Let’s talk about the thing that everyone — and no one — is talking about. The skinny shots.

That’s my oh-so-technical term for the semaglutide drugs — Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro — being used for weight loss.

Countless men and women here in the Keys and throughout the country are secretly injecting themselves once a week while claiming the impressive weight loss stems from their own hard work, renewed fitness regime and healthful eating habits.

I’m not one of those people. 

I’m doing the shots and I freely admit it.

I’m taking the easy way out. A shortcut. Cheating. Call it what you will. 

I call it better living through chemistry, and now that production has ramped up and people with actual diabetes aren’t being denied their crucial medication so that some soccer mom can lose those last 15 pounds of baby weight, I have no guilt, only hope.

I just started this journey on July 24 and have had two shots so far of Mounjaro. I’ve lost 5.8 pounds in my first eight days, through, admittedly, no effort on my part. And again, I’m OK with that. I just feel the need to be honest about it. 

I have no willpower. I work long hours, often in a sedentary position in front of a computer. I enjoy chips and queso dip. I hate kale. And at 47 years old, I find that any efforts I DO make to exercise or eat right take way too long to see any results, so I give up. Granted, my expectations are a bit unrealistic. Apparently, power-walking two or three miles DOESN’T result in an instant loss of eight pounds. 

That said, over the past seven years of weight gain, I’d begun to hate seeing photos of myself. I’ve looked up online tips on how to appear slimmer in photos. And I’ve refused to descend a tunnel slide with my grandniece for fear of getting stuck, instead telling her that the slide wasn’t designed for “fluffy” people such as myself. To her endearing credit, the little 6-year-old didn’t hesitate for a second when she replied, “But Aunt Mandy, you’re beautiful.” Love that kid.) 

I look at some of the old summertime photos that line my parents’ hallway in Ocean City, N.J., and my wedding photos from 13 years ago, even in photos from six years ago, I recall specific pieces of clothing that I loved but could no longer wear.

So I made a decision and booked an appointment with nurse practitioner Erin Kane, who runs New You Health Clinic in Key West to help people lose weight. She immediately sent me for blood work and started trying to get my insurance to cover the shots. They wouldn’t. 

So she works with a compounding pharmacy to get me the less expensive generic versions.

(Note: I have received no discounts or compensation for mentioning Erin in this article.) 

This journey will cost me about $300 per month, a burden I thank my husband for sharing in order to make myself happier. And I sincerely hope the cost decreases in the coming year or so as more of these medications become available so they’re accessible to many more people who need them. 

So far, I’ve had very minimal side effects with just an occasional afternoon headache, and simply find myself “not hungry” for most of the day. And the shots don’t hurt one bit — I promise. 

So there, I said it. I’m doing it. I admit it, and I’m happy about it. 

Mandy Miles
Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.