Thursday, October 5, 2017


Having CF, our bodies do not digest our food. To aide in this, we consumer supplemental enzymes, taken by mouth. The enzymes go to work in the intestines to digest food and absorb the nutrients needed to keep ones body healthy.

These enzymes are pills, capsules. Inside each capsule are many small beads that contain the digestive enzymes. The enzymes are released once they enter the small intestine to help digest food. Enzymes work for about 45 to 60 minutes after taking them.
Most people with CF need to take pancreatic enzyme capsules before every meal and snack so their bodies can digest the nutrients. We only absorb about 1/3 of the nutrients we take in. Therefore any amount that we can absorb is crucial.

With this lack of digestion, you can imagine it is hard to gain weight. A sentence, typically responded with, "You're so lucky, I wish I had that problem." Let me just say this, 'the grass is always greener', am I right?!
Back in June, I reached my record low for weight that I can ever remember...

... and if I'm going to be completely honest with you, I hate sharing numbers. I know ones high, is another persons low. Ones worst is another persons best. So, please keep in mind and be respectful to the numbers that I do share. They are my story and are only comparative to me...

...Stepping on the scale and seeing double digits - 97 pounds, is rather frightening. I literally was scared inside. I called my husband in to see, because I couldn't speak the words. Seeing my body as it was, so frail and thin, was very hard to me. I've been an athlete my whole life. Sports throughout high school and then collegiate track for one year - I worked hard for my muscular physique. That booty and those quads didn't come easy. Adjusting to a smaller body has been, different, and then the body during those few months, was DIFFICULT. I am certain I dropped to a weight lower than that, as I had been consistently losing a pound or two every other day. (!!! Yes, you read that correctly.) But too afraid to see myself at any further state, I never stepped on a scale again. (Good advice for anybody, however, since weight is so crucial to our health, it is very nice for us to have weight loss as a way to track when an infection is beginning. So, a scale can be a crucial.)

You see, for months I had been drinking supplement shakes of all different sorts of brands and strengths in-between meals. Weight gain shakes directly from my CF Clinic, protein shakes, PB&J's... anything that I could remember the 'football players' doing in high school. Nothing was working. I'd see minor gains only to be followed too quickly by larger losses.

I actually had even talked to my CF team about placing a gastric tube. A G-tube is placed into the stomach and then supplemental feedings are given in-between meals or overnight, to increase weight. Many CFer's have these at some point or another, and I thought it was finally my turn.

 Determined, not to wait for them to tell me I needed a life altering surgery, I decided to call my 'CF Guru', my dear friend and fellow "Cyster," Somer Love. Somer is 38 and ten years my advantage in learning tips and tricks to fight back for this disease. 

'A Pint a Night,' she replied. 
'Ben and Jerry's'.

...I followed Somer's advice in between CF appts and went back for my follow up, four pounds heavier. 

This may not seem like a crazy feat, but let me repeat, gaining weight ISN'T EASY for us. A single pound is worth celebrating, at this rate I was as elated as if I'd run a marathon. I'd done months of supplement shakes - only to learn, the secret was BEN AND JERRY'S! 

I most recently had another follow up and weighed in at ten pounds heavier, than my 97. So, please, do a happy dance with me -- whenever you see Ben and Jerry's think of me. And speaking from experience, I will encourage anyone without CF or weight gain struggles, to walk way - there's a clear reason why their flavors are named 'Chunky Monkey' and 'Chubby Hubby'.

I really need to write a thank you note to Ben and Jerry's.

 May they forever continue making calorie packed ice cream - for the sake of the CF Community. ;)

Xx, M


  1. Haha, who’d have thunk?! Ben and Jerry’s works miracles in more ways than one!! HOORAY for ten pounds!!!!

    1. Right? You'll never look at their ice cream the same again! Thanks Rachel <3

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  6. Greeting Mandie and let me show my much respect and thanks to your excellent share. I was hunting after getting some tips to gain my weight and hopefully I found your amazing blog post. I think there are something special that never be expressed in a few words. Honestly, your presentation is such to me. You have explained very excellently the weight gain issue. I am glad I was able to trail to the end. But I mostly thankful to your for the sentences-" I know one's high is another person's low. One's worst is another person's best." This is really supper meaningful to me. Simply love your brilliant stuff.

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