Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Doctors: Simeons & Atkins

It was inevitable.  I should have known the day would come when Dr. Atkins and Dr. Simeons would come together in my life.  I wouldn't be surprised to learn that those two, wonderful men are spending time together in the Afterlife, comparing notes on their life-changing approaches to weight loss.
Dr. Robert C. Atkins                    Dr. Albert T. W. Simeons
At first glance, one would think their methodologies are diametrically opposed.  They are, indeed, very different. 

Dr. Simeons's 6-week protocol severely restricts calories to 500 per day and allows no fat in the diet (Dr. Simeons even banned lotions and lipstick), while relying upon the hormone HCG to release the body's stores of fat  to be burned as energy, leading to weight loss.

Dr. Atkins's diet is meant to be a permanent lifestyle change, which generally has no caloric restrictions and encourages the consumption of healthy fats, allowing the restriction of carbohydrates to cause the body's fat stores to be released for energy, leading to weight loss.

See the similarity?  Both physicians recognized that the most efficient way to lose weight was to force the body to burn its own fat for energy, rather than burning the readily available carbohydrates so prevalent in the average American diet.  This overabundance of carbs, by the way, has led to skyrocketing levels of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in this country.

While first doing the HCG diet 3 years ago, I also took note of the diet Dr. Simeons recommended to maintain your weight loss after completing 6 weeks on his protocol.  In essence, it was a low-carb diet he advised.  Proteins, fats, vegetables, and limited fruits, but no sugar and no starches.  No bread, rice, potatoes, corn, sweets, etc.  Yes, I think Drs. Atkins and Simeons would have been friends with much in common.

So how did these two great men suddenly intersect in my life?
I have mentioned in this blog how much I believe in the Atkins diet and how I lost a great deal of weight following its precepts a dozen years ago.  I've also discussed how I eventually regained all the weight I had lost (plus ten), only to find in 2009 that the Atkins diet seemed to no longer work for me.  That, in turn, led to my discovery of HCG.

Around the time that I was going through this battle, it seems that a number of prominent, long-term low-carb devotees were also struggling with reduced effectiveness of carb-counting to maintain their weight.  They did some research and ultimately rediscovered 3 pages in Dr. Atkins's book, New Diet Revolution, which we had all overlooked—largely because our metabolisms were younger and healthier then, so we didn't need those 3 pages!

Who would have thought that our aging bodies would become more insulin resistant with the passage of time?  Who could have dreamed that our metabolisms would become so adept at converting our beloved protein to carbohydrate (gasp!)? 

Thankfully, Dr. Atkins had already faced this scenario with a small percentage (less than 1%) of his patients and he had an answer, which he recorded on pages 272-274 in his book (2002 edition), under the subheading "The Fat Fast."

Exactly what is the Fat Fast?  That is a subject for a whole separate blog post.  For now, suffice it to say that I started the Fat Fast 8 days ago, on March 1st, and I've lost 9.8 lbs. in that time.  And I feel great.  It's working!

Two days before I began the Fat Fast, I also started taking the HCG drops again.  I would never have thought to use the HCG hormone with a high-fat diet, especially since Dr. Simeons was so adamant about controlling fat while following his protocol, but a few months ago I read an article by a woman who did just that and she reported good results.  So I decided to give it a try myself.

Based on my own past experience, the HCG did as Dr. Simeons promised: it released and redistributed my body's fat, helped my skin and muscles remain toned, gave me a feeling of well-being, and curbed my hunger.  Why wouldn't I want to add these advantages to those promised by Dr. Atkins?  Certainly it was worth a try.

And together, these two physicians have come through for me again.  In my next post, I'll share details about the Fat Fast: what it is, why it works, how to do it, and other fascinating facts.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Word about HCG

The use of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) as a weight loss aid was already controversial at the time I began using it in autumn 2009.  It has become even more so during the intervening 3 years, with the FDA declaring it to be “unproven, dangerous, and illegal” in December 2011.  In fact, it has become quite difficult to obtain HCG.
I am no doctor.  I am no scientist.  I am no researcher.  I am not employed by the FDA.  I can only share my own experience, which has been fully documented in this blog already.  If you decide to try the HCG diet for yourself, be sure to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can and proceed with caution and common sense.  It’s your life and your health.  

The FDA, in its infinite wisdom, has determined that “there is no scientific evidence that HCG is effective in the treatment of obesity; it does not bring about weight-loss or fat-redistribution, nor does it reduce hunger or induce a feeling of well-being.”

On the other hand, the FDA gave its blessing to Lexapro for treating adolescents (ages 12-17) for depression despite studies showing suicidal side effects in children.  The FDA approved Seroquel to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, even though it’s been linked to diabetes, cholesterol and triglyceride abnormalities, sudden cardiac death, suicide, and several other deadly issues.  They okayed the anti-inflammatory Vioxx, which quadrupled the risk of heart attacks.  And let us not forget Fen Phen, the weight loss drug that caused potentially fatal pulmonary hypertension and heart valve problems.

Forgive me if I choose to do my own research and make my own decisions regarding my health rather than relying on the FDA, who often seems to give a “thumbs down” to any product that doesn’t make big money for pharmaceutical companies.  With far less documentation proving ill effects than those available on the drugs they do green light, I might add.

They say HCG does not bring about weight loss.  How, then, did I lose 77 lbs. in 6.5 months while using HCG, after years in which no other diet would budge the scale?  (In fact, I only used the HCG and followed the diet for 5 months during that time; for 7 weeks I took a break, maintaining the weight loss, but not losing, by doing Atkins.)

They say HCG does not redistribute fat.  I suppose that topic is very subjective.  For me, I was stunned at the changes in my body during the diet, even when I hit a plateau for a week.  How can a 55-year-old woman lose 77 lbs. in 5 months and not have flabby skin sagging all over her body?  Yet I didn’t.  Without any exercise, my skin stayed toned and tightened throughout the process of losing all that weight. 

They say HCG does not induce a feeling of well-being.  Again, this may be subjective, but my husband would strongly dispute this statement.  While I have thus far been unable to recreate my long-term success on HCG, that hasn't stopped me from trying, over and over again.  Each time I start taking the HCG drops, my husband expresses his amazement at how it improves my mood, giving me a sense of peace and health.  No other diet has ever made me feel like that right out of the gate, not even Atkins.  I call it a feeling of well-being.  Coincidence?  I think not.

They say HCG does not reduce hunger.  Hmmm.  Let me tell you what I know about the hunger reduction aspect of HCG:

My second child was born in 1991, about 8 years before I heard of Atkins.   More than a year after his birth, my weight had ballooned up to its highest point yet and I was desperate to get it off, but eating "healthy" in the traditional American way wasn't working.  The low-fat message was in its heyday, with everyone offering low-fat and no-fat products.  Figuring that the "experts" knew what they were talking about, I decided I just wasn't trying hard enough.  So I plunged right in.

I restricted myself to 800 calories per day and subsisted on fish and chicken breasts, while choking down dry bread, fat-free pasta, plain celery sticks, and cooked vegetables without butter.  It was a miserable diet and I was starving.  Despite the painful hunger pangs, like the Alien baby was clawing his way out of my belly, I was unwavering.  I lost the first 5 lbs. fairly quickly, but then the weight loss stopped.  And then, worse, the numbers on the scale started going back up.  On 800 calories per day, with no fat.  I lasted for about a month before I realized this simply was not going to work for me, and I resigned myself to being fat.  For 7 more years, until I found Atkins.

You see, I had discovered that the body really does go into "starvation mode" and hang on to the fat.  And that 800 calories make Mary a very cranky, hungry girl.
July 4, 1994: A family hike on the Mogollon Rim Trail. 
That's me on the far left, 2 months before my 40th birthday. 
Fat, fat, fat, and nothing I could do about it.  Or so I thought.
So, to the critics who say that you only lose weight on the HCG diet because "anyone will lose weight on only 500 calories per day," I say: Hogwash!  If I couldn't lose consistently on a strict daily intake of 800 calories—and even began to gain weight back—then clearly caloric intake isn't enough in and of itself.

To the critics who say there is no evidence that HCG suppresses hunger, I say: Have you never heard of empirical evidence?  I have many relatives and friends who have reported the same results.  Many thousands more report the same in their blogs and in chat rooms.  If I could barely withstand the hunger I experienced on an 800-calorie diet, how do you explain lasting as long as 7 weeks at a stretch on a mere 500 calories per day, with barely a tummy rumble?  If the results shared in these anecdotal reports are only "in our heads," an example of collective hallucination, so what?  It works!  

Let me also add that my blood pressure always drops below 120/80 within the first week of starting the drops.  My arrhythmia also responds well to the HCG, almost completely disappearing.  In fact, my cardiologist okayed the diet for his staff and brought in a nutritionist to oversee it, and that's how I was first introduced to HCG.  

Quite simply, HCG changed my life for the better.  Dispute that, FDA.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hey, HCG! Remember Me?

It has been 25 months since I posted to this blog.  During that time, I have bounced up and down, on and off, between the Atkins diet (which I deeply believe is the healthiest nutritional lifestyle on the planet) and the HCG diet (which I know from experience is the most effective way to lose a lot of weight in a short time). 
Both diets worked well for brief periods, multiple times, but the problem was—to put it simply—me.  I could not seem to recapture the determination that brought me success in the past, both with Atkins and with HCG.
Oh, I started strong.  I organized meal plans and prepped dishes ahead of time.  I shopped the edges of the grocery section and spent not a penny on junk food.  Non-nutritive fare would not take up space in my kitchen!
However, after a few days there would always be a cake in the teachers’ workroom and/or a candy dish of M&Ms at a department chair meeting and/or an invitation to dinner at China Wok with another couple and/or a church dinner featuring Mexican food (or something equally carb-laden and tempting).  I buckled every time.  Every time.
It was especially easy to justify cheating when I didn’t have to pay for the food.  After all, in today’s economy it’s just plain foolish to pass up a free meal.  Or a free piece of cake or a handful of M&Ms…  Isn’t it?
Let’s face it.  True foolishness lies in continuing to undermine my own health.  My mother had her first stroke when she was 59, just 17 months older than I am today.  Five years and several more strokes later, she was gone at the too-young age of 64.  Her own father, my maternal grandfather, died of a massive stroke one month before his 60th birthday.   At age 59. 
Last month I celebrated my 58th birthday.  In less than 11 months I’ll hit the dreaded 59.  In 17 months I’ll be the same age my mother was when she first landed in the hospital, paralyzed on one side, unable to speak, staring up at us with huge, terrified eyes and blinking once for “no” and twice for “yes.”
It’s not like I didn’t see it coming.  That’s why I keep trying, over and over again.  If you’re familiar with this blog, you know I lost 77 lbs. on HCG between November 1, 2009 and May 14, 2010, when I was 55.  I looked good and I felt great.  I vowed to never be obese again!
 24 Apr 2010: Me (center) at age 55
with my dad and step-mom
Then I remarried.  It was all good until we went on that floating smorgasbord they call a cruise.  Even then, a mere 20 lbs. was not an insurmountable hurdle.  I’d get that weight off again with ease.  After that we were on the road every month for the next 6 months, moving my new husband’s stuff from Wyoming to Arizona.  Add another 10 lbs. for fast food and 14 hours confined to a truck, each direction, each trip.  Okay, I was getting nervous, but I still believed I could do it... one of these days.
Ed and I have been married for 2 years and 4 months now.  It didn’t happen all at once, but eventually I regained all but 12 of the 77 lbs. I lost.  I don’t think 12 lbs. makes for a very inspiring “I kept it off!” story.  Especially when there are 65 lbs. that climbed back on.
 1 Sept 2012: My husband Ed and I
at a museum on our mutual birthday.
Yowzza!  Where'd that skinny girl go?
So here I am, balanced on the precipice.  I can continue to be uncomfortable in my clothing and in my own skin.  I can continue to watch my health deteriorate until I become my mother.  I can continue to comfort myself with food while making excuses about my stress level.  I can procrastinate until I regain that final 12 lbs. and then some.  I can continue to be miserable because I’m out of control and I know it.
OR…  I can make a solid commitment to turn my life around now, once and for all.  I can take better care of myself because I care about me.  I can feel good about myself and believe in who I am.  I can give myself the gift of health and my children the gift of being around long enough to be there for them and their future children. 
There you have it: A choice must be made.
I choose life.  I choose health.  I choose family.  I choose love.  I choose to start again.  And I mean it this time!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Second Chance

Something funny happened after I lost 77 lbs. I found the courage to take a second chance on love.
Ed and Mary at breakfast the morning after their wedding

It’s amazing what can happen when you feel good about yourself. I met a wonderful man on April Fools Day and, after a whirlwind romance, I married my sweet Ed on May 21st.

Mr. and Mrs. outside the courthouse

Now, after neglecting this blog (for the best of reasons) these past four months, I’m back to update my hCG news and confess my dietary sins! (Get comfortable, because my sins are many!)

On the day I met Ed, I weighed 166 lbs. I looked good. I felt great. I never wanted to go back to my old, tired, uncomfortable, self-conscious, overweight self. In fact, throughout our courtship and the first weeks of our marriage, I continued the diet and the hCG drops. I fully expected to continue losing weight, perhaps another 10 or 15 pounds by the end of summer.

On the day Ed and Mary met

It didn’t quite work out the way I’d planned, though. I knew we would be traveling a lot during the summer for various reasons, but I wasn’t prepared for how difficult it would be to eat right while on the road, to stay organized enough to plan hCG-friendly meals away from home, or to face down the multitude of temptations before us.

For starters, 4 days after the wedding Ed had to return to his home in Wyoming to take care of some unfinished business. I joined him there 4 days after he left, and we spent 17 days in Cheyenne moving Ed out of his apartment and tying up other loose ends.

At first, Ed joined me on the hCG diet and actually lost 15 lbs in just 3 days! However, being newlyweds in a celebratory mood made it hard to resist going out to some of Ed’s favorite restaurants in Cheyenne. After “blowing it” several times during the first week, we agreed to focus on maintaining our current weight loss until we were done traveling. We quit the hCG and returned to our usual low-carb way of life. (When we met, Ed had already lost about 75 lbs by following Dr. Atkins’s diet.)

Unfortunately, we weren’t entirely successful in sticking to the low-carb plan, either. We spent the rest of June driving back and forth between Arizona and Wyoming, hauling Ed’s belongings to their new home here in the White Mountains. We quickly discovered how hard it is to stick to any diet while making that 12-hour drive multiple times, passing every fast food restaurant known to mankind!

The honeymooners after boarding the Sapphire Princess in Seattle, WA
The diet disaster didn’t end there. Once we had Ed all moved to Arizona, we caught a flight to Seattle and took a weeklong honeymoon cruise to Alaska. You know all those stereotypes regarding the abundance of food on cruise ships? They are NOT an exaggeration.  It truly was like a floating smorgasbord! 

Mary strikes a swashbuckling pose on deck.

When we boarded the ship, it wasn’t too bad. I had gained back less than 10 lbs and figured I could hold the line there. Alas, it was not to be.

Mary stays warm in her jacket while relaxing on deck.

I actually did a pretty good job of limiting how much I ate, but the food choices included so many delicious high-carb selections that I weakened rapidly. I tried to focus on proteins and nutrient-dense vegetables, but I also enjoyed dishes containing the white flour, rice, potatoes, and sugar my metabolism can no longer support.

Mary in the cruise ship's buffet dining room during breakfast

We followed up the cruise with 4 days in Portland, Oregon, where Ed lived from 1999 to 2007. I met his friends, visited his old stomping grounds, and—you guessed it—dined in his old favorite restaurants. By the time we returned home, we’d both regained about 20 lbs (Ed insists it was closer to 30 lbs for him).

After a day spent driving the beautiful Oregon coast, Mary and Ed enjoy ice cream cones in Tillamook, OR. 

Finally, just 2 days after returning from our honeymoon, Ed and I packed up the kids and headed to Estes Park, Colorado, for the family vacation I had planned a full 8 months before I knew Ed even existed. For 11 days we traveled, we explored, we shopped, we visited Cheyenne (a 90-minute drive from Estes Park), and, of course, we ate out occasionally and indulged in the local shops' sweets, like fudge and root beer floats.

A morning horseback ride with the family in Estes Park, CO: Ed, Mary, Sarah, and Dylan.

The morning after we returned from Colorado, I gasped when I stepped on the scale. In just 2 months I had gone from 166.2 lbs to 200.2 lbs! That’s a gain of 34 lbs! Some of it was travel bloat, of course, and I lost 7 lbs in the next two days, which I never gained back. Still, it was disappointing to know I’d have to re-lose 27 lbs to get back to my happy-weight place!

Several days after we returned from Estes Park, I went back on hCG and quickly got my weight down to 188.6 lbs. Two weeks later Ed returned to Wyoming to join his Boy Scout troop at Scout Camp, an event for which he (as assistant Scoutmaster) had helped them prepare all year. I was happy to have him complete this commitment, but as the days dragged on I found myself missing him and making only a half-hearted attempt to stay within 500 daily calories. By the time he returned after a 17-day absence, I’d given up altogether and regained the few pounds I had lost.

On the plus side, my weight did stabilize in the low-190s, meaning I remained at least 50 lbs lighter than when I began the hCG diet almost 11 months ago. I call that a success!

Ed wanted to give the hCG diet another try (remember, he’d lost 15 lbs in 3 days on his first effort), so we decided to take the plunge together and make it work this time. To ensure success, though, we had to time it right.

Ed and Mary enjoy a romantic birthday dinner at The Pasta House.

As luck would have it, Ed and I share the same birth date, September 1st. We knew that would mean an evening out for dinner and dessert, followed by cake and ice cream at home. When we got married, we had also decided to commemorate our joint birthdays with something special on Labor Day weekend, since our birthdays will always fall on or just before Labor Day. This year we had an overnight getaway to a local resort and went out to eat for both dinner and breakfast. No sense starting a diet before these events!

Now, though, we are back on track. We started the hCG drops on Labor Day and completed our two days of loading, or “gorging,” on fatty foods. Then on Wednesday, Sept. 8th, we started the 500 calorie-per-day diet.

I got a second chance at love, and now I'm taking a second chance on weight loss and better health.  In just 3 days we’ve already had great results. But that’s a story for another day…

Saturday, April 24, 2010

HCG #3: Back on Board

This is Sandi, who works in my chiropractor's office.  Sandi started the hCG diet back in mid-October, about 2 weeks before I began my first cycle of the diet.  She chose a slightly different route, though.  She has been doing the diet nonstop for 6 months, taking no breaks for maintenance between cycles.

In 6 months, she has lost 102 lbs!  Doesn't she look amazing?  It really is incredible that you can lose that much weight so quickly, yet the hCG prevents you from having sagging flaps of skin left behind.  She'd like to lose just 10 lbs more before she stops.  She's getting very close.

Sandi seems to prove that developing immunity to the hCG hormone is not a huge problem when you're using the homeopathic drops instead of the injections.  Once a month she "reloads" (that sounds more pleasant than "gorging"), regains up to 7 lbs, then loses a ton more weight the following month.  Now that she's close to the end of her weight loss journey, she cheats on Saturday but stays strict the rest of the week and still loses a pound or two per week. 

She inspires me!

Now, to pick up where I left off on my own journey.  I had finished the last cycle of hCG on March 20th, 64.3 lbs lighter at 179.0 lbs.  I felt great!  I had kept that weight for 4 days in a row and I anticipated no huge problems in maintaining it for the next 8 weeks, staying within 2 lbs of that weight either direction.

I'd purchased the brand-new Atkins book and studied it.  I bought all the foods needed to follow it strictly and planned out the first week.  I even made up a binder with journal pages to write down everything I ate and track my carb intake closely.  I was ready!

The first day off the hCG diet, we went to the Renaissance Festival.  I had good intentions and actually made wise food choices throughout the morning, but by afternoon I'd enjoyed a sugary strawberry slushy and by evening I'd devoured a luscious chocolate-dipped wedge of frozen cheesecake.  Oh, it was heavenly!

The next morning I'd gained 3.0 lbs, but I didn't panic.  I did a "steak day," as prescribed by Dr. Simeons, and I lost 1.6 lbs.  So far, so good.  I settled in to live by the Atkins code and maintain my weight loss.

From there is was an uphill battle.  My weight crept up day by day, no matter how good I was.  By April 1st I was back up to 185.6 lbs, a total gain of 6.6 lbs in 12 days.  And I wasn't cheating!  I was so frustrated.  I was afraid to eat anything, so I was certainly not enjoying the foods I was now allowed to eat.

I don't know exactly why this happened, since I was able to maintain after the first cycle.  Maybe I really messed up my metabolism by cheating on the very first day I was off the diet?  I was menstruating that week, so maybe it had something to do with that?  Or maybe my body is trying to finally shift into menopause, so there were crazed hormonal levels at work?

Whatever the reason, this was soooo not acceptable!  I had a whole bottle of hCG left over, so on April 1st--after less than 2 weeks on maintenance--I started taking the drops again.  For the next 2 days I did a small "gorge" and gained another 2.6 lbs, putting me at 188.2.  Then 3 weeks ago, on Saturday, April 3rd, I began my 3rd cycle of the 500-calorie hCG diet.  I decided that, if it worked so well for Sandi, it could work for me, too!

I re-lost almost all the extra weight the first week, getting back down to 179.8 lbs.  That's 8.4 lbs re-gone, never to be found again!  The second week I lost 3.4 more lbs, bringing me to 176.4 lbs.  That's the lowest my weight had been since 2003!  It also brought my total loss from 64.3 to 66.9 lbs. 

Now this week, the third week, I've lost an additional 3.4 lbs.  As of this morning I weighed exactly 173.0 lbs, for a total loss of 70.3 lbs!!!  Woohoo!!  That's a definite personal best!

Here's the funny part.  Remember how anxious I was to lose weight on the second cycle, and how frustrated I was at the slowness of the loss?  This time I've hardly paid attention to the weight loss.  It's as if mentally I'm just using the diet to maintain rather than to lose. 

I'm mostly following the diet to the letter, yet I often find myself in the evening doing something not quite in line with Dr. Simeons's protocol, such as eating a large pork chop fried in salsa instead of my tiny 100-gram, low-fat piece of broiled meat.  I've also started drinking a cup of sugar-free, 25-calorie hot chocolate (with a tablespoon of heavy cream) everyday to get me through the long afternoon, between the afternoon snack and dinner, which is often late at our house.

Despite these cheats, I'm still losing.  Perhaps it helps that I'm not stressing over the weight (although I do still weigh myself every morning).  Or perhaps my body needs a little fat to be convinced it's not starving, thereby becoming more willing to release the body fat!

At any rate, I plan to stay on the diet until mid-June.  I'll quit in time to do a few weeks of maintenance before we go on our Colorado vacation in July.  I've gotten so used to eating this way, it really isn't hard anymore.  It just seems natural.  Go figure!

And look what I found!  Well, actually, Wyndie found it at Safeway.  She called me from the store and I rushed over and bought them out of all 3 packages of grissini they had stocked.

I've been pretty clear about my dislike of the tasteless Melba toast allowed on this diet.  It's like eating crunchy cardboard.  Dr. Simeons recommended using grissini instead because it's tastier and psychologically more filling.  Boy, he was right!  To me, these skinny little breadsticks almost taste like cake compared to the Melba toast!  I hope Safeway gets more grissini in stock by the end of this week, before my supply runs out!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Before and After

I finally have an "After" picture to post with Jacob's "Before" pictures.  These first two photos were taken on January 30, the day we started the last round of the hCG diet.  Of course, that was Jacob's first and only time to do this diet. 

If he's diligent, he'll never need it again.

Standing 6 feet tall as he does, Jacob carried his extra weight well.  He wasn't remotely "fat," but he wanted to lose that extra little pudginess and gain the body definition that boys his age think they must have. 

15 Apr 2010 - Jacob's senior picture

And here is Jacob today, 30 lbs lighter.  His musculature and bone structure are definitely more defined than they've ever been.  He looks more like a young man than my baby boy now!  In the month since concluding the diet, Jacob has gained back a few of the 34 lbs he lost, but he is maintaining his current weight steadily.  It's a success story!

Now, here's a fun set of "Before" and "After" pictures.  Last night I chaperoned the junior-senior prom and I wore the same heavy, black, beaded dress I wore last year.  Last year, that dress was an exact fit.  This year, having lost 67 lbs, I was drowning in that dress.  But I'm not complaining!  Check it out!

25 Apr 2009 - Mary at age 54
17 Apr 2010 - Mary at age 55

Within an hour after my arrival at Prom, I had 3 more people express interest in learning more about the hCG diet.  I hope they will check us out here on the blog.  If they do, and if they choose to join us on our quest for better health, I wish them well and offer all my support!

As for me, just 30 lbs left to lose!

By now, there is so much to update, I hardly know where to begin!  I promise to get caught up on the latest hCG happenings soon.  Stay tuned!