The other week I posted about some accomplishments I've made on this journey and I think the one that most people picked up on (and wrote to me about) was the mention of the HCG diet.
I don't consider this an accomplishment at all but it was a huge lesson learned... the hard way.
What is it?
The first thing you should know, is that the FDA has made the HCG "homeopathic" diet products illegal as of December 2011. Read here for the report.
If you don't know what the HCG diet is, educate yourself here with the literature from the Dr. who started it all. But basically, it's a very low-calorie, super strict, diet that incorporates human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) through drops or injections.
Supposedly HCG makes your body use up fat like there's no tomorrow... on average 1 lb a day! But come one people, a 500-calorie/day diet will make you lose weight no matter what!
Why did I do it?
After being fed up with my weight-loss plateau, I needed something to kick the last 20 lbs to the curb. I did a ton a research and even though I knew trying a fad diet was stupid, there was a lot of people who had great success with HCG.
I bought the drops, read the instruction manual, started an HCG blog to document my progress and hoped for the best.
What were my results?
I lost about 12 lbs in 3 weeks, which put me at 127 lbs... but at what cost? I was grumpy, starving, weak, and moody during those weeks and I stopped all exercise (because the protocol calls for very little activity).
The worst part?
I regained those 12 pounds within a month plus an extra 20 lbs, putting me back up at 160! And I understand the regain might not have been HCG's fault entirely, but if it was the miracle weight-loss diet I was hoping for, wouldn't HCG be making headlines like crazy?
What were my consequences?
Too many to list but basically any regret you could have about regaining weight... ten-fold!
I know it's common for people to lose weight then regain it, but I felt like I failed 10x more because I regained my weight in a stupid way... by trying a diet I knew was dangerous.
My self-confidence fell, I was so embarrassed about the way I looked, I didn't want to eat right and exercise any more, and I just hated myself for trying HCG even though I knew it wasn't healthy!! In fact, I felt way better about myself at my heaviest than I did with the regained weight.
What did I learn?
Relosing the weight has made me that much stronger on this journey and I've realized a lot of things I missed the first time I lost the weight.
Simply put, nothing trumps good nutrition and exercise. And now I know it for a fact.