Family pressuring me to eat, what should I do?


Hi, my family doesn’t understand fasting very well. My dad is more sympathetic but my mom completely doesn’t understand. I think they panic if you don’t eat one meal because they think it’s dangerous or something.

Supper today was the first time I was here when they were serving a meal and my mom kept telling me to eat. I don’t think they will understand if I don’t eat tomorrow also. I think she will get panicked and continuously tell me to eat or tell me what I’m donig is really weird. help.


Just explain to them why you’re doing the fast. Or, if it would help, maybe talk to your dad, and see if he can explain it to your mother?


That’s a good idea. I think my mom at least thinks fasting is like eating a little bit less for breakfast adn all other meals normal, and I dont think she understands that you can fast for 3 days. she would think skipping ONE meal would be a HUGE deal.


Ahhhh, ok.

Yeah, she’ll probably understand.

Are you guys Italian/Greek/Mediterranean? :wink:


Nope. Thanks for aksing though. irish descendants basically in newfoundland, canada. I dont know. it’s hard to explain. my mom seems to think that any amount of suffering whatsoever is completely uncalled for. actually there is a lot behind this, and I don’t really want to get into it deeply here. much of her family is here now and I’ve noticed some things. one thing is that they always seem sarcastic about religious stuff. they’ll go to mass and all that, but then it just seems superficial to them or something. like they’ll talk about how long it takes to get to the cross on Good Friday to venerate it and how it’s not sanitary and they’d never kiss it, etc. It’s like they don’t want to get too deep about it. like they want to keep it at a superficial level. I’m not judging them or anything. They’re good people and some of them really do a lot for others. just some observations.


Speaking as a mom, I can see how this would be difficult for her. Cooking for my family is the way I show them love, and sometimes when they reject my food I feel rejected myself. If it’s hard for her to see why you’re not eating, this may be part of it. Show her a lot of love, and reassure her that you’re not fasting forever. If it helps, you may want to tell her what and when you’re planning on eating. If she’s really bothered, you may want to take a small amount at each meal with nothing in between, and that would cover your fasting obligation.

Are you fasting more than is required? Catholics typically fast by taking one small-to-normal size meal and a little food at two other times during the day. If you’re doing more than this, consider backing off for the sake of peace in the family. Are there other issues? Are you underweight or sick or do you have an eating disorder? How is food used in your family? Are you depriving your mom of your company at the table? Think about all of the above and try to work it out with your parents.



Remember, we are not bound to fast from all food, just to eat one regular meal and two small meals - and that is only on Good Friday and Ash Wednesday. There is no required three day fast from all food. Fasting from all food should only be done under the care of a spiritual advisor and with the :thumbsup: from your doctor.

Next year, you might pick up a copy of the booklet “Safe Fasting for Teens”.


My dear friend

A little penance never hurt anyone. Maybe try telling them your simply trying to look after your soul as well as your body. If you spent 3 hrs killing yourself in a gym every day for good health would they complain? Try telling them these little sacrifices are necessary for the health of your soul. You want to care of both your body and soul. Hope this helps.:thumbsup::slight_smile:


“phil” you don’t mention your age… but it seems that you’re still living with your parents, so I would imagine that you’re under age 25. And it also sounds like your family is not Catholic? Or not practicing Catholics? Otherwise, they would understand the obligation to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Having said this… if you fasted all during the day (you said supper time was the first time you’d been home)… you ARE allowed to have one meal. If your mom was serving meat, simply bypass the meat! And don’t make any reference to the fact that you’ve been fasting. Unless they come right out and ask… of course. To which I’d give a simple, but firm reply:

“Yes, I have fasted today… according the requirements of the Church; and I’m now having my one meal for the day. Please pass the vegetables!”

I think that might make your mom feel a little better. Keep this for next year… and have a HAPPY EASTER!



:smiley: I remember when I told my mother one day, that the Priest had given me Penance to fast for two days.

She nearly went out to strangle him.:stuck_out_tongue:

sigh Obedience can be a bit confusing, can’t it?


Aww… Well, the thing we need to remember… in the Catholic tradition… “fast for two days” doesn’t mean “eat NOTHING for two days”. :wink: It means, 2 small meals (not to equal a full meal) and 1 full meal. Your poor mom, though! All she could think of… “my BABY can’t eat for 2 days!” Her maternal instinct, must have been flaring! Bless her heart. :o lol.


Yes, listen to your parents. Eat smaller amounts like your mother said. You can fast from other things like, TV, or the computer. Now, there’s a real fast. :smiley:


On Good Friday, we fast from food, and we abstain from meat. (We are allowed a small amount of food.)

I actually managed to get through the whole day yesterday without eating. :slight_smile:

I have discovered that the key is to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water (which also keeps my hands busy), and to keep very, very busy.


Would it be pride to tell you what I did for my fast?


You haven’t said how old you are, but if you still young, what will please God more than your fasting is obeying your parents.


I’m 26. I probably shouldn’t even still be living at home, haha.


I did a modified fast for a while. I’d just eat one or two whole wheat rolls and drink some water. Your body burns through the carbs in the rolls pretty fast and you are left feeling really hungry. Your mom would be satisfied that you are eating something, you’d get the benefit of the fast.

A three day, water only fast is easier in some ways. After the first day, I’d be light-headed but not all that hungry. I found that my modified fast made me feel hungrier than eating nothing at all.


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