Progress time

I thought I would update my progress and share something interesting with you. This is a long talky post, so I’ll apologize for that up front.

First let me back up a little.  Many of you know that my job can get stressful for me at times. It’s mostly because of poor company management, but the problem has been that there isn’t enough work to go around and what there is has horrible production,  so I make less money now and you just have to keep checking for work. Then what work there is gets gobbled up like a bunch of piranhas. I have been wanting to change and John and I are moving along to make it happen, but it’s going to take a little time. So there’s that frustration.

I’ve been hovering around the same weight for the last couple years. I would try to lose more and then it just seemed like I was getting nowhere, but I keep trying.  Maybe that’s maintenance in a nutshell… However, that gets frustrating.

Then there is my insomnia and if any of you have this, you know how awful it feels. I have it periodically. I think my body just eventually gives in and I sleep, but when it happens, ugh. So, there has been a constellation of things and I just have been feeling a little blah.

Anyway, I normally don’t try to lose weight for a certain goal. That has never worked for me because I lose really, really slowly, so I could never do a diet bet or anything like that.  However, in the beginning February, we booked our flights to go to Ireland at the end of September and I thought, “I would really like to lose 20 pounds for Ireland”.  That would mean about 2 and sometimes 3 pounds a month. Sounds doable unless you are me 😀

So, I was doing my usual food logging and trying to stay at 1500 calories (hard for me) and get in my exercise and the scale isn’t moving. Then sometimes you just say “F**k it, I’m going to eat”. Know what I mean? Especially if what you are doing is getting you nowhere.

I flailed around for a couple months and then decided to try counting WW points because I was getting really tired of calorie counting and I needed a change.  It was nice to not think in terms of calories, although I have a good running tally of those in my head from years of food logging.  Still not really getting anywhere, though.

I talked to my PCP at the beginning of April and I voiced all of these frustrations to her – and she listened, which was great. She decided to put me on bupropion, which is the generic of Wellbutrin.  She said this should help curb my appetite and make my mood better, which would hopefully help with the insomnia. I was a little hesitant because I just don’t take meds unless absolutely necessary, but I figured why not.

At first I didn’t notice anything but some dry eyes and a headache after I took a dose. The headaches resolved, but the dry eyes haven’t. My mood certainly perked up, but I didn’t get any appetite supressant effects, which I was hoping for. I still get hungry. However, an interesting thing happened. I lost all desire to snack. I still eat snacks because I’m hungry, but I don’t overeat them and I don’t have the urge to have more.  I am sure I’m not alone in the eating when you aren’t hungry.

Anyway, that has been amazing to me and has allowed me to stay within  my calorie goal. It’s not surprising, I suppose, since bupropion is the main ingredient of Chantix, which is prescribed to help you stop smoking. It’s supposed to stop cigarette cravings, and it did for food with me. Not having cravings is wonderful.

There is another side effect to bupropion that can happen, and it’s weight loss. Since I started it in April, I have had steady losses almost every week except my birthday week. And not my little tiny bits, but an average of 1.5 pounds each week, which is a lot for me. Now I am down 13 pounds with only 7 to go before Ireland in September.  I don’t know how long the effect of the meds will last, but I just might make it!

That has been eye opening for me. Not that I am advocating taking it, but it’s not something I would have considered had my PCP not recommended it. As far as insomnia?  It’s better. Not great, but better.  I’m not sure how long I will take this, probably until the job thing straightens out, but who knows.  So that’s my story.  Thanks for reading if you made it this far!

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18 thoughts on “Progress time

  1. Lisa

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m glad you are seeing positive results and are getting closer to your goals! Ireland isn’t that far off. 🙂

    I’ve tried a lot of antidepressants in my lifetime and Wellbutrin is the one that has always worked best for me. It has less side effects and it’s the ONLY SSRI that does not have weight gain as a side effect. (One I took years ago I gained 15 pounds in 10 months even though I was counting my calories and exercising 5 days a week!!)

    Like you it helped with my insomnia a little bit (didn’t fix it completely but helped the racing brain when I was trying to sleep) and while I never really lost weight on it, I never gained weight and it also helped me stop the mindless snacking. Whenever I first start taking it (I’ve taken a few times in my life) it does have an appetite suppressant but it was always short-lived!

    Anyways. Glad you found something that helped!
    Lisa´s last blog post ..June 19th

    1. Lori Post author

      Wellbutrin actually isn’t an SSRI, which is why it doesn’t cause weight gain. It works on dopamine receptors rather than seratonin.

      I’m not really sure if it is the bupropion itself stimulating weight loss or just curbing the snacking (likely a combination of both). It’s a very nice benefit for me. I know that doesn’t happen for everyone.

      Ireland is fast approaching! We just were finally settling on an itinerary outline so we can start booking some B&Bs. We’re getting excited.

  2. Susan

    I took Wellbutrin for about a year back in 1998 and I lost the last 20 of my 40 pounds on it. Like you I was finally able to stick to my weight loss plan. I have been on and off it several times over the years after the first time it didn’t help with weight loss but it stabilized my mood, sleep etc.
    What seems to really have helped me in fighting my depression is kicking gluten out of my diet for good. I stopped eating gluten three years ago in July for other reasons gi distress, rashes, severe joint pain etc after about three days my depression lifted all on its own at that time I didn’t have insurance or money to see a doctor.So far my depression has stayed gone. Gluten is gone and I try to eat healthy fat, protein and lower carb I find I feel so much better that way. I am glad you have found something that works for you thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. Shelley B

    I’m glad you’ve found a way to lose some weight – will you continue to take the Wellbutrin indefinitely? And also, I’m laughing at the thought of so many doctors who will be receiving requests for Wellbutrin prescriptions all of a sudden.
    Shelley B´s last blog post ..WWU – Glad I Am Not 59 Just Yet!

    1. Lori Post author

      I don’t want to take it long term. I’ll go back and see the PCP in a few months and we’ll talk about it.

      I was a little hesitant to post about it because I don’t want people to think it’s a magic weight loss pill or anything LOL!

  4. Helen

    As a member of the slow weight loss team, I’m really happy for you. The idea that wellbutrin would help stop cravings of any sort makes complete sense as I’m sure many cravings (food, cigarettes, alcohol, etc.) are driven by stress.

    I started taking magnesium in February because I read an article written by a sleep therapist about it being a natural relaxant. (She tries all natural things prior to prescription with her patients.) Part of my insomnia issue was just being able to calm down enough to go to sleep and also the racing brain when/if I woke up in the middle of the night. It has been a miracle supplement for me – I’m sleeping like I haven’t been able to for years. You have to start with a low dose and sort of work your way up because it can cause GI distress. But so, so worth it and I like that it’s all natural!
    Helen´s last blog post ..8 Mile Run

    1. Lori Post author

      I take magnesium and melatonin at night. I actually have no problem getting to sleep. I just wake up around 2 a.m. wide awake. At least I can take melatonin at that time since it isn’t like a sleep aid where I would need 8 hours of sleep time.

  5. deb

    Very interesting Lori and i’am glad you are well on your way to your goal for Ireland! I think its great that your shared your experience with us… you just never know it might help someone else… Big Hugs! deb
    deb´s last blog post ..Its My Birthday!!!!!

    1. Lori Post author

      Watch there will be a run on Wellbutrin now LOL!

      With my work, some of it is technology, but a lot has to do with offshoring of the work to India. They take a much lower wage and so hospitals are sending more and more work over there rather than using American companies. Or, they are demanding those same lower costs from current companies, which means we have to take less pay to keep the work.
      That’s something to ask of your office and point out to them that you would rather keep your health records in the US.

  6. Jeannie/Qlts2Slo

    I’m always hesitant to take drugs too, or I should say MORE drugs as I’m on pretty potent ones for RA. Although I REALLY suffer with cravings I guess I’ll just let you continue testing and be glad you found something that is helping you.

    I’m looking forward to your Ireland trip to, as it’s some place I’ve always wanted to go and never have.

  7. Fran

    Wow you have a lot on your plate sweety. I don’t know this medication but I’m happy it works for you. I hope it also helps with the insomnia in the end and you can sleep again every night.

    And only 3 months before you go to Ireland, so excited for you.
    Fran´s last blog post ..Tuesday, June 28, 2016: Mishmash

  8. Amy G.

    HI, I found you through Runs for Cookies and I’ll enjoy getting caught up with your archives! I also am one who prefers not to take medication, but it sounds like you found something that works well. That is great! Congrats on the pounds lost so far. I have a long ways to go but still doing pretty OK with calorie counting when I really stick with it and have the right attitude. 🙂

  9. emmaclaire

    Thank you for sharing your experiences, Lori – I promise I won’t mention your name when I ask for a prescription LOL

    Seriously, I am fortunate that my job is more stable than yours, but can totally relate to the slow weight loss and the sleep issues. My sleep problem is RLS, though, and I am still waiting for a miracle cure for that. Doesn’t seem to be too much shaking on the research front for it, guess it just isn’t sexy enough. But I am always grateful for any night that I can get a straight 6 hours, rare as they are.

    I’m glad you found something to help you through this stressful time 🙂

  10. Lisa

    I’m glad generic Wellbutrin is working for you! I am a former smoker who took it to help stop smoking, which it helped me with however after taking it for 10 days I had a terrible allergic reaction. It probably started earlier but got really bad on day 10. While taking it I couldn’t sleep and cleaned like a maniac, and reached my lowest weight in adulthood. Even though I had to quit taking it abruptly I ended up with a clean apartment, cleaned out drawers and closets and haven’t smoked in 15 years! Unfortunately the weight didn’t stay off, but that’s my fault.
    Thanks for sharing honestly. Maybe I should consider finding a PCP.

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