Week #22 - Down 60# and 45"
I've been posting more frequent updates on TikTok where I've found a wonderful community of Mounjaro Queens on this same journey. They've been a wonderful resource for all things related to the coupon, and taught me a few new food tricks. If you want to catch me in this video format just search for @pixelprodesign or Mounjaro Marjorie.
Let me bring you up to date here -
I've been getting a lot of double-takes lately...people who haven't seen me in a while who are just shocked by the changes. I'm able to wear a size 8 now in pants and a medium top. When I pair that with a pair of ankle boots, I look even skinnier - LOL!
A funny thing that happened last week is that I went to the dentist for a checkup and the receptionist was looking at me very strangely when I walked in to confirm arrival for the appointment. Later I figured out why. After my cleaning, the hygienist asked me if I would like to take a new photo for their customer information file - and that's when I saw what the receptionist had seen earlier. Oh my!!! Yup, sign me up for a new picture pronto! This was taken 2 years ago...
Mounjaro changes -
I bumped up to the 12.5 mg dose two weeks ago. The pharmacy had some issues initially, so I switched to a smaller non-franchise pharmacy. It takes them a day to get the meds in stock, and then another couple of days to process the coupon. The pharmacist said the grandfathered coupon I have still has hiccups, but he just keeps being persistent and it finally works...for no particular reason. I have heard that it will expire in June instead of December this year. If I keep losing a pound a week, I don't think it will be any hardship for me. But I honestly don't know if I'll need to be on this medication long-term or if I will be able to maintain the new weight without it. That will be a trial and error process. I am following others on TIk-Tok who have recently reached their goal weight and are dropping down the dosage either by the milligrams or by increasing the time between shots to maintain their new weight. Only one went cold turkey and she is a diabetic...and so far so good for her.
I hope to be in a place that I don't need to be on this indefinitely...but if I do, there are processes for how to get a "PA" or prior authorization so this will be covered by insurance. Hopefully, by the time I get to that point the fast-tracked FDA approval for Mounjaro to be used as a weight loss drug will be complete and make that hurdle a little easier. It still probably won't be covered but all those tik-tokers in the mounjaro community online are sharing their wisdom, so I have hope.
People are getting these medications approved by insurance, but NOT for weight loss. That pretty much guarantees a rejection, but a good doc will help look at your medical history and family history to fight for a PA.
In the TikTok community, the consensus is that if you request authorization for this medication for pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, anything BUT weight loss, your odds for approval increase. I'll let you know if I get to that point. I have heard that Enbold.com - an online weight loss tele-doc service has had great success getting PA's approved for Mounjaro. They are of the opinion that treating someone for pre-diabetes is the same as treating someone for Type 2 Diabetes...and they will fight for you to get this prescription covered by insurance.
Side effects -
I have experienced some puffiness (like a mosquito bite) at the injection site when I was injecting in my thigh. The Mounjaro community and some are nurses that I follow suggested switching up injection sites to break a stall. I did stall for a week - but I think that was due to forgetting my hormone treatments. When I switched to injection at the back of my arm, there was no puffiness. This was really a non-issue...just mentioning it here. It didn't itch or sting or anything...it was just different than prior weeks.
Bumping up to the 12.5mg dose did not produce any digestive side effects beyond what I had felt prior to this. Dairy is still a no-go for me...unless it is watered down with coffee:) I tried a very small portion of Chicken Alfredo this week and immediately started to feel queasy. I've been drinking protein enhanced milk products - but I have to sip them very slowly throughout the morning to tolerate it.
Increasing Activity -
I've been working out regularly now - 20 min of cardio on a bike and free weight training...very low weights with high reps to build some tone. My son meets me at the gym every other day and gives me sweet hugs and a kiss when the moment strikes him. Cracks me up that he doesn't care who knows he's a mama's boy! Having a buddy definitely lightens the mood when I don't want to be there some days. So does a pari of airpods and a good spotify playlist.
Last weekend a good friend invited my hubby and I to join them with another couple to play pickle ball. I've never played before so this was definitely out of my comfort zone...but I did it! We also played volleyball and did a little shooting around with basketballs. I was strangely comfortable in my own skin being active like this. I felt like a 20-something passing time on a Saturday afternoon. We laughed, we joked around and genuinely had a great time....and then they invited us over for lunch and hot tub time. Now THAT was a hurdle! I pulled out my new swimsuit from our December trip to Florida...and it was a little big. Yikes! I couldn't believe it!
We had a really wonderful time despite the chilly midwest temps outside...and I was 100% comfortable wearing a bathing suit in front of others. A HUGE hurdle compared to how emotional I felt at a pool party a few years ago when I donned a t-shirt and spandex capris put on a brave face and dangled my feet at the edge of the pool on a sweltering hot July day. This body change and new confidence feels SO good and I want it for every person I meet who has struggled with weight.
New food habits -
Those who know me well know that I LOVE to play in my kitchen. I recently hosted dinner with friends and decided to make a copycat stuffed chicken marsala recipe from Olive Garden. One of the guests is a vegetarian and I decided I wanted to try and make a variation with Tofu for half the recipe. Keep in mind I've NEVER eaten tofu and never cooked with it before, so this was a total experiment and I was pleasantly surprised that it was as flavorful and filling as the chicken version. It's good to try new things that I know are healthy for me...not that chicken is bad.
I recently learned that there's a formula for calculating how much protein I should eat in a day. So, taking my goal weight and multiply by .8 gives me a total grams I should consume in a day. I wasn't getting close to that and was concerned about losing muscle as I lose weight...so I've added protein shakes and sports drinks into my morning and lunch routines. Did you know gatorade zero has a protein version? The Tik-Tok community has also recommended protein shakes mixed with sugar free pudding variations for a healthy snack. I honestly am averse to sweet things any more. I literally don't like sweets. I baked some peanut butter cookies for the family on Valentine's Day and ate a pinch of dough and a pinch of a cookie and it was more than enough. Isn't that weird! Who eats a pinch of a cookie? I honestly had NO DESIRE to eat 2 or 3 cookies that day or the next. However, girl scout cookies was another story. I don't know why, but they were as tasty as ever - but I didn't binge on a whole box. I ate a couple one day and a couple the next and the next and the next until I finished a whole sleeve and that was okay. I was okay. I was in control...a VERY GOOD THING!
I enjoyed shopping for some new clothes to celebrate my new weight...cautiously on the clearance racks because I don't know that I'll be this size much longer...but a girl needs to be comfy!
Is there hope?
My heart breaks for my friends who have recently tried to get a prescription for this without success....well, they got the prescription, but the newer coupon on the Mounjaro.com website isn't giving as deep of a discount. Their total pharmacy bill was closer to $500 for a 1-mo. supply. I'm paying a whopping $25/mo. with a coupon I got at mounjaro.com in September 2022. That's a pretty big difference! I blame Eli Lilly for not anticipating demand and changing criteria - unless they are intentional in all this to speed up the fast track of Mounjaro as a weight loss drug with the FDA. Kinda out of my experience so I'll shut up on that point.
However, if you are contemplating a medical weight loss journey, please know that there are other GLP1 agonist medications that are less expensive, effective, and covered by insurance, so don't give up. Talk to your doctor and if they don't listen, find a new doc who does. Mounjaro/Tirzepatide is a GIP receptor AND GLP-1 receptor agonist. So it's a little different that Wegovy, Saxenda and a couple of others. In the studies it was more effective than Wegovy, but that doesn't mean Wegovy doesn't work...it's just a slower process. In my book, any progress is a step forward. So do it for yourself! You won't regret it.