I have a family member who is slowly coming back to the Church, and I can already see that it will be a challenge for him to abide by the Ash Wednesday fast.
To some, like myself, it doesn’t seem hard at all, when we’ve trained ourselves to submit the urges of our sense appetites to the control our will. But for a person who has what appears to be an addiction to snaking and sweets (to the point of making special trips just to buy these sweets, even if a general grocery shopping trip is going to take place the very next day, nope it “can’t wait”), it will be hard. Furthermore, we’re talking about someone who hasn’t fully processed the authority of the Church. “You will commit mortal sin” might not work, and given his lack of proper faith formaiton, may do more harm than good.
I might add he had bariatric surgery a little over a year ago, so we are talking about a family member who objectively had weight issues and had to address eating problems (namely portion sizes).
I think he intends to chew gum tomorrow, (he chews gum anyways, another one of his addictions I would add, based on how quickly he would go through a box containing 10 packs of gum 15 sticks per pack) when I would buy them at Sam’s Club.
My understanding is that chewing gum does not break the Eucharistic fast (though it goes contrary to the spirit of it). But what about Lenten fast?