Saturday, June 30, 2012
I've thought long and hard about what I wanted to say about hCG. I didn't want to be unfair and write while I was angry so I waited. First off, against everyone's advice I did the hCG injections. The rebellious part of my nature is what I'm blaming but the truth is I got suckered. I bought into the instant success thing, I saw results on other people first hand and I wanted that too. I have been consistently losing 2lbs a week since Feb, but it just seemed to be taking so long. Though looking back I have to say I've lost a heck of a lot of weight in a short period of time before the hCG.
Anyway let me tell you about my experience:
I was ok for the most part. I stuck to the 500 calorie diet most days but I was starting to see huge red warning flags from the beginning. I had severe body aches, fatigue and was constantly thirsty. Every moment of every day I thought of food and when my next meal would be. The cravings were awful, I've never craved anything so bad before, to the point I was nearly in tears. I was beginning to think something was wrong with me. Other people could do it, why couldn't I? I lost 8lbs and never could do the 500 past the first 2 days, but the Dr. told me to double my cup of vegetables and I would be ok. I think I was eating between 650-700.
Telling the Dr. my complaints, she raised my hCG. I believed I was going to be ok and she assured me the cravings were natural. They are not NATURAL. I was starving. The first 2 days were ok. The rest of the week, the cravings got to me. I was determined to stick with it though. I only lost 1 lb that week. My body composition changed, I gained 4 lbs of fat and I was losing my muscle tone. The Dr. told me that I needed to cut back to 500 calories or I wouldn't lose. Work was beginning to notice a change in my job performance. I was starting to break out really bad, I blamed the acne on the change in soaps that I had to make for the diet.
Returning to the Dr, I complained of extreme fatigue. I was also experiencing depression and was starving at lunch time at work. I couldn't eat though because I would have already had my 2 meals during the day. She told me to eat my apple at lunch. I couldn't stay awake at lunch anymore and kept falling asleep while I was working. She decided not to raise my hCG.
I was bound and determined to stick with it. I was a screw up and needed to get with the program. That lasted 2 days. I went back to my normal eating patterns. Healthy. I lost 5 lbs the first day. That shocked me, I thought I'd gain weight. You know why I lost weight? I do. My body was refusing to lose because I was STARVING myself. As soon as it was given food it allowed itself to lose again. The fatigue, depression and aches disappeared. The acne disappeared the first day I ate right.
I didn't binge that first day, the second I sort of over ate (by this I mean eating 3 full meals, a pack of peanut butter crackers and a pack of snowballs). I'm ok now and back on track.
Today I feel comfortable enough to start exercising again.
So here are some questions I've been asking myself:
1) Do I regret doing the hCG injections/diet?
Not at all. I regret that I was stupid enough to follow the protocol that long but not the diet itself. I learned a lot. I finally had my blood work done at the beginning of this process and found out that my cholesterol is slowly coming under control, though its still high.
2) What have I learned from this experience?
That there are no quick fixes, if I want to do this I am going to have to work at it. I learned that I need to eat more vegetables (particularly leafy green ones) and that I need to eat more fish. I also learned how to cook certain things without oils and have learned to limit my cheese consumption. I was eating way too much cheese and I found that I really don't need it now. I also learned that my vitamin B and D levels are extremely low so I am going to start taking a sublingual B vitamin and a vitamin D supplement. I have to say that my hair is growing healthier and thicker than ever (over an inch in 3 weeks) and I've decided that is due to the B12 injections the Dr. gives me every week and the increased vegetable consumption.
3) What is the most important thing that I am taking away from this experience?
That being thin is a byproduct of being healthy and that being thin is not the most important thing. When I realized I was losing my muscle tone, it really freaked me out. I'd worked so hard to build lean muscle and I was losing it! Then I realized that while I want to be slender, I want to be healthy and strong more. I'm not sure when I started eating a healthy diet in Feb that I had the right motivation. I wanted to be skinny before I went to see my Dad in NY in September. Now I just want to be strong and healthy, the time frame is not so important to me anymore.
4) Would I recommend hCG to anyone else?
No but I am not sure it wouldn't work for someone else. I don't think its healthy at all. I have a very active lifestyle and my body requires quite a few calories to keep up with work, school, and life. Someone else may not have to have all the energy that I need. I can not honestly say that hCG doesn't work, but I can 100% say that it is dangerous, unhealthy and not worth the risk.
A couple of other things I've gotten out of this:
I have completely quit drinking diet Coke. FINALLY
Steevia (the artifical sweetener your allowed on the diet) is pretty good. I don't mind swapping sugar for this sweetener. Its also an appetite suppress ant (supposedly).
Food is fuel and not the enemy. Carbs are not evil, though a lot of people would believe that they are. I believe in eating carbs in moderation (from the right sources) and that low/no carb diets are not healthy.
Of course this is all my opinion based on the experiences I had on the hCG diet. Thank you to everyone that said it wasn't a good idea. You were right. I'm kind of embarrassed and this post was hard for me to write, but I'm back on Sparkpeople and my dedication to eating healthy and exercising regularly is back.