Nutrition is such a big battle in my life. Having CF and wanting to be active is a double edge sword. I need lots of or rather a ridiculous amount of calories each day just to keep up with the amount of energy my body requires to fight CF but I also have to compensate for any additional output, like running or biking. It's a difficult task.
I've had many people tell me how they wished they had that problem. That they could consume and consume. Truth is, no you don't. Trust me. If you've ever struggled to loose weight, the struggle to gain and maintain weight is equally as hard.
I opted for a feeding tube back in 2008 and have had great success with it. However, the goal has always been to get my weight stable and then maintain without the assistance of the feeding tube. Currently, I'm on a 3-month trial of just that.
I'd say at this juncture, 2 months in, that I'm doing very well. I'm 2lbs away from my "optimal" weight of 123lbs. My personal goal is 125lbs, It just sounds better and it's easier to track then 123 or 127 or whatever. So, what am I doing nutritionally that is different then prior to having the feeding tube placed?
First and foremost, I've educated myself on good nutrition. What I've taken away is that no matter how good we eat or how clean our diets are; we are still lacking. Then when you add into that medications which can and do deplete or rob the body in some manner it's compounded. Only then to add in the inability to properly digest and absorb all that good clean food while trying to minimize the destructive aspects of medications, we're lacking. Plain and simple.
Secondly, understanding the areas in which one is lacking. For me, its generally vitamins A and D along with minerals. I know this because I pay attention and ask for my labs that are done every 3-months as part of my CF care.
Thirdly, I supplement like crazy. I add things into my daily routine that help aid in absorbing, processing, and preparing my system to the best of my ability. I add things like soluble and non-soluble fiber, probiotics, vitamins and minerals. I change my diet to help fix areas where I can not only add supplements in addition to adding high caloric meals and/or foods.
My biggest advice to those struggling with their weight- gaining or losing, side effects to medications, low energy, digestion issues, and list goes on; is to take a good hard honest look at your what your putting into your body.
Is your diet lacking?
What do you think you could be adding to help?
What do you think would make the biggest impact?
I'm not saying that you have to throw everything in your cupboard/fridge out. But what could you simply add to help your body?
For me, it's in with the new and out with the old. I want this old feeding tube gone and I'm ready to reclaim my stomach.