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!
In this easy read, author Richard Gallegos details his journey from addiction to ultra running. In a memoir that is reminiscent of Mike Magnuson’s Heft on Wheels, Gallegos seemingly moved from one end of the spectrum to the other. His transformation is really quite astounding and should offer hope to anyone who feels too lost to find recovery. In reality, Gallegos seemed to channel his addictive personality for good, replaced a harmful addiction to drugs and alcohol with an addiction to ultra running. I was impressed as much with his transparency as I was his endurance. There is some foul language, and some gory depictions from his career as an EMT. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the world of ultra running and/or recovery. I found it on Amazon for my kindle and at the time of this writing, it is free for those with a Kindle Unlimited account.
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 took my sixth injection of Mounjaro on Saturday, March 25th. In doing so, I have found myself settling into a bit of routine. After moving up to the 5.0 dosage I am still experiencing powerful appetite suppressant. My diet has remained very consistent following a low sugar and low carb pattern. Not necessarily keto, but definitely low sugar. My average calorie intake hovers at about 1200 per day with 42% from protein, 15% from carbs, and 43% from fat. Eating much more than that is difficult as there just isn’t a desire to do so. Fortunately, the low calorie intake has not impacted my runs and I am sure I’m getting most of my energy from fat reserves.
I am still consistently losing weight. In total, I am down 19.4 lbs averaging about three lbs per week. I’m still around 35 lbs from where I want to be, but if I able to stay on Mounjaro, I have little doubt about reaching that target.
My blood sugars have been good, but I have yet to notice a change to my blood pressure which still comes in a little high.
My biggest concern at the moment is insurance coverage. My provider sent me a notice that they were denying my coverage for Mounjaro as my conditiondoesn’t match what the drug is used for. This is despite the fact I’ve been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes for over nine years. I am obviously insulin resistant and Mounjaro has changed my life completely in the short time I’ve been on it. For the first time I can remember, I feel normal in relation to food. My body actually lets me know when I’m full and the train ride that is high and low blood sugars has evened out. But for now, I’m left to pray my doctor and my insurance can work it out. I sincerely hope they do as I am convinced this medication is a game changer!
As it stands I’ve got two weeks of medication remaining. If my insurance doesn’t get straightened out in that time, I’m going to try to use the discount coupon to get another month worth of Mounjaro and keep praying for a positive result!
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.
This book by Ryan Hall exists at the intersection or long distance running and faith. Hall, one the greatest American marathon runners ever, explores the role his Christian faith plays in his life and running career. Hall examines his running career from its very beginnings to end. Scripture frequently uses running as a metaphor for the Christian walk (Heb. 12:1, 2 Tim. 4:7, and elsewhere) and Hall’s memoir represents a practical application of that metaphor. Much of what Hall communicates about his relationship with God was learned through the lens of running. It is an excellent read. It is not, however, overly theological or doctrinal, which should allow Christians of different theological ilks to enjoy it.
I must admit that I am a David Goggins fanboy. The guy is incredible. Its not often you find someone who not only “talks the talk” but “walks the walk”, but Goggins manages to do just that. There’sno denying his accomplishment. Navy Seal. Army Ranger School. Air Force Tactical air Controller Training. Ultrarunner. Ultracyclist. And, as I learned in this book, Medic and Fire Jumper. If anyone has earned the right to speak his mind and spout advices on toughness, it’s David Goggins.
This book chronicles Goggins’ attempt to complete Fire Jumping School after major knee surgery. It also details his attempt to recover his edge (not that he ever really lost it) as he entered his upper forties. In doing so, Goggin’s reveals his growth since his first book Can’t Hurt Me hit the shelves.
I happened to read this book at the right time in my life as I am currently struggling with a Meniscus tear and MCL injury that has shut my own running down for the year. At 52, I walk the fine the line between running long distances and doing damage to my knees and, I must admit, that it was cathartic to see Goggins face struggles of his own. The key to his success as it turns out has little to do with being a physical beast (although he is) and more to do with his mindset. Goggins has determined to be the best in all that he does and has put in the work to achieve it. His story is equal parts encouraging and daunting.
Disclaimer to all readers who are easily offended by bad language … Goggins writes like he talks. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Parts of this little book were witty and quite enjoyable and George Mahood is a talented writer, however, I grew tired if the random stream of conscience that meandered between running, biking, and swimming anecdotes. It was entertaining at best and irrelevant at worst. It was sort of like reading an extended magazine article … suited well for passing the time in a waiting room, but not much else.
On the surface, this is an amazing story of an endurance athlete overcoming injury to return to her sport. It’s value, however, is at a deeper level. Hillary Allen conquered more then just a physical injury. Basically, the sport of trail running, her passion, tried to kill her. The mental baggage and struggle that ensued would have been too much for some people, but Allen leaned into the tenacity that makes her an elite trail runner to begin with and forged a path to recovery. There is a lesson to be learned from her experience. As a novice, weekend runner, I wonder if it is possible to tap into the same kind of tenacity Allen put on display. Injury? Illness? Obstacles? Is it possible to just keep living and adjust until you are able to overcome?
Hillary Allen has a great deal to teach the reader in this book and I enjoyed my glimpse into the mental space she lives in.