Operation Weight Gain – Week 1

For some months now, I have really been taking it easy on my stomach. That means I haven’t pushed it. I haven’t stressed it (well, very little, anyway). I’ve eaten when I’ve been hungry, and that’s about it. I found a really decent medication schedule that’s kept me MOSTLY free from vomiting. I’d say these days I barf about once a month, versus once a week or even once a day. Much better than before. BUT – since I’m not pushing it at all, I’m not gaining weight.

My quality of life feels much improved without so much turmoil, but there’s also a lot than can still be improved. I NEED to gain weight. Bottom line. But how?

Last time I gave it a good shot was a couple years ago (or less) when I attempted to gain weight using a feeding tube to “drink” formula while I slept. But that ended terribly. The formula (I tried 3 different kinds: Resouce, Jevity, Nutren) was extremely heavy feeling. Almost everyday, I’d wake up incredibly nauseous and before you know it – BLARGGHHH!!! Then I tried other formula that I drank normally, or in shake form (I tried Ensure and Benecalorie), but the same thing happened. Finally, I gave up with the formulas. I layed off my stomach. I babied it. In doing so, I got rid of an incredible amount of stress. No more worrying about puking each day.

But, here I am, still way underweight. Happier, yes, but not healthier. Every cold or flu I’ve gotten since then has caused weight loss which I haven’t recovered. I’m ready to give the formula another shot. My choice this time is Benecalorie. It comes in a 1.5 ounce cup. In that 1.5 ounce is 330 calories of fat and nutrition. That’s alot of calories packed in a tiny amount. To start, I plan on having one Benecalorie milkshake each day. The shake is 1 Benecalorie packet (330 cal) + 8 ounces of milk (150 cal) + 4 tablespoons of caffeine-free mocha cappuccino powder (200 cal) + ice = 680 calories in roughly 12 ounces, once it’s whipped/blended. Pretty good for a drink. And it tastes good.

Why do this now? Why risk messing with my stomach again, after the almost constant vomiting that happened last time? For one, I hadn’t worked out a proper and WORKING medication plan last time. Secondly, my mind is in a rather different place now.

Ever since sometime in December ’09, I started to make an effort to look for the positives in any given situation. Slowly but surely, as the days pass, it becomes easier (but not easy – it’s a daily improvement job) to be grateful, instead of complaining. The result of feeling more and more grateful, and less angry and resentful, is that I feel more rooted. I am enjoying life more, and I want to KEEP enjoying it. That means I’m here to stay. I belong. My feet are firmly planted.

I will gain weight and I will succeed. Am I tempting fate by writing that? I don’t think so. I just feel it’s time. Failure is not an option. It won’t happen. I’ll change tactics if I have to, but I won’t stop trying.

So, day one, week one. Just had my first Benecalorie shake about an hour ago.

My starting weight: 80 pounds. Yeah, 80. Ugh.

Wish me luck!


  1. Thania Ormonde says:

    Chris, I am so very happy to hear about this weight gain plan. I am especially relieved that you are taking this very seriously and open to trying the shake thing again. I think you should monitor your weight weekly, not because it means your being paranoid but because that is what you need to be doing. As you already know being underweight puts you at risk for other health issues and makes you more vulnerable (healthwise). I know you can do it! I believe in you Chrispi! and of course the critical thing is that you continue to have the full support of your lovely wife and daughter. And I hope you understand Chris that if any of us ask (when we see you), “Chris, have you eaten or Are u hungry?” it’s not because we want to pester you, its because that is our way of supporting you…so please don’t take it as nagging, it is simply because you mean so much and we love you so much! The best of luck! I was wondering Chris, how much time do you give yourself to drink the whole shake? I would assume that you space it at least over an hour or 90minutes, you know smaller sips at a time…also How about babyfood?, we had talked about this before, it is in great portions and a lot of it tastes good. Also, how about having yummy dry cereal (kix, cheerios, pops etc.) You could have it in between, like a bowl a day (just dry with no milk), that way it is easier on your stomach….I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT BRUTHA, JUST STAY COMMITTED, YOU ARE WORTH IT, ITS NOT JUST ABOUT WEIGHT, ITS ABOUT LOVIN’ YOURSELF, ALL OF YOURSELF…i LOVE YOU SO MUCH! By the way are you set up with skype?

    • Chris says:

      Thanks, sister. Understood about the “are you hungry?” questions… BUT – I still have to ask you (as in, the family in general) to do your best to minimize it! The reason is, I am tired of connecting you guys with my health issues. I want there to be less of an association. I think for happiness sake, I would like my health issues not discussed as much. One on one is different, but at gatherings, I just want to laugh and be with family, and feel normal. Make sense? But I know you guys would like SOMETHING to do to show support. For now, I would appreciate the standard “You can do it”s and “Go Chris”s. A little of that goes a long way, and would be preferred over food questions any day of the week.
      As for drinking the shake, I’ve so far taken about 45 minutes on average to drink it. I agree that gulping it all at once would be a bad idea.
      I don’t have Skype yet, but the laptop does have a webcam. Email me your info (I dunno if I need your username or whatever to find you on it) and I can see about downloading/installing it.

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