Adventures in dieting: To HCG or not to HCG?

So for the last couple of weeks I have been  pretty much obsessively and exclusively preoccupied with food, and the lack thereof.
Aaron and I started a horrible diet (HCG) which supposedly makes you lose weight really fast because you EAT ALMOST NOTHING with the help of  the magical HCG hormone.
Now as a personal trainer, I’m not particularly proud of going this route. In fact, I hang my head in shame.  Professional integrity dictates that I tell you that this is not the way, my friends. Being extreme is almost never the healthiest, most long term solution to weight loss. But you know what? I have seen it work for people when nothing else would. So there’s that.
I can only speak for myself though. In 2 weeks I have lost twice of what took me almost 70 days to lose before.  And you can’t lie with those perks.  It should be noted however,  that the perks come only through TREMENDOUS sacrifice and willpower which is not truly sustainable (in my humble opinion) but then again, this diet is not designed to be a long term solution (at least not the first very restrictive phase.)  I’m using it as a kick-start to longer term efforts because my body has not been responding to my more kindly efforts at persuading it to part with the blubber. Will it stay off? Well ,who knows? I surely do hope so though.  I know being significantly lighter than I was will make it easier for me to exercise vigorously, and I know regular, vigorous exercise will improve my chances of maintaining over someone who just plans to go back pigging out and lying around. (I timed this experiment with a needful break in exercise to deal with some chronic injuries I was having from running/shuffling. I personally don’t recommend exercising vigorously on this diet, and I know I wouldn’t be able to.)
Again, while in general faddish/extreme diets are highly unsuccessful and terrible and just not healthy, I have had great personal success in the past with losing weight very fast and keeping it off for years.  What can I say? I’m a freak. Extreme deprivation and focus for shorter periods of time works well with my OCD, “all or nothing” personality type. I can be hyper focused and disciplined when I set my mind to it all the way (but not so much if I’m just trying to be moderate).  Basically I guess I’m a sprinter rather than a marathoner when it comes to self control (and that’s not something I am proud of either.)
And so, after a fairly good trial of  trying to do things the old fashioned healthy way this time, I caved to the temptation of a quick fix and hoped that the results would be similar to what I have had in the past when I went bezerko for a a couple of months and lost 40lbs (and kept most of it off).
To be honest, I am intrigued by the Science behind this diet, I believe there is a lot of validity to it,  and think that it actually works very effectively (i.e:  the way it is supposed to, without extreme pain and suffering) for some people.  I am seeing it work very well for Aaron. It is working for me in terms of weight loss, but the pain and suffering is not awesome, I’m not going to lie.  Maybe I have the wrong chemical make up for it, maybe it is because I have recently stopped nursing, maybe I am just a wuss, but when they assure you that you won’t be hungry or frankly miserable..well that’s not how it is going for me.
This is how today went for me:
Morning: wake up, notice that there is a significant and noticeable decrease in the size of my stomach.  Finally! Don’t feel hungry, feel energetic, feel light!
Jump on scale. Another lb down. Fabulous!
Think: This is the best diet ever, I love eating this way, it is simple and inexpensive, healthy and wonderful . My skin is great even without moisturizer, my hair is great even without conditioner, my stomach is flat(ter). I LOVE THIS DIET.
11 am: Call Aaron, ask him how much he has lost. Always more than me. Tell him that we must totally keep on this diet because it is GREAT.
12pm. Hmm…getting pretty hungry, but that’s ok! Focus on the flat(ter) tummy! Focus on the flat(ter) tummy! It’s cool! No worries.
1:30pm Call Aaron and ask him how many days we have left of the diet.
2pm. I’m really hungry, I think I don’t want to do this diet for very much longer. ‘Cos it’s really hard. It’s really restrictive. Plain spinach leaves aren’t yummy. WHY IS THE STUPID CHICKEN TAKING SO LONG????? DON’T LOOK AT ME WITH THAT HUNGRY LOOK IN YOUR EYE, KID! THIS IS MY FOOD! MY TINY LITTLE AMOUNT OF FOOD FOR WHICH I HAVE WAITED ALL DAY!! LOOK AWAY. BETTER YET…WALK AWAY. ME AND MY FOOD NEED TO HAVE THIS SPECIAL MOMENT ALONE.
3pm. Well that did not exactly hit the spot. I’m still hungry, but I don’t feel quite as crazy. That’s ok. Not too long until dinner.
5pm. Ok this sucks, I can’t stand it anymore. This is ridiculous! When can I quit this diet? (Proceed to think about all the food I can eat when I quit this diet and go on another diet that I used to think was pretty restrictive..hahahahaha…when I was a young, naive fool)
5:30pm rant to Aaron about how RI-DIC-CULOUS this is. Ask him how many days on it we have left.
6:30pm (after dinner): Hmm….that did not exactly hit the spot.  Still hungry, not quite as crazy.(Start fantasizing about all the foods I will eat when I can.)
9pm. I’m ok, it’s going to be ok….I can carry on with this. I can finish the course. Yes. It’s worth it I think. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.
And that is a particularly GOOD day. I’d say the majority of the days up to now have been a combination of 2pm and 5pm. It’s been rough.  (And the first week was pretty much feeling absolutely crap 100% of the time.)
The last 2 weeks of extreme deprivation have taught me a lot about my relationship with food. By far, the worst part of this is the fact that food is out for the following purposes:
-Socializing/having fun
-Boredom and comfort
The worst part is the social part. Summer is a social time, and I am a HUGE social eater (which makes me a HUGE social eater Winking smile Get it? Ahahaha. Got it. )  For real, I can forget about food all day if I’m just going about my business, and then the phone will ring, and I will immediately shove something into my mouth. I’m like Pavlov’s dog. Companionship of any form is my cue to eat. It is the weirdest thing. Going to a gathering where everyone is eating is understandably hard for most people on a very strict diet, but I don’t even feel that social if I know I can’t eat.  To me they are very closely woven. Why bother  hanging out if you can’t eat?
So that’s not good. I don’t really feel like planning a date with my husband or doing fun things with my family when I know there won’t be fun snack or meal as part of the festivities. I’m not even that stoked about hanging out together in the evenings watching a movie or TV because no doubt those things will make me want to eat and it’s just no fun not to GRAZE AT ALL TIMES WHILST ENGAGED IN A SOCIAL INTERACTION.  I’m not depressed, understand. It’s just that fun times for me=eating and I can’t seem to separate the two in my mind. So that’s something that I need to address and for the increased awareness alone, this has been a valuable experience. Not sure what to do about it, but it’s good to be more aware.
The other thing the extreme deprivation has taught me? Food is wonderful! Any food! You don’t need to eat junk or fat filled food to have a sublime eating experience. A mixed green salad be with maybe a vinaigrette dressing? That sounds like heaven to me!  A piece of bread?Hold the phone! I’m dying of joy at the very prospect!  Quinoa? Oh my word, I’m salivating. Basically this diet lowers your expectations of culinary enjoyment. It resets your taste buds and increases your appreciation of good, clean food in general.  It also makes 1200 calories seem like, in the words of my witty friend Lucia, “an all day buffet”.
Ok so it’s been two weeks and I’ve lost all the “feeding the baby weight”. Now all that is left is to get rid of the “gestating the baby” weight (roughly the same amount as the feeding the baby weight). So basically I’m where I should have been a year ago. But at least I am not moving further and further away from my goal. Or inching toward it an ounce a month. That’s always something.
Will I make it to the 23 days? ( You can do the course for a min of 23 days or for a max 40 days. I threw out the idea of the 40 days ages ago. I’m pretty sure I will die of self pity if I stay on it that long). Well I don’t know. As you can tell my feelings about this are pretty ambivalent.
I will say it’s pretty exciting to feel tight clothes become loose. Exciting enough to compensate for the pain? Not sure. Not sure my friends. Just being real.  I must also add that for the most part I feel healthy (albeit hungry). Like I said, my skin is good, it has not responded negatively to no moisturizer, my hair has no responded negatively to no conditioner and my digestive system is working very well (amazingly enough?!) My energy levels are adequate and increasing every day. It seems a lot healthier than when I went crazy and did it my own way years ago and  so as for my health, I am unconcerned.  I also feel that it is short term enough not to warrant any major concerns. For my comfort, I am concerned. Greatly so.
Incidentally, Aaron? Who is a lot bigger and has to be a lot more active than I am?  Who is also a lot less vain and therefore less dedicated to weight loss?  Is doing fine!  No problems. He misses eating,  a lot, no question but he has not had the extreme discomfort that I did in the first week.
So that is the epic scoop. (Scoop!…ahhhh ice cream)……will keep you posted.
Turning off comments on this one, because frankly, I don’t want to hear anyone’s dire warnings and disparagement of fad diets and stuff like that.  I know all that stuff, and I’m too damn hungry to deal with hearing about it.

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