Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ramadan Fasting Reflection, Day 1

My first day fasting was definitely difficult. All throughout the day, I was counting how many hours it has been since I last eaten and feeling the aches of hunger come and go. I think the most interesting thing about this fast is that I wanted to see how long I could go and how strong I could be--I participated in P.E. with nothing in my stomach, stayed approximately fifteen minutes in the cafeteria looking a mounds of spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread and apple cake before cracking and announcing that I was going to quit, tried to go on longer and not to complain. I almost did quit at the cafeteria. The food was almost too delicious for me to bear. Fortunately, Laura Chamorro entered with a bottle of water and dragged me off to walk around the track before I got my plate. She was my savior that day--the only reason I didn't stop and restart after Halloween. Mentally, the fasting wasn't affecting my mind too much--other than the occasional longing stares at food advertisements and drooling when I noticed that Subway had very appealing sandwiches, my mental ability wasn't harmed and I was doing just fine. Physically was another story. Although I didn't feel hungry the entire thirteen hours of no food or drink, sometimes it got the point where my stomach ached and water only made it worse, I got shivers and felt very cold, and got so exhausted, for the last three hours I was spread out on the couch, unable to do anything except watch Doctor Who until sundown finally arrived. It wasn't horrible, it wasn't easy, and I was tempted many times, but I resisted. Perhaps that's one of the reasons Muslims choose to fast--resisting temptation is so important in almost every religion and this fast requires you to do just that. It makes you feel powerful, in a sense. "I may be weak and tired and hungry," you could say, "but I am resisting the urge to eat and the temptation of food because I am strong."

On afterthought, you could also add, "And also because it's fun to brag that I'm strong enough to go without eating for fourteen hours."

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