What does that mean? Well, I eat at any time, for any reason: when I'm bored, tired, happy, sad, around other people who are eating, around other people who are not eating, if I see a restaurant nearby, or if it's a weekday or even a weekend.
It's a problem, and one of the many that I'm in therapy for. (I love therapy, and I think 99.9% of people should be in some form of talk-therapy.)
One of the ways that I attempt to maintain control over my impulses is by fasting.
gerund or present participle: fasting
abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink, especially as a religious observance.
synonyms: eat nothing, abstain from food, refrain from eating, go without food, go hungry, starve oneself; go on a hunger strike; crash-diet
I feel like that definition does a disservice to the act of fasting. I mean, yes, to fast means to give up food or some other thing (i.e. fasting from TV or cell phone games), but it's less about what you're giving up and more about what you focus on instead.
For me, I fast because I have a tendency to lose control. I don't mean that I sit there and stuff myself silly. I do mean that I will eat a meal, and then have dessert, and then an hour later I'll grab something else. And an hour after that, I'll watch a movie and need a snack. I never quite hit that Thanksgiving-level of feeling stuffed, but I definitely don't let myself get hungry. I eat "when I'm supposed to" regardless of what my stomach has to say about it.
Considering I'm studying to get into nutrition, this whole thing is kinda important. The thing I've discovered is that I can still binge on healthy foods. I know better than to purge, although lately I've been thinking that just once or twice wouldn't be that big a deal, especially since I had just eaten SO much (usually sugary desserts).
I have instituted a rule that I am not allowed to have sugar unless someone else buys it, but I just find myself binging on those free candies in offices, or going for the free samples, or batting my eyes at a friend.
It's not helping.
“If there is no element of asceticism in our lives, if we give free rein to the desires of the flesh (taking care of course to keep within the limits of what seems permissible to the world), we shall find it hard to train for the service of Christ. When the flesh is satisfied it is hard to pray with cheerfulness or to devote oneself to a life of service which calls for much self-renunciation.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
Why do I fast?
So, why fasting? It started last year, when I decided to do a sugar-fast for the year. That was SUPER hard, but I actually miss it. I miss the self-control it gave me. When it comes to sugar, I can't figure out "moderation."
This year, I decided to fast two days a week. It didn't seem like a lot when I started. After last year, when the sugar fast helped me get control over my sugar consumption, I decided that fasting a couple days a week might sound extreme, but it should help me get control over the rest of my eating.
But I can't do it alone. I try to pray when I get hungry. I try to pray when I feel like I want a snack. I try to pray when I pass my an In n' Out. I say try because I'm human. I fail, a LOT.
Fasting is training. Training for self-denial. Teaching on how to wait for the second marshmallow.
Fasting from any nourishment, activity, involvement or pursuit—for any season—sets the stage for God to appear. Fasting is not a tool to pry wisdom out of God's hands or to force needed insight about a decision. Fasting is not a tool for gaining discipline or developing piety (whatever that might be). Instead, fasting is the bulimic act of ridding ourselves of our fullness to attune our senses to the mysteries that swirl in and around us."
— Dan B. Allender, PhD
Fasting is an attempt to subjugate our own wills, our own self-centered wants, and giving our obedience to God's will, God's law, and God's plan for each of us.
You can fast from anything: listening to the radio while driving in exchange for prayer, a favorite food or TV show. You can fast from Facebook and/or Twitter. Fasting of any kind can bring us closer to God, but only if we intend it for such and really use the lack of external comfort to focus on Jesus.
Get your comfort, your assurance from God, and you will never need to worry.