After the final scenes of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” were shot last November, Emily Simpson opened up about feeling down and reaching her highest weight ever. Fast forward to the show’s launch in June, and you’d see a totally revamped Emily who had embraced liposuction and shed more than 30 pounds. However, she quickly faced a wave of criticism following her transformation.
“People assumed I just dropped all the weight super quickly, like in a week or so… maybe a month, because they’d see me on the show and then spot a picture I posted,” Emily Simpson shared with “Good Morning America.” “They’re guessing, ‘She’s probably using Ozempic, that’s how she lost the weight.'”
As Simpson, who is a mother to three kids, started posting more workout videos on her social media, showing her gym routines, the speculation about her weight loss journey increased.
One user commented, “Using Ozempic, aren’t you?” while another chimed in with, “How does it feel to be on Ozempic?”
“You look fantastic! Please say you haven’t hopped on the Ozempic trend!!” another follower expressed.
The sharp remarks were hinting at a medication known for aiding in weight reduction. Drugs like Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Wegovy became quite the talk towards the end of last year. The number of people looking up Ozempic skyrocketed by 450%, jumping from 486,000 searches in June 2022 to a whopping 2.7 million by June 2023.
On platforms like Instagram and Twitter, folks were posting about their weight loss victories with these medications, sparking curiosity about which stars might be using them away from the public eye. This buzz mirrored news stories that seemed to constantly track celebrity weight changes, particularly among women.
A headline in June stated, “‘RHOC’ star Emily Simpson suspected of taking Ozempic following significant weight loss.” Simpson wasn’t surprised by the chatter regarding her physique, considering she had previously faced criticism on social media for her weight. She summarizes this scrutiny as a classic case of “you’re criticized whether you do or don’t.”
Emily Simpson was taken aback by the criticism she faced for using Ozempic, which she explained was prescribed to her for about six weeks in November, helping her shed between five and 10 pounds. Following that, she had liposuction on her arms and a breast lift and reduction in January. Since then, she’s been concentrating solely on exercise and a healthy diet to achieve a total weight loss of over 30 pounds.
“People seem to have a bigger issue with Ozempic than they do with the liposuction,” Simpson observed. “There’s a lot of anger out there. I can’t quite grasp why. That’s what puzzles me.”
Why are we still shaming women around weight?
The rise of the body positivity movement, which champions embracing bodies of all shapes and sizes, has been a growing trend. Yet, time and again, individuals face criticism for using medications to aid in weight loss, seemingly hindering this movement’s momentum.
Discussions online and in the media have long scrutinized people’s physical appearances. Still, they’ve also started suggesting that if female stars used medication to slim down, their efforts are somehow less valid.
Earlier this year, one headline declared, “Kim & Khloé Kardashian Face Allegations Of Weight Loss Drug Use By Fans.” Another stated, “Real Housewives Rumored To Be Taking Ozempic.”
Feeling compelled to speak out about her own weight loss journey after posting a photo with her children that sparked Ozempic rumors, Simpson expressed her frustration. “I’ve achieved so much in life, yet everyone seems fixated on my body size,” said Simpson, who is also an attorney. “It’s just tiring.”
Ashley Rowe, a 36-year-old mother of three from California, wrestled with the decision to start Ozempic for three months. During that period, she noticed public figures denying the use of weight loss drugs as if it were shameful.
“It feels like you can’t lose weight these days without someone asking, ‘Hey, are you on Ozempic?'” Rowe mentioned. “I eventually stopped worrying about others’ opinions and chose what was right for me, but it’s disheartening to witness all the judgment that comes with it.”
Who decides the ‘right’ way to lose weight
There’s quite a bit of controversy surrounding the use of medications like Ozempic for shedding pounds. A good chunk of this unease comes from worries that these meds, originally crafted for diabetes patients, are being diverted to individuals seeking weight loss. This concern is heightened by the hefty price tag of these drugs—often soaring over $1,000 monthly without insurance—which puts them out of reach for many.
Ozempic and Mounjaro have the green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for managing Type 2 diabetes. Yet, it’s not uncommon for healthcare providers to suggest these drugs for slimming down, a practice allowed by the FDA. On the other hand, Wegovy has the official thumbs up for weight reduction.
Amidst the debates, some of the harshest criticism targets the notion of using medication as a shortcut to lose weight. Critics argue that only those who meet a certain threshold of obesity should consider these treatments, while others claim it’s simply taking the path of least resistance. However, Dr. Caroline Apovian, an expert in endocrinology and co-leader at Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Center for Weight Management and Wellness, points to scientific findings that challenge these assumptions.
Dr. Apovian highlights that the criticism towards individuals using Ozempic often suggests they haven’t rightfully ‘earned’ their slimmer figures, as society tends to favor a thinner appearance. She encounters patients struggling to shed pounds on their own who hesitate to take medication due to the stigma that it’s considered ‘cheating’ or taking shortcuts.
She compares this to other health issues, saying, “Imagine if we judged someone for treating high blood pressure with medication. It would be absurd to criticize them for not simply cutting out salt instead of taking Lisinopril,” she shared with “GMA.” This analogy underscores how unfair the judgment can be.
In the U.S., nearly 42% of individuals grapple with obesity, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This condition is linked to serious health risks like heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers, which are among the leading causes of preventable, premature death.
As Dr. Apovian points out, the mechanisms behind Ozempic and similar medications reveal that managing weight isn’t just about willpower or counting calories. This holds true regardless of whether someone needs to lose 20 or 120 pounds.
Ozempic and drugs like it imitate the role of GLP-1, a hormone that influences various parts of the body, including the brain, muscles, pancreas, stomach, and liver.
Dr. Apovian explains that for some individuals with specific genetic makeups, shedding pounds and maintaining weight loss isn’t feasible without adjusting their hormonal balance. “When we rely solely on diet and exercise, our hunger hormones go through the roof while those that make us feel full plummet, making it incredibly tough to maintain weight loss,” she notes. She emphasizes that there are strong hormonal forces at work that naturally drive the body to regain weight.
Doctors say shaming can be more dangerous than drugs
Dr. Terry Dubrow, a certified plastic surgeon known from the show “Botched,” points out that societal stigma against using prescription drugs for weight loss can lead to serious health risks.
He shares that patients might withhold information about their weight loss medication from doctors or family members, which can result in medical issues. “I’m hearing from my peers at the hospital about numerous patients undergoing surgery who aren’t truthful about their medication use,” Dubrow reveals. “This means they’re going under anesthesia with stomachs that aren’t empty, increasing the risk of aspiration during the procedure.”
The American Society of Anesthesiologists recently updated their recommendations on when to pause GLP-1 receptor agonists before an operation. This change comes after multiple accounts in medical literature and from anesthesiology experts about patients who fasted but still experienced vomiting either while falling asleep or upon awakening from anesthesia,” explained Dr. Ronald L. Harter, M.D., a respected member and soon-to-be president of the ASA, as well as a professor of anesthesiology at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Dubrow expresses optimism that as awareness grows about medical findings—that obesity is a health condition, not just a consequence of lifestyle choices—the stigma linked to Ozempic and similar weight loss medications will diminish. He likens it to other diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease, urging people to view obesity in the same light and not as something shameful.
Echoing this sentiment, Apovian sees a glimmer of hope but acknowledges that changing societal and medical perspectives on obesity takes time. “Shifting mindsets and understanding doesn’t happen overnight,” she remarks. “Even some healthcare professionals still hold onto the old belief that diet and exercise are the sole answers… so you can imagine the broader challenge for individuals, policymakers, and communities to embrace this new approach.”
Shaming aside, Ozempic changed their lives, they say
Rowe, who faced a tough battle with weight loss post-pregnancy and while dealing with endometriosis, shares that Ozempic has been a game-changer for her. Alongside the weekly shots, she’s revamped her diet and is working alongside a behavioral therapist.
“It’s about so much more than just an injection,” Rowe explains. “I think there’s a misconception that you can simply start these injections without altering your habits.”
Simpson also noticed a shift in her cravings and eating patterns when she was on Ozempic, a change that persisted even after she stopped the medication to get ready for surgery. “For me, it was the combination of Ozempic, liposuction, and my diet and exercise routine that brought me to where I am now,” Simpson reflects. “I haven’t felt this fit or happy in eight years. I’m brimming with energy and feel very satisfied with where I’m at.”
In an ideal scenario, Simpson wishes that how a woman manages her health wouldn’t be subject to public scrutiny or criticism. “I can’t grasp why we shame someone for choosing a different path,” she says. “After all, we’re all striving to be our healthiest selves for us and our loved ones.”
CityRyde.com and its team members shall not be held responsible for any adverse effects, consequences, or misunderstandings that may arise from the use of Ozmpic discussed in this article. Users should independently verify product information and seek professional medical advice before making any health-related decisions. By reading and relying on this article, users acknowledge and accept that CityRyde.com and its team members are not liable for any issues that may arise from the use of Ozempic or similar products.
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