My Lilly Stock Is Fattening Up

I called my financial advisor to ask if I should diversify my portfolio. Translation: Should I sell some of my Eli Lilly stock, which I’ve had for at least twenty years and is now a big chunk of my holdings?

Nope, she said. Lilly is doing great, thanks in part to its new weight-loss drug, which is marketed as Zepbound. I told her I had heard of the drug from several sources. A friend of mine got the weekly shots and lost fifty pounds. He says he feels great.

“My daughter, who’s a nurse, is taking it,” my advisor explained. “She did a lot of research and is getting it directly from Lilly.”

“Not going through a doctor?” I asked, as my thoughts took me back many decades to the sleezy fat doctor on the eastside of Indianapolis.

The guy was overweight and disreputable-looking. The physical exam he gave me before dispensing his miracle weight-loss pills amounted to a breast exam . . . the old reprobate and that’s being kind. Hey, I wanted those pills, which is why I didn’t slap him, storm out of his office, and report him to the AMA.

Turns out those magic pills were amphetamines. I took one in the morning and buzzed through the day. When I got home after work, I was more interested in cleaning my closets than in ordering a pizza.

I even remember a friend offering me a large, black pill that was known to help a dieter drop the pounds quickly.  She called it an “LA Turnaround.” You could drive to Los Angeles and back on one of those pills, she explained. Or clean the entire house from top to bottom a couple of times.

I said “no thanks.” Too strong for me. Besides, my house was already clean from the other pills I was taking.

It was after three or four weeks of taking the magic little pill and losing weight, that I began feeling irritated. The least little thing would set me off. I was still buzzing, but I was more like an angry hornet than a docile honeybee. I stopped taking the amphetamines and started eating pizza again.

Several years later I went to a weight-loss doctor on the west side of the city. I still get emails from him asking if I want the pills I was taking when I lost thirty pounds. His email said they would ship the drugs to Florida for me. I wonder if he’s added Zepbound to his repertoire.

He was a nice guy and seemed sincere about wanting to help me slim down. But he lost my business when he cautioned me about getting too thin. “A woman of YOUR AGE needs a little extra padding,” were the last words he spoke to me.

After the conversation with my financial advisor, I decided to hang onto my Lilly stock. I doubt that I’ll become a customer of the company’s latest phenomenon. I’m less adventuresome than I used to be, and I’ve been up and down this hilly road before. But I wish the company—and my portfolio—continued success.

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