I want to preface this by stating that I am not a medical professional in any capacity; I am simply a mother who sought a way to enhance my health and shed some weight.
Like many women, weight has always been a struggle for me, dating back to my childhood. I vividly remember tears in a dressing room when I couldn’t find a pair of bell-bottom jeans that fit me in the kids’ or teens’ section, and I often dread trying on clothes, especially bathing suit season.
As I grew older, engaged in sports, and understood the significance of a balanced diet, I shed some weight and feel more confident in my skin. I continued to fluctuate in weight in college, and when I transitioned to an office job, my lifestyle underwent significant changes, resulting in even more weight gain.
Despite trying various diets and workout regimens, the demands of being a working mom, juggling household responsibilities, and life’s challenges left me exhausted. Struggling to find time for regular exercise and plan healthier meals, I reached a point where I felt unhappy with my body. The wake-up call came when I looked at photos of myself and my child, expecting joy but feeling sadness and shame instead. That’s when I decided I needed to change and get some help.
After consulting with my doctor and exploring options, I learned more about Ozempic (and other similar weight-loss drugs). While my insurance didn’t cover it, I received the green light to start the program. I found a reputable medspa offering consultations with a nurse, guiding me through the program based on results, thus commencing my journey.
There are generic versions of Ozempic, and I opted for the program using Tirzepatide. Contrary to some online stories about side effects, I was fortunate not to experience them. However, I immediately noticed the medication’s impact, curbing my appetite significantly, a drastic change for someone who loved to snack, would often stress eat, and excitedly wait for my next meal.
Each week, I received a 2.5mg injection, which was surprisingly painless. In dusting off my Peloton, I created a plan to schedule time for exercise and lean on family members and my partner for support to make that happen. I quickly found that waking up earlier proved beneficial and gave me more time to do my workouts or other household chores, so I had more time for myself later.
Deciding to invest in a weight loss medication and make lifestyle changes, I aimed for more conscious decisions regarding my diet and committed to incorporating exercise into my routine. Instead of trying to follow a diet plan that failed me before, I opted for sustainable habits that would outlast the medication.
I started paying attention to labels, making simple swaps like choosing plain Greek yogurt over flavored options. Incremental changes, such as reducing my carb intake (eating half a bagel vs. a full) along with exercise, yielded positive results on the scale each week. For once, I felt progress, and it showed!
While some extreme stories circulated about people losing significant weight on these programs (5+ pounds a week), my progress was more modest, averaging about one pound per week. Regular check-ins with my nurse allowed for dosage adjustments every 3-4 weeks if needed. After six months, I’ve lost about 12% of my weight, equivalent to 30 pounds.
Admittedly, the holiday season presented challenges, with inconsistent workouts and indulgences affecting my progress. However, with the New Year, I’ve returned to my routine. I’ve joined a new class-based gym to change up my workouts but also a new way to hold myself accountable.
With this progress, I feel the best I have in years. While I recognize that weight and appearance do not define us, my goal is to be healthy and strong for my kids. Fitting into my old clothes has positively impacted my self-esteem – which feels really good! Balancing professional and home responsibilities as a mom can be overwhelming, but prioritizing my health has made a significant difference.
I no longer dread mornings; I look forward to my gym classes and feel stronger and less stressed. I’ve become more patient and energetic, motivating me to continue on this path. While using medication for weight loss is a controversial topic, I share my firsthand experience not to promote a specific program but to shed light on why someone may seek medical help for weight loss.