Woman Taking Semaglutide Says Shopping Has Replaced Food

When Ashley Dunham started taking semaglutide, she wasn’t surprised when she experienced side effects including migraines and constipation after talking to others on the buzzy weight loss drug.But the 32-year-old from Florida — who has lost about 110 pounds over 17 months on a compounded version of the drug marketed as Ozempic and Wegovy — didn’t expect to develop a love of shopping.With food no longer the center of her life — she doesn’t experience “food noise,” cravings or hunger anymore, and food is less satisfying — she only eats because she knows she needs to.Her brain now has more space for other things, such as fashion, thanks to the appetite-suppressing drug, which has exploded in popularity in recent years. While she used to get a rush from the first bite of delicious food, she now gets that from clicking “buy,” she told Business Insider.”I have found that I am almost in a transfer addiction state where I am shopping,” she said. “I spent so much of the last seven years focusing on what I was eating, how much I was eating, how many calories were coming in, how many calories were going out, all these things. And now that I have the mental capacity to focus on other things, I’m more interested in shopping.”Online shopping has replaced evening snackingShopping is also just something to do with her hands in the evening instead of snacking. Before losing weight, Dunham would often find herself mindlessly eating popcorn or drinking a cocktail while sitting on the couch. Now she scrolls instead.This is all made easier by the fact she has more disposable income now that she spends less on food and drinks.”Instead of snacking, I am scrolling on Instagram or TikTok Shop or Amazon and seeing what is out there,” Dunham said. “Shopping has just become so easy. It honestly has become as easy as grabbing a handful of popcorn popping into my mouth because you have so many one-click purchase options.””The shopping has definitely gotten out of control,” she joked.Dunham is no longer ‘sized-out’ by brands

Ashley Dunham before and after losing weight on semaglutide.

Ashley Dunham

But “going from being ‘sized-out’ to ‘sized-in’ is huge,” Dunham said, and she feels like she deserves things she didn’t before.Dunham now feels comfortable and confident shopping in places she never used to, such as Lululemon, which up until recently only stocked up to a size 12.”I never would’ve shopped at Lululemon before,” Dunham said. “I felt like I wasn’t worthy of entering the store. I felt like I was just not the aesthetic. I was not their target customer. Now I go there all the time because my body feels deserving and worthy and I can exist in these spaces.”Dunham’s experience reflects how, for some people, losing weight is not just about their health, but also about belonging in a society that stigmatizes body fat. Business Insider’s Gabby Landsverk previously reported on how weight loss drugs including semaglutide are challenging the myth that weight loss is about willpower and has helped people come to terms with the guilt and shame they felt about their inability to stick to diets that kept them at a size deemed socially acceptable.Dunham is experiencing “thin privilege” for the first time in years and she is no longer embarrassed of her appearance, she said. She feels powerful because she can shop anywhere.”I feel like I’ve just kind of opened Pandora’s box where everything is accessible to me, everything is meant for me,” Dunham said. “It really does warm your heart in a completely different capacity than you would think.”


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