My oldest son, Chris, is 26 years old. He is mentally retarded. He functions pretty well, but the things he can do are limited by his disability.
On one of my other websites I have written about Chris before, and I did say that he was mentally retarded, a statement for which I was chastised and criticized. I was told that I should just say that he has special needs. In most cases, that is what I say. However, in order to get the point across you have to let people know what the special need is. This article, in my view, requires that my son’s special needs should be identified. I certainly do not write this in a way to criticize my son, in fact, I’m writing this to praise him.
Right now my wife, Feyma, is in the United States. She works in the USA, in the state of Alaska, and this is her work season. She will be away for about six months, and two of our other sons have gone with her this year because they are also working. During their absence, Chris and I are still living here in the Philippines. Chris and I are buddies, spending time together alone like this reinforces that.
Before my wife left to go to the United States, we were watching a movie/documentary about the ketogenic diet. They had a number of case studies, and one of the people they were studying was an autistic child. Now, remember, Chris is not autistic, he is mentally retarded. However, in watching the development of this autistic child as he began to eat a ketogenic diet, the differences that happened to him over time were amazing. My wife and I looked at each other and we already knew what the other one was thinking. We need to try this ketogenic diet with Chris. There is really no downside, and who knows what kind of improvements we may see.
Chris is not obese, but he is a little bit overweight. He tends to be fairly active, but he sure does enjoy his carbs a lot. Being half Asian, Chris, of course, loves his rice. He also enjoys eating bread a lot. And candy, and chips, and just about any other carbs that you can think of.
With my wife in Alaska, we try to talk on the phone daily when possible, although that is not always possible. She has a rather long work day, and sometimes she is too tired to make that phone call. At other times, communications to the remote place where she has are just not possible. But, a while back we were talking, and we decided that I would try to cut Chris’s carb intake as much as possible. Both of us were interested to see what Chris’s reaction would be.
I talked with Chris about this and asked him what he thought about cutting down his rice intake, and his bread as well. I was surprised, he was excited about it. He said that he saw what I had done with my diet, and he wanted to do it as well. I was really surprised to hear that. And happy.
Last week I finished off a 28 day fast on Wednesday evening. Since Wednesday evening until Sunday night (the time that I am writing this article), I have been eating one or two meals each day. A couple of days ago Chris asked me when I was going to start fasting again, and I told him that I would start again with fasting on Sunday night, after dinner. Chris told me that he wanted to fast with me, this kind of blew me away, because I had not suggested to him that he should fast. He kept talking to me about it and said he could do it, and he was excited about it. I just agreed with him and figured we would see what happened.
This morning, Sunday morning, I, as usual, skipped breakfast. When I saw Chris I asked him if he wanted something for breakfast, and he said no because he was fasting. I told him we would not start fasting until after dinner, to which he replied that he decided to start fasting early. I really had a chuckle inside and wondered when he would decide to eat. When it came time for lunch, I prepared myself a salad and asked Chris if he would also like to have a salad with me (lately he has come to love to eat salad, because he sees me eat it). Chris replied, in a somewhat annoyed manner, “I told you I was fasting today”. I was amazed, but he did fast through lunch, and as I said, breakfast as well.
When dinner came around last night, I told him that I would have another salad with some roasted chicken in the salad, and he said that he would also have that because he was ready to stop fasting. I explained to him that this was called intermittent fasting if he would just eat once a day or so. I told him that there was really no reason why he needed to do long-term fasting like I would be doing this week, but if he would do intermittent fasting every day it would really help him. He told me that he thought he would do that. I asked him if he was hungry since he had not eaten since yesterday, and he said just a little.
So, this will begin a new journey of fasting. Although it is not me that is fasting (although I am also fasting), it will be interesting for me to watch Chris as he develops in doing fasting, and also ketogenic eating. It shocks me that he came up with these ideas seemingly on his own. I’m so proud of him and looking forward to seeing his progress. I think I am more excited about him doing intermittent fasting than I am about my own journey, at least at this point.
Good luck, my son, Godspeed.