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Portion Sizes are a Challenge in a CF Family

It’s summer BBQ time! We have to spend a little extra time buying our grilling meats because I need to be sure that Beautiful gets a normal person portion and I get a “are you seriously going to eat all of that?” look from any number of service personnel, including wait staff at restaurants. When I was younger, they would warn my parents that something was a really big portion, to which they informed them that my nickname was “The Insinkerator” and to just bring me what I ordered.

My PlateHere is an example of a portion that I give myself in the evening. I believe I took some photos of spaghetti dinners with my phone, too – those should go at the bottom. What we have here is 1/3 of a 4-serving bag of steam-in-bag corn, a 12oz pork chop, and 3/4 of a bag of rice. If you have CF, I don’t know how you can make it without moderate culinary skills, and grilling is an essential skill to learn to get good protein in a new and palatable method after a long, cold winter. We do love our grilling recipes, and I do love my grill that Beautiful everyone pitched in and got me for my 30th birthday almost two years ago! I even got a BBQ recipe/tip hardcover book for Christmas the year I got the grill, and it’s got some good rubs in there and makes me feel grilling equipment inadequate. There sure are a lot of toys to go with my shiny grill that I don’t have yet.

The Plate of BeautifulHere’s Beautiful’s plate for a “I’m a normal person who doesn’t eat like there will be no food on the planet tomorrow” portion. See how I have learned my lesson to not make our plates look the same after 3 1/2 years of marriage? Finally! I got the illustration about making a fist and that’s how much food you’re supposed to get… but we sort of made that how much the main thing is, like this 6oz pork chop. I buy food that is the size of her fist and as big as my foot. We, of course, can eat the same amount of corn, but I took the lion’s share of the rice, because that just sits there for hours, making me even wish I hadn’t gone that far, but I have to for my daily goals.

Balancing meal portion sizes has been one of our biggest daily challenges because if either of us ate like the other for too long, bad things would happen to the one eating against medical advice. No normal person is supposed to down 7,000 calories like I accomplished Tuesday (yay!).

I’d say that the best solution for a family with a CFer is for each to be responsible for their own snacking, because being the snack police isn’t very nice. Any man who has ever asked their wife if they are sure they want that bowl of chocolate ice cream during “American Idol” knows what sort of look that will get. Children with CF need to be helped with snacks so they don’t go into a sugar coma or put themselves at risk for CFRD later on, but other than that, everyone should do their best to watch portions at meal time and do what is best for each of their bodies the rest of the day.

It’s a huge challenge when one person is always eating anything they can get their hands on, but remember, they are probably not having fun doing it and would rather just take a break from eating. Eating that much is hard work.


  1. My constant battle is always serving myself too much, needing to finish my plate and then knowing that I'll feel bloated and uncomfortable later…yet I still eat portions big enough to feed a village ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Amen, brother! I just know I'm going to be on the floor wanting to cuddle,
    but being ever so uncomfortable with my gut sticking out 4″ too far. Only 5
    more pounds, then I'll start eating far more normal portions, like I used

  3. rhondab30 says

    Finally someone who gets our dilemma! Last night I made a bag of tortellini pasta that said serves 9, 1 cup portions. I fixed the entire bag and had my 1 cup portion. The other 8 cups John ate with no problem, including his own jar of pasta sauce. I like Alfredo sauce better so I heated up my portion needed. He is not the cook in the family for sure. When we first got together, I would late night snack with him all the time. That started to not work out so well for my waistline. I had to make my decision then not to feel guilty for not eating when he needed to eat. I needed to encourage him to not feel guilty for eating all the time. Seriously, if I ate like either of you… I'd be sending my application to the Biggest Loser ASAP. The most awesome thing about having the extra weight on John is when he gets sick(er than usual), it doesn't hit him as hard because his body is a little more prepared to take it. Buffets be warned when a CF'er hits your door. They will get more than their money worth ๐Ÿ™‚ During football season we love to go to Mr.Gatti's pizza/pasta buffet. They have big screen TV rooms and all the food we could ask for. It's one of our favorite things to do in the fall.

  4. I'm pretty sure that when Jesse goes into a Golden Corral or other all-you-can-eat, the manager groans and then calls in any off duty cooks he can reach to come in to help try to keep keep up with Jesse.

    Jesse, you are a prodigious eating machine. I don't know how you manage it, but I'm sure glad you're going the extra mile to keep healthy and that you and Kristin have a system that works for you.

  5. I'm full!! We just ate 9 portions of skillet mix. Beautiful had 1.5 and I ate 7.5 portions. Bulging doesn't begin to describe it.

    In fact, I've started going numb just below my ribcage from a pinched nerve from my stuck out gut, but the doctor said to not worry unless the sensation spreads. I suppose it will re-distribute to other areas when I stop eating as much and go on a “mere” maintenance program to stay at 135-140.

  6. Back in the day, when they would ask me at CiCi's Pizza if I'd been there before, I'd tell them that I built this place and keep it running. I have a 19 slice record. I've also done 81 sushi rolls at Crazy Buffet.