"Cheating" while fasting/Ash Wednesday

Are you sure that those are normal symptoms of one day of fasting? I have experienced those things after several days of not eating much, but not after just one.

All somas are not created equal.

Body weight, BMI, bodybuild, gender, overall health, and metabolic rate all affect one’s somatic response to fasting, as would the demands placed upon a body during the fasting.

Consider that our LORD (whom I imagine had a powerful, perfect body, based on His physical occupation, His walking travels as an adult, and His status as free of original sin) is described as only “being hungry” after forty days of strict fasting. You or I would likely land in the hospital or the mortuary long before forty days.


I dunno… I thought they were. That’s what I go through when I fast. I mean, not like I’m on the verge of passing out, but I’m definitely more spacey and fatigued than what I normally am (although I skipped eating entirely on Wednesday until 8 at night except for a cup of coffee and a glass of water) Carbs/fat/protein are basic units to sustain the human body. Any kid that skips breakfast is going to have at least a slightly poorer performance at school. They might claim otherwise, but a lot of people don’t really pay attention to the rhythms and moods of their own body and what triggers them, so they’re not necessarily a reliable source. It’s something I became more aware of after I started working out in July and became far more conscious of what drives my body. Women are also usually more conscious of their bodies than men are, since they’re accustomed to dealing with their menstrual cycle and are overall behaviorally more cautious. A guy might yawn in the afternoon, but he fails to ever connect the dots and realize he hasn’t had anything to drink in awhile so his electrolytes are down. If you ask him if he’s weakened by missing a meal, he’ll say “No”, but he’s wrong.

There is a difference between “fasting” and “harming oneself” that is why you are not required to fast with certain types of medical conditions. If you are nearing a point where you are becoming lightheaded or ill while fasting, you are not fasting properly. The Church does not want you to harm yourself.

5Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the Lord?
6“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousnessa will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Isaiah 58

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.