Yes, it is daunting, and like anything of that sort has to be approached gradually; treat it like training for a race or something - a long build up; otherwise one goes off with a bang, so to say, can't keep it up, and gets discouraged.
I will leave it to those better qualified than I to comment in detail on what you say, but I would just want to say that you need to remember why we take on this discipline, and to remember that there are other ways of self-discipline and sacrifice. It is part of remembering too that we are God's children, and not slaves to any temptation or passion. So what I have tried to do is to give up, on fast days, some of those things which I particualrly like, even if I cannot keep the full fasting rules; I have to remember my family, and cannot impose my regime on them.
I have also tried, on non-fast days, just to eat less.
It really is slow and steady', and take advice from a priest. We must not succumb to the pride of thinking that we can do it ourselves, or that we know best; equally, we ought not to try to excel in asceticism; that gift is not given to all, and we should not presume that we have it, but rather we should test the waters, so to say.
A little every day, as it were, done in prayer and the right spirit, is better than obeying all the rules and feeling self-satisfied. Remember always what Our Lord says in Mark 2, 2:27
Quote:27 And He said to them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)