’re fasting from, and if you aren’t, that you would consider it. Some thoughts:

[fancylist]

  • Traveling on a fast is difficult. I was just in Savannah and Charleston for a short period and let me tell you, it’s hard to be “on the go” with an irregular eating habit. Full disclosure: I did bring around a foam cooler full of the essentials… guac, salsa, veggies, and fruits (strawberries, bananas, blueberries, apples). I am being an expert at assembling meals/snacks on the go, though.
  • I have finally arrived at the point where I am comfortable eating fast-related food. Thirteen days in and finally there is some normality in what I eat. For the first week, I struggled to find good food on a regular basis; it was very improvisational. Now, however, I have a pretty good idea of what I can make and what is realistic. Also, remember all of that fruit I bought from Rorabeck’s? I probably ate half of it (attributable to my lessened appetite).
  • The ‘What I’m Doing For God’ side effect. This is a cool side effect: because I am willing to put my body through a very difficult fast for God, I find myself more likely to do other things to get closer to him. This is probably really trivial to most of you, but yesterday I read Psalm 62 and decided to carry a rock in my hand all day. I wanted a tangible reminder that God is the solid rock for which I stand. That’s something I would’ve likely passed on 14 days ago.
  • This fast is making the Lord more famous. I go out to eat or hang out with many of my non-Christian friends on a regular basis. As a result, I am in eating situations, whereby the topic of what I am eating comes up. Although most of them don’t quite understand it at first (assuming that fasting is an eastern religion type of thing), it’s very cool to be able to share why I am fasting and the cool things that God is showing me throughout. I’ve never had any of those people say, “Wow, you’re an idiot,” so that’s a plus. Most were very receptive to the idea.

[/fancylist]

Keep, keep, keep praying. When you pray, we begin to see God in ways we haven’t before. Walk with Him constantly and you’ll begin to see him in the leaves, the grass, the dirt…

[box_success]Thanks for reading. Let us know how your fast is going, or if you need prayer. As always, the next entry will be incredibly random, so stay tuned.[/box_success]

Quarterlife Fast: Day 6 Update

Oranges

Photo from nejcbole.

Update: Day 6

(I will be writing periodically to document the Quarterlife Fast/Daniel Fast and how things are going in advance of its’ culmination on Good Friday. Enjoy!)

[divider]

Here we are. It’s day six of 21 and I think my body is finally beyond the “adjustment period.” It’s crazy to think that we’re practically one-third of the way through this fast (it seems like we just started). Here’s some more thoughts on the fast so far… albeit unfiltered (and slightly superficial in one area):

[fancylist]

  • You don’t realize how much you eat normally. Outside of the Quarterlife Fast/Daniel Fast, I have the appetite of a seven-year-old girl. Unashamed. Despite not eating a ton already, I still did find my body needing to adjust to what I was eating. Like I said from the top, I think that period of adjustment is over, but I am curious to see whether I plateau or whether my appetite shrinks even more.
  • You don’t realize how poorly you eat normally. As a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), I am honoring God more with these eating choices. Is it more honoring to fast than to not? I don’t think so… but I do believe that the Lord knows our hearts regardless. And to my earlier point, there is just something fulfilling about skipping the greasy fries, buffalo chicken, and deep-fried Twinkies.
  • I can relate more to those who are hungry. Is it the same? No. Those who are less fortunate don’t choose to go hungry, their hand is forced by way of external circumstances (poverty, etc). Again, I’m not saying that what I am doing even comes close, but I am sensing a little more empathy toward those here in America or abroad as a result.
  • This fast and the Spartacus workout are a killer combo. Holy Mackinaw. Despite my unrelenting soreness from Monday, this Spartacus workout is fantastic. So far, I haven’t seen a lack of output based on my eating choices, and the side effects are slim (maybe some I-wanna-projectile-vomit on day one, but that’s it).
  • I have an extra dimple. (On a purely superficial note…) I have noticed an immediate change as a result of fasting + the workout: slightly more abdominal definition. I haven’t been counting, but I can’t possibly be above 1500 calories on a daily basis. That puts me in a decent zone for getting leaner already, not to mention the Spartacus workout as a value-added bonus. Not a bad side effect, I suppose.

[/fancylist]

Keep praying. Without prayer, this fast is useless. Pray that God would move in ways we’ve never seen before.

[box_success]Thanks for reading. Let us know how your fast is going, or if you need prayer. As always, the next entry will be incredibly random, so stay tuned.[/box_success]

Quarterlife Fast: Day 2 Update

Update: Day 2

(I will be writing periodically to document the Quarterlife Fast/Daniel Fast and how things are going in advance of its’ culmination on Good Friday. Enjoy!)

[divider]

The Quarterlife Fast is off to a fast start. It’s already day two, and that’s a good thing. Here are some thoughts:

[fancylist]

  • I was mildly ill-prepared for this. Yesterday morning, I woke up and walked over to the CityPlace Publix and bought some watermelon, two bananas, and some raspberries. Total cost: $9.00. That lasted about two hours. I headed over to the Palm Beach Publix in search of some more earthy foodstuffs (their Publix Greenwise areas are larger), and dropped another $25 easy. It’s very clear––you have to go about a fast like this in a smart way, otherwise you will set yourself up for failure.
  • Chipotle will be a lifesaver for me. For once, I appreciate their commitment to earthy veganness. I had a vegetarian burrito bowl with brown rice, black beans, grilled veggies, mild salsa, corn, guacamole, and lettuce. Total cost: $6.50. Despite the fast, my appetite hasn’t changed, meaning that I can still get two meals out of every Chipotle trip. Bonus.
  • Praise God for Rorabeck’s Market. There’s a great little market called Rorabeck’s in North Palm Beach that will save my life. I mentioned how I spent $9.00 on some watermelon, bananas, and raspberries at Publix; here was my haul at Rorabeck’s this morning: one head of celery, one pineapple, a basket of seven MacIntosh apples, one bag of spinach, one bag of carrots, one carton of strawberries, one carton of blackberries, one carton of cherry tomatoes, one cluster (help?) of bananas, and six kiwi. Total cost: $16.62. Baller status. It will be forever impossible to go back to gourmet grocer fruit prices.
  • I still feel like I am in the detox phase. All in all, the fast is tough but fairly easy right now. I’m expecting it to get tougher as I begin to miss meat, but I rest in a God who is stronger than physical sustenance, so I’m not too worried.
  • My desire to read God’s word is increasing. If I weren’t writing this entry, I would be sitting in God’s word right now. I suppose it’s a natural byproduct. Leaping for God is making me yearn to want him more. Because this is only day two, I can’t wait to see what the next nineteen days will hold.

[/fancylist]

Pray for me. Pray for everyone who is doing this. We will continue to see God in an entirely new way. I can’t wait.

[box_success]Thanks for reading. Let us know how your fast is going, or if you need prayer. I will write the next entry sometime in the future (it might be tonight, it might be in a few days; there’s no plan), so stay tuned.[/box_success]

Join Us! The 21-Day Quarterlife Fast

Quarterlife Fast

Starting tomorrow, we will embark on a 21-day fast; the Quarterlife Fast.

Our 21 days of prayer and fasting was born out of a practice my local church does yearly. This time, the invitation has been extended to all of our Quarterlife family to experience God and meet him in a truly authentic way.

The fast will begin TOMORROW (Friday, March 16) and will end three weeks from that date, on Good Friday (Friday, April 6). Here’s a few tips and questions related to the fast; I hope you’ll join us:

[divider]

Why are you fasting?

In the Bible, when believers fasted and prayed, things happened (Matthew 17:21, Ezra 8:21-23, Nehemiah 1:4-10, 1 Kings 19, Daniel 1:1-21, Isaiah 58:6,8, Matthew 5:14-16, Esther 4:16, 1 Samuel 7:2-11).

The goal here is to discomfort ourselves for the purpose of drawing nearer to God. It is saying, “I would rather deprive myself of physical sustenance required to live for the purpose of gaining spiritual sustenance for eternity.”

I have never fasted before. As an important spiritual discipline, I want to use this to move out of my comfort zone and into an area of true intimacy with God.

[divider]

How are you fasting?

If you’ve never fasted before, please understand that there is no way to fast that is more spiritual than the others. The key is gently nudging yourself out of your comfort zone, while finding something that works for you.

I will be fasting with the Daniel Fast. In the book of Daniel, it states multiple times how the prophet Daniel fasted––with no rich foods; in Daniel 1, he only ate vegetables and water. The foundation of the Daniel fast is fruits and vegetables. In short, you can expect to eat:

[fancylist]

  • All fruits and vegetables.
  • All legumes.
  • Whole grains.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Herbs and spices.

[/fancylist]

Feel free to make the fast your own. Can’t commit to three weeks? Do two weeks (or one). If you need some meat, fast for all but one meal per day. You can do other fasts, too.

Consider a juice fast, which completely removes solid food. You might remove something non-food related… it can be anything: Facebook, twitter, television, alcohol, masturbation. Disconnect from earthly things and connect to God.

[divider]

What are you praying for?

This is the big part. As you rely on God and aim to know him more intimately, pray that your experience during the fast would be revealing. Make time each day to connect with God and seek Him on a daily basis.

Also: identify two or three areas to pray for, and pursue those things at the face of God. The clarity you find through fasting will become more noticeable as you draw nearer to Him. I will be praying for:

[fancylist]

  • Quarterlife Man – As we continue to grow and reach more people for Jesus, my prayer is that our growth would be large and impactful.
  • My Future Wife – Though this isn’t necessarily unusual, I will be taking extra time to pray for her and our future.
  • Friendships – That Godly relationships would continue to grow, with the Lord as the focus; also that new friendships would blossom.

[/fancylist]

[divider]

Let’s get after it. As we hold each other accountable, let’s go after God with everything we have and see the amazing things that result.

I am excited. Are you?

[divider]

[box_help]What are you fasting from? How are you fasting? What are you praying for? Let us know in the comments and we will lift you up in prayer.[/box_help]

The Goodness of Sickness

Sickness

I've been sick for the last couple days.

Honestly, it always feels like you're dying when you're sick. I think even the most unlikely of candidates become mini drama kings and queens when illness strikes. Partly because we are physically just unable to function properly, but also because we give up when we're sick.

I've thought for quite sometime that sickness correlates with your mental strength (to some degree). For example, if you know you're getting sick and you're completely opposed to it, then your willpower trumps the first signs of a cold, you resist the sickness with rest and vitamin C, and you actually don't get sick. Then sometimes, we are so worn down that we just accept it. In that defeat (virus over body), we are free– to be drama-tastic, and to not care. This time around, I accepted defeat. And strangely, it felt good.

With this sickness, my mind's been so foggy that it has only been able to digest small amounts of information at a time. And in being sick, I noticed that I was in a permanent state of apathy–and it was the best part of my plagued state. All of my daily concerns–big and small, melted away. All sorts of questions beg an answer of me daily, but in the last 36 hours, I've thrown reason out of the proverbial window and just said, "Who cares?. Just do what you want." Everything was suddenly simplified.

And literally, as my nose-sniffling, sinus-infected head was pounding, I was making more sense than I had in quite some time.

My cold-infected logic was finally drawing life plans in a vertical, straight line instead of my traditional circular plans fed by my analytical skills that quickly turn into mental gymnastics. Interestingly, in the moment that I realized my cloudy thinking somehow made so much sense, I partially wished that this trait would stick with me long after my sniffles subside.

The grass is always greener, isn't it?

Your Eating Habits [DISCUSSION]

On Friday, I made the mistake of posting this update to Twitter:

[box_light]23 years old and my college appetite is gone. Transitioning to kid’s meals at @chickfila[/box_light]

I immediately received a couple “be a man” tweet replies, so I’ll remember to keep those thoughts to myself. Regardless, it’s still true… the appetite that allowed me to regularly consume anywhere between 2500 and 3500 calories daily has vanished. For example:

Chipotle:
Then– one burrito, chips, soda.
Now– (If I’m lucky) half a burrito.

Chick-fil-A:
Then– one sandwich (typically spicy or chargrilled), fries, drink (refilled 1 million times)… maybe an ice cream cone.
Now– one sandwich –or– an order of fries, and a drink.

This is coming from the man who won the Rita’s quart challenge (one quart of Rita’s ice in five minutes–––never, ever attempt this). I’m not sure why this is happening, but a change has occurred. (And I’m not complaining, primarily because I can still eat whatever I want and I’m actually getting leaner.)

[divider]

So here’s my question:

How’s your appetite?
Does it change or has it changed before?
Do your eating habits affect your overall appetite?

[Respond below in the comments.]