*I know I’m a little late to the party on this one, but cut me a little slack considering I didn’t have my very own blog until recently.
Apparently drug users aren’t the only ones incorporating syringes into their daily routines. According to the New York Times, women are injecting themselves with hCG, a pregnancy hormone, to help take off the pounds in a timely manner. This weight loss regimen has proven to be enticing to a predominantly female audience because there is a near guarantee of losing one pound a day, and participants supposedly won’t feel their stomachs rumbling in hunger. Of course, this is the dramatic result of daily hormone injections after a $1,000 doctor consultation, not to mention a 500 calorie-a-day diet. Sounds more like a means of torture than a dieting technique.
This new phenomenon takes extreme dieting to a whole other level. There are a myriad of reasons why this simply isn’t a healthy or safe option to shedding a few pounds here or there, regardless of its prescription-only exclusivity. The specific problems that come to mind are obvious; first and foremost is the initial warning from the Food and Drug Administration circa 1970, that was recently reiterated and is printed on all hCG packaging: It has not been shown to increase weight loss, to cause a more “attractive” distribution of fat or to “decrease hunger and discomfort” from low-calorie diets. A spokesmen for the F.D.A. recently told the public that, “the hormone carried risks of blood clots, depression, headaches and breast tenderness or enlargement.”
Dr. Lionel Bisson of New York City offers the hCG diet program and charges $1,150 for the whole kit and kaboodle: “an examination, injection training, a month’s supply of the hormone and syringes, and blood work to monitor for possible trouble.” Another NYC Doctor, Scott M. Bryer, told a patient that the hormone injections would manipulate her body “into a state of pregnancy; it burns off fat so the fetus can get enough calories, but it protects muscle.” Tricking your body into thinking something that’s actually not true is not only mentally and emotionally damaging, but it can be physically dangerous.
The reality is that American women in 2011 still care about their physical appearances, but putting a grand in monthly fees towards weight loss doesn’t seem like a wallet-friendly option during our nation’s economic crisis. Paying for a gym membership is one thing, but maxing out credit cards because of unnecessary hormone injections is quite another. The medical dangers combined with the extensive financial requirements doesn’t make the hCG weight loss method a healthily viable option. The desire for women to uphold beauty standards is undeniable. We care about how we look, but we should also care about how we get there. The journey is just as important as the destination.
A memo to all women involved in this seemingly dangerous method: stop avoiding the quick fixes we’re uncertain of, and remember to listen to the natural reactions of our bodies. Here’s an alternative idea: throw on a pair of running sneakers, take advantage of the gift of the outdoors provided by mother nature, and save a few bucks by losing weight in a healthy fashion. It’s unrealistic to acknowledge that women don’t want to lose weight, but shooting up every morning seems a little excessive to me.