That Weight Loss Thing

Several people asked about this when I revealed that I have lost over 40lbs since October last year.  My simple answer is “Ozempic” (which is true) but I need to give a little background, I think.

My long-suffering family doctor — a lovely man, by the way — has been hammering on at me about my weight for many years, yea even unto when it reached the upper-270s.  I’ve always responded flippantly to his worries, saying that I’ll do anything to address that concern as long as it didn’t involve

  • a change in diet, or
  • exercise.

Well, it all caught up with me when after studying the results of my last blood tests, he informed me that I was developing Type II diabetes.  He wasn’t kidding this time — I’d also developed the irritating-but-not-critical feelings of partial numbness in the soles of my feet, which is a symptom of diabetes and of advanced age (which is why you so often see old geezers wearing slippers around the house and sandals with socks outdoors — bare feet, apparently, are no longer an option lest one step on something sharp and doesn’t notice it).

Anyway, I still wasn’t interested in changing my diet or doing exercise, so he prescribed Ozempic.  It’s a once-weekly self-administered jab in the stomach.

What it did for me was reduce my appetite by about 60%.  Now I have to say that since my gastric surgery all those years ago, my appetite hasn’t been all that great anyway, but my food choices have been… deplorable.

What Ozempic did for me was reduce all food cravings — not eliminate them altogether, but make me less likely to eat (say) a whole slab of Dairy Milk over three days, and take two weeks to consume the same amount instead.

On regular foods, my portion sizes were reduced by about two thirds, and breakfast disappeared altogether, replaced by (maybe) a piece of cheese, a couple of grapes or a small handful of Honey-Nut Cheerios, and only if I felt really hungry.  (“Peckish” disappeared completely.)  I found myself becoming totally disinterested in feeding myself, much to New Wife’s concern.

Here’s the good part of all this:  I have been feeling better.  More energy, more stamina, and much less effort in just doing stuff like getting out of chairs or even just sitting up in bed.  Some people have reported that change in body shape has also resulted in change of personality, but that’s bullshit.  If your personality is going to change just because you’ve lost weight, then you have bigger problems to worry about.

Losing all that weight was a salutary event, but I was warned by FamDoc (and Doc Russia) that I needed to do at least some exercise because one of the side-effects of such radical weight loss is concomitant loss of muscle mass.

I’ve pretty much ignored that advice too, because to be frank, I’m heartily sick of my muscles.  I’ve always been a beefy kind of guy, even at Army weight (210lbs) — and I’m quite frankly sick of having to find shirts with an 18″ collar (since leaving high school), trousers that look like bell-bottoms (calf muscles) and shirts with sleeves that squashed my arms into stovepipes.  Cowboy boots?  Oy, I’ve been forced to get boots that are a half-size too big just so I can get my calves (again) into them.  Less muscle?  Fine.  I’m still as strong as I want to be — just this past weekend I helped Daughter pack some heavy stuff into her SUV, without any problems.

And so on.  My clothes fit better and feel more comfortable, and I’m using the first hole on my belts rather than the last one.  I may have to get some smaller clothes when I lose the last thirty-odd lbs I’m targeting, but then again maybe not.  Whatever.  If I end up walking around in baggy clothes, I don’t really care.  New Wife, however, may feel differently about it, but I have enough clothes that I bought when slimmer (and never threw away) that I shouldn’t need to change much.

It’s not all sunshine and light, however.  Belly fat has turned from a basketball into folds (okay enough under shirts, but ugh when uncovered), and my face has also become… well, droopy would be the best description.  (I know I know, exercise… shuddup.)

Anyway, that’s the story of the film so far.  Appalled by the cost of Ozempic, by the way, I switched to Rybelsus, which is a (foul-tasting) once-a-morning tablet, but it hasn’t worked as well, and I felt my weight starting to creep up again.  “Never mind,” says FamDoc, “I’ll just up the dosage of the Rybelsus.”

Except that the increased dosage of Rybelsus is more or less the same cost as Ozempic (~$220 per month ugh) so as of this very morning, I’ve gone back to the weekly jabs in the stomach.

(As an aside, I should point out that I am easily one of the least-squeamish people on the planet, and sticking a microscopically-thin needle into my own gut every week doesn’t bother me in the slightest.)

I really don’t care what people think of how I look, and maybe this is why I’m so blasé about this whole Ozempic/weight loss thing.  It was never about losing weight;  it was all about dealing with Type II diabetes, and that’s about it.

As with all activities of this nature, what has worked (or not worked) for me may not be the same for you.  So be my guest, if this is the road you want to walk down, but be careful.


  1. Very interesting, Kim. I’ve just been diagnosed as a borderline diabetic. My doctor wants me on metformin, but I’ve used the diagnosis as a wake up call for a lifestyle change: only two meals a day, no snacks in between, low carbs. smaller servings, reduced fat and reduced (sob) alcohol. I’m down about 22 lbs with about the same to go. Blood sugar has decreased but not far enough. I need to be more active, but osteoarthritis in my lower spine and right knee is a limiting factor. I may have to take the metformin.

    I asked about Ozempic and was told “No” by my GP and (just today) my cardiologist. The latter suggested waiting until Wegovy hits the shores and then we’ll see about that.

    1. It might be worth doing some research on this

      It’s a probiotic that claims to increase GLP-1 production and some other benefits without the cost or side effects of ozempic/wegovy.

  2. Like BIWOZ, I too was told about the “borderline” thing a few months ago. I’m resistant to taking medical drugs of any sort. So lifestyle choices are being made and I don’t like it.

    I was told to lose the deli meats. What? They are a staple in my family all the way from birth. Anything with salt and sugar needs to go. No more 9pm Little Debbies???? And on and on.

    And, I need to move my ass. Typically my entire everything changes in the winter, from food selections to physical activity, then it reverses in the spring. This year I have been reluctant to change. Also, my weight fluctuates by about 30 lbs, gaining, over the winter, and sloughing in the summer. I need to try for a more middle of the road tact. As Bill H has said numerous times, “Getting old ain’t for sissies.”

  3. I have had the same results with Ozempic. 275 down to under 235. Portion sizes have been reduced but sometimes I still get cravings. I think that’s more of a habit because I used to eat while watching television. The full brekky that you post from time to time would be about two meals to four meals for me now. One egg with a side of bacon and a slice of toast leaves me so full that I frequently skip lunch. Often times a half a sandwich is more than adequate when I do eat lunch. Diabetes is a horrid disease. You get it by taking 1000 bites and it becomes death by a thousand cuts

  4. I went from 215 pounds to a low of 147, then back up to 157 because of the gym 3 times a week. I was fat and lazy at least partially because my guts can’t absorb vitamin B12 which leads to all kinds of problems and very low energy levels.

    So I inject B12 once a week, and luckily it’s cheap. Literally within a day of the first injection 4 years ago I had energy and started walking. It was hard at first because as my sarcastic brother said, I was carrying around a 50 pound bag of fat everywhere I went, but that weight is gone and it feels weird but great to be light, with walking easy and airy.

    I too have excess skin which doesn’t seem to be going away quickly.

      1. As long as it’s just your body that’s aging – or ageing – no biggie. Just have to stick around long enough to get uploaded.

  5. The key for me was kicking the booze. When I drink, I eat. Not gonna lie – it (nuking the booze) was tougher than I thought. Serious cravings for the 1st five months. Then for whatever reason, it was like a switch was flipped week 1 of month 6. After that the weight loss was water down hill, and honestly pretty effortless.

  6. Congratulations on your results at this point but I’m a little disappointed that it took all of three days to total out a Dairy Milk. Keep up the good work anyway.

  7. I lost 60 lbs. in 12 months on Monjauro + HRT. My doc had me on the 7.5 ml dose but he prescribed the 15ml injector which I divided into two. Since 4 15ml injectors cost the same as 4 7.5ml injectors, it halved the cost.

  8. Responding late to this. I’ve had T2D for about 5-6 years, unfortunately. On Metformin and Rybellsus (yikes, $220 per month? Mine is $15. Can’t imagine insurance makes that big a difference, holy crap!).

    I lost about 5 lbs taking rybellsus, no more. I drink like a fish, though and am reluctantly coming to the conclusion I need to stop that. Not sure I can “cut back” I may have to just stop.

    I’ve not had any trouble changing my diet—almond flour tortillas, chickpea pasta, that kind of thing. No bread or regular pasta at all. Limited rice and potatoes, very limited. Still I’m going to have to exercise. My drinking and laying about is not helping. Grrrrrr.

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