Two weeks ago, on January 4, I went for my quarterly check-up with my regular physician. I have several health issues, as most of you probably know. I’m diabetic, have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, have migraines, have asthma which has gotten worse in the past few months, deal with depression/anxiety/bipolar, and I’m obese. As Russ and I joked a few weeks ago, we’re currently looking at one of the few times that being fat is going to get us ahead in life (in regards to obesity being considered a comorbidity on the list for covid vaccinations). That’s not a reason I want to be in line to get the shot earlier, but it is what it is, I guess.
I had reached a serious milestone when I went to the doctor’s office and I knew that something had to be done. I stepped onto the scale and it read 300.2. Several years ago, I had gotten up to 330 pounds, and I lost down to 220 pounds. I swore that I wouldn’t regain that weight, but here I am. Depression is a beast – it was during Papaw Little’s illness and after his death in 2014 that I began regaining the weight. I knew it was happening, but frankly, at that time, I didn’t even care.
I discovered the weight loss drug Contrave around 2015, I think. I took it and lost some of the weight again. Then Mamaw Little died. I came back to Contrave in late-2017, and again, found myself losing weight with the help of the drug. I had more energy and ambition once those initial pounds came off, and I wanted to eat better and see more success. Then Mom got sick, passed away, and the chaos that became life after her death ensued for the next eighteen months or so. Oh, then there came a pandemic, and I sat around the house because I’m afraid to go work out now and can’t breathe when I try to walk with a mask on because – I’ve gotten so heavy and my asthma is so bad. Vicious circle. Contrave is also very cost-prohibitive. The last time I psyched myself up mentally to try it again, we found that it had a $600/month price tag.
So, at my doctor’s appointment a couple of weeks ago, my doctor punched up Contrave on GoodRX. About $140/month. If it works and helps get me started on my weight loss journey again, then I am all for it. I’ll sell whatever I need to sell to eke out $140/month. I started the medication on Friday, January 15.
I won’t lie to you. Contrave can have some ugly side effects. And each time I have taken it, my body has responded to it a little differently. Always, there is a headache. I deal with migraines, so I can usually tolerate the Contrave headaches while my body is adjusting. And if it’s really bad, then I’ll take some medicine for it. Diarrhea. Well, I have that on a regular-enough basis that I have prescription medication for it, too. Even after two colonoscopies last year, the GI doctor hasn’t figured out what my GI-related issues are, exactly, so, I’ve got medication for the diarrhea, too, if it’s unbearable. This time, there has been nausea. I don’t like nausea. I have Phenergen that I save for hard times, so I’m going to have to learn to roll with the punches on this one until my body adjusts to the Contrave. Each day is better, though. And I’m already seeing some results. Today, when I weighed at home, wearing what I wore to the doctor’s office two weeks ago, I weighed in at 292.8. And I know that I didn’t lose all of that with Contrave over the weekend. So my mindset is changing. My habits are changing.
Contrave helps with that, too. Again, each time I’ve tried it, it has impacted my body differently, but also my mind. The first time I tried it, I didn’t eat ice cream for over a year. I simply didn’t want it. And if you know me at all, you know what a huge thing that is – I will stop for ice cream anytime, anywhere. I will get a mental image of something that I really enjoy eating and the Contrave lets me know, “Nah, you don’t really want that.” It replaces a lot of my unhealthy cravings with healthier ones. No, it doesn’t have me jumping up and down for kale and broccoli, but it does have me thinking about things like fruit salads (with just fruits, no marshmallows or Snickers bars thrown in for good measure), and simple salads of baby spinach and carrots, which are two of the few veggies that I like, maybe throwing in a few raisins. I really have a hankering for rotisserie or baked chicken; but if I think about fried chicken, I get nauseous.
When I go to Wendy’s for a burger, I typically have a triple, plain, with Muenster cheese. Russ bought me a plain double last night while he was out. Even though I’d been nauseous all weekend, I was determined to have a hamburger. One whiff and I knew that wasn’t happening. So I tried again for lunch today. I ate half of it, and I was suddenly full. My body is in training, re-training itself for amounts and types of fuel required and requested. I want fruit. But nothing sour or tangy. Which should be interesting for the girl who has three slices of lemon in each glass of water when she goes out to eat.
That’s another thing. I’m going to start making a more conscious effort to eat at home. I know that it is healthier. I know that it is less expensive to eat at home, too. Funny how we can “know” things and not do a thing about them, isn’t it? Truth be told, I probably eat take-out at least four or five times a week. With Russ not here most of the time when I’m eating (he works night shift, so he’s not here when I eat dinner; he’s sleeping when I’d eat lunch), it’s just “easy” to run over to KFC, or Buddy’s, or Chick-Fil-A, and pick up something. In actuality, if I’d exert a little effort and thaw some beef (we only have a deep freezer full of it downstairs), or ask Russ to pick up some chicken while he’s at the store one of several trips each week, then it could be just as “easy” to do something here. I like cooking. I just hate cleaning up. But we have a dishwasher. I just need to create better, healthier habits about my living environment, too.
So, what are my goals? I’d like to lose a couple of pounds a week for the entire year. I’d like to be down to at least 250 by the end of June. And down to 200 by the end of December. Those are my goals. We don’t always meet our goals in life, but those are what I am working towards. I’m sharing all of this publicly to make me more accountable. I’ll do a monthly update on the blog, to see where I am, how I’m doing, if I want to kill anyone yet, etc. Maybe I’ll share some new favorite recipes or something along the way, or just tell you what is or isn’t working for me. Maybe I’ll post pics of me in new clothes. Or in clothes that I can fit into again. I’ve kept “the” pair of jeans from the Epic UK/European Excursion of 2013. I’m looking forward to fitting back into those. To annoy Tasha Hicks, if for no other reason. (She hated them because they’re acid-washed, which went out waaaay before we went on that trip, she said, lol!) And the two cashmere sweaters that I bought in Salisbury in 2013. I have those folded neatly in a drawer and wouldn’t part with them over the past 80 pounds of weight gained. I want to wear those by next year, too. I have goals and dreams. I want to be able to shop in non-plus shops again. Just because there is more variety. I want to feel better in the skin I’m in. I’m excited about the coming months and seeing what challenges and rewards will come my way!