My Journey with My Weight and Weight Loss

How many times have you heard these words? “If you would just lose some weight?”

If I had saved even a nickel from the times I heard this in my life, I would have a significant savings account by now. “If you would just lose weight it would improve your ____”.

Back pain, bulging discs, degenerative discs, lupus, fibromyalgia, knee pain, abdominal pain related to endometriosis or ovarian cysts, depression, arthritis, tachycardia, undiagnosed breathing/lung issues, undiagnosed abdominal issues - nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.

I know that it’s true that losing weight can improve several of the issues on the above list. As an overweight, well I guess technically obese, person - it’s frustrating to hear that. Especially in connection to, “I’m sorry, there is not much I can do for you!”

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Adult onset obesity

For some people obesity is something that they developed as an adult, unexpectedly. Perhaps related to taking medications like steroids, or medications for the heart. Or certain classes of medications that are used to treat depression, many or most have the risk of causing weight gain.

Lifelong weight struggles

Then there are people like me who have fought their weight for their entire lives. I can remember back to elementary being rounder and pudgier than the girls my age. This continued into middle school. At which point I remember going on Weight Watchers for the very first time. Because I wanted to be smaller like the cool girls.

I continued off and on with Weight Watchers for a couple of years. But cheerleading was the real eye opener. In middle school my weight wasn’t that big of a deal, because there were two other girls with similar body types. But my freshman year I remember being so embarrassed at many games as a cheerleader. That year the coaches decided it would be fun for us to wear a vintage uniform. It didn’t fit whatsoever, so I had to wear something else. But it wasn’t the first time I would be embarrassed by my weight.

Weight and lupus

I’ll save you the ups and downs in my weight over the next 10-15 years. But in 2012 is when the upward climb began. I got started on high dose steroids for breathing issues first, then eventually for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Over the next 6-8 years the doses of my steroids yo-yo'd as it often does for someone with lupus. Because of that, so did my weight. In 2020 my weight creeped up to its highest. But I’m sure I’m not alone, because during that time there was a lot of nothing to do in the world except eating and Netflix.

Past weight loss tactics

Over the years I’ve tried just about everything. Weight Watchers, weight loss shakes, working out with a trainer 1 on 1, doing HIIT workouts. In the last few years I’ve been on medications that also have the side effects of weight loss. They have worked a little, but not enough to make a difference.

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Is chronic weight management something you struggle with?

When I had my physical in October, it showed that it was time to really buckle up and do something about my weight.  Not only was my cholesterol and triglycerides high, so was my liver number. We also checked my insulin level, which proved that I was insulin resistant. So my primary care physician said it was time to do something before something happens. What I’ve done in the past hasn’t worked for the long term.

What I am about to say is controversial in many ways.  But this is what my doctor and I decided will be best for me and my health! It might not be for you, and your doctor may recommend a different approach - but for me it’s working. Please just keep that in mind.

Present weight loss tactics

So, on October 31, 2023 I began my journey on a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1). I am going through a compounding pharmacy so I am not taking any medication from the diabetic population who are having trouble getting their medication. I could say it’s been easy and the pounds have fallen off. But like any method of losing weight there have been ups and downs.

There have been weeks where I’ve gained, weeks where I’ve lost nothing, or barely anything. There have also been weeks where I’ve lost almost 10 pounds. It’s been an adventure for sure.

To date I’ve lost 26 pounds in 9 weeks. It’s been a whole lifestyle change that I didn’t think I’d like. But I’ve actually enjoyed the process. I’m really hoping that losing the weight will help my inflammation and pain levels. I guess we shall see.

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