I have now spent three full months on the diabetes medication Mounjaro. I have settled in on the 5.0 mg dose for the last two months and have no interest in titrating up in dosage unless I stop seeing its benefits. At this point, nearly all negative side effects have vanished. I did have some moderate nausea in week 10, after injecting the medicine into my thigh, but had no issues the following week after returning to my normal belly injections.
I am still steadily losing weight, having lost over 35 lbs since starting the medication. While Mounjaro has been a tremendous tool to help me make progress, I have also tightened up my diet and increased my running and hiking miles. My calorie intake is consistently around 1300-1400 per day. I also eat very low amounts of processed sugar and consume a “lowish” amount of carbs.
There are still certain foods that have little appeal to me. Basically, anything with spice or intense flavor. I am relying on bland foods such as chicken, salmon, asparagus, nuts, and cheese. I did manage to eat some pizza on a work outing with no ill effects, and interestingly enough, I had no desire to continue eating it … which is a dramatic mental shift for me.
As of this writing my weight is 243 lbs. Down from 278 at the start of Mounjaro. My sugar levels have been pretty decent, though I have had some isolated highs and lows. Most surprising is that my blood pressure has improved. I did not expect that. I have set a goal weight of 220 … I was at that weight in 2021 when I completed the Fuzzy Fandango 50k trail run and my fitness level was far greater than it is right now. I’m hoping that with Mounjaro, I can recapture, and then sustain, that magic!
The Dying 2 Self Podcast returns for the second season absolutely no asked for! In this episode, I will discuss in great detail my experience with the Optavia Weight Loss Program and introduce the new Youtube Channel. I’ll also reveal what I’ve been up to since the first season.
Just a short post to update my progress on Mounjaro …
On Saturday, April 8th, I took my 8 weekly shot of Mounjaro. At this point, the side effects as far as nausea and constipation have mostly waned. I am still experiencing appetite suppression and there are certain foods (even some that I once loved) that nearly turn my stomach at the thought of consuming. These foods are mostly high sugar and processed carb-laden foods. Pizza, burgers, chips, and candy have zero appeal to me at the moment. Which astounds me due to my legendary snacking ability!
So far, just over seven weeks in, I have lost a total of 24.1 lbs on Mounjaro. I have also begun monitoring my blood sugar and blood pressure more consistently. Through the use of a Libre 2 Constant Glucose Monitor, I have been able to keep a close watch on my sugar and over the last week or so my numbers have been phenomenal. I have also started seeing some better blood pressure readings as of late. Having read some good things about Mounjaro’s impact on BP, I’m hoping this trend continues.
The good news is my insurance company finally delivered the approval for me to continue my Mounjaro regimen. Being Type 2 Diabetic, I had sincerely hoped and prayed this would finally happen and for the next year at least it appears I am covered.
For my third month on the medication, I will continue on the 5.0 dose. My plan is to remain on 5.0 for as long as I am having results.
I am blessed to be on this medication and it continues to give me the edge when it comes to my relationship with food. Mounjaro this far continues to be a miracle drug.
Today marked my 4th injection of Mounjaro 2.5 milligrams. Weeks 2 and 3 have been an adventure of sorts. After experiencing some side effects and weight loss in week 1, the side effects caused by the injections have lessened and evened out a bit. The weight loss also stopped for a few days. I didn’t gain in week 2, but I didn’t lose much either. As I moved into Week 3 though, the weight seems to have begun dropping again. As of yesterday I was at a total loss of 8.5 lbs, but my official weigh in day isn’t until Monday.
The appetite suppression is remaining and I am doing my best to lean into that a bit. I see some people in discussion forums who say the appetite suppression comes and goes a bit, but that hasn’t been my experience. I seem to have settled in at consuming around 1100 calories per day. I’ve been focusing on a low sugar diet due to my diabetes and am basically eating keto without really putting much thought into it. Since I’ve started Mounjaro, only some foods are appealing to me. Mostly, these are bland foods that are lower in sugar. Chicken, nuts, cheeses, and protein shakes. I have also been eating some naan bread which is delicious and low in sugar … its not keto, but a half slice makes for a good chicken or salmon sandwich!
The biggest impact the Mounjaro has had on my diet is that it has taken away my desire to eat sweets or junk food. The food “chatter” that used to cloud my brain seems to have dissipated. This has allowed me to follow my diet consistently with no “cheat” days or lapses in judgement. Honestly, I feel as if this is the edge I have always been lacking.
Over the last two weeks I learned there is a thriving community of “mounjarians” who are sharing their experience and advice. On YouTube alone there are some fantastic resources. Two of the channels I find the most informative and enjoyable are BJ Davis and the Man on the Mounjaro’s Dave Knapp. I find it helpful to see how other men have adjusted to life on Mounjaro. One example from the week was when BJ Davis shared via his channel that the pain medication “meloxicam” had stalled his weight loss. I have taken meloxicam for some time for my arthritis and had never realized weight gain and water retention was a side effect. A quick google search supported what BJ had said so I am now trying to manage my arthritis without the meloxicam. I am interested in seeing if this experiment impacts my weight loss in any way … if not, I can always start taking the pain meds again, At the moment though, I’m willing to work through a little bit more pain in favor of weight loss, which will favorable impact my arthritis as well. At any rate, this is something I wouldn’t have learned at it not been for BJ’s video, and for that, I am grateful. BJ also hosts a Discord channel which is chock full of good information and discussion.
I have one week left on 2.5 and will move up to 5.0 milligrams of Mounjaro for the next two months after that. I am looking forward to continuing this journey and will continue to journal my experience here for any who may find it helpful. So far, I haven’t been impacted by any of the supply chain issues that others have suffered through, and I pray my luck continues to hold out!
I have documented my weight loss and health pursuits in great detail (including Season 1 of the Dying2Self Podcast) so I will not recap my entire history here, however, as a means of context please indulge me for just a bit. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at 368 lbs. This was not my heaviest weight. Unfortunately, my weight has bounced around throughout my adult life with a high of 390+ and a low of 178 lbs. After being diagnosed with diabetes, I made health a priority and developed a love (and hate) for long distance running. I even lost a great deal of weight by means of white-knuckled determination, however, my weight always seems to plateau around the 275 pound mark. Desperate to bust this plateau to help my running, I went out on a limb and went all in on a plan known as Optavia a couple years ago … and I enjoyed great success as I even dropped below 200 lbs briefly. I’ll write more about Optavia and my thoughts about it at some point as, honestly, I’m still trying to sort it out in my mind … but suffice it to say that after stopping the program my weight immediately shot back up to 275 lbs where it remained steady despite my best efforts.
When I learned recently I had a destroyed meniscus in my left knee and a diagnosis of bone on bone arthritis in the same knee, I knew weight loss had to be a priority if I wanted to continue running at all. Life as a clydesdale runner is tough enough, but with a bad knee, it’s near impossible. As I discussed this with my physician, she mentioned Mounjaro. This is a weekly injectable medication I qualified for due to my Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis. In addition to lowering my a1c, blood pressure, and protecting against other downsides of diabetes, Mounjaro would also help me lose weight and bust through that plateau. I’m not a big fan of medications, but in desperation, I decided to give it a shot. There was the possibility of some negative side-effects, but after weighing them and praying about it, I felt it was worth it to give Mounjaro a try. I won’t go into detail here at all about how this medication works as there is a bunch of information about it online. Just google GLP-1 weight loss or Mounjaro and you’ll be able to read all about it.
I know that Mounjaro and similar medications like Ozempic and Wegovy are all the rage right now and are getting a lot of media attention. So my goal with the “Life on Mounjaro” series will be to chronicle my experience on the medication. I’m not a doctor, and I’m not making any recommendations, I’m simply chronicling my experience for those who are interested in this class of medications.
Life on Mounjaro: Week 1
I picked up my prescription for the introductory dosage of Mounjaro on Monday, 2/20/23. In my excited, I took my first dose that evening around 8:00 pm. In retrospect, this was a mistake. I’ll explain why here in a bit. I didn’t notice much of an effect for the first few hours, however, on Tuesday when I woke up I realized I had virtually no appetite. Normally, I am constantly thinking about food. What am I gonna eat? When am I gonna eat? How much am I gonna eat? Those questions were not bouncing around in my brain any longer. I also didn’t notice much as far as side effects early on other than a weak stomach – not necessarily nausea – just a weak sensation. As the week progressed, my appetite remained suppressed and I developed a tad bit of acid reflux. It wasn’t anything that hurt or interfered with my day, in fact, I wasn’t even sure what it was until I read some Reddit forum members describing the same sensation. One of those people offered that a daily Prilosec ended the sensation so I ran out and grabbed some … it worked for me as well.
During the week I also began watching some YouTubers who chronicle their Mounjaro journey via that platform. On more than one occasion it was recommended that you take your injections at the beginning of the weekend. Why? In some cases, people stated the appetite suppression began to wear out as the injection day approached and taking the medication on Fridays or Saturdays helped curb weekend over indulging. Others suggested that gastric side effects of Mounjaro were normally more pronounced in the first 24 hours after an injection, so taking in on Friday or Saturday allowed them to weather the side effects before returning to work on Monday. Both reasons seemed valid to me, but I had already screwed up and taken my first injection on a Monday. A quick review of the guide that came with my prescription. however, revealed I could change my injection date provided 72 hours had passed since my last injection. With that in mind, I took my second dose of Mounjaro on Saturday morning – 5 days after my first injection. That’s when the side effects reared their ugly head!
After my second injection, I suffered from some pretty bad nausea. It kept me awake that first night as wave after wave of nausea crashed into me. I’n not sure if it was because I took the dose early or if my body was still acclimating to the medication, but it was a rough couple of hours for sure. Fortunately, it had all passed by morning and my nausea retreated back to the weak stomach sensation I am now growing used to. I am happy to report though that after seven days on Mounjaro, my appetite is still majorly suppressed and I am no longer obsessing over my next meal. If anything, I need to make it my goal in Week 2 to eat more as I realize I am not eating enough day to day as it is.
My weight loss for the week was 7.2 pounds and I am fairly ecstatic about that. It’s only been a week so I don’t want to make a bigger deal out of it than it is, but with my appetite suppressed, I feel confident I can overcome my weight plateau.
Tips I learned for the week?
If you are considering Mounjaro, prepare for the possible side effects. It may not be a bad idea to have some Prilosec and some Pepto on standby if needed. I didn’t have any Pepto in the house when my nausea hit which made it that much worse. Also, check out YouTube as there are tone of resources and testimonials concerning Mounjaro on that platform. I’ll post about some of the ones I enjoy at some point.
If you are diabetic and find yourself at a weight loss plateau, it might not be a bad idea to talk to your Doctor about Mounjaro. It could be exactly what you need. I for one am hopeful for the first time in awhile.
I’ll do my best to continue documenting my journey with Mounjaro and hope you will find it helpful.
My 2018 turned out better than I expected. After losing a bunch of weight in 2016 and beginning to run, I lost ground in 2017 when I suffered a calf injury and gained back around 60 lbs. This year I was faced with the choice; I could give up and gain all my weight back or I could fight back one step at a time. I fought back.
As I write this, I’m almost back down to my lowest weight. I ran 487 miles in 2018 and added another 227 on the bike. I ran in an organized 5k, a 10k, a 4 miler, and a 4 mile trail run. I also completed my first duathlon. My hardest run, however, was a 20k trail run that I wasn’t quite ready for. In the Hocking Hills Indian Run I bonked around mile 9 and struggled mightily to finish. But thanks to some grace from God and an angel armed with twizzlers, I survived. And I learned a little bit about myself in the process. I like to be tested. I like to approach the edge. I like to challenge myself … and I hope to continue to do so in 2019.
My goals? I want to complete a full half marathon. I’m signed up for one in April. I also want to return to the Hocking Hills Indian Run and do more than just survive. I would like to finish that one better than I did in 2018. I’m also considering a longer duathlon if I find one that fits into my schedule. Along the way, I would like to run 750 miles and add another 400 on the bike.
To achieve these goals I think I need to clean up my diet a little. I’ve done well, but would like to lose another 20-30 pounds. At 258 pounds, I’m still a little too heavy. I’m thinking about exploring a lower sugar and lower grain diet. That seems a little daunting to me, because I seriously like to eat, but I’ll take it all one step at a time. Hopefully, I’ll find something that works.
I pray you’ve had a good 2018 and I pray your 2019 is fantastic! –
Regardless of what happens to me, I will continue to praise my Lord and Savior. I can only run because of His grace. I’m very much aware that many people who are nearly 400 lbs and diabetic face a much different reality than mine. They would give anything to lose weight and run. I run for them and I run for Him! –
On occasion, I’ve written about my weight, type II diabetes, and running. If you wanna get caught up, check out this post. I’ve even written about how food and weight loss is a spiritual issue for me. To make a long story short, I was diagnosed with diabetes and decided to fight back. I lost around a 120 pounds and developed a fondness for running, or at least the slow shuffle I refer to as running. I’m ashamed to admit that my old-self has fought back somewhat. I suffered some nagging injuries and started a new desk job last year. Admittedly, these are poor excuses, but the end result was gaining back about 60 pounds. My last trip to the doctor led to an ultimatum; get control over this or go back on medication for your diabetes. So I am once again fighting back. I rejoined Weight Watchers in January and have lost 13 pounds or so since. Something about paying for my weight loss inspires me to stick with it.
But the point is, I’m fighting back. I even ran today. It sucked, but I did it. I could have chosen to give up and allow myself to be characterized by my many, many past failures. But I chose instead to do the best I could.
It occurred to me today that we often face the same choice in our spiritual walks. Too often Christians allow themselves to be characterized by their past sin and failures. We never experience the abundant life Christ offers us because we simply can’t let go of our past. Time and time again I hear the same cry, “I just can’t forgive myself!”
Sin is nothing to take lightly and sorrow is the natural reaction to it. Sin should break us and bring us to our knees. But at some point, we have to look up. The Apostle Paul wrote that Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10). There is a reason for the pain and sorrow that sin causes. It causes us to reach out for Christ. Paul also wrote that a worldly sorrow brings death. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin are death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. When we neglect repentance, our sin is all pain and all sorrow with no gift. Godly sorrow lead to repentance, worldly sorrow leads to death; it’s our choice.
My sinful relationship with food has lead me to struggle with maintaining a healthy weight and to diabetes. Where has your sin led you?
“Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you” Isaiah 46:4.
In October of 2014, I was diagnosed with raging out of control type 2 diabetes and put on metformin, cholesterol pills, and a second blood pressure pill (I was already on one). At that time I was also warned I would probably have to go on insulin sooner rather than later. Getting diagnosed with diabetes is in some ways a death sentence because once you’re diabetic you are always diabetic. There’s no curing it … only controlling it. Diabetes is a significant challenge. It doesn’t kill you directly, but it does make it easier for everything else to kill you. Diabetes complicates any other condition you might have and shortens your life span significantly. Over and over I’ve watched friends get diagnosed with diabetes and fail to respond accordingly. They either don’t take it seriously or don’t have the will to make necessary lifestyle changes. Many are content taking two or three types of meds and living with it. However, diabetes is a progressive disease – it tends to gets worse as you get older even if you’re doing all the right things – and failing to acknowledge it is certainly the wrong move.
So I determined I was going to respond differently. At first I just began cutting back on my food intake. Smaller portions and less sugar. The weight started coming off slowly. When spring of this year hit, I added walking to my program. At, first, walking just 15 minutes was a challenge. I eventually worked my way up to walking three miles. Then I wondered if I could run three miles. So I began the Couch to 5k running program and slowly began adding little spurts of running to my walking. You think running 20 seconds is easy? It wasn’t for me. It was hard. Really hard. At the same time I began tracking my food. I did Weight Watchers for a couple of months and began taking my diet more seriously.
A year later I’m still tracking my diet and my running has increased significantly – My longest run so far is four miles and my goal is to run a 10k (a little over 6 miles). I’m still slow, but I get out there and do my best. My weight is down over 100 pounds and I still have about 30 pounds to lose. But yesterday, my doctor took me off all my blood pressure and diabetes medicines. I’m still diabetic, but for now my diabetes is considered diet-controlled. Over the next three months I have to watch my diet and exercise carefully, because my body’s response to being taken off the meds will determine if I have to go back on them. It’s sort of my trial period.
But here’s my message to diabetics. You don’t have to be content with your diagnosis. You can fight back. At my heaviest weight I was 368 pounds and every time I run I praise God that I’m able to because somewhere out there is a 300+ pound man or woman who has a hard time simply getting out of bed. There are diabetics out there that would kill for a chance to be able to run or walk just once, but the disease has progressed so far they are unable to. I’ve enjoyed a little bit of success over diabetes not because I’m special or have amazing will-power, but rather because I am blessed. God has allowed me the opportunity to fight back ever so slightly. So I praise Him for it.
If you’re diabetic, you owe it to yourself to fight back however you can – watch your diet, walk, run, bike … whatever you’re able to do. Do it for yourself. Do it for the guy or gal that wishes they could be doing it. Do it as a way to honor God Almighty who gives you breath.
The next three months are going to be a challenge for me. I don’t have the cushion of medication to help me lower my blood sugar which means my diet will have to be cleaner than ever … plus, I’m worried about how the winter months will impact my running. But I am determined to honor God as best as I can. Regardless of how it goes, God has blessed me tremendously and He is worthy of my praise!