Losing Weight on Tamoxifen

chibipinkchibipink Member Posts: 29
edited October 2016 in Health and wellbeing
Hi Girls,
   its been awhile. I was diagnosed in 2013, had chemo and four operations and was left with not much confidence in my body which I'd treated pretty well, I thought, only to be betrayed by my boobs. Three years later, I look in the mirror and don't like what I see! So I'm performing an experiment to see if its true that you can't lose weight on Tamoxifen and I'm writing a blog.
Girl vs Tamoxifen
You can see the horrible "before" photos on me in the first post.
I've given myself until christmas to see if I can make a significant difference.
It would be nice if some people would look at the blog from time to time and cheer me on. :smile:
Or it might be of interest to some people to see if it can actually be done. 



  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,508
    Hi - losing weight on Tamoxifen - wow wouldn't that be good!  No, I have put on weight and like you unhappy with the betrayal I feel that the side effects of medication et cetera has put me through. 
    Good luck with your blog!  I'm sure some will come on here when they read your post and be able to say they are stable in their weight or in fact have lost weight on Tamoxifen.
    Take care
  • DeanneDeanne Sunshine Coast QldMember Posts: 2,017
    Your "horrible before shots" don't look that horrible to me! I would think you will be able to tone up and make a little improvement by Christmas with your determination. Good idea to set yourself a goal and keep this blog of your achievement. I am sure it will be helpful to others to see how you go.
    I gained 3kg during chemo and managed to lose those 3 plus 6 more over a 6 month period on Tamoxifen. I changed my diet a little bit at a time and exercised everyday. I have maintained that weight loss for 3 years  (2 of them on tamoxifen and now 1 on Femara). I am currently doing weights to counteract effects of Femara on my bone density. Also hoping to improve my lean body mass vs fat ratio.
    Good luck with your goals. I will cheer you along!
  • chibipinkchibipink Member Posts: 29
    Thanks iserbrown. I just checked the blog stats and I can see 15 people followed the link to my page. (Or 1 person clicked it 15 times??) so thanks to all those people too, because just knowing that people are watching is enough to keep me dedicated to the plan ... I hope.
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,508
    As Deanne said your determination will get you there and of course we are willing you on as well as
  • EttaEtta Member Posts: 16
    Hi chibipink,
    Well done you - whatever it takes to keep you motivated! :) I think you look amazing BTW...
    I've been on Tamox for 2.5 yrs - I put on 5 kilos in the first 4 months and freaked out/got miserable, so stayed that way for a while thinking well, this is it then - then thought, no stuff it, I have to try. 
    It is wayyyyyyyy harder to lose weight than before but it IS possible with the right amount of exercise and a pretty strict diet. 
    Since Jan this year I've committed to exercise every day - nothing too strenuous, stuff I love - yoga, swimming & walking. It's really helped with my achey body and my moods. Then I gave up sugar - honestly not easy I was a total chocoholic but it's been 9 months I'm still committed. I followed the no sugar thing very strictly in Feb/March then eased off a bit - maybe one or two treats on the weekend - which I find gives me the fix I need ;)  I've managed to lose that 5 kilos but really considering my exercise and diet it should be a lot more - but I feel so much better. 
    Looking forward to following your blog, good luck! 
  • Hopes_and_DreamsHopes_and_Dreams Gold CoastMember Posts: 752
    Hi chibipink, I love how you are keeping yourself accountable :) and inspiring many others at the same time!  I agree with Etta, you look terrific!  But it isn't about what anyone else thinks is it - it's how we feel. I am 172cm and have always been slim.  But I've managed to gain 4 kgs in the past 2 months post op.  Is it the Arimidex or just the fact that I have been stuck at home (eating!!) and not exercising.  While everyone else thinks I look fine, I feel horrible.  My clothes are tight and I am dreading squeezing into my work uniform next week.  I've started moderating my diet and using a calorie counting app on my phone to keep track.  My husband and I are walking 5km each day.  I've lost 500g in the last week.  Yay! It's a start !!!
    Wishing you all the best, look forward to cheering you on.  Jane x
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,078
    Hi Chibipink! What a wonderful idea! You so can do it!! 
    I was on Tamoxifen for 4yrs, and didnt gain weight or lose it, just stable, but can I say I was also pre menopausal and I think that had something to do with it. This diagnosis after Chemo it threw me into menopause and I am now on Arimidex, I gained 5kg through Chemo and cannot lose it no matter what I do. So hard to say if it is Arimidex or just plain old menopause, but it is soooo annoying!!! Exercising is still so hard as Im in pain all the time figure its Arimidex can hardly walk somedays and Im only 48!!!! So sheer determination, I believe you can do it!!!! Love to look at your Blog!!! xx Melinda
  • chibipinkchibipink Member Posts: 29
    Thanks Jane and Melinda. Thankyou for your support. I'm glad you think I can do it. Positive statements like that are really helpful, I think. 
    My optometrist told me she knows lots of women on tamoxifen who have just "blown up". Those sort of statements seep into your psyche and undermine it, at least in my case.
     I was 48 and premenopausal too and the chemo zapped my ovaries. All of a sudden I thought of myself as an old woman, and that there really was no point in fighting the creeping onset of old age and flab. Cancer, losing your hair, a chest full of scars, my pectoral muscles are not longer connected to my ribs etc. etc. took away a lot of confidence I had in my body. My doctor telling me I was at an age where I should take it easy didn't help either! But something has flipped in my head lately though and all of a sudden I think I can do something about it. 

    Good luck with your weight loss Jane. And I hope the dratted pain stops for you soon Melinda.

    thankyou again for your support.
  • Hopes_and_DreamsHopes_and_Dreams Gold CoastMember Posts: 752
    Don't listen to the doubters chibipink!   It makes me so mad when people bracket anyone post menopausal as old and fragile!  I went through a natural menopause at 47 and at 55 I still think I am active and young.  Our ovaries don't define us.
    I know you will achieve your goal and prove your doctor and optometrist wrong.  Jane x
  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 2,018
    I can both put on and lose weight on tamoxifen. It doesn't seem to affect me that much. I am probably sweating half of it out at night with flushes lol.
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,418
    Not all post menopausal woman get fat and flabby so it is no different with tamoxifen. It's  fitness and food that determines how we look. You can do it. 
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,078
    Hey!!! Thought I'd share what my Surgeon said yesterday too!!!! He asked how the 5kg is going I put on, I was quite annoyed!!!! I said doesnt matter what I do I cannot shift it and due to pain so hard to exercise. He smiled and he said...In all the years he's been dealing with Breast Cancer, he said majority of women due to treatment put on weight. BUT....within 2-5yrs he said, the body readjusts back, its a slow process, but he said it DOES come off. So go girl!!!!! You will shift this!!! 
    Melinda xo
  • chibipinkchibipink Member Posts: 29
    Thanks again everyone. That's great that your doctor told you the weight will come off, given that women report worse symptoms on tamoxifen depending on their expectations. I don't think my body is going to readjust without some determination coming from my brain :) but its very reassuring to hear all the anecdotes saying that it can be done! Feeling (unduly??) optimistic today.
    I hope your pain subsides soon, Melinda.

  • HarleeHarlee Member Posts: 102
    My experience was that I gained 7 kg during chemo and then with a determined effort with my diet and exercise (mainly walking 6-10 km per day) I lost 8 kg during my first 6 months of Tamoxifen and was stable at that weight for 18 months. Losing weight while on Tamoxifen was certainly more difficult than previously but not impossible. I was lucky with Tamoxifen as my side effects were quite minor and easily managed. I regularly joked that my Tamoxifen experience was better than some of my friends' so called "normal" menopause experiences. Until it was discovered that I was one of those who experienced endometrial thickening from the Tamoxifen.
    So at my 2 year check up I was switched to Arimidex...
    Sadly the bone and joint pain side effects from Arimidex for me were immediate and horrible. This meant that my walking program vanished - it was worse than chemo - some days I could barely get out of bed. Without exercise I started gaining about 1kg per month and then I also hit the jackpot when I became depressed which led to even more weight gain. However every cloud has a silver lining and depression meant that I was referred to a wonderful psychologist who recommended that I find a personal trainer. I had my first session in July and by August I had committed to 2 sessions per week. This has helped both with the depression and I've also lost 3 kg but most importantly - I absolutely love it! 
    I'm currently thinking of increasing my sessions to 3 per week (I'd actually like to do 6 but simply can't afford that!) as I still struggle to exercise by myself. My hope is that will change soon as I long to return to the wonderful walks I used to enjoy so much.
    Good luck chibipink - I really enjoyed reading your blog. It was quite entertaining! 
  • chibipinkchibipink Member Posts: 29
    Thanks Harley. Looks like you have a pretty strong commitment to your health! I'm in awe.
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