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.
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.
I enjoyed this read for multiple reasons. First, I am am a big fan of race director Laz Lake, but I must admit I more familiar with his Backyard Ultras and Barkley Marathons. By reading this book, I was able to familiarize myself with his Heart of the South multi-day, multi-state format. My interest was really peaked when author Marc Frost shared he was suffering from a torn meniscus as he set out on this adventure. I am currently plagued by the same injury and need to find inspiration wherever available!
Frost details the adventure that is the Heart of the South in a way that is honest, humorous, and accessible. As a fellow older runner, I found this book greatly inspirational. And as a runner who never had much speed … I am happy events like the Heart of the South exist!
Frost shared in this book that he walked this entire event … and <spoiler alert> … he finished quite will. Knowing this makes me wonder if I could train for a similar adventure.
I highly recommend this book if you are interested in ultra distance running events.
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.
Having stumbled upon this author and her running memoir on Twitter, I decided to take a chance on it. I am glad I did as I found myself identifying with it on many levels. First, I enjoyed reading about Nita Sweeney’s journey from non-runner to endurance athlete as it paralleled my own in many ways. Like me, she began with the Couch to 5k Program before progressing to longer distances. Like me, she shed some weight along the way and was an adult-onset athlete (a term I borrow from John Bingham). I enjoyed reading her story because in many ways it validates my own. I have a tendency to regret all the the years I spent as a non-runner. How fast could I be and how accomplished could I be if I had only started when I was younger? Sweeney’s story remind me however that I am a sample size of one. Being older and/or slower than others does not make me less of a runner!
Secondly, I enjoyed reading about the author’s running exploits in Columbus, Ohio. I live forty minutes from Ohio’s capital and was familiar with many of the places she described. I did find myself growing jealous when she wrote about the support and friendship’s she forged in the MIT running group. The running community in my little town is growing, but there is nothing like MIT where I live. That coupled with my own introverted tendencies has prevented me from feeling like I belong in the running community. Fortunately, I am blessed to have my wife to train with!
Finally, I appreciated how the author found running as a coping mechanism for her depression. Like all families, mine has been touched by depression and I have long argued that a trifold approach must be taken when dealing with mental illness; mental, spiritual, and physical. I firmly believe that any approach to mental illness that lacks one of the pillars is insufficient. Sweeney points out wisely that running didn’t “cure” her depression, however, there is no doubt it has allowed her to cope with it. What a great reminder!
I recommend this book for adult onset athletes, those battling with mental health, and anyone who enjoys a good running memoir.