When the True God is abandoned, false gods rush in to take His place. One of the most treasured false gods in the Western world is the stomach. Whether through satisfying it with food or gaining pride by displaying it externally for others to admire, worshipping this hunk of human anatomy is causing many to risk their salvation.

Is my beloved stomach fed with delights? Did the last meal make me happy enough to feel that life away from God is worth living? Was I able to momentarily forget all my problems with meats and fats and sugars that produced a glorious mouthfeel of mush against my tongue and palate? For most people, every day is a feast day. Every day must have animal products and luxurious foods that excite the flesh and passions. There is no limit to our eating besides the physical size of our stomachs, but even that can be overcome by training it to distend beyond its anatomical size.

My life is far from God, my consciousness burns me, so I eat as much as I can. While chewing the sweet or savory food, there is no God but my mouth pleasure, and since food is often seen as life’s principal source of happiness, there are not two or three meals a day but one continuous meal, filled with engineered snacks and the incessant sip sip of caffeinated sugary drinks that give me the “energy” needed to compensate for my gluttony. When pleasure is sought from food, any hour is fit for eating, even if you just happened to eat. We don’t eat to live but live to eat.

If it’s not pleasure that I seek from food, it is vainglory and pride. Is my stomach flat enough? Does the opposite sex think my stomach is attractive? Is it pleasing to the eyes of those viewing pictures of my body on the internet? The gym is full of people who stare intently at their stomachs from every angle as if they were a scientist peering through a microscope. The smallest imperfection must be identified and targeted for elimination with religious fervor through strenuous workouts, diets, and intermittent fasting. The stomach has to be ironing board flat! It must look perfect in the mirror! There cannot be a blubbery bulge, a fold, or even excess hair around the belly button. YouTube experts must be sought and training programs studied so that this piece of flesh in the middle of our bodies looks perfect and sublime.

Who cares if the inside of our soul is filthy and full of darkness and demons and death as long as our stomach is flat and toned, with the muscular ripples that proclaim our bodily superiority to others? The blessed with washboard abs examine their stomachs in the mirror daily, caress them lovingly, the supple firmness, and select clothing to immodestly display it to the masses. Because of our stomachs, we are exalted, we are somebodies, we are loved by strangers who will desire us because of it alone. Even before old age arrives, we already have a bulletproof plan in place to ensure it remains the best-looking stomach around, and no expense, medical procedure, or workout regimen will be spared to ensure this end. To maintain our stomachs, we’ll starve ourselves if we have to, with a zeal that surpasses the pagans and their worship of stone idols.

“A soul moved by physical beauty reveals that it is moved only by this vain world; that it is attracted to the creation and not to the Creator, to clay and not to God. It makes no difference if this clay is pure and does not have the mire of sin in it. When the heart is drawn to earthly beauties, which though not sinful are still vain, it feels a worldly and fleeting joy. It is a joy that brings with it no divine consolation, no fluttering of the heart from spiritual exaltation. When however, we love and desire spiritual beauty, then our souls become whole and beautiful.” —Saint Paisios in Spiritual Counsels

The young fornicators make a god of the outside of their stomachs. The rest care about their hourly mouth pleasure. Both have strayed from the royal path, both have missed God and worship a part of creation instead of the Creator. Only the Orthodox Church, with its weekly practice of fasting, treats the stomach not as a god nor as a source of pride or vanity or pleasure but as a human organ that must function according to God’s plan. Its appearance is not treasured or glorified. It is not sated beyond what is needed to do one’s labors and worship Lord Jesus Christ. You don’t stare at your stomach longer than you stare into your soul. You don’t grab an extra bite if you already feel full, or eat beyond what you need for your daily duties, and to help you achieve this ideal, for approximately half the calendar year, you are told to constrain your portions and struggle against your desire for foods that contain meat and dairy, which comprise the ingredients of the tastiest, most satisfying dishes and sweets. And daily you pray to the Lord God in humility—not bodily pompousness—to recognize what a wretch you are, whether you have a six-pack or not. Outside of the Church, the royal path is impossible to achieve, and the stomach remains a god in one way or another, besides a host of other false gods empowered and promoted by Satan and his fallen angels.

“This kind [of demon] goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:14-23) If this kind goes out by the prayer and fasting of another person, then it is even less able to enter one who fasts and prays. What protection! Although there are a slew of demons and all the air is packed with them, they cannot do anything to one who is protected by prayer and fasting. Fasting is universal temperance, prayer is universal communication with God; the former defends from the outside, whereas the latter from within directs a fiery weapon against the enemies. The demons can sense a faster and man of prayer from a distance, and they run far away from him so as avoid a painful blow. Is it feasible to think that where there is no fasting and prayer, there already is a demon? Yes, it is. The demons lodging in a person, do not always reveal their presence, but lurk there, stealthily teaching their host every evil and turning him away from every good thing; so this person is certain that he is doing everything on his own, but meanwhile he is only fulfilling the will of his enemy. Just commence prayer and fasting and the enemy will immediately depart, then wait on the side for an opportunity to somehow return again. And he truly will return, as soon as prayer and fasting are abandoned.” —St. Theophan the Recluse

The stomach is not the only fleshly organ we make a god of, but it might be the most common. I insist to you that your stomach won’t save your soul, no matter how flat and toned it is. Your stomach won’t give you eternal life no matter how many delicacies you feed it. It was created by God as a way for us to digest food so that we may seamlessly live a life in Christ with Him at the center and not our appearance or the pleasure received from whatever Frankenfood laced with seed oil that titillates our taste buds. If we insist on making a god out of our bellies, putting it above Lord Jesus Christ, we will miss the reason for our existence, and have an eternity of tears to ponder our mistake.

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When the True God is abandoned, false gods rush in to take His place. One of the most treasured false gods in the Western world is the stomach. Whether through satisfying it with food or gaining pride by displaying it externally for others to admire, worshipping this hunk of human anatomy is causing many to risk their salvation. Is my beloved stomach fed with delights? <p class="more"><a class="more-link" href="">Read More</a></p>...

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For us Latins, this Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. This is supposed to be a period of fasting (except Sundays) and abstinence from meat on Fridays (as well as on Ash Wed.). What an opportunity this is for us, and just 2 days away!

Prior to the 2nd Vatican council, we Latins were also to abstain from meat on all Saturdays of Lent (the 1917 code of Canon law #1252). Nowadays, we are taught that our abstinence and fasting can be from things other than foods, even things like television or social media. And Saturday is no longer a day of abstinence.

These changes sadden me. IMO the old ways are the better ways, back when the church influenced secular society, instead of letting secular society influence the church. Giving up television etc., is still a good thing to do, but let us challenge ourselves with more arduous penance against gluttony, and follow the 1917 Canon.

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This alimentary canal the stomach is part of, is open to the outside.

I remember reading 'think of the alimentary canal as sitting outside your body'

It is one of the body systems most vulnerable to demonic attacks as it has at least two significant openings to the outside.

I think the next most vulnerable body system part is our skin.

If we can closely guard what enters our alimentary canal, we can stop demonic possessions and even alter our nous/brain as our gut is scientifically explained as our second brain.

Brain cancer patients have horrible eating habits, the ones I've read about that survive longer, are the ones who have drastically changed their food intake types and habits.

The Orthodox Christian fasting rules are crucial to become perfect at adhering to.

Thanks for this article at this season.

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I had not considered the dual aspect of obsessing over a flat stomach while also constantly filling it with earthly delights. There is indeed a perverse fascination with the belly in the West, which I definitely suffer from. Just before opening this article, I was literally looking at an advertisement for a fitness program where one of the chapters was titled "A Classical Torso -- and How to Obtain One". I've never had one, so it has always been a latent desire for me, and only now I'm starting to look at it more critically.

Portioning meals is very difficult I find, especially being a single guy but in light of this article and looking ahead to the coming weeks, it is something I will focus on much more. Gluttony is one of my main struggles. I'm not overweight but I'm vividly aware of how much food and refreshments excite my senses. One can still be relatively healthy and also become a glutton, too.

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I am quite thoughtless in how I portion food. For meal prep, I simply fill my containers, which are quite large, to the brim. At work I simply microwave the container (glass don't worry), and eat the whole thing, usually stuffing myself.

I end up feeling lethargic, and if I do this before bed, the resulting sleep can be full of lustful dreams/etc. Quite telling from my own experience.

Certainly something I need to work on, thanks Roosh.

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Whew. I don't love mine!

:sneaky::squintlol:

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I keep accidentally leaving paid for groceries at the grocery store. :squintlol: So idk, but the brain to belly connection isn't as solid as it could be.

Today it was all of the meat. Last week it was a bag of apples and bananas.

And no, I haven't ever worshipped my belly. It's always been a source of contention that nothing ever worked to fix except staying at home. <3 But it definitely puts things into perspective if other people don't like you because of your belly or body.

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One of the graces I received when I started praying the rosary daily last year, was that my desire to look at myself in the mirror plummeted. This was an incredible relief, because I have caused myself so much suffering in my life being ashamed of my physical appearance, or feeling proud of it. The two surely go hand in hand.

Thank God for the gift of prayer, so we can focus our attention on the One who is truly all-good and deserving of all affection.

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Not doing it for the abs, weight loss, or physique, but I've been doing intermittent fasting where I eat one big meal a day in the middle of the day. I find that's all I need unless I'm doing strenuous physical activity. It keeps my mind from making my entire day about planning meals. Breakfast lunch dinner and snacks is just too much.

When I know this one meal is 95% of my calories for the day it makes me be more cautious. It needs to be nutrituous and hit all my macros. It needs to be healthy.

It's easier to remember to pray before one big meal rather than 3 + snacks + junk food + garbage. And it's rewarding without needing to be fancy. Just basic necessities. What may be bland to the food addicts and food obsessed becomes satisfying and replenishing without the need to overdo it.

When I follow this habit I sleep better and have better digestion. It goes without saying that this also saves alot of time and money.

The women in my family have made such an idol of food that that's pretty much all they ever talk about. They plan meals months in advance for holidays. The superficiality and proclivity for everything to be about food drives me nuts!

The food shouldn't be the main course of these events - it's the fellowship of the people. Sharing in the splendor of God-given life. Gratitude. Sharing knowledge. Immaterial gifts. Elevating one another spiritually rather than through the flesh.

The food brings us together like the car drives us to church. But when we get to church we don't aren't meant to talk about cars. All of this becomes secondary when God is dead to people. They need their new Mercedes. They need their golden calf.

I imagine a ficticious scenario where Jesus is sharing a meal with his apostles, and while something profound is being shared, Judas changes the subject to ask everyone if they think the bread could use more salt.

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Not doing it for the abs, weight loss, or physique, but I've been doing intermittent fasting where I eat one big meal a day in the middle of the day. I find that's all I need unless I'm doing strenuous physical activity. It keeps my mind from making my entire day about planning meals. Breakfast lunch dinner and snacks is just too much.

When I know this one meal is 95% of my calories for the day it makes me be more cautious. It needs to be nutrituous and hit all my macros. It needs to be healthy.

It's easier to remember to pray before one big meal rather than 3 + snacks + junk food + garbage. And it's rewarding without needing to be fancy. Just basic necessities. What may be bland to the food addicts and food obsessed becomes satisfying and replenishing without the need to overdo it.

When I follow this habit I sleep better and have better digestion. It goes without saying that this also saves alot of time and money.

The women in my family have made such an idol of food that that's pretty much all they ever talk about. They plan meals months in advance for holidays. The superficiality and proclivity for everything to be about food drives me nuts!

The food shouldn't be the main course of these events - it's the fellowship of the people. Sharing in the splendor of God-given life. Gratitude. Sharing knowledge. Immaterial gifts. Elevating one another spiritually rather than through the flesh.

The food brings us together like the car drives us to church. But when we get to church we don't aren't meant to talk about cars. All of this becomes secondary when God is dead to people. They need their new Mercedes. They need their golden calf.

I imagine a ficticious scenario where Jesus is sharing a meal with his apostles, and while something profound is being shared, Judas changes the subject to ask everyone if they think the bread could use more salt.

Do you get low blood sugar, or a lack of energy, or any other negative physical effects? How long does it take you to get used to one meal a day?

Some people have only one meal a day during Lent, and I'm wondering how it goes from a practical perspective.

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Do you get low blood sugar, or a lack of energy, or any other negative physical effects? How long does it take you to get used to one meal a day?

Some people have only one meal a day during Lent, and I'm wondering how it goes from a practical perspective.

Personally for me it took very minor adjustment. I was used to eating breakfast right upon waking. I just had to push through that uncomfort for that first morning. I wasn't starving. It was more that I just wanted the dopamine rush.

Now I just drink a bottle of cold spring water when I wake up. Sometimes I have a coffee, tea, flavored sparkling water, or kombucha.

I see negative side effects if I don't eat a balanced meal for that one big meal. It's important that I get fats, protein, and carbs in the right proportions. Otherwise I will crave the macro that I'm missing.

I also see much more obvious negative side effects if I eat poorly like if I eat fast food. I really feel it in my gut and regret it alot more than when I used to eat 3 meals a day + snacks etc. For example if I fast from the previous day and decide to eat some trash food I will have to go to the toilet immediately becuase my body is like "oh heck no what is this get this out now I didn't wait 24 hours for this I'm bout to squirt this mess".

On rare occasions, it's extremely difficult to not replenish myself after exercise which I normally do in the evenings, but I dont do alot of strenuous exercise. If I do feel malnourished from unusually high energy expenditure, instead of having a 'full meal' I'll have a nutritional shake or a nutrition bar.

I keep things like nutrition bars, dried fruit, nuts, etc at the house in case I feel like I'm getting unbalanced. I only use them to regain homeostasis. Or if I have something to do that requires alot of energy first thing in the morning ill eat a nutrition bar and have a coffee. Not every morning. I just use all of this supplementally.

The heaviest part of my workload is done between 1-7pm. Everything else is very light work mostly sedentary and driving. Water is fine. 10/11am-3pm I use my reserves to operate my body (I wake around 10/11am). Around 3-4pm I'll start to get hungry so I take a break and refuel with the one big meal. Then for the next 3 hours or so I finish work.

If I have a snack it's something very light and something that is an addition to what I was missing in the big meal perhaps because I was rushed or couldn't find a way to complete it. Ideally no more intake after 8/9pm, other than sips of water. Key word sips otherwise I have to get up to pee multiple times which ruins my sleep. I get the best sleep if I don't consume anything 4 hours before lights out which is around 1am for me.

I don't have an exact system but I try to eat one big meal around 3-4pm-ish 90% of the time. I will occasionally break the cycle and I'm not perfect so I will overindulge or have moments of gluttony outside of my usual pattern once or twice a week. I for example am a recovering alcohol abuser so when I get strong cravings to drink I will treat myself to ice cream.

I can see this being a problem for someone who overexercises, needs to take medication with food, is overweight, has a horrible mircobiome addicted to junk food, has a much different schedule, etc.

I should also mention I do not cook. I don't have time. I get my food fresh every day at the grocery store or some type of health conscious food spot if that's an option depending on where I am. Even places we think of as unhealthy aren't that bad in a pinch. For example Wendy's and Zaxby's grilled chicken salads seem alright and you can get them to add/remove things to make it more complete/nutritious.

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Personally for me it took very minor adjustment. I was used to eating breakfast right upon waking. I just had to push through that uncomfort for that first morning. I wasn't starving. It was more that I just wanted the dopamine rush.

Now I just drink a bottle of cold spring water when I wake up. Sometimes I have a coffee, tea, flavored sparkling water, or kombucha.

I see negative side effects if I don't eat a balanced meal for that one big meal. It's important that I get fats, protein, and carbs in the right proportions. Otherwise I will crave the macro that I'm missing.

I also see much more obvious negative side effects if I eat poorly like if I eat fast food. I really feel it in my gut and regret it alot more than when I used to eat 3 meals a day + snacks etc. For example if I fast from the previous day and decide to eat some trash food I will have to go to the toilet immediately becuase my body is like "oh heck no what is this get this out now I didn't wait 24 hours for this I'm bout to squirt this mess".

On rare occasions, it's extremely difficult to not replenish myself after exercise which I normally do in the evenings, but I dont do alot of strenuous exercise. If I do feel malnourished from unusually high energy expenditure, instead of having a 'full meal' I'll have a nutritional shake or a nutrition bar.

I keep things like nutrition bars, dried fruit, nuts, etc at the house in case I feel like I'm getting unbalanced. I only use them to regain homeostasis. Or if I have something to do that requires alot of energy first thing in the morning ill eat a nutrition bar and have a coffee. Not every morning. I just use all of this supplementally.

The heaviest part of my workload is done between 1-7pm. Everything else is very light work mostly sedentary and driving. Water is fine. 10/11am-3pm I use my reserves to operate my body (I wake around 10/11am). Around 3-4pm I'll start to get hungry so I take a break and refuel with the one big meal. Then for the next 3 hours or so I finish work.

If I have a snack it's something very light and something that is an addition to what I was missing in the big meal perhaps because I was rushed or couldn't find a way to complete it. Ideally no more intake after 8/9pm. I get the best sleep if I don't consume anything 4 hours before lights out which is around 1am for me.

I don't have an exact system but I try to eat one big meal around 3-4pm-ish 90% of the time. I will occasionally break the cycle and I'm not perfect so I will overindulge or have moments of gluttony outside of my usual pattern once or twice a week.

I can see this being a problem for someone who overexercises, needs to take medication with food, is overweight, has a horrible mircobiome addicted to junk food, has a much different schedule, etc.

I should also mention I do not cook. I don't have time. I get my food fresh every day at the grocery store or some type of health conscious food spot if that's an option depending on where I am. Even places we think of as unhealthy aren't that bad in a pinch. For example Wendy's and Zaxby's salads seem alright and you can get them to add/remove things to make it more complete/nutritious.

Thanks for replying. I'm wondering if I should try something similar for Lent. As you said in your previous comment, we do tend to focus too much on food, which is part of what fasting is about - changing that focus and making our bodies serve us instead of us serving our bodies. I might have to do a modified version though because I do get low blood sugar. I'm going to talk to my husband about it and think about it. I guess I have almost a week to decide before Lent starts.

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Thanks for replying. I'm wondering if I should try something similar for Lent. As you said in your previous comment, we do tend to focus too much on food, which is part of what fasting is about - changing that focus and making our bodies serve us instead of us serving our bodies. I might have to do a modified version though because I do get low blood sugar. I'm going to talk to my husband about it and think about it. I guess I have almost a week to decide before Lent starts.

You're welcome. "Making our bodies serve us instead of serving our bodies". I like to way you put that. Modified is fine. This is my own modified version of intermittent fasting and circadian rhythm diets I was learning about. Find what works for you but just stick to the principle we've expressed above and see how it goes. God bless sister.

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You're welcome. "Making our bodies serve us instead of serving our bodies". I like to way you put that. Modified is fine. This is my own modified version of intermittent fasting and circadian rhythm diets I was learning about. Find what works for you but just stick to the principle we've expressed above and see how it goes. God bless sister.

I'm pretty sure I'm loosely quoting someone there - I just can't remember who! Maybe St. Paisios of Mt. Athos, since I was recently reading from one of his books?

Thank you again, you've been very kind. May the Lord keep you!

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Why put almost naked woman on the picture?

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I picked an image that I don't believe would incite men to lust. If you are a man whose lust was inflamed from this image or it caused you to sin, send me a message and I will consider changing it.

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Roosh, it does incite lust in me. I have not sinned. I am married with kids and trying not to sin. Just being honest.

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I picked an image that I don't believe would incite men to lust. If you are a man whose lust was inflamed from this image or it caused you to sin, send me a message and I will consider changing it.

I was not inflamed to lust, but I did admire her figure.

In this day and age, it seems impossible to avoid seeing attractive women in such apparel. Skimpy tops and yoga pants are everywhere. To cope with this, I have a couple rules: When women appear in my field of view dressed like this, through no effort on my part, I focus on the thought that God made men to be attracted to women (which keeps worse thoughts crowded out of my mind). Then, I think of my rules: 1) don't go out of my way to continue looking, and 2) don't dwell on or keep remembering what I have seen.

If I realize I'm breaking one of these 2 rules, then I know I'm not fighting temptation and it prompts me to refocus on resisting.

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Roosh, it does incite lust in me. I have not sinned. I am married with kids and trying not to sin. Just being honest.

Yes, now I can see how this image can incite lust. Forgive me. I changed the image.

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