Finally in the 250s…Again

Mike on Jun 27th 2012

I’m in the 250s…once again. This morning I was 259.6 lbs, which means I’ve lost 26.4 lbs since April, after starting my testosterone replacement therapy and feeling up to cutting the calories again. Another 10-15 lbs and I’ll have erased the weight gain that happened after all the health problems started. My goal is to be there sometime around the beginning of August. We’ll see.

My hope is that I can finally be done with the weight loss by the end of the summer or early fall. It would be nice to see the end of the ridiculous calorie restrictions and get on with some fitness goals that I might find enjoyable, such as building muscle and making lifting gains. In any case, it is still wonderful to feel like I’ve got the part of my life back that I seemed to have lost. Not dragging around tired all the time is worth every penny it costs for the therapy.

Filed in Health,Testosterone,Weight | 4 responses so far

Wednesday Weigh-in: 271.2

Mike on Apr 18th 2012

271.2 this week, which is down 4.6 lbs, and still without any trouble at all. I’m down about 15 lbs since the beginning of the month and still up about 28 lbs since I was at my lowest last summer. I’m averaging around 1050 calories per day, with low carbs and low fat, and I’m doing my four days each week of weight-training and cardio at the gym. I continue to have no noticeable tiredness and no stress over food. I also hit a new bench press high today of 295 lbs. So, my response to all of this is simply to say, “Go TRT!”

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Wednesday Weigh-in: 275.8

Mike on Apr 11th 2012

275.8 today. That’s down 6.2 lbs since my last Wednesday Weigh-in. I’m still up 32.8 lbs from where I was before all the health problems started, but it’s an excellent start now that those are under control.

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11 Pounds in a Week!

Mike on Apr 9th 2012

Today is exactly one week since I started up the diet again and so far I’ve lost 10.8 lbs! I’ve been eating about 1000-1300 calories per day, and I haven’t felt stressed about food or tired at all. Just a few months ago, before I started the testosterone replacement therapy, if I cut my calories at all I would almost instantly feel stressed and tired most of the time, even if the cut was simply to something like 2000 calories per day. And worse, I wouldn’t even lost any weight. Who knew fixing my testosterone level could help me so dramatically? I certainly don’t expect this rate of loss to continue for long, but it has been a great boost of encouragement after the year I’ve had.

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Wednesday Weigh-in: 282.0

Mike on Apr 4th 2012

As I said in my last post, Monday I started a strict diet again and added cardio to the workouts, now that my testosterone level is under control and the bouts of tiredness seem to be over. This morning I weighed in at 282.0 lbs. That’s up 39 lbs from where I was eleven months ago, before the problems started. Hopefully all that is behind me now and I’ll see the weigh fall off again and be back on track within the next few months. I’m down 4 lbs since Monday.

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Gingerboy No More

Mike on Apr 4th 2012

A couple of weeks ago the doctor checked my testosterone level again and it was 452, exactly where he wants it to be. Increasing the dosage (of testosterone cypionate) to 120mg/week seems to have done the trick. Last week was also the first week since I started the replacement therapy that I didn’t experience any unusual tiredness. Everything seemed relatively normal all week. I still don’t have the higher level of energy I had a year ago, but feeling “normal” again is still great. Consequently, I decided to take the plunge and start the strict diet again yesterday, and add cardio again after each workout. I’ve been hesitant to try it again while I was still having the bouts of tiredness or exhaustion, but now that things seem to be stabilized, I thought I’d give it a shot.

Monday I weighed in at 286 lbs, which means I haven’t gained any weight in the three months since I started the therapy. Unfortunately that’s still about 40 lbs up from where I was a year ago, but almost all of that was gained in the three month period at the end of last year when I was exhausted all the time and craving sweets 24/7…right before I discovered my gingerboy status. I’m setting an albeit ambitious goal of losing 15 lbs/month for the next three months, to get me past my previous low and back on track. How it will all turn out remains to be seen. Monday I ate 1040 calories and yesterday I was 282.6, down 3.4 lbs in one day. It would be a nice fantasy to say that’s all fat, but of course most of it wasn’t. Today I was 282.0, down 0.6 from yesterday. That’s more realistic and could certainly be all, or nearly all, fat loss.

So far I have had no stress or decreased energy, in spite of low calories and hard workouts. Granted, today is just the third day, but before I started the therapy I would almost instantly feel stressed and tired the day I cut calories or increased cardio. Seeing this level of success for only these few days is still encouraging considering what I’ve gone through the last several months. Again, how things will go from here still remains to be seen.

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Further Adventures of the Low-T Gingerboy

Mike on Feb 21st 2012

Today marks six weeks since I started my Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), which means I’ve had six injections so far. The process of improvement is slow, but after a few weeks I did notice that I was no longer constantly feeling exhausted. I was still getting tired very quickly, and my strength would fail during weight-training, but from my perspective that was still a huge improvement. No longer being tired all the time is great! Strangely, I also stopped craving sweets all the time.

After about a month they did some blood-work again to see where my levels were. They discovered that I was still firmly a gingerboy at: 223, and considering that the goal is for me to be between 400-500, the doctor increased my dosage by 20%. They will do a full work-up again the first week of April to see where I stand, and then adjust it again if necessary. The doctor (let’s call him Dr. Staubach, since he HAS to be a quarterback), said that if I was already seeing positive results with the lower dosage then he expected me to see significant improvements with the increase. That is very welcome news to me…we’ll see.

Currently I’m finding that I don’t get tired quite as fast as I did a few weeks ago, although my energy level is still way down from where it used to be a year or more ago. I’ve also stopped gaining weight. I’m not losing it yet, but for the moment I’ll take what I can get. What Dr. Staubach keeps telling me is that it is a slow process, and that 90 days is really the amount of time it can take to determine if it is helping significantly. Considering that I’m already seeing steady progress, the future looks encouraging.

LowT Center update: Sadly, KISS is gone. Perhaps they have been exiled to a far corner of the office…maybe to the restroom. They were knocked out by a framed boxing robe. Further, I noticed that by the scale there is now a signed picture of Lou Ferrigno as the Incredible Hulk. Now there’s a picture that I find completely appropriate! Ferrigno has probably taken more testosterone in his life than all of the LowT Center’s patients combined, so who better to have framed and prominently displayed? Maybe next week I’ll find a Chuck Norris photo there…but of course I hear that Chuck Norris doesn’t take testosterone, his body produces so much of it naturally that he donates the extra to a poor body-builders fund.

Filed in Encouragement,Health,Testosterone | No responses yet

I’m a Low-T Gingerboy

Mike on Jan 9th 2012

So I’ve discovered that my problem is that I’m a low testosterone gingerboy. Okay, maybe not the “gingerboy” thing (that’s the name of a cookie I ate the other day that causes me to hear Arnold Schwarzenegger in my head calling me a “little girly man”), but my testosterone levels are significantly low. I knew something had to be wrong, because in the last few months my energy levels have remained way down, I’ve felt “off” constantly, and I’ve gained a lot of weight…as in 30 lbs a lot. And that’s despite weight-training four days per week with a trainer and doing cardio afterwards.

 After feeling bad for so long, it was gaining so much weight in such a short time that finally pushed me to the doctor Thursday afternoon to get things checked out. All my blood work and vitals ended up being normal, except for my testosterone level. An optimum level would be in the 400-600 range, low would be under 300…mine was 70. That’s so low that he wanted me to come back and be tested again in the morning, since testosterone levels are highest in the morning. If the morning test showed less than 150 then I’d have to go for an MRI. Thankfully I squeezed by at 162, so no MRI, but they started me on Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT). This amounts to an injection every week, a blood test again in a month, and then blood work every three months after that for, well, forever.

I did a lot of research and read a ton of articles before continuing, because I’m not comfortable with the thought of potentially having to get an injection every week for the rest of my life.  The main difficulty I have with it is that there have been no large, long-term studies done yet. All of the studies I read about (as positive as they are) have been fairly short-term, such as two years or less. Bigger studies are being done, but they’re not finished yet. The short-term benefits, however, do look very promising, and the known potential side effects are relatively minor and manageable as long as you are monitored.

The cost is significant, but if it solves the problems I’ve been having then I’ll be happy to pay it and deal with the modest risks, because I want the part of my life back that I feel like I’ve lost in the last year. The expected results from TRT vary, but the research so far indicates that about 10% of men in my position are ecstatic with the results, 10% see no improvement, and the other 80% have varying levels of improvement. I’m just hoping I’m not on that “see no improvement” side.  The doctor told me that the results aren’t quick, but some improvement is generally seen within 30 days, but most is within 90-180. In any case, I had my first injection this morning and I’ll regularly post any progress I see.

One side note. I’m getting the therapy at the Low T Center, which in retrospect should have a giant banner flying above the building reading, “Caution! Testosterone Stereotype Work Zone Ahead.” All the employees seem to be “perky” young women who lead you past the waiting room (equipped with a large HDTV that apparently only gets ESPN) through a building where every foot of dark, oak, wall space is covered with sports memorabilia. There are framed and signed things everywhere: photos, jerseys, shirts, balls in cases, helmets in cases, Wheaties boxes, NASCAR models, and so on. I had my blood drawn in a shrine to UT Football/Peyton Manning and got my injection in the NASCAR shrine next door. I’m positive that the doctor who saw me today replaces his lab coat with quarterback pads after work and hits the field for practice. Strangely, on one of the walls in a hallway there was single, forlorn frame with a couple of signed photos of the ’70s rock group KISS. I guess the doctors figured they needed to throw a bone to their 50-year-old-rocker patients. I’ve never been a sports (or KISS) fan, so I was left feeling a little cold and out-of-place by the whole thing. But who knows, maybe next time they’ll give me my injection in the heretofore unseen Classic Movies room. Oh well, what’s a gingerboy to do?

Filed in Health,Testosterone | 4 responses so far

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