Yesterday, I posted a quick up post on Facebook about my fast (see the bottom of the page) and received an unexpected response. I was trying to be a little tongue-in-cheek about being hungry, and I was exaggerating my feelings, but someone took it pretty seriously. I share some blame in the confusion, but I think his response was out of line (for a couple reasons).
When he read my post he said that he thinks I have an eating disorder. Here are my problems with that:
- If you aren’t my therapist you shouldn’t be trying to diagnose a serious mental health issue
- If you are my friend and are concerned about me you shouldn’t be calling me out in a public place about the potential for a serious mental health issue
- By classifying my fasting as an eating disorder you minimize what people with true eating disorders deal with
- My intermittent fasting (one day a week with about 600kcal while the rest of the days are around 1800kcals) is tracked heavily by me to make sure I get all the nutrients I need. I can pull up cronometer.com and show exactly how much of each vitamin and mineral I get. This is important because every diet (including veganism) has potential deficiencies if you aren’t careful. Unfortunately, I wasn’t careful in the past and wasn’t getting enough fiber and the essential vitamins that come primarily from vegetable sources. I would recommend everybody running their diet through cronometer.com once in a while to ensure they don’t have any glaring deficiencies.
- My eating habits are centered around science and being healthy, which is a significant improvement on what my nutrition practices were in the past (which included lots of fast food, ignorance to what my body needs, emotional/stress/boredom eating, dehydration, etc).
So, all I can ask is that if you have questions about someone’s health because you care about them you should ask them in a private message instead of publicly calling them out.
Theory: On my fasting days* I will have more free time because I won’t be cooking/preparing food and I reduce my workout to a more moderate level.
Practice: All my free time goes into reading research about fasting and planning my meal for the next day. Now I just need to decide, tomorrow do I want to make a potato and kale enchiladas with roasted chile sauce, lasagna with spinach and a mushroom marinara, or a spicy vegetable gumbo.
PS: I went with the lasagna with spinach and mushroom marinara… it was delightful.