WEIGHT LOSS - First let's get this part out of the way... what does the scale say?
- Start Weight (February 10) - 193lbs
- End Weight (May 4) - 186.5lbs
- Theoretical Weight Loss = 6.5lbs
Just for the record, the doctor's weight records are not the same as mine - he claims a 10-pound loss - but I will use my own scale for record keeping, just like I have since my journey began. The doctors' scale doesn't matter to me. When I made my first Adipex post back in February I reported that my weight fluctuated between 193-196... so even though I started at 196 on the day I took the first Adipex pill, I'm using 193 as my official start weight since I technically did weigh 193 the following day. Today's weight is slightly lower than it's been earlier this week, but since it is what I weighed this morning, we'll use it. So there you go - 6.5 pounds lost in 3 months with the aid of diet pills. WhoopDeDoo! Sense my excitement? In all honesty I do not feel excited about the 6.5lbs. In fact, if I feel anything, it's probably closer to "resentment" or "skepticism." I don't trust the numbers just yet. I don't think of these pounds as real. A month from now if the scale still shows the same weight, then I'll rethink it.
THE MENTAL STUFF - Choosing to use a diet pill after weight loss surgery is not an easy decision. I agonized over this decision in the past 3 months more than I ever agonized over having weight loss surgery in the first place. The only time I was at peace with the process was when I was not thinking about it. Not only have I dealt with the emotional side of "needing" another tool to help me lose weight, but also the medicine itself had a significant affect on my emotional state simply by the way in which the medicine works in the body. There's a lot more to say here, but I still can't seem to put it all into words. So just know that things have been pretty tough on me the past 3 months. I'm a pretty stable person, so I can't imagine how this drug would affect someone who already had underlying issues then had this piled on top of it all. I have some opinions on using diet pills after WLS .... I hope to write about it one day. Soon, I hope. Still can't seem to find the words though. (After re-reading this section, I find that it doesn't really convey my true feelings. It took me a long long time to write this short paragraph because I can't seem to find the words to express my true feelings - this part of the process really screwed with my head and I'm still struggling to get past it.)
APPETITE SUPPRESSANT - So the main work of Adipex is to suppress your appetite. And yes, it really does do that. But for someone who doesn't have an issue with over-eating or uncontrolled binges or a ravenous appetite... why would a doctor ever recommend this drug? Even after I specifically told the doctor that I don't get hungry and over eating was not a problem for me, he still said I should do the drug. Anyway. For the past 2.5 years I have eaten on a schedule because if I don't, then I forget to eat. In the past 3 months I still attempted to eat on that same schedule... but early in the process I found that when it was meal time I'd have no desire to eat and the thought of food was repulsive. Or I'd be working away and totally forget to eat at the scheduled time. When you're already on a low-calorie diet, missing a couple meals during the day is a very dangerous thing. Taking in 700 calories a day is very bad. And when that routine stretches over several days, you find yourself weak, foggy and bewildered with why you have no energy -- until you realize you haven't eaten enough to sustain your body. So I had to get even more strict with my schedule and ate even if I didn't feel like it. Eventually I got back to my normal eating plan. To me my health and nutrition is of the utmost importance, so I ate what I needed to eat for my body even if my brain didn't feel like it. But yes, if you're taking in 5,000 calories a day and can't stop yourself, then Adipex might be a good option to suppress your appetite. But for someone who barely gets 1200 calories and needs to set alarms to remember to eat certain meals.... it's just plain dumb.
METFORMIN / GLUCOPHAGE -- So the doc had me start on metformin after the first month of the diet pills. He was "sure" that I still had insulin resistance because I have PCOS and that the new Rx would help regulate that imbalance. No testing to see if I still had insulin resistance, of course. And no research on his part, apparently, because even a cursory review of the medical journals would have shown him that RNY eliminates instances of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in about 99% of patients. I took the metformin for about 6 weeks -- trying to be a good patient and giving it the old college try. Over that period I had more low blood sugar crashes than ever before - 3 to 5 crashes a week. So someone who has normal insulin levels and also battles hypoglycemia.... doesn't seem like a good candidate for a drug that regulates insulin, huh? Doc claimed this would help with the weight loss. But then again, this is the same doctor who said I wasn't hypoglycemic because that's not really possible after RNY -- that should have been my first clue, huh?
WHAT NOW? -- Now I go back to normal, I suppose. I've been told (by a doctor that I trust) that going off Adipex can have adverse affects on my appetite -- making me abnormally ravenously hungry. So I'm aware that it might happen and I'm going to keep a tight reign on it. I'll continue eating like I have been and be vigilant about staying on plan. And now that I've got my first 5k of the season under my belt, I'll sign up for more and get the training in that I need to. If the 6.5lbs stays off for the next month, I'll count it. If it creeps back on, I won't be surprised and I won't allow guilt to rule the thought patterns. I'll just play it by ear and see what happens while remaining on plan and living my life.
PART 2 -- Yep, this got long (were you surprised?). So in Part 2 I'll tell you about:
- Dr. Diet Pills FIRED me before I could fire him. Damn it! Apparently I need counseling for my emotional problems and I also need a medical team who can hold my hand since I'm not capable of doing this weight loss diet thing on my own.
- My discussion with Nurse Linda -- she's an amazing woman and I trust her judgement. So glad she had sane things to say to me last night and confirm that I'm not an emotional wreck.
- Who to see next? New Endocrinologist or Hollistic expert to look at the big picture? No matter who I see, I want to get a full work up of labs including hormone levels and determine if I'm insulin resistant or not and whatever else needs to be looked at...
I'm glad I'm off the diet pills. It's like my emotional self took a deep sigh of relief this morning as I dumped the remaining pills in the trash. I might not know why my body won't let me lose weight yet... but I know for sure I don't want to use diet pills as a tool to get to my goal weight.