Monday, August 6, 2012

First steps

Weight 158.5
Waist 35”
Arms 13”
Thighs 24”
Hips 38”
Body fat percentage 27%

I first heard about the HCG diet last year.  I had two friends who completed it with great success.  At first I was skeptical.  The protocol seemed, as it does to most, pretty stupid.  "Of course if you eat 500 calories a day you are going to lose weight!" I said to myself snarkily.  This is what most people say.  You’ve only to read the message boards.  What ultimately convinced me was the fact that one of my friends who did the diet was a surgeon.  He was able to explain it to me medically.  He had even considered setting up a clinic and prescribing it because he believed in it so much.  My doctor friend was not the kind of person I really expected to stick to a diet, especially one so restrictive.  He liked to drink and eating gluttonously and didn't exercise at all.  All his other previous attempts to lose weight, like hiring a personal trainer, had failed.  But he stuck to the diet and lost over 40 lbs in one round.  I was impressed.  I figured if he could do it, I could do it, too.
I know a lot of the people who do HCG are looking to lose a significant amount of weight.  I am only looking to lose between 20-25 lbs.  People have a hard time understanding why I can't just "diet and exercise" to get it off.  They don't understand that I've done that.  I do it every day.  I exercise regularly and I live my life on a diet.  I have maintained my weight within 5 lbs (except for a few bad months after a break up) for almost 5 years.  The reason I didn't start the HCG diet last year was because I was rowing crew at my university and doing strenuous exercise 5-6  days a week.  Even now that I am no longer rowing, I run between ten and twenty miles a week and still work out on a rowing machine at the gym.  I am in good cardiovascular shape and have great muscle tone.  I’m proud of my muscle.  I just wish I could see it underneath this blanket of chub.  Even when I was eating well and doing the most intense workouts of my life, I still never broke 150.  I am 5’4.  No, I am not big boned.  My current weight is 158 with 27% body fat.  A lot of people struggle with the "last 10" or the "last 20."  I think a big part of why my body is so reluctant to let go of the excess fat I'm carrying is because I have been carrying it for so long.  
When I was a kid, I was always a little chunky.  I can't really blame genetics for this.  I blame years of eating biscuits and gravy, ice cream and sour cream and onion potato chips.  I blame being raised eating out almost every meal.  While my mother certainly never set out to raise a fat kid, looking back the crap I ate on a daily basis growing up, I'm lucky I wasn't seriously obese.  I also blame myself.  I like food.  In high school, I got up to about 195 at 5'4.  My junior year in high school I became bulimic and by the time I was 20, I was down to about 145.  It took me a lot of years of shifting to extremes before my eating habits finally became healthy.  I went from eating anything and everything I wanted to throwing up after meals or eating nothing but a handful of almonds and a head of iceberg lettuce with Grey Poupon.  Eventually, I learned to just eat healthfully and I came to love running.  The combination of these experiences have led to me keeping my weight fairly stable.  But still, no matter what, I have not been able to get rid of the last 20 lbs.  I am now confident in my ability to maintain my weight and live healthfully and believe that HCG will be a tool to helping me achieve that has always alluded me.  I don’t believe this diet is a quick fix.  I believe it requires an enormous amount of discipline.  But I also believe it addresses the long-term issues of dieting. 
HCG research supports the theory that the hypothalamus, which regulates our set weight, can be reset.  I believe that, as a result of carrying extra weight for most of my life, my body does not understand that it is overweight or that the fat I am carrying is unnecessary.  My set point seems to be about 155.  I believe this because for the last few years, any time I have gained weight (at one point, getting up to 170 after the bad break-up), I have been able to lose it simply eating well and exercising.  If I lose weight (go below 155, as I did last year), it is easily gained back with normal eating habits.  However, the gain stops and levels out around 155.  HCG is supposed to change your set point by training your body to accept a new set point.  I really believe this is possible because of the experiences of others, including my friends, who have still kept off almost all of their weight even after a year.  
I'm looking forward to starting HCG and documenting my experience here.  I am a little nervous and not too excited about having to give up alcohol, but if nothing else, I think it will be a good cleansing experience. 

Tomorrow I am going to buy the HCG shots and Thursday and Friday I plan starting Phase I.  

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