Today is the start of Lent. If you've never engaged in a longer fast, it's quite the physical and mental challenge. Here's a pictorial representation of what you may experience...
In the year 325 AD, the council at Nicea decreed that the 40 days leading up to Easter would be a time for fasting (not including Sundays, which means Lent technically lasts 46 days).
For me, lent is a time to set my living personal faith upon the shoulders of brothers and sisters in the faith who came before me. Inviting tradition into my faith as a guide which lends strength and guidance.
Engaging in a traditional faith observation like Lent is a frame in which your faith can stretch out and grow as you pray and consider scripture over 40 days.