Go ahead and get ready for yet another long post. Settle in, get some popcorn, let the dog out…

First let me say what a relief yesterday’s post was for me. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted (no pun intended), and my mind is much clearer. For all those who commented, I appreciate the support! I knew there would be questions, so I figured I’d get them all answered now and then do another HCG post at the end of my course. I’m not going to be one of those people that documents their entire HCG journey day-by-day, because that’s for me to go through. Y’all don’t need a daily update – we have other things to yap about! But, like you, I was curious and want the true skinny (ha!) on the drops.

WAD DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor. I’m just a user. I can only report on what I’ve read, percieved, and experienced myself. As with all other things, results vary per person, so I encourage everyone to soak up as many testimonials as they can.

When I first heard about HCG, I was immediately skeptical and turned off. Skeptical because I had heard of a million fad diets promising the kinds of results that my girlfriend claimed she had seen, but… yeah. Whatever. Turned off because… what? 500 calories? FIVE HUNDRED? From high on my clean-eating pedestal, I scoffed heartily. Clean eating doesn’t enforce (or even hint about) counting calories, but even I knew that was a low range.

However, my girlfriend (whom I trust and have taken advice from before on a myriad of topics) said to try it. Apparently, all the women in her family had not only tried it, but had successfully lost weight. LOTS of weight. Even she tried it and lost 6 pounds in a week. She stopped because of moving into a heavy travel period, but, now that she’s settled, she’s running to buy the drops again.

Hmm. Okay. Maybe that warrants a little research.

This is around the time that I had gained the eight pounds. I wasn’t (too) freaked out about it, and knew (know, present tense) that clean eating is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I think what I was looking for was a reset. I was eating WAY too many carbs, and I couldn’t figure out a meal plan that wasn’t overloaded with stuff that was going to keep me bulky. After scouring through tons of HCG information and a bunch of testimonials on Amazon.com, I figured I’d go for it. My initial thought was to use it for 26 days, reset the system, get super clean, lose a few pounds, and launch head first back into clean eating.

Fast forward 12 days. The results have been amazing. As of today (Day 12), I’m down 14.8 pounds. I didn’t measure myself when I started (big mistake), but I just measured myself last Saturday. You guys read that post… it’s crazy how much I am shrinking! And as I said yesterday, to actually SEE the change in my body is fucking stunning. You know how people always tell you that you look smaller, but you don’t quite see it? Not happening here… I can see it. Oh yeah. Hot. Bitch. On. Wheels. Comin’. Atcha.

Let’s do a little Q and A, shall we? These are the questions I have asked… hopefully it helps clarify a bit. If you have more, feel free to leave me a comment, and I’ll answer it! Just mind the disclaimer above. Strictly my opinion, guys.

Where did you get/how much did you pay for your HCG?
First of all, there’s a LOT of HCG out there. I had never even heard of this stuff before; come to find out there are millions of websites! You can even buy it for like $12 on Amazon. But I have never been a bargain shopper, because I am HUGE believer in “you get what you pay for”. I found this awesome site, DIY HCG, that has more info on HCG than you can shake a stick at, including written, photo AND video testimonials. You can buy the drops, the book that explains the ENTIRE process (which I HIGHLY recommend), safe salad dressings and spices, safe toiletries… it’s a one-stop shop. Out of all the sites I looked at, they seem the most reputable and provide the most down-to-earth information. Big plus in my book!

What’s with the 500 calorie bullshit?
I immediately was turned off by the concept of only eating 500 calories a day, until I remembered that there is a weight doctor here in DC who has his patients follow the exact same kind of diet when going through his B-12 injection course. I have trusted this doctor in the past and have seen his patients get results, and that gave me some comfort. Now that I’m on it, I tell you… I AM NOT HUNGRY. At all. Like, AT ALL. It took about a week for the hunger pangs to subside, but now, I have to remind myself to eat.

What do you eat?
The HCG protocol is broken down into 4 phases: Load (Gorge) Days, 500 Cals, Maintenance and Lifetime. On the first two Load Days, you are trying to stuff as much fat into your system as you can stomach. Really. It sounds like a blast, but after the first day, you WILL want to hurl. You can eat whatever you want, as long as it’s fattening (burgers, fries, chips, ice cream, shakes, deep-fried Oreos… blech!). This is so the HCG knows what to burn. After two days of a self-induced food orgy, you slide into the 500 calorie plan. It’s VERY specific. VERY. You can only eat certain foods, and you cannot ingest anything that even closely resembles fat. That’s because the HCG needs to burn the fat you already have. If you’re eating or ingesting fat at all, the HCG will want that instead of what’s stored in your belly. So, my daily meal plan looks like this:

Breakfast (9:00): Apple
Lunch (12:00): 3.5 oz broiled chicken breast, 9 roma tomatoes
Snack (3:00): Apple, 1 slice Melba Toast
Dinner (7:00): 3.5 oz broiled tilapia, 2 cups raw spinach, approved dressing

In Phase 3, you can eat whatever you want for 21 days, as long as you refrain from ALL starches and sugars. This is so the weight you lost during Phase 2 “sets”. Every where I have read says P3 is crucial, or you WILL gain the weight back. So, for me, this is just going back to clean eating without the oatmeal and lentils! Back to my egg white omlettes with organic salsa for brekkie, and SALMON. Oh, salmon. I cannot wait! Phase 4… eat what you like, because the pounds are GONE (unless you’re irresponsible and eat a bunch of shit that puts the frickin’ fat you just lost BACK on your body).

How much water are you drinking?
Water: ALL DAY. I’m chugging water with lemon like it’s going out of style. Between 3-4 liters, so the bathroom trips are frequent. Hey… I chalk it up to necessary exercise.

Speaking of exercise, are you still two-a-day’ing?
Nope. Not until I finish with this. They encourage light exercise (walking), but discourage strenuous exercise. It reacts with the HCG in some way that will cause your weight loss to stall. My view is this – I’m not going to put myself through anything even resembling my regular workout while I’m only eating 500 calories, so I am taking it easy right now. You can bet your ass I am missing exercise like you wouldn’t believe – I LONG for it! But I look at it as a necessary sacrifice that will result in me being at a better weight for boxing! OMG! Can you see it? Me, all sexified and slim-like in the boxing ring, wearing my pink wraps and gloves, knocking the SHIT out of my sparring partner? Ha HA! I love it!

But, I digress.

How long are you going to do it?
There’s a 26-day program and a 43-day program. Originally, I was only going to do it for 26 day, but I recently decided to extend it to the 43-day deal. That’s an extra two weeks. At first, I had no idea how much I would lose. I figured I would shed, total, about 15 pounds. Now that I see how it works, I’m going to challenge myself to get to 225-230.

What about the lotion/makeup restrictions?
Okay, this is where I had the most difficulty at first. I am a PRODUCT JUNKIE. I have lotions and body butters and soaps and oils and conditioners up the wazoo! And makeup? OMG. I’m the MAC Queen of DC. They know me by name at the store. No joke! So when they said all I could use was baby oil?? What the fuck???? On MY dry ass skin??? Come on, now! And NO MAKEUP??? That was NOT happening.

After I hyperventilated into a paper bag, I read further and found out the reason. Lotions and makeup add fat and oils into their mixes. By using them on your skin (your largest organ), you’re ingesting fat into your body. Read above – that’s a no-no. The HCG will seek out that fat before anything else, and your weight loss will stall.

So, I stopped my mini-tantrum and shopped for what would work. For hair, Biolage products are approved (as long as you rinse thoroughly). I’m growing out the fro, so I co-wash with their conditioner and use the leave-in spray with mineral oil for shine. For makeup, I cut the liquid foundation and switched to MAC’s mineral line for powder, and still use the same blush and eyeshadow. Lipstick of any kind is okay. I still use Neutrogena’s Deep Clean cream facial wash, but switched to their oil-free moisturizer (and don’t see much difference). I also switched to Tom’s natural deoderant and now use hydrogen peroxide for mouthwash instead of Listerine as a precaution. As for a body moisturizer… I mean, y’all know I’m Black, right? I have Black skin. All over. We get ashy. It’s a fact. This is a constant battle, and baby oil SUCKS. It SUCKS. Period. I have to use it a couple of times a day and am constantly paranoid if I’m wearing a skirt. But I WILL deal with it for the Phase 2 days. If the only major sacrifice I’m making for this rate of weight loss is my body butter, I’ll take that in a heartbeat.

How often do you weigh yourself?
Every morning, without fail. I know… ME! Weighing myself daily! Me who keeps my scale in the trunk of the car! Ha! But you have to in order to keep track of your progress. So I jump out of bed in the morning, use the bathroom to get rid of any excess ounces, and then weigh naked. I then log my numbers in my phone. I’m amazed each and every morning.

How often do you measure yourself?
Like I said, I hadn’t until last Saturday, and I probably won’t again until the end. I want the happy surprise!

Okay… I think that’s PLENTY for today. My fingertips are tired! Again, I’m not going to beat anyone over the head with this on a daily basis, but I will update everyone at the end. If you have more questions, send ’em this way! I do encourage you to look at the DIY HCG site for the clinical stuff, because again, there’s no MD after my name. People start talking chemicals, hormones, and why this thing reacts with that, I go all glassy. I’m a real-people-testimonial kinda girl, and y’all know I’m as real as it gets. Bottom line: it’s working for me, and I’m giddy about the possibilities.