Skip to main content

Bear Nutrition

I went to Bear Nutrition today, and it was an interesting experience. Bear Nutrition is a health club that serves high protein shakes as well as gives body evaluations to determine health goals/ways to get in better shape and provides you with a wellness coach. I went with some friends after going to the gym (I know, I'm just being super fit today!). I had never heard of Bear Nutrition before going. They had more than fifty flavors of shakes to choose from, which was a bit overwhelming at first! I ended up ordering banana-peach freeze. It was pretty good! It had the typical protein-powder taste to it, but I definitely thought it was better than most protein shakes. It didn't have the artificial sugar taste, which I despise. Anyway, the point of this post isn't to talk about the shake flavors.

I had the body evaluation done, and low and behold, it showed that I am underweight (imagine that). It said I have a healthy metabolic age (12), visceral fat (1), and that I'm staying hydrated (which, as CF patients know, is a necessity!). However, it also said my body fat percentage and bone mass were low. The lady then went on and said that "they can work with me to think of ways to increase calories," that I need to eat between 75-80 grams of protein a day, and that I need to look into buying some of their many products. Now, I understand them wanting me to buy their stuff, seeing as they get paid based on commission and all. But I don't think my weight problem is as easy as just buying some protein shakes and some pills. How awesome would that be, to just down a pill and not have to worry about eating more to gain weight??
Honestly, I'm just frustrated. People don't understand how HARD it is for me to gain weight. And if you're reading this blog and don't have CF, you probably think I'm crazy right about now. That's okay, I understand it sounds crazy. I've heard from so many college kids how they're trying to watch their calorie intake and eat less so they don't gain the freshman 15. I've heard people brag about losing a couple pounds or looking thinner. So many are obsessed with not gaining weight that I know that my desire to gain weight sounds insane. What I would give to be a normal weight without feeling so disgustingly full when I try to eat more! When I do eat more, I literally feel like I'm going to throw up. It's like my stomach just doesn't like me. I've gotten to the point where I'm forcing myself to feel bad in order to intake extra calories. I've gone to bed feeling horrid several nights in a row now. It's not pleasant.

I'm not telling you this to make you feel sorry for me (please don't). I'm just saying this so that maybe you can understand a little more what I'm currently going through. I'm working on gaining muscle mass by going to the gym often, but I know that's not enough. I know I need to up my caloric intake. The question is, how can I do this without feeling so bad? Maybe I can't. Maybe for the next few months, I suck it up and treat eating like a job. It's not going to be fun, but something's got to change now.


  1. I definitely don't think you need to buy their products, but I will say that getting protein is KEY in gaining weight (for me at least). I was super underweight as a kid, but my mom put me on a strict 'reverse diet' as I went through puberty and I had to check off on the fridge that I'd gotten a certain number of protein grams each day. IT WORKED! I gained weight, and because I was going through puberty it helped change the way my body worked and I haven't had nearly so many weight problems as an adult.

    So, I definitely recommend counting your protein grams and loading up on things like cheese, meat (if you can tolerate it ok), milk, yogurt, beans, etc. It definitely isn't fun... but it did help me a lot! Good luck. :) Also, have you ever experimented with different enzyme brands? I was never able to go past a certain weight and then I switched about a year and a half ago to Zenpep and my baseline weight went up 5-8 pounds.

  2. I have experimented with different enzymes. My problems actually started when all the enzymes had to be taken off the market because they were not approved by the FDA. When I had to switch to ZenPep, my body just didn't absorb the food as well as when I was on Pancreacarb. I've tried Creon, but it was worse than ZenPep for me. Around that time, I also went on continuous IV antibiotics and started feeling very nauseous, so my stomach shrunk because I wasn't eating as much. Between those two things, I have really struggled with my weight for the past year.

    Thanks for the advice!!

    1. Ahh, I see. I was never on pancreacarb but I heard it was amazing! I always wanted to try it, but then it got taken off the market, so now I'm kinda glad you didn't - for the reasons you describe! I've had problems with the stomach shrinking thing too. I hate to say it... the only way to fix THAT one is to eat more than you think you can consistently, ugh. I HATE "reverse dieting." It always makes me feel so sick. I'll be rooting for you in your weight gaining! Good luck!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Exciting news!!

It's been awhile since I've written a blog post. This semester has been busy--not only because of school stuff, but also because of exciting life things. About a month ago, the most amazing man got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! And of course, I said yes!

Honestly, there were times that I questioned if I would ever marry someone. Living with cystic fibrosis is hard. Choosing to be with someone with cystic fibrosis is almost crazy. Think about it; I am not a normal 23 year old. I have to plan and plan and plan to make sure I fit breathing treatments, exercise, and eating into my schedule. When I travel, I have to take a crazy amount of stuff with me--my Vest, nebulizers, compressor, pills, inhaled medication, puffers, and snacks. I have to make sure I sleep 8-9 hours a night because my body uses more energy than most, and I need sleep to fight infection. I have to have a course of IVs at least twice a year. It's hard to be spontaneous and adventurous because CF…

End of semester update

The past few weeks have been rough.

I got a cold about 3 weeks ago. No big deal, right? I hadn't gotten a cold in 10 months, which is basically a record for me. Surely my body could fight a cold off. Boy, was I wrong. After a week of fighting the cold, I started running a high fever and felt like a truck had run me over. I finally called the doctor for some reinforcements and started on an oral antibiotic and a course of steroids. Meanwhile, my school semester had just picked up, and I was down to the last 2 weeks of school. I had to finish a research paper, take 2 finals, write a final progress report for my practicum, and give really good, productive therapy. After 4 days on the antibiotic and steroids (Monday with one week of school left), I still was feeling crummy. I checked my oxygen and noticed that it was low--running at about 90-94%. I'm pretty positive the cold had turned into pneumonia. Even walking from my bedroom to my living room made me winded. It took me two-th…

A note to incoming college freshman

Recently, I was talking to a young woman who will be starting her freshman year of college in August. She didn't ask for my advice, but I gave it anyway. I tend to do that sometimes--blame my desire to help other people succeed as best as I can, I guess. Anyway, that got me thinking, what would I write if I were completely honest and vulnerable with incoming college freshman? What would I tell them that no one else seems to tell them? My freshman year was only 5 years ago, so my memories are still fresh. I came up with a list of things I found out to be true my freshman year. They may not all be true for you, but I hope and pray you gain some insight out of the lessons I learned.

1. Join a church and get plugged in to a small group. This should be your first order of business the minute you step on campus. Besides, you know, finding your dorm room and where all your classes are. Getting in a small group was literally the best thing I did freshman year. Not only did I start forming…