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10 Basics of Gaining Weight With Cystic Fibrosis

Do you have any tips for me to help me gain weight?

Porking outThis question keeps popping up via my contact form, so I guess it’s time to put my best tips that are spread out in various articles into one place to make it easy. Keep in mind that these are general tips for CFers that are approved for me by my doctors and nutritionist, so please check with your team if there’s anything here contrary to what you’re doing or what you’ve been advised of in the past. Shoot, check with them no matter what, okay?

Having a healthy BMI is crucial to having a healthy lung function. Check out this study summary for a fresh look at how you can turn your life around by gaining weight.

I don’t have CFRD, but I do my very best to keep my sugars as low as I can while still getting enough carbs to help boost my caloric intake some. The overall rule to gaining weight is: bring in more calories than you burn – exactly the opposite rule of losing weight. It’s really more of a second full-time job if you already have one or a first full-time job if you’re in school or on disability – make it a priority.

  1. The first step to to try to find out over the course of a week how many calories it takes to add some weight, any weight, without losing any. You absolutely must be consistent with your liquid intake or you will significantly throw off your calculations with water weight, especially if you’re on a high sodium diet like many of us are. We are probably NOT talking about 2,000-3,000 Calories here. For me to gain weight, I need to pack away 4,000-6,000 Calories per day. You’ll want to use a phone app or spreadsheet to track your intake for accurate numbers.
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Fatboy Is Back After Losing 21 Pounds

The REAL Fatboy Dozing

I have lost 21 pounds since Labor Day

Time to honest up: my weight story has flat out stunk since business/personal crunch time began around mid-August. This photo was taken on Father’s Day. Notice how my polo is stretched tight over my gut. My shorts also wouldn’t button up at this point. After hitting a high weight of 135 just after vacation in mid-June, it was time to shift priorities from gaining weight to building our business so we could live more comfortably (i.e., get out of what debt we had and allow Beautiful to stay home if she so chooses) and stop spending a fortune on extra food. Now that it is there, it’s okay to back off, right?

Apparently not.

I dropped to a pretty steady 120 (20.6 BMI) for quite a while. Then it was time for surgery… which was desperately needed, as you will soon see by what happens next. After surgery, I had a really awful time with my antibiotics and nausea. I now have a much greater appreciation and empathy for all of my new transplant friends who had stomach issues after surgery for their various reasons. Seriously – how disabling!!

This progressed until I got on the scale Saturday morning and was horrified to see that I once again had plummeted to an embarrassing 113.5 (19.5 BMI) – right where I was before I started this site in March. All of that work for nothing! I don’t look like I’m that thin again, but I’m not going to stand for that. I have a site to write for – my credibility is at stake.
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More Testosterone Production With More BMI

Do Not Make Me AngryTestosterone is a powerful drug! I wrote a while back that I had a painful side effect that started up sometime around June, if I recall correctly: very tender… uh, boobs. I mentioned parts of this last week in my clinic post, but here is the official article on the topic after the test results are in. I’d read that can happen from too much testosterone when on therapy, but the doctors said “no” to the medicine I found on the Internet as a solution to the symptom until they saw me at clinic to see what was up.

It wasn’t so much of a surface tenderness, but a semi-dense mass underneath the skin that is quite painful to any pressure at all. Sue told the doctor that he had to give a breast exam as she left the room to do more paperwork. Unfortunately, this was the first time in about 3 years that Beautiful joined me at clinic and he was startled and shot back with a quick, “what!?” as Sue quickly said, “on Jesse!”


His software and my latest blood draw made him suspicious that I was getting too much testosterone because, to quote the good doctor as best I can a week later, “you’ve gained weight and now your gonads are making their own testosterone now.” Beautiful and I recalled that anorexic women go barren when their BMI is that low because the body is just in survival mode. That is what had been happening to me for… my entire adult life since I was never really at a healthy BMI.

I just so happened to not do my shot yet that day, just in the event that they needed to do a trough blood test to get to the bottom of my symptoms, which they did want and did take. The results came in today: high. Beautiful’s response was darn near, “I told you so because you’ve been quick to be mean,” which has been her plight for weeks, saying I was short-tempered and my first reaction was to be defensive and harsh. So, dudes on hormone therapy, listen to your womenfolk when they say you’re a meanie and go get your blood drawn for a trough measurement. I was over the limit at my trough, so I wonder how high I was at my peak on Saturdays or Sundays.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go watch some HGTV and cry during the reveals while I consider new color choices for our table settings.

Fatboy vs. 23 BMI – Fatboy Wins!

135.5 PoundsThursday night, Fatboy registered a 135.5 on the bathroom scale! I made a big deal about it on Facebook with photos of the scale and my big gut hanging over my always-unbuttoned shorts, but I’m holding back here a little bit before I declare victory because I appear to be retaining water. It didn’t stop me from opening up my iPhone app to plug in the numbers to come up with my BMI and confirm that it was 23.2 BMI with my 5′ 4″ stature. Fatboy has arrived in the house!

My ankles and calves were swollen Thursday and Friday for some reason; nearly disgustingly on my legs where something may have been pressing into my flesh for a while and then I get up. The mark stayed indented far further than is considered natural, normal, or tolerable to look at.

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