After 18 days, I have now lost enough weight that it is starting to be dramatic and obvious. I am now fielding a lot of questions like, “What are you doing to lose weight so quickly?” And, when I explain what I’m doing, I am invariably met with a look that says “You must be crazy!”, or even, the verbal response: “Things that sound too good to be true always are”.
Honestly…I realize this. Preaching to the choir. I have, more than anyone I know, stayed for my entire adult life on the side of solid science when it comes to my weight management strategy. After being encouraged by my gymnastics coach at age 9 to diet, and after agreeing to go to Weight Watchers at age 11 with my mother who was trying to help me be ballet-thin, I had an extra early foray into the wonderful world of dieting. I yo-yo’d my way through my teenage years, and managed to stabilize somewhat in college.
In college, I took electives such as Food Science and Nutrition and Fitness For Life. I have read countless fitness magazines and books. I have attended lecture series on fitness, exercise, and weight loss. My career in sports therapy necessitates my being “up on the latest” in athletic and fitness training. I resolved many years ago to never attempt to control my weight through calorie restriction because it doesn’t work. I sought out intensive athletic training with multiple personal trainers. I spent hours in spinning and toning classes. I’ve carved years off of my life on treadmills and elipticals. I know my way around a weight room and have an exhaustive list of challenging exercises. I’ve attended multiple fitness boot camps.
All of this time, while I didn’t “diet” specifically, I have eaten in such a way that it was very “healthy”—as in, cutting out virtually all junk food, reducing carbs, etc—but also with the attitude that I needed to be able to eat like this forever. I had experienced first-hand and early-on the fact that dieting in its true sense damaged my metabolism and made me fatter. I was going for a “lifestyle” solution. I have easily ignored unrealistic claims of quick weight loss issued by the slimy weight-loss industry, seeing them for what they truly are—big business.
I first came across the HCG protocol one year ago. One of my best friends had struggled incessantly and unsuccessfully with her weight for years. Granted, this friend had always been more willing to try diets, cleanses, and other food-related protocols than I ever had. She tried to explain to me that adding in this hormone affected the hypothalamus, allowed for extreme calorie restriction without damage, etc. I gave her the same response that everyone is now giving me. It sounded horrible, and it flew in the face of science and everything that I knew to be true about fitness and weight loss. I assumed that she had fallen victim to another weight loss scam.
A great theory, except that her weight is still down by 50 pounds, and she really doesn’t even have to try to maintain it—a whole year later!
For me, the light went on and I opened my mind to the possibility of doing HCG when I was told by the originator of the Mind:Body Method that RESTING METABOLIC RATE (RMR) IN PARTICIPANTS AT THE END OF THE PROTOCOL IS SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER THAN BEFORE THE PROTOCOL. Not only did she make this claim, she had reams of data, STATISTICALLY ANALYSED BY A REPUTABLE UNIVERSITY to prove this statement.
Knowing that RMR—the number of calories that a body burns at rest—is everything when it comes to controlling weight, or so I thought, this was really compelling. RMR is what separates the naturally thin people from the naturally fat people. I had taken as gospel truth that a slower RMR ALWAYS follows weight loss through calorie restriction.
Bodies are not linear, they are multi-dimensional, particularly when it comes to the endocrine system. I am a beautiful case of “calories in, calories out” not working. All of my intense working out and eating carefully landed me a RMR of 1360—BELOW AVERAGE (See “The Numbers Tell is All—I have a Problem). I am a perfect example of the latest in fitness science not helping me.
For people who are completely sedentary and overweight, increasing activity to a healthy level will naturally cause them to lose weight, and will be an effective strategy. But for people like me who are extremely active and who have unsuccessfully tried to lose weight in a logical and permanent way, the multi-dimensional answers of the HCG protocol are essential. I needed a hormonal reset. Just like my friend did.
I am neither ignorant nor impulsive in my choice to follow the HCG protocol. I am a very educated skeptic. And, I am living proof that it works.