I [am] Pooped!
I'm so tired this week. I've opted to cease the Vyvanse for a week now for a couple of reasons: eliminating a variable in this whole experiment and trying to prepare for when this prescription runs out (I no longer have the affordable option without being a hospital employee). I hate everything about this decision. I've come to appreciate Vyvanse for so much more than focus. It helps with mood stabilization and energy and without it, I've been very sad (I cried once this week--over poop), lethargic, and in a dark place for days. I'm trying to get things on track and I'll say today is much better than previous ones. I still miss the comforting hug of my stimulant, though. I said what I said.
In addition to the fatigue and sadness... remember when I opted to up the dose last week? Well, I've had my first adverse side effect.
I've never been more jealous of my dog than I was this morning watching him poop. Okay, hang with me before you run away and wish you never opened this thread... y'all... the constipation this week has just been stupid. So yes, I cried about it because I hadn't pooped in days and I was frustrated (and fair to say a bit unstable). I counsel people on constipation. I know I should have avoided it (but again, got lucky from having no problems). I didn't eat an appropriate diet, didn't consider necessary supplements, didn't do the massage I teach... nothing. I just found my self here wallowing in self-pity. Until...
I attacked from all angles! I ate some foods sure to help, drank things no person should have to just to get intestinal motility, chewed gummies (that were quite tasty), and waited for the storm (and waited and awaited because it still took too long).
You'll be happy to know: I pooped. I feel better now.
I intended to go back to the previous dose of Semaglutide since I was still losing without the difficulties, but then I forgot. (See, I'm getting spacier already without my BFF Vy.) So forgive me if I drift out when you're talking to me. I've glazed over 3 times writing this instead of going start to finish in under 4 minutes.
Anyway, the real tea:
Down 17.8 pounds as I completed my first official month earlier this week.
We have the first crew of participants coming in over the next week as they finish their first month, so I will have other updates, too! I am thrilled to see the numbers and share some more insights with you.
May your bowels move willingly and consistently and your moods be more stable than KY weather!
To Bump or Not to Bump...
Today was shot 5 (4 weeks completed). It was time to decide if I would continue on my loading dose or bump up to the next phase. I've told everyone, if I'm consistently losing on the small amount, just ride it out! Save the money and decrease the risk of adverse side effects, right? Well...
I'm one week ahead of our first group of participants and I like being in the position to keep everyone updated on the journey--how I'm feeling, how I'm losing, and the overall process involved. With that in mind (and the fact I lost less than I have been), I went ahead and bumped the dose per the titration schedule.
I know I'm losing well (even fast, I guess) so the lower-loss weeks will start to happen, but I've been on a bit of a high so far and I just wanted to keep it going if I can! Hopefully, the next few weeks at this dose continue to be as successful. (More insightful live journaling to continue.) I also spend hours reading other people's experiences globally and the general consensus is, "keep with it. It feels slow until you look back and you've lost 100 pounds." <---- I'm geared up and ready for all that! That piece of advise is for all of us--no matter what changes we are trying to make--keep with it.
It's been about 3.5 hours since my injection and so far, I can't tell that I did anything differently. I did get an IV first thing this morning because I had a couple days of REALLY bad water intake with a headache attached. I was relieved within a few minutes and now I'm ready to tackle the day!
This week's loss: 1.6 lbs
Total loss: 15.6 lbs in 4 weeks
Goal: Still no flippin' clue. Maybe I'll have a better idea when I get out of the 300s (Goal 1)
iTS a Control Issue
It was pointed out to me this week that I MIGHT have a teensy, tiny (I mean, barely noticeable probably) strong, overwhelming, all-encompassing need for control. (Also, by "pointed out," I counted FOUR times different people mentioned it.) I always laugh it off. Let's be honest, I can't really defend it or gaslight it into an untruth.
What's it really about, though?
When you navigate the world as a morbidly obese young adult (shut up, still young), you find yourself constantly figuring out "how to make things work." I think that's manifested into always needing to control anything I CAN when there is a mounting list of things I CAN'T.
When we go out to dinner, you laugh when I control where I sit. I'm calculating the route to the exit and the bathroom. Can I fit as I weave through tables? Can I fit in a booth? Will I block the servers' path if I'm seated at a table in the middle of the room? Will my shirt roll up exposing my granny panties if I have my back to the other patrons? Okay, so if that table fills with a high chair, how do I get out after we pay the bill? Will I have to ask someone to move? Will I have to "suck in" or walk sideways to sliiiiide through a space that was never meant for my 324 pounds? And within how many seconds of starting my meal will I drop my first sauce/crumb/food chunk on my tiny little chest (kidding--it's gigantic)? Will people see my wipe it off or can I be subtle? Me. Subtle. ;)
You laugh when I ask for tasks to be done in a certain order. I'm trying to ensure my order of operations is nearly on autopilot. What if I look incompetent? What if I stumble through the sequence and my face flushes and then I stumble and then I'm sweating and then someone just thinks I'm stupid or lazy to go along with being fat? What if it all makes me lose credibility in an industry where I'm already proving myself everyday. "I PROMISE I know what I'm doing even if I don't look like I've ever participated in an athletic event in my life."
You laugh when I ask to go to the same vacation spot every year. It was away a safe space I found at 13 years old. It was the first time I could walk around in a swim suit and bare feet without a care in the world. It was the first time we didn't travel with the rest of Owensboro to PCB where I would inevitably hide in my room or avoid invites for play dates. It's a connection I made that made me forget, if even for just two weeks at a time. I know the terrain. I know the physical expectations of the trip. I know the layouts of all my favorite restaurants and acceptable dress codes. I know how to maneuver my body through the town without getting caught in a situation I can't resolve.
iTS a bit controlling, I know. I'm sure 50 minutes on a couch (for a decade of weekly therapy sessions) could break the surface of my neuroses. Maybe we can unpack a little more of that later. For now, though, we embrace the stability we find as we make the changes and improvements our lives so desperately need. My community of cohorts in this journey has tripled since my first blog and I'm thrilled to have others in my circle engaging in this new lifestyle and all the possibilities it brings.
And that's why you're reading, right? To get an update. So let me get to it...
I've completed three full weeks on our weight loss medication. While I often get ahead of myself and day dream of what I want to see and do after 150 pounds are gone, I have to refocus and get through one day. One food choice. One decision. One intentional change to reach my goals. When I realize how far I have to go, I get a defeated feeling (already!). Which is just stupid. So don't do that.
I took my first comparison photo yesterday. This is a 19-day change. 19 days. Imagine what I can do in 30? in 60? In 6 months? And before you start overanalyzing trying to figure out what's different, YES, I had a 1/2 syringe put in my lips yesterday (shout out to my nurse injector Serenity here at Integrated) and NO, I did NOT have any other services done. That is 100% a weight loss change. Unfiltered. ----> Yes, I am awesome.
Three weeks in. 14 pounds (and two chins) lost.
Starting weight: 324 pounds
Current weight: 310 pounds
Goal weight: I have no freakin' clue.
Are you ready?
Two Weeks Notice
There's a statistic I've read that said the average person thinks about food four times a day, totaling about 40 minutes. (This was clue #378 that I'm above average.)
Before starting this new medication, I was worried that appetite suppression wasn't going to give me the impact I needed. I mean, obvi that's helpful, but the psychological components of my addiction to food far outweigh the growls in my tummy. Even when consciously trying to make smart nutrition choices or "dieting," I'm consumed with thinking about eating, not eating, minimizing eating, scheduling eating, binge eating... chances are high that I've thought about what snack I need while you're talking to me about something unrelated.
But here we are two weeks in. I honestly now think I'm trending toward normal (just on the average food-thinking thing, not all my other eccentricities). Two days this week I didn't even consider eating until someone else asked if I needed/wanted lunch. iTS a whole new world! While I'm still in the midst of the loading dose, I do still sometimes find myself getting hungry, but I'm satiated after such small portions! I feel like I'm being rewired or something and I'm all about it.
My husband said last night (when I declined dinner), "I'm just trying to adjust to this; it's weird."
I'm always bugging him about what he's going to cook for me or go pick up (because I try my best to avoid doing either myself). I guess he's adjusting to a little less obnoxious nagging??
I took my 3rd injection this morning and still no side effects to report. I have had a headache for a couple days, but that was dehydration it seems. I haven't done as well drinking my water since I don't feel the need to "fill up" on anything. I got an IV infusion today and I'm back on track.
11.2 pounds down... too many to count left to go.
I think I'll set my first big goal for 50 pounds. What should my reward be?? :)
Movin' on Down...
Wowza! I'm over here trying not to be fat anymore and y'all are making my head swell so much I may be retaining weight. ;)
In all seriousness, I appreciate all the messages, calls, and social media posts in response to my first blog entry. I also love the 8 PEOPLE that have already signed up at our clinic to go along this journey with me. Woohoo!!
So here I am 5 days in to this new weight loss medication and I'm down 6 pounds so far (in case you were ready for a super early update). While I don't have intentions of weighing everyday, I was curious to see if there was an initial change.
Fortunately, I haven't had any side effects or anything to note--no nausea, extreme fatigue, etc. I even ate some fried cheese balls (omg, BWs) almost as a dare to see how my body responded. Truthfully, I was hoping it made me ill to teach me a lesson, but nothing happened! (Reminder: I've just started the loading dose and that can change as I increase.)
The only thing I've really noticed is that I'm saving enough money in food to cover the cost of my script! My meals make 3-4 portions, so I've only bought two "meals" since I started (in case you're wondering how to fit the program into your budget).
So far so good. I'm just moving on down...
The Ultimate Exposure
Most women get a bit squeamish talking about their weight. I've certainly never been the contradiction, but I've also laughed at myself--as if y'all wouldn't know I was fat if you didn't see the scale reading (face palm, eye roll, laughing emojis). To make it all more awkward, if you've known me for longer than the last few years, you've seen me lose a person, gain a person (and then gain her twin, too) to the tune of about 170 pounds.
What a roller coaster of depression-causing, joint-aching, blood pressure-rising, embarrassment-boosting ridiculousness!
It's become so easy to make excuses: childhood trauma, horrific first marriage, crappy bosses, lost jobs, moving to a tiny town you hate, "but PCOS makes me fat; it's not my fault." The reality is I place all my energy and efforts in the wrong things because depression and anxiety are real and they can be debilitating. Who knew ADHD diagnosis/medication in my late 30s could clear some cob webs and fuel me to BE better, try harder, matter more...
To be clear, I find myself to be extremely smart. (Like, it's not even fair to be this funny, quick-witted, AND a genius--yet here I am.) Knowing I'm not a complete idiot does make it even more frustrating to reflect on how I treat myself (I should know better). There's generally a stigma related to morbid obesity correlating with lack of education, ignorance, laziness, etc. So I just wanted to clarify: not an idiot, but just make a lot of really bad decisions.
So here we are... the polarizing decision. To be clear, I don't need to know if what you think I'm doing is a good idea or not. I don't care if you have a 45-minute story of how you're happy and healthy because you sleep 8 hours each night and only eat chia seeds and dirt. The reality is, I self-sabotage anytime I hit a mental health slump and right now I need a little kick to get this ball rolling (in the interest of not dying before I turn 40).
Enter the prescription.
While I'll never champion a quick-fix fad or pill and I do understand required life changes and nutritional support, I also believe that sometimes we just need help. I need help. Lots of us need help. I started this new medication yesterday (FDA approved for chronic weight loss) and I'm feeling hopeful, but I think accountability (in a BIG WAY here) is just what I need. So, I'm telling all of you!
I want to share the experience--the ups and downs of medical weight loss (side effects, victories, battles). If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask. I'm fine with humiliating myself in the interest of sharing information. I'm also excited for people to join in along the way.
So here goes nothing... wait, I mean, "here goes a whole bunch of pounds."
Day one: 324 lbs
Feel free to cheer me on instead of waiting for me to fail; I can feel the energy either way.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.