Taking it slow with fasting

When most people think of April they think about Easter, April Fools, or Passover. On the other hand, April is important to Muslims because they have Ramadan, which they consider one of their most sacred months. Ramadan started Wednesday evening, Mar 22, 2023, and went through the evening of Apr 20, 2023. 

Ramadan is a sacred month for fasting for Muslims, and it’s very important to follow the rules for it. If you break your fast on purpose or without a reason, you are breaking a promise/path. So you must pay Kaffarah. This means that for every time you fail and eat during your fast you must pay by feeding the amount of 60 people. 

Now, I’m not a Muslim, nor am I looking to become a Muslim, but the idea of fasting really interested me. I read about it and it’s interesting how they manage to fast on the ninth month of the lunar calendar.

I decided I wanted to give it a try: Fasting for a whole month everyday from dawn to sunset. Last year, in September, I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, it was traumatizing knowing how close it is from being diabetic. My doctor told me it was not easy having pre-diabetes, but it was better than being diabetic. I had to quit certain foods, drinks, and including fruits. I love eating fruit which is very difficult to cope with. I had to stop eating many fruits that I loved eating. I knew I also had to quit some of my favorite things to eat like rice, cheese, wheat bread, and cereal. 

It was hard at the beginning but I got used to it and lost the idea of eating. Yes, I do sometimes can’t resist and eat them but not as often.  This was not the first time i tried it, i tried it last year, but had trouble completing it since I didn’t really look at it as much as I did this year and I gave up.

Fasting the whole month from dawn to sundown was pretty challenging, but it got easier as the days went by. Since you have to fast from dawn to sunrise, it was difficult to eat at night since some of my family was asleep. My mom woke me up at four or five, depending on her work schedule since she had work and she made sure I ate good amounts of food and water because she knew I had the gym right after school. The meals I would eat weren’t too big or too small, they were a generous amount of food cereal or foods with tortilla. I drank as much water that I could since I would need it for the rest of the day. When it came to working out after school, I had to cut back since I couldn’t drink until after sunset.

It was very tempting to not eat anything throughout the day since you see people eating both during or after school, but I kept my calm and that’s how I got through it. 

The last few days of the month I felt a lot better. I felt more energetic, I woke up earlier, and I wasn’t late to my first period. 

One thing that was surprising was it helped me with my stress. I’ve tried other techniques to cope with the stress, but they didn’t work as well as fasting. The most difficult challenge I had to face was avoiding drinking water. When I don’t drink water during the day, I get headaches, but I tried my best to forget about it. It’s all about your mentality.

I am proud of myself for fasting for a month. It helped me with my motivation. Fasting I also think of it as making the right choices and challenging yourself to resist things that you are already used to doing daily, making sure you are able to control your body and your mind. I do plan on doing it after Ramadan ends, but I plan on doing it later on in the year or maybe start doing it every year just to make it a habit and help me stay healthy.