My 21-Day Fast. Starve the Flesh. Feed the Spirit. Die to Self.

My 21-Day Fast. Starve the Flesh. Feed the Spirit. Die to Self.
Written by Danny Velez
July 2024


Have you noticed the recent surge in videos and reels about fasting and its remarkable benefits? You might have come across stories of people completing 3-day (72-hour), 5-day (120-hour), or even 7-day (168-hour) fasts. If not, I encourage you to explore this topic or continue reading about my personal journey. Intrigued and inspired by these experiences,  I decided to embark on my first extended fast. Here’s my journey.


A Little About Me

I'm a fitness enthusiast who started my journey in 2012. Since then, I've continually sought ways to challenge my mind and body. However, I hadn't yet focused on my spirit—but we'll get to that. I have an all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to challenges. I've completed Andy Frisella’s 75 Hard challenge twice, adding elements to make it tougher each time. I prepped for my first and only bodybuilding competition at age 38, adhering strictly to my diet for over seven months (which I took 1st place on btw). I've also tackled Tough Mudder twice and ran a half marathon to prove that bodybuilders can be runners too. I have been practicing intermittent fasting for 7-8 years, typically fasting until 1-2 pm before having my first meal. My longest previous fast was one week on the OMAD (One Meal A Day) diet.


Initial 7-Day Fast Attempt

After watching several videos on fasting, I felt the urge to test my limits with a 7-day water-only fast. My goal was to maintain my usual routine, except for cooking and eating. I avoided electrolytes, lemon water, black coffee, tea, and gum, drinking only filtered water. I continued my daily hour-long workouts but soon realized I couldn't train with the same intensity. By day 6, after a leg workout, I overexerted myself and felt completely drained and almost passed out. Listening to my body, I decided to break my fast that night. Although I felt disappointed for not completing the 7 days, I was determined to try again.


Transition to a 21-Day Fast

At the start of 2023, I aimed to read the Bible cover to cover and to dive deeper into my faith. I accomplished this goal, and my goal for 2024 was to build a deeper relationship with My Lord and savior Jesus Christ. In early January 2024, I discovered Dr. Myles Munroe’s teaching on fasting and prayer ( His words ignited a desire in me to undertake a 21-day fast, this time for spiritual growth rather than health benefits.  I wanted to grow closer to God and deepen my faith. 


Dr. Myles Munroe’s Teachings

Dr. Munroe emphasized that we are spirit beings using our bodies as vessels on earth, often letting our flesh control us. Fasting, he taught, helps starve the flesh and allow the spirit to lead. Dr. Munroe shared powerful examples about how our flesh often dictates our behavior. For instance, when we get hungry and don’t eat in a timely manner, we become "hangry" or irritable. Similarly, when we are sleep deprived, our mood and actions are negatively affected. These circumstances often lead us to react in ways we normally wouldn’t, demonstrating how the flesh can control us.  Additionally, combining fasting with prayer strengthens our spiritual connection with the Almighty. Inspired, I decided to undertake a 21-day fast some time this year.


The Church’s 21-Day Fast

I was inspired to undertake a 21-day fast sometime this year; however, God had different plans for me. Initially, I intended to begin the fast around June or July. But on January 14th, my church announced its annual 21-day prayer and fasting starting less than a week away on January 18th. My wife and I were surprised and felt this was a divine message from God. I decided to participate and resolved to push myself further by fasting not only from food but also from social media, TV, and sex. Following Dr. Munroe's advice for spiritual growth, I committed to replacing meal times with prayer and Bible study. 


My Daily Routine During the Fast

 My daily routine was structured to keep me focused and spiritually engaged:



  • Wake up: Wash my face and brush my teeth.
  • Hydration: Drink a big tall glass of water.
  • Dog Walk: Take my dog for a walk while praying.
  • Devotional Time: Read my devotional and spend time in prayer.
  • Work: Start my 8-5 job, listening to spiritual messages and teachings during work hours.


  • Lunch Break: Continue listening to spiritual messages or watch documentaries on fasting and testimonials for spiritual reasons.
  • Prayer: Spend time in prayer instead of eating lunch.


  • Gym: Light workout with stretching for 10-15 minutes followed by one hour of exercise (light weight and high reps to avoid over-exertion).
  • Post-Workout: Come home, hydrate with water, and engage in more prayer and Bible study.
  • Media Consumption: Allow myself to watch only faith-based content, such as documentaries about Jesus, Bible stories, or anything related to fasting.


  • Family Time: Spend time with my family, joining them at the dinner table with just water.
  • Winding Down: More prayer and Bible study before bed.


Week 1 Challenges

The first week felt like an eternity, but making it past the initial six days was a significant milestone. The weekends proved more challenging without the distraction of work. I managed my hunger with water and prayer, finding it particularly difficult to adjust to the absence of TV and social media.


Spiritual Growth:

  • Humility: Realized the extent of my dependence on physical comforts.
  • Obedience: Practiced submitting my will to God.
  • Prayer Life: Strengthened my prayer habits, spending dedicated time in deep prayer and reflection.


Week 2 - Settling in

Around day ten, the days began to pass more quickly. I no longer experienced hunger pangs or headaches, focusing instead on my mental and spiritual growth. During prayer, I asked God for discernment, revelation, and help in releasing unresolved issues. God answered my prayers by bringing certain individuals to mind, often through dreams or spontaneous thoughts. These were people I hadn't spoken to in a long time, and I responded by reaching out to them. This process allowed me to mend relationships, reconnect with old friends, and be more present with my family. Additionally, I became acutely aware of my subconscious habit of picking up my phone to scroll aimlessly through social media, a temptation I had mitigated by deleting the apps.


Spiritual Growth

  • Forgiveness: Prayed for and actively sought forgiveness for past grievances.
  • Inner Healing: Felt a release from past hurts and emotional baggage.
  • Scriptural Insights: Gained new perspectives on scriptures, understanding deeper meanings and applications.


Week 3 Major Challenge:

On Day 17, faced significant temptation during a family visit and a comedy show. The smells and sight of favorite foods triggered intense hunger pains, but I overcame them with prayer and rest.


Recovery: Bounced back quickly after a rough night, demonstrating the resilience built up over the fast.


Spiritual Growth:

  • Resilience: Strengthened my ability to rely on God’s strength during moments of weakness.
  • Faith: Deepened my trust in God’s provision and support.
  • Clarity: Experienced moments of profound spiritual clarity and purpose.


Struggles on the 17th Day

Day 17 brought a significant challenge when my cousin and her husband visited, and we attended a comedy show. This outing presented an emotional and physical hurdle, testing my resolve and determination.

 The day started with me feeling relatively strong and spiritually uplifted. I prayed, studied the Bible, and reflected on how far I'd come. Knowing my cousin and her husband were visiting, I mentally prepared for the social interactions and potential temptations. We decided to spend the day showing them around our favorite spots in the city. The Sunday Funday started with church but it quickly turned difficult.  After church, we stopped at my favorite Colombian bakery and donut spot, Duck Donuts, where my cousin and her husband tried my favorite items. Throughout the day, they expressed guilt over eating in front of me, but I reassured them, explaining my commitment to the fast and my goal of challenging my flesh. When I embarked on this fast, I didn't want to isolate myself and avoid the world and its temptations for 21 days. Part of starving the flesh was learning to live life normally while maintaining my spiritual discipline. 

Later, we went to my favorite taco spot, and they ordered everything I loved. The constant exposure to my favorite foods triggered severe hunger pains and a sense of weakness I hadn’t felt in 17 days. 

 At the comedy show venue, the smell of pretzels, popcorn, and hot dogs was overwhelming. For the first time, I experienced a profound moment of weakness, which was particularly significant given that I typically do not like or eat any of those foods. This unexpected reaction highlighted my increasing physical vulnerability. I bought two water bottles and chugged one to try to suppress the hunger. I found myself fixating on the thought of eating, my mind playing tricks on me. The mental battle was fierce, and I struggled to focus on the performance. By the end of the night, I looked and felt terrible for the first time in 17 days. My wife remarked that I looked as if I were battling a disease and recommended I skip my workout the next day to rest and recuperate…

 That night, I went to bed feeling defeated and drained, questioning my ability to continue. However, by the grace of God, I woke up feeling refreshed and strengthened, ready to face the final days of my fast with renewed determination. My wife, cousin and her husband were all surprised at my quick recovery. 


The Finish Line - Breaking The Fast

I completed the fast on February 8th, weighing 150 lbs—a total loss of 29 lbs. I broke my fast with natural tangerine juice (the first thing I had tasted other than toothpaste in 21 days), followed by bone broth and avocado toast. On Saturday, I celebrated with a tomahawk steak dinner with my wife and daughter, as seen in my cover photo. The physical results were notable, including a reduction in BMI, body fat percentage, and even my metabolic age by three years (see chart below). However, these changes paled in comparison to the profound spiritual growth I experienced.






Insights and Challenges

Through my research on fasting, I discovered fascinating aspects of the human body, such as the hunger gene. Contrary to popular belief, hunger actually decreases dramatically after an extended fast. Studies show the body can survive up to three months without food, depending on the individual. The longest recorded fast is 382 days by Angus Barbieri, who subsisted on tea, coffee, sparkling water, and vitamins.

I told only a select few about my fast, keeping Matthew 6:16-18 in mind: “When you fast, don’t make yourselves look sad like the hypocrites. They put a look of suffering on their faces so that people will see they are fasting. The truth is, that’s all the reward they will get. So when you fast, wash your face and make yourself look nice. Then no one will know you are fasting, except your Father, who is with you even in private. He can see what is done in private, and he will reward you.”


Spiritual Revelations

My primary goal was to grow spiritually and deepen my relationship with God. Throughout the fast, God revealed many things to me. I experienced His truth and promises first and I experienced the truth of several Bible verses, including:

  • Matthew 7:7-8:“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
  • Matthew 19:26: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
  • Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9-11:"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
  • James 4:8: "Come near to God and He will come near to you."



This 21-day fast was the hardest challenge I’ve faced, but through God’s grace, I accomplished it. My testimony serves as proof of His goodness and the strength He provides. Now, I incorporate monthly weekly fasts to stay connected to Him and plan to undertake a 40-day fast, following the examples of Jesus, Moses, and Elijah.


This journey was a testament to the power of starving the flesh, feeding the spirit, and dying to self, allowing me to draw nearer to God.




How To Fast and Pray Effectively by Dr. Myles Munroe


Comments (1)

  • Shalom Mascarinas on Jul 15, 2024

    Inspiring as always brother! Great job always surprising us with what’s possible!

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