About a month ago I took a swing at the diet phenomenon of intermittent fasting. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the practice of going 16 hours without eating anything. I’d start at around 9 pm and eat precisely 1 pm. It works, but the people who know me best have encouraged me to give it up. I’ve lost weight but it’s best not to interact with me around noon. My personality changes and I say things that are just plain out of character and none of them nice. My hangryness kicks in. I have little patience for anything or anyone. They would much prefer the slightly overweight, jolly, patient, kind person that I am on a full stomach than the skinny, twitchy, crass, impatient, grumpy guy that watches the clock like an astronaut, waiting to blast off toward any loaded platter of complex carbohydrates at 1PM. I have come to the sober realization that I am a broken man with an incredible aptitude for pizza.
12:30 PM is about the time when coworkers scatter to distant cubicals and watercoolers far from my workstation. Yes, they know. I try to avoid making any important decisions from noon to 1pm. Decision making on an empty stomach is dangerous. Just ask Esau. I think he invented intermittent fasting and paid a high price for it. After a morning of hunting on an empty stomach he caught the scent of Jacob’s stew and he made a stupid decision:
He said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, because I’m exhausted.” That is why he was also named Edom. (Genesis 25:30 CSB).
It doesn’t sound he knew what the dish was! “Give that uh…. RED STUFF!” And on top of that, he got a nickname: Edom, meaning “red.” When you get a nickname for something you ate, it’s always bad. If I were Esau, the scripture might have read: “’I’m starving! Let me have some of those crunchy things!’ That is why they called him, ‘Doritos’.”
It’s just not safe for me to continue intermittent fasting. I’ll stick to fasting for spiritual growth, not weight loss. It’s just not worth it. Appetites are a part of life but just think of all the people who made bad choices because they let their appetites get the best of them. Take it from a recovering sinner, when you’re hungry for food, power, sex, or notoriety, you tend to make stupid choices. You might even sell your birthright.