Sometimes you do everything right but the weight won’t come off. It’s hard to work on yourself, by yourself.
For the last 6 months, Ivy (37) has taken control of her health by combining support from the experts with Saxenda, a groundbreaking weight-loss treatment.
We spoke to Ivy about the steps she’s taken to lose weight and how it's transformed her life.
Tell us about your weight loss journey
I'm a recent college grad. Before that, I was a graphic designer. Then I got really sick with thyroid cancer. I had to step away to focus on my health. I took a lot of medications and had surgery to remove my thyroid.
I blew up to about 135 kg. There was no stopping it. I ate healthily and worked out. I did everything I could but it was out of my control. Every day I kept gaining and gaining. That happened for about five years. It got to a point where I was really sad.
My doctor offered me Saxenda in June this year. It's been a miracle. I've lost 43kg in 6 months.
Did you try any other treatments before?
I was put on a lot of diet plans by doctors and earlier this year I tried a treatment but it didn’t really work, it made me feel like I was going to have mini heart attacks all the time. My chest felt really weird.
I finally found a doctor who cared and listened to everything I had to say. Most doctors would roll their eyes as if it was my decision to be this way. But this doctor really listened and helped me come up with a solution that worked for me.
What were your main motivations for taking it?
I wanted to feel better about myself. I wanted to be healthier. I wasn't happy with where I was and wanted to do something to get me to a better place. Not just mentally but also physically.
I wasn't sure what the results were gonna be. There's not a lot out there showing results from real people. I guess they might be embarrassed to speak about taking medication to lose weight. But I'm screaming about it from the top of my lungs. It's a game changer that people should really know more about.
Did you have any hesitations about using it?
Not at all. I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions. I felt comfortable taking it. There was never any hesitation. My doctor and I discussed possible issues. But I never worried about that. I believe it's worth the risk because you could suffer more from serious health complications from obesity like diabetes.
Did you have access to any professional support?
My doctor specialises in weight loss. She constantly monitors my weight, results, and everything like that. If I ever needed help, she was there. Had I not had the medication or the support, I wouldn’t have the results I have now.
How long did it take you to start seeing results?
Within a week and a half. I lost 4.5 kg like it was nothing. I was losing weight astronomically fast. As much as 5 kg a week. My body responded very well to it.
Are there any bad habits that Saxenda has helped you kick? Are there any new habits that you’ve formed as a result?
I love my wine. I drank a lot. I wasn't an alcoholic or anything but I drank socially or on the weekend. I always had an excuse. About a month into taking Saxenda I noticed that I didn’t have a craving for wine anymore. It's also reduced my cravings for unhealthy treats like sweets and chocolate.
When I went off Saxenda for about three weeks due to a shortage, it stayed like that. I definitely feel in a more positive mental state in general. I feel more active. I feel more energetic. I don't feel sluggish.
Were there any side effects?
I haven’t had any severe issues. But sometimes the needles struggle to get through my skin. I inject daily and I’m not sure if it’s scar tissue or a needle issue from injecting too much. But if I avoid that area and try different spots, it’s fine.
Do you ever get cravings now?
I don't get cravings at all. It’s changed how I eat. I'm full all day long.
Would you say your weight impacted your confidence, mental health, and relationships?
I've always been a very confident person and secure with who I am. But when I started to gain weight I lost my spark. I was losing myself. It was very hard to go from a positive, confident person to somebody who was scared to wear a shirt that didn't have sleeves in public. I wore baggy clothes all the time.
My relationships definitely suffered. I lost a fiance, and then a boyfriend because of my weight. I was constantly told: “You'd be so pretty if you would just lose weight”. I've been single since 2019. It wasn't until I took time for myself that I decided to make a change. I wanted to do this for me, not anyone else.
There’s been a huge change this year. In six months, I’ve lost almost 50 kg. I feel like a different person. In fact, I'm getting to a place where I probably look better than I did before. I see myself smiling more and I don't need somebody to tell me I’m pretty. I know I am.