Originally published on my blog, Soul Java, on Monday, February 22, 2010
A friend told me she was taking a prescription for weight loss called Phentermine. (See websites below.) For her sake I did a little research and I discovered something that I really liked; Phentermine has been on the market since the 1950’s. In the 1990’s it was paired with Fenfluramine and the cocktail was called Fen-Phen. That combination was pulled from the market because of lung & heart problems. But the drug, Phenteramine, used by itself has not had the alarming fatal disasters Fen-Phen had. As with any drug there may be side affects, it may respond better in one person’s body than it does another, but as a whole I felt confident about a drug that had been on the market for forty years.
When I went to my doctor, a family practitioner, I told him I needed help losing weight. The first thing he wanted was for me to go that week and record everything that went into my mouth. When I popped one of my daughter’s French fries in my mouth he wanted it written down. If I put a mint in my mouth or ate a steak he wanted it written down. I had been in the Weight Watchers program a couple different times before. At the time of my doctor’s visit, though not officially a member, I had been practicing the Weight Watcher’s habits for three or four weeks. (I’ll write about this experience later.) So I was used to eating better plus writing foods down. When I came back the following week he liked what he saw on my list. And with great caution prescribed me the Phentermine.
He prescribed it with caution because Phentermine is a narcotic and can be addicting. I had previously read this in my research and had also read that because of its addicting qualities Phentermine not be taken one day a week. Because I’m more addicted to the notion of not becoming addicted I pre-set strict rules to myself with this pill. I determined not to take it on my fast day because that would be cheating since the pill is an appetite suppressant! And I would not take it on Sunday because the pill gives energy and I didn’t want to drive my musicians and singers crazy with me being even more hyper than I already am!
Besides the prescription my doctor did one more thing to help; he gave me a shot of B-vitamins. At first I went and weighed in every week and he’d give me the B shot. The results were no different than I had in Weight Watchers; on a great week I’d lose the maximum of two pounds. But, I kept telling myself, “Losing .5lbs is better than GAINING .5.” So I kept at it.
At this point in the game I was not exercising at all. Just eating low calorie, low fat, high fiber foods. After 2 months of weekly doctor visits I explained to the doctor that it was too expensive for me. He told me I would only need to make an appointment for a prescription when I ran out of Phentermine. (A 30 day supply would last me almost 60 days because I was so strict about my intake.) I got down to around 190lbs and fluctuated up & down 3 & 4 pounds through October and November.
In December of 2008 we got a Wii FIT and I started exercising with that. The key for me is nice-&-easy. I am not a person who thrives on challenge. If its challenging, I quit, its as simple as that! The Wii FIT was almost challenging, but not enough to turn me off. I enjoyed seeing the progress on the screen. But we were just wrapping up that long line of calorie-laden holidays so I stayed there in the early 190’s.
In January of 2009 I had a doctor’s appointment for my weigh-in, to get my prescription refilled, but I also had another matter to attend to; I didn’t want the B shot anymore. I read in Prevention magazine that “excessive” use of B has been linked to breast cancer. My doctor had not heard of this research but agreed with me that if I wasn’t comfortable with it I should stop getting the shot. I haven’t had a B shot since.
I greatly restricted my use of the Phentermine at this point because I got my script filled on January 9th, and didn’t need another script until March 23rd. But I wasn’t losing weight either. I had completely plateaued between 190-194.
Then I started REALLY exercising. As I mentioned, I don’t like a challenge. I didn’t know what I wanted to do for exercise. I couldn’t afford a gym membership. I didn’t want to walk in the stifling FL heat. So, I plugged my ipod into speakers, cranked up the volume and started dancing like a crazy woman in my living room! I thought my kids might want to join me, but they didn’t. They were embarrassed actually! My hair would be flying in all directions, my arms slinging, my legs bouncing… it was a lot of fun! Then I was forced to the next level.
…to be continued.
*I am not a medical doctor, nurse, or advisor. As I did, talk to your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise regime.