When I was in middle school for some reason I thought I was fat. I dont know why, I certainly wasnt. But I was very insecure and embarrassed by my body and I thought that I was fat.
When I went to 9th grade, I came across a website which showed the images of women by age, height, and weight or something like that. I entered my own height and weight and, looking at the images I saw of women who look like me I realized I am extremely thin.
I looked at myself in the mirror again and was confused at how I ever thought I could possibly be fat.
At the time I was also friends with a girl with an eating disorder. Often she would say "well I had food yesterday" and "I only exercised for an hour yesterday because volleyball practice was cancelled, I'll have to make up for it today" and "Oh, I guess I can treat myself to two chips if I get 100% on the math test later" and "If only I could lose another five pounds" and things like that.
As much as I was concerned for her, I also didn't like that somehow I weighed less than her. I ate lots of food. I hardly excersized. One day I remember she was so proud of herself. She came to lunch and announce pad she was "finally under 105 lbs" and I remember being less. It was odd.
After that, I wanted to reverse diet. I didn't know the name for it then, but that's exactly what has been running through my mind for a long time.
People say "why do you want to gain pounds? Why do you want to eat so much?"
To answer them, because my body needs to gain weight. Needs more nutrients.
How to reverse diet: To gain muscle, add calories slowly. To gain fat, add calories a lot.
Either way, break some diet rules. I mean, eat good nutrient rich foods, but you *can* eat after dark. You can eat a few large meals everyday.
So I started to eat a ton.
- For example, I often cover things in butter. I find covering things in butter is a great way to add calories. Oatmeal? Add butter. Ramen noodles? Add butter.
- I also started making myself 2x what I normally would. Two plates really arent that much harder to carry than one.
- I allow myself to eat a ton of cereal. Many boxes state to eat 3/4 cups or 1 cup but I typically find the largest bowl I can, fill it all the way to the top, slowly and carefully dribble milk over the cereal until 1 cereal falls out of the dish, and carefully carry to wherever I am eating.
But I wasnt really eating "healthy" as I transitioned to eating more. I was extremely stressed and my hair was falling out a lot.
I started to take a supplement in the spring of this year and my hairfall stopped within a few weeks. I have now finished the third bottle of the pill and my body can tell when I havent taken them yet that day.
I think these have really helped my health.
You can read a full review of the brand I have been taking here:
At first, my body freaked out because I was not drinking enough water (chapped lips, my fingers were dry and gross, etc) but then I increased how much water I was drinking by a lot and that helped.
I still drink an excess of water and highly recommend it.
There were also a few weeks in the spring where I was simply not even hungry. As a result, I had a period of fasting where I ate very little during this time.
I do not recommend doing this without talking to your parents and seeing a doctor. Please take care of yourself.
One day (a Tuesday?) someone offered me a small homemade chocolate-peanut butter treat and I happily tried it. And one Sunday I got my favorite donut out of the box at church out of habit.
Other than that, I ate very little and the strange thing was that my mental health was very good and trich (which I have suffered with for over a decade) disappeared. For those that dont know, trich is a mental disorder where I pull out my hair.
It was very important to stay hydrated during this time but I felt very good and energetic. Honestly it seems that when I don’t eat my mental and emotional health is better. I can handle stress better, problem solve better, and make good decisions. Perhaps because I was spending a ton of time with God that helped too?
I was looking online once and found that mice which fast are more energetic, are hyper-alert, have better memories, etc.
So I think that is cool. For I while in the spring-early summer I had adopted a feeding schedule where there a 6-8 hour feeding window and then no food for 16-18 hours. So typically I ate from noon to 8pm and then no more until noon the next day. I liked it a lot and my body went into a mini-fast and I felt better. I like to think of it like a lifestyle and not a eating disorder but I'm sure there are people who feel its a really bad idea....
People don’t talk about it because you cant make money by not eating a food or buying their good but its worth a try. Again talk to your parents and doctor. People on the internet says that it decreases the risk for Alzheimers, strokes, and a few other life changing issues.... but it may not be right for you!
I think one of the most important lessons to experimenting with Intermittent Fasting (other than asking for a doctor or parent's advise!) is don’t make it painful. If someone offers you food at 10 pm, consider eating it an option. Not all the time, but don’t make life impossible.
- Know that you will want to go to bed earlier.
- If you are not feeling well, drink water and take a nap or eat something. Food is not bad! Its okay to eat something especially if you arent feeling well.
- This might be better for men than women, at least ones who at TTC.
- If you ever skip meals because you arent hungry then this would just give a name to something you already do.
- You will get bad breath if you fast long enough and acne. Its okay. Carry on.
- It is comparable to Ramadan fasting so you should research that as well as Intermittent Fasting. Although Ramadan is a spiritual month with your focus on God and those suffering, it is also a physical cleansing as well.
I also did some research and found that meat contains something that makes you feel tired and depressed: arachidonic acid
Its funny because a few years ago, dad was all like “so lets go vegetarian” and I was always like lets not.... but currently I have a position that I don’t eat "bird" or what we typically know as poultry. Chicken, turkey, etc have never been a favorite and if I'm not going to like eating it and its going to make me feel awful, I dont know why I still was putting it on my plate.
I cant say that I am considering full vegetarianism, because I really am not. I eat meat all the time.
There are all these good reasons to go vegetarian:
- Animal safety.
- If everyone went vegetarian, that the world would have an excess of food because only 10% of energy carries up the food chain. You get 90% more to eat the "producer."
- Also vegetarians get more antioxidants from fruit and eating at restaurants less
I honestly am not focused on body image when I talk about fasting. In fact, I am trying to *gain* weight and I know that this is going to make it harder. Many people lose weight when they do a fasting diet.
Then again, I dont go near scales and could care less what I weigh. Thats just my personal approach.
I think its important to try new things and experiment until you find what works for you.
Lately (Phase 5?) I have just been eating what I want when I want, and even that plan has a lot of fluidity. If I ever want to change it up, I would be okay with that.