Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Taking Mounjaro

I've finished eight moths on Mounjaro to manage by Type 2 Diabetes. Here are five things I wish I knew before taking Mounjaro for my Type 2 Diabetes.

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I’ve finished eight moths on Mounjaro to manage by Type 2 Diabetes. I’ve lost more than 50 lbs., it’s lowered by A1C from 8.2 to 6, and has overall changed my health. With that said, it’s been a learning experience using this new medication. Here are five things I wish I knew before taking Mounjaro for my Type 2 Diabetes.

1. Importance of Changing Nutrition and Exercise Habits

Sure, you can lose a lot of weight in a short period of time taking Mounjaro. But, you need new habits down the road. Think of your body as a machine and it needs to be fed and serviced properly. You can’t solely rely on a medication to turn your health around. You need to show up and make an effort.

Hydrating and eating proper roughage (fruits, veggies, oatmeal, grains, etc.) has proven to be vital when it comes to combating constipation, nausea and other nasty side effects. It also means avoiding foods that can cause these things, like cheese, high-fat foods, high-sugar foods, and high-carbs. I’m all for eating just about everything in moderation. However, diabetics do need to be a bit more mindful in what we consume.

I believe if I hydrated more and practiced more strength training than Pilates and yoga, I would have better skin elasticity in my arms and thighs.

I’ve met with a nutritionist years ago and when I want to, I practice what I was taught. If you’re beginning a Mounjaro journey, I recommend meeting with a nutritionist. There will be days when you don’t want to eat but you need to. A nutritionist can help guide you in your journey or at least provide a good foundation for you.

2. How to Talk to a Pharmacy and Be My Own Health Advocate

I’ll need to pick up another three-month prescription of Mounjaro soon. Looking back to June 2022 when I was first prescribed the medication, I wish I knew the challenge in finding it. My usual pharmacy is CVS, and preferred pharmacy of my health insurance plan.

When initially prescribed Mounjaro, CVS told me they couldn’t fill my prescription. It was new and not in their system. In addition, they couldn’t honor the Mounjaro $25 savings card because my insurance didn’t recognize it.

They sent me to the Publix pharmacy which filled it – and knew how to use the savings card. After a few fills, my insurance company informed me I need to use CVS. And, have three-month fills vs. one month.

Although my health care provider called in three-month prescriptions, CVS only filled it for one month, until I spoke to one of the supervisors. I walked him through the savings card. Thanks to other YouTubers, I was able to accomplish this.

Yes, there have been shortages and thankfully, I haven’t missed a dose, but it’s been tight. The Publix pharmacy could get me the medication in a day or two. CVS needs about a week, which cuts it close as to when it can be called in and when they’ll refill it.

My 8-Month Mounjaro Transformation Video

3. Sticking to the Same Dosage at Least Three months or Until my Weight Plateaued  

I was one of the first patients my doctor subscribed Mounjaro to and she understood that patients should level up to the next dosage level and reach the highest level in the shortest period of time. If you search for Mounjaro’s usage online, you’ll find the same response.

So, I kept in touch with my health care provider and each month tried to level up. Since I’ve been losing weight and my A1C is lowering, I’ve been holding at 10 mg. I have a ways to go to the maximum dosage of 15 mg but wish I spent longer periods of time at the 5 and 7.5 mg dosages and moved to the next level after my weight plateaued.

I also wish I knew whether I’d need to be on Mounjaro – or something similar – for eternity or just until my A1C is manageable. Knowing the potential risks (i.e.: thyroid cancer), I’m still debating whether it’s something I want to take for the long term, but from what I read, it is a long term medication.

4. Cost

What happens after the $25 health savings card/discount prescription coupon expires after a year?

I’m still unsure if my insurance company will offer a reasonable copay – reasonable for me is no more than $200 a month.

As we know, out-of-pocket Mounjaro costs anywhere from $900 – $1,200 a month.  Even with my HSA, I cannot afford $1,200 a month. My insurance did pre-authorize my use for a year which ends in June. My insurance does offer a reasonable co-pay for Ozempic and maybe that will be my affordable option.

Now I totally understand how people get addicted to drugs. A dealer will let them sample a drug to get them hooked then charge an exorbitant fee.

I know some people say eating healthy is expensive but I’m not really on that train. With proper budgeting, you can eat healthy. Plus on Mounjaro, I’m not eating as much which helps my budget.

Another thing regarding cost, it’s expensive replacing a head-to-toe wardrobe! I’m having to redo my wardrobe. I’m shopping at thrift and discount stores and I’m drawn to colors other than black and grey. Part of me says in a year from now, I’ll be back in size 16 clothing so I’m not totally overhaul my wardrobe. I hope that little voice is wrong!

And, if someone wants to take me shopping for a new wardrobe, I’m all for it! 😉

That's me in Dec. 2019 on the left and in February 2023 on the right, after 8 months on Mounjaro. You can see the weight loss but you can't see are the health improvements.
That’s me in Dec. 2019 on the left and in February 2023 on the right, after 8 months on Mounjaro. You can see the weight loss but you can’t see are the health improvements.

5.     Better Understanding of Body Perception.

After three months I knew Mounjaro is a gamechanger. I didn’t recognize the person I saw in the mirror. Now that I’m almost 60 lbs. lighter than when I began, I still don’t recognize who I see in the mirror.

I catch a glimpse of my arms or legs and still cannot believe how thin they are and can’t believe that wrinkly, lose skin is mine.

I hold up a pair of 8 jeans and wonder how in the heck can I fit in these? Am I shape-shifting?

There’s still part of me who has imposter syndrome with this weight loss. Do I really deserve to have a size 8 body? Or even a size 10? Did I earn having a normal BMI body weight? A year from now, will I be bigger than when I started this journey?

On top of me accepting how I look, I wish I had a better response for those who compliment or ask about my new body. Most compliments are generic, “you look great” and the occasional, “are you physically okay?”

It’s weird having so many people talk to you about your body. It makes me think, did they think I was ugly before? I haven’t figured out a fun response to the question about my weight loss. I stick to the truth, and probably providing more information than they want to know.

Here’s how I share my Mounjaro journey:

  • I’ve been Type 2 Diabetic for about a decade and  my A1C has crept up in the last few years
  • I was prescribed a new diabetic medication called Mounjaro the end of June.
  • It’s been a game-changer! What you can see is the weight loss. But what you can’t see is a lower A1C, reversed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and lower blood pressure.
  • It is changing what I put into my body and encourage me to exercise.

I suppose I could make up a story about being lost in a swamp for months at a time or hitting the gym every day, but, I stick to honesty.

My self-worth isn’t associated with my dress size. But, the feedback I’ve received from others sheds a light on how others do tie someone’s worth to physical appearance. 

In my heart, I know I’m the same person, just a bit lighter. However, this journey is encouraging me to help others in a way I haven’t done before. I’m not sure what exactly that looks like but I have some ideas.

A Future with Mounjaro?

Mounjaro is improving my life and I know I’m putting efforts in to make me healthier. As to my future with Mounjaro, I’m not sure what’s ahead. I’ll need to weigh the cost and potential long-term side effects to my health.

You can follow my Mounjaro journey on YouTube.

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Solo Travel Girl

Jennifer A. Huber is the voice behind Solo Travel Girl. She's an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. In 2023, she was a finalist in AARP's Benefits Badass competition. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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