I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life. After I had my son 18+ years ago, I never lost all my baby fat. And, after I turned 40, my thyroid went bonkers and I gained even more weight. I am 5’6″ tall and got well over 200 pounds at my heaviest.
The weight just doesn’t come off anymore. My doctor says I am insulin resistant–and that makes sense because diabetes runs in my family on my dad’s side. She says that’s one reason I have trouble losing weight. The funny thing is as much as I write about food I don’t eat that much. I’m not much of a snacker–I don’t sit around eating chips and candy all day or anything like that. Yet my ass remains at about 185 pounds and has been stuck there for years.
Part of me wishes I could just accept it and say “This is who I am,” but I can’t. I look better at 140 or 150, and the older I get the more I’m worried about how my skin is losing its elasticity. I would hate to lose the weight and have all my skin stay stretched out, and those days they are-a-coming.
I’m trying something new I wanted to tell you about. It’s called Saxenda and it’s a daily injection I take. I’ve been on it almost a month and I have to say I think it’s working according to how I feel and how my clothes are fitting.
Saxenda is also marketed under the brand name Victoza. Victoza is for Type 2 Diabetes. But, it also has the very pleasant side effect of weight loss. As it was explained to me, it causes your stomach to empty much slower than normal, which keeps you from eating as much. Your food intake goes down, and, that results in weight loss without you suffering or feeling deprived and hungry.
Okay, so here’s the bad news. If you’re used to eating a certain portion size, you better adjust those expectations as soon as you start taking Saxenda. Where a Quarter Pounder or Big Mac once did the trick, now you’re only going to be able to eat a small size hamburger. If you don’t? You’re going to hurl. Quickly. That’s because there’s just no room in your stomach for that much food. So, I liken this medication to a pharmaceutically-induced gastric bypass. Everyone I know whose had gastric bypass gets sick if they eat one or two bites too much, and that can happen here, especially when you are getting used to the medication.
The dose can be cranked up from .6 to 3.0, and you’re supposed to increase it slowly every week. Start with .6 daily for a week, then in week 2 go to 1.2, 1.8 in week 3, etc. I have worked my way up to 3.0 and it makes it very easy not to eat. It also makes it very hard to keep food down if I consume a lot of liquids. I was in New Orleans this week and did a little bar hopping on Bourbon Street. By the time I got to dinner I could only eat 2 or 3 bites of food since I’d drank several beverages. That was a huge disappointment for me since we were dining at Emeril’s restaurant. I wish I had laid off the medication for a few days before going to New Orleans just so I could enjoy the food there more. But, alas, I did not. So, I spent a lot of time wishing I were hungry, and, a fair amount of time throwing up due consuming too many liquids.
It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow, and I did not take my Saxenda shot today. Nor will I take it tomorrow, just because I want to be able to enjoy the food that we’ll be eating.
There is one other unpleasant side effect I encountered that I better warn you about. When you first start taking Saxenda, for goodness sakes, uh….. how do I put this? I know…do NOT trust a fart. I shall not share with you the details of what happens, just take my word for it and let’s leave it at that!
So what about taking a shot every day? How is that? Well it’s not too bad. The needles are very tiny, and short. They pierce the skin pretty painlessly, although I will say there are some places on your body that are less sensitive than others. I usually do my lower abdomen, below my naval, because I find that to be the least sensitive area. I’ve tried arms, legs and various portions of my abdomen. The lower abdomen seems to be the easiest and least sensitive zone, but that could vary depending on how you’re made and how sensitive your skin is.
The studies done so far show that it does help take off and keep off weight better than diet and exercise alone. I hope I get results out of this, but if I don’t maybe it’s just time to decide I can live with myself just the way I am? I’ll keep you posted on how it works….