The Sunday before Great Lent begins commemorates (among other things) the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. One of the Matins hymns for the day gives us nice imagery of Paradise, Planted by God but lost by the first humans. Here is the hymn pictured:
flowers planted by God,
O sweetness of Paradise:
let your leaves, like eyes, shed tears on my behalf,
for I am naked and a stranger to God’s glory.
The fasting of Great Lent is supposed to help us experience that sense of loss – Paradise lost. The fasting may only make us miss the foods of this world, but that sense of something missing can be turned into the spiritual desire for something more than this world has to offer. We may love the foods of the Paschal Banquet, but the Lenten Fast helps create in us the desire for such blessings, which in turn can remind us that it is not the world we are to miss but the Paradise which God has prepared for us.