Friday, June 18, 2010


Sunday is going to be my 33rd birthday. I don't know what I think about that. This time around I seem to be a true Gemini on the subject, which is rather unusual for me.

Do I celebrate? Do I *want* to celebrate? Do I just want to run away and hide for the day, or should I go out? Cake or no cake? Remind my family and friends or don't? (My mother in law can never remember when it is, even though it's 5 months before her sons, exactly. Last year she didn't even wish me a happy birthday - I am still bitter about that.) Do I even want presents? Should I just tell people that if they want to get me something, send money so I can go get whatever I want?

I don't want to be an attention whore, but on the other's my birthday. I feel old. My hair is more grey than I had realized - I dyed it black, and it's fading out to my natural color (which was the intent) but because I haven't dyed it, I am truly seeing how much more grey there is than the last time I get it grow. I have honest-to-god streaks of grey. I should say silver, because it sounds better and they *are* shiny and not the dull grey you see in some women, for which I am grateful. We used to call it mithril, but that's because we're geeks. So then we get into the "Should I re-dye my hair? Well, I'd like to, but on the other hand I really need to let it heal. It's taken a beating and while it *is* getting better, it's still rough and dyeing it isn't good for it." Did I mention I feel old? I got a recent dx of arthritis in my spine, along with everything else.

I am having a rough time, mentally. I don't really think it's the age. It doesn't feel like it has anything to do with mom, although I will miss her call. I think it's just the fact that it's my birthday, again. We have no money with which to really celebrate it, husband doesn't get to go out shopping for me (although we did buy a kick-ass blender), and I doubt he'll even have time to get a card, nor will he think about it. My dad's card won't be here until Monday at least, my grandmother said her stuff will be here Monday or Tuesday. We're going to have cake with the boys on Saturday. It looks like my actual birthday is going to be just...another day.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The newest fad diet

I assume that most of you have heard about the newest fad diet - the hCG diet.

There is much ire going on with me. Every time I hear a commercial I want to scream. My blood pressure soars, my stomach gets in knots. It is not good.

We all know what hCG is, or we should. As people trying to get pregnant, we rely heavily on those numbers to tell us what's going on with the pregnancy itself - is the beta rising, falling, not doubling like it should?

And now? People are WILLINGLY injecting themselves with it daily for a minimum of 23 days, up to 40 days, or until they lose 34-40 pounds. Now yes, that sounds appealing. I need to lose about 40 pounds, and I could do it in 40 days with this. But wait - there's more! While doing those injections, the people are only allowed to eat 500 calories. 500. Lets see...I'm sitting here are my desk drinking a coke and eating a snack-size bag of Fritos. My coke has 140 calories, and my Fritos bag has 320. I am now only allowed another 40 calories for the DAY. Really? The claim is that you don't feel hunger pangs because your body uses your own stored fat for energy and sustenance. Great - turn my body into a cannibal why don't you! 500 calories isn't even enough to support your normal brain function!

Does the FDA approve? Of course not. They know it's not good. They approved the use of hCG as a fertility drug. Guess what? Injecting yourself with hCG tricks your body into thinking it's pregnant. Using hCG improperly, as a dietary aid in this case, can cause you to get pregnant if your body turns the tables on you! won't know it, because a pregnancy test is GOING to come up positive if you're using the damn hormone and because you're tricking your body into thinking you're pregnant, you may experience other pregnancy symptoms (nausea, tender breasts, swelling). So now you ARE pregnant, but you don't realize it, and so when you go off the injections after 6 weeks, you have no idea. Meanwhile, you're feeding your poor fetus 500 calories. A coke, a snack pack of Fritos, and maybe a Hershey's kiss. Yup, that kid is going to come out JUST FINE. Oh - lets not forget OHSS, which is also a real risk with injecting yourself with hCG.

hGC is a controlled substance. You can't just walk into the store and get it - you have to have a script. Your regular doc isn't going to give it to you, not if he's at all smart. So where do you go? To one of those damn weight loss clinics, where the docs will give you a script before you can blink. These are the same people who thought the Atkins was a good idea, and probably the tapeworm diet of long ago. Really - you're going to trust people who thought that eating a tapeworm would be beneficial?! After more research it looks like it's available online - even better! Let's just order something we know nothing about from the internet and inject it into our bodies without knowing anything. How many of us had to take classes to learn about PIO injections?!

Let's talk about the weight loss too. The claim is 34-40 pounds within the 40 days. Most people lose that - those that don't come back after 6 weeks and try again...and that goes for those that the weight comes back for. My doctors freaked out when I lost 15# in 2 weeks due to a random side effect that I was never able to duplicate, generated from starting two meds at the same time. I repeatedly stopped them and started them again after a few weeks to see if I could make it happen again, but no go. It was just a random occurrence. My doctors also freaked out when I gained 20# in a month from a medication. Apparently neither one is healthy to do, shockingly enough. Yet...these weight loss "doctors" are counseling people to lose the equivalent of that 15# every two weeks. It's not healthy! A couple pounds a week, yes - and we're talking 3-5 pounds, and if it's done in a healthy way, like exercise and not drugs.

People are so...hooked...on trying to find a fast way to lose weight. You didn't GAIN that 40 pounds in 2 months, what makes you think you should be able to lose it? I heard once that it takes twice as long to lose the weight as it did to gain it - so those who are pregnant and it took them 9 months to gain the 40 pounds, you're looking at 18 months to lose it! But people try crash diets and fads, injecting and ingesting all manner of unknown things, just to lose weight. I'm not a proponent of exercise - I'd be a hypocrite if I was, since I never get off my ass. I also don't try fad diets. I watched my mother try diet after diet after diets I can't even remember when I was younger, and her weight just yo-yo'd up and down, it never stayed off. My mother, like me, was not a big eater. She ate more than I do, but I eat barely enough to meet my metabolic needs (and I'm not even 100% certain about that!) She gained baby weight and just never managed to lose it. After every diet, she ended up gaining more weight than she lost.

I can't help but wonder...what long term side effects is this fad diet going to have? How is it going to affect the fertility of those involved? If your body gains an immunity after 6 weeks, what happens if you get pregnant when you go off of it? Will your body recognize that it is actually pregnant, or will it just go on as it normally does...which means if you don't realize it, that fetus could starve? What happens to the men who take this? Yes, hCG is present in their bodies as well...but the amounts are very small, and this will boost it. I'm just really worried and angry about this whole thing. It's the worst fad to come along in a long time, and all because docs want to make money.