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My church is doing this 40-day fast. Every year, we begin the new year with one. Everybody does it their own way. Some drink only water, some do juices, some just fruits and veggies, some skip a meal, some skip a day of meals, whatever. My friend Jerry's giving up movies, which I consider to be almost harder than giving up food.

There are various reasons for doing this. The physical reasons are numerous. Fasting allows your body to rid itself of all the synthetic garbage you put into it on a regular basis. That's why when you haven't eaten in a long time, you get funky breath and an icky taste in your mouth; the toxins in your body are escaping. Also, you usually eat better (read: healthier) when you're on a fast. Most fasts don't include things made by Little Debbie or Hershey.

The spiritual side of it is a little more difficult to explain. Human beings are made of three parts: body, soul (or mind), and spirit. Usually, we listen the most to what our body wants (hey, it screams the loudest) and the least to what our spirit wants. By fasting, you ignore the demands your body makes on you (the cravings for chocolate and french fries, etc.), which allows you to more easily focus on the needs of your spirit.

Cool thing about all of this is, once you get past the first two or three weeks, the cravings pretty much go away. I'm not dying for ice cream or pop (yes, I said pop, not soda...hooray for Michigan!) anymore. Of course, once February 9 rolls around, I'll sample all the things I haven't been eating all year and get hooked on them all over again.

*whispers* A group of us already have a trip planned to Chicago that weekend so that we might partake of Chicago-style deep dish pizza and Cheesecake Factory desserts.

At any rate, it's a great practice, healthy physically and spiritually. Plus it'll make God love you more.

Well, maybe that last part isn't quite true...but you get the idea.

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