Wednesday, April 25, 2012

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!