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You Want to Eat Like Me?

You Want to Eat Like Me?

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If you’ve got cystic fibrosis, then you’ve heard this or something like it before:

“I wish I could eat like you without becoming a fat cow.”

As for me, I’ve heard it well over 100 times in my 33 years on this planet. I know people don’t mean anything disrespectful by it, but put it in perspective using another issue.

It’s like telling someone in a wheelchair that it must be nice to not have to stand in a long line.

Surround yourself with those who understand or educate those who do care about you that saying such things hurt your feelings. They’ll understand.

If they don’t, they’re not someone you want to have close enough to influence your thinking.


  1. Brittney Riley says

    Why is it that people always comment on things related to weight? I hear “I wish I had your problem, at least for a little bit, so I can lose weight.” If they only knew how much work I have to do to keep my weight stable. I don’t have CF, but my problem is similar in the fact that I have to push myself to eat enough everyday so I don’t get even skinnier. I woud happily trade my medical problems for being healthy for a few days so they can see what it is like.

    • Yeah, it goes right along with, “I’ve had this cough for a month now.” Awwwww… aren’t you a cute one? A whole month?! You’ve known me for a decade, so why are you saying that at the table? That’s like complaining about your job in front of someone who was just laid off.

      I do my best to have a coughing fit on command at that point. The conversation usually changes to another topic pretty quickly.

  2. Yup, my sister gets that all the time.  People have actually said that it must be nice to have such a problem.  Really nice to have to eat so much her stomach hurts every day, along with doing breathing treatments, vibrating vest, and taking pills with every meal.  Some people just don’t get it.  It’s sad, really.

  3. I’ve heard that alot! “I wish I was that skinny!” I wish I could eat and not gain weight!” etc… I don’t have CF, but I have similiar symptoms. It gets old taking pills and eating “all the time”. But I have a lot to be thankful for and I’m glad I can sympathize with others who have health ‘problems’.

  4. Nikkifeb39 says

    I hear this all the time. “I wish I could be skinny like u “. I don’t have CF. I have pancreatic CA and my whole life changed. I can’t really keep food in because i’m always getting rid of it. I don’t have insurance to pay for meds zenpep so I pay oop. But im here and I try to ignore the stupid comments people make about being in “my shoes”. They wouldn’t know how to walk in them any way. Im judt trying to maintain my weight so I don’t get ill. By the way I do eat like u.

  5. channelmiracles says

    I live with pain everyday and seeing others in even greater anguish adds to that pain because I have no magic wand to make things better.Often I have to clench my jaw to prevent openly crying out of helplessness. 

    We take on the challenges that come our way each day no matter how we suffer or who we are because of the alternative that eventually faces us all.
    One foot in front of the other until we can’t.

    It is a rare person that really knows what to say when someone is in pain, dying, to grieving relatives, dealing with chronic illness. We try to not to be insensitive which often causes us to blunder into that arena instead.
    People live in fear of finding themselves in the same disconcerting circumstance of illness or accident they encounter in you and, in a manner of speaking, live their lives laughing nervously and whistling past the graveyard.

    None know the reason some are afflicted but a cringe at the possibility it could have happened to them or may yet.

    They have their pains, fears, vulnerabilities, conditions, too. None of us should take license to assume anyone else’s intent or thought.

    Support each other as much as possible, give hope, accept hope, pray in appreciation for what we have even if meager, cry when you need, ask when you want.

    Meantime, I’ll do the same and continue looking for the magic wand that will dry all our tears and sooth all our pains and also,will allow room in my heart for others to live their lives as well as they can, even if not perfect in my eyes.

    I honor your courage.

  6. Oahww, spot on!! The post, and most comments below. I’ve started a fashion related study last year; imagine the skinny-loving people there. They know by now that I’ve got cf but this year alone I must have heared how nice it has to be for me to be able to just eat everything I want (but I dont wanna eat anything?) at least 50 times already. Plus about 200 times before I started studying. It can make me so pissed of, especially the times when I go through the winter moths and feel so crappy. 
    Love reading your motivated blog, it can really encourage me to take care just that extra bit of myself as well. Not quite at your level yet though 😉

    • Thanks, Sarah. It was an epiphany to come to taking care of myself like this, but then it was a process to make the mindset stick.

      I’ve always been a fighter, but I didn’t always value myself as much as I do now… because I know how much other people value me.

      You sound like you’re on the right path – we’re all in this together.

      • I can imagine so well what you’re talking about. Just yesterday I’ve had a long talk with my doctor about the possibility of having a kid myself (ps , so so so excited for you) after being with my boyfriend for 5 years now. 

        I’ve never cared that much about the future and whether I’d be healthy for a long time or not, but plans and feelings like this change absolutely everything. I love that people can have this effect on you, but at the same time it makes things complicated; it was so much easier not to care, however dramatic that may sound 🙂 So at times in need of motivation-inspiration, I go to blogs like yours. x

  7. Long time reader but my first post…This post really hit home. I have a 2 year old daughter who has CF and I always joke with people about her diet saying that I wish I could eat it…Never again though. Thanks for making me see the other side of it. I never in a million years thought it was insensitive (even though she doesn’t understand the comment). Wow I’m ashamed:(

    • Don’t let the shame linger. Now you’re in the know and ready to make changes – that’s what counts. Just trying my best to spread the word. Now that we’re foster parents, we’re feeling ashamed of some of the things we used to think when we’d see kids and parents in public, but now we’re “those people” ourselves.

      What goes around comes around, eh?

  8. OOps I meant to say I would never say that to someone who has CF as I know how hard it it to put on weight (our daughter was diagnosed at 16 months old and she went from the 50th% down to the 3rd before she was diagnosed and still almost a year later she is only up to 15%) so I know how much of a battle it is but even though she doesn’t understand the words I’m saying I will have to be more careful with the words that I choose around her….. 

  9. Julieann82 says

    This is great! I am laughing out loud with my husband. I love it when people say I am so thin but e minute I gain weight and get my CF belly , they assume I am pregnant. I can’t win. Here’s to eating (it really sucks)!