Day 08 – Atheists Are Spiritual People Too


Daily Weight BP Systolic BP Diastolic
09/05/2016 169.4 103 69
09/04/2016 169.4 114 68

Still not certain about the BP. I think I will consult a healthcare professional just to be sure.

Yesterday I fasted for 24 hours. This was not a water only fast. It was a nothing at all fast for spiritual, not health reasons. Fasting is not uncommon for those who share my beliefs, but it usually lasts less than 16 hours.

Just skip my breakfast, early home from church, and eat a great myself big dinner. The Lord knows that I’ve been humble, but I’m not looking any thinner. — Lynn

And so it goes. This time I was a solid 24. I find it strangely ironic that I follow a diet advocated by the most vocal celeb atheist, but it helps me spiritually. I doubt Penn will mind. For me, truth can be found anywhere, it is not in the exclusive grasp of a single religious belief nor only found in the realm of scientific discovery.

I do not intend this to be a journal of my religious thought. In fact I prefer not to focus to much on my faith especially since I am not a very good practitioner of my faith. I keep my faith nonetheless. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite, but I doubt it. After all, I have read and known about the value of eating plants over animals for a long time. I have read Michael Pollan’s works long before now. I have given out copies of Food Rules more than I have religious tracts. That isn’t saying very much; I don’t give out many religious tracts.

However, I cannot deny the spiritual value I have gained from the short time I have done this potato thing. Fasting, while a part of my faith is something I avoided. It was always a torture filled with headaches and irritability. This time it was simply done without drama.

I surprises me how un-difficult it has been. I will not call it easy. I have my stomach calling for it’s cravings. My home is nearly wallpapered with processed food-like products that I vowed to never eat again. Last Saturday, after I closed my fed window, one of my squatters left a jar of peanut butter opened on the counter. I walked past it and without even thinking, I took a finger swipe of it and put it in my mouth. Then I went to the cutlery drawer to get spoon to enjoy a spoonful of the creamy goodness. Only then did I realilize what I had done and what I was about to do.

It wasn’t hunger, it was habit. I wasn’t even thinking about it. I just ate a finger full and didn’t even realize it. After I put the spoon back, without anything on it, I walked away. I wasn’t angry at myself. I wasn’t shamed, or frustrated, or feeling like I have blown it and should give up. I just made a mistake; One I can correct. To me, that is the proper repentance.

Easy isn’t the word I would choose, but it hasn’t been all that difficult either. It is such a change that I can’t help but be aware of it and the high odds of stopping. It is still a conscious choice that I must make every time I pass edible, food-like substances (credit Pollan for that moniker). I pass these things all the time. The choice is not agonizing, or even melancholy.

After I ended my fast, I ate and immediately ended my eating window. I am trying to keep my fed window at 16 hours even with a fast. I had an extra potato and then closed my eating time. So, I went 24 hours with nothing. Then ate once and had water for the remaining 16 hours. It was suprisingly doable.

All of this has led me to believe more that much of the feelings of  isn’t hunger, it is cravings. If  I can get past the cravings, I can succeed. I may never fully stop the cravings. I may always recall the taste of peanut butter, or the smell of a sweet Teriyaki sauce. I may always want those to some extent. I don’t think that will equate to a permanent battle of wills. I haven’t had a drink of alcohol in 30 years. I have been a teetotaler longer than I have a drinker. I still see a Corona on TV and remember my enjoyment of it. Hopefully my ability to acknowledge the feeling and move on will be the same with food as it is with Mexican Beers.