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when you finally stop Letrozole, after oophorectomy?


Hi, while the joint pain is a struggle, it’s something I think I can solider through so far. What’s getting to me most is weight. While never slim, now I’m on weight watchers counting carefully, doing a fasting diet of 16-8 hours, walk/hike at least 10,000 steps a day, lift weights 3X a week and…cannot lose this belly or any weight! Ugh.

I’m 44 so was premenopausal and taking lupron until an ovarian cyst helped force my hand into an oophorectomy.

My question is to anyone in a similar situation who has gotten off the aromitase inhibitors and whose ovaries won’t take over and make estrogen when off of the AI…did it get any easier to lose weight for you? I’m also curious if any memory issues have gotten better if you experienced them?

Thank you to anyone willing toshare insight. Crossing my fingers about more to look forward to..


  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 512
    edited January 2022

    You can lose the weight. Exercise only helps so much, it is eating less what makes a difference. Don't know about you, but I have had times when I worked out like a maniac (running, swimming, not just walking), did 14h fast, ate very healthy food -and still gained weight. Why? Because I was eating way too much. I am having more success by using mindfulness techniques to examine why I feel like eating too much, and stopping to think and feel if I am even hungry or just bored or anxious about something. And remembering what I used to eat (and how) back when, when I was thinner (answer: way less)

    Estrogen is produced in other tissues beside the ovaries so you still need the AI even after oophorectomy.

    You can totally lose that belly!

  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605
    edited January 2022

    One type of exercise that may help with the belly is strength training. You can start off with body weight exercises like squats and planks. If you can build up more muscle and lose fat, that can help with a belly. But don't make it about losing weight, because you may not. Muscle is heavier! And you still have to make sure you're not overeating, like Laughing Gull said. And that you're eating whole foods, lots of veggies, and very little sugar and preprocessed foods.

    I didn't lose a single pound for months after starting an exercise routine with a trainer. But after about six months of building strength and muscle, I was able to start wearing my jeans that had been too tight, and wearing my dresses that used to make me look pregnant. I eventually lost a couple pounds after that. But BIG changes can occur without the number on the scale moving! I don't even look at mine anymore.

  • rossi11
    rossi11 Member Posts: 3
    edited March 2022

    Thank you laughing gull on the food insight you shared, especially reflecting on how much you’re eating now compared to when slim and perhaps the need to eat less overall than I’ve ever been used to.

    And parakeetsruke, thanks for sharing the on persistence of your journey. I will keep up the strength training and try to focus less on the scale and more on the shift in how I feel and getting the buttons to clasp on more pants. I’ve picked up jogging now too so perhaps that can be the kick in the rear my metabolism needs. But jogging makes me feel good overall and darn it, we all need to feel the best we can every day

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,226
    edited March 2022

    I feel like the general rule is 20% exercise and 80% food when it comes to what affects weight loss. As the posts above mention - exercise that builds muscle helps speed your metabolism, even when you are at rest. Aerobic exercise is great but I don’t feel like it is enough, particularly as we age. Eating less is important, but at least for me, what I eat is important too. While on letrozole I had difficulty losing the weight gained from chemo, steroids, and inactivity due to surgery and treatment. This was about a 15lb gain. I used MyFitnessPal and faithfully tracked my five fast miles a day and about 1500 calories of sensible food, which had always worked previously, and over six weeks I lost absolutely nothing. Then I tried an elimination diet - cutting out foods that commonly cause inflammation or allergy. This was the difference maker for me. I was not able to exercise due to three back to back surgeries and an open wound, but I lost 22lbs over 6 months. I have discovered that I will regain weight, even though I am exercising, if I go back to an “everything in moderation” way of eating. Also that, for me, exercise doesn’t make me lose weight, but does help me maintain weight loss. All of this has remained true for me despite being off letrozole for a couple of years now - I completed 7.5 years. I know it is frustrating and I wish you the best