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Monday, October 28, 2013

How desperate are you to lose weight?

Really think about that answer for a while. How long have you been suffering? Do you have bullies (yes, even adults can have bullies) that constantly berate you about your weight? Have you tried everything? Are you willing to try anything?

Answer these questions for me (especially the ladies):

1.       Are you willing to give up wearing make up?
2.       Are you willing to give up all lotions and moisturizers?
3.       Are you willing to weigh and cook your own food instead of ordering pre-packaged crap from the diet stores?
4.       Are you willing to take something that’s not FDA approved? (I never thought the FDA cared at heart, but I digress.)

      How about doing that for just 26-42 days? Sound better?

I’m talking about hCG. You’ve probably heard it both praised and blasted in recent years. It was even featured on the Dr. Oz show, supposedly. I have a feeling that, just like every other doctor out there, he criticized the diet. And it is quite a diet – a mere 500 calories a day. And all the doctors say “Well of course you would lose weight on only 500 calories a day, but it is unhealthy for your body and even dangerous!”. But what they always too conveniently forget is that you’re not hungry. If you were to do this diet alone without the hormone, you would be starving, wouldn’t you? You would probably cheat like crazy within a day or two. But it’s been scientifically proven that it’s not your stomach that tells you when you’re hungry, but your brain when it craves nutrients. The reason hCG works is because it is breaking down the fat in your body and essentially “eating it”. Unlike if you were to do the diet alone, muscle would be the first casualty before any fat gets eaten, there is proof in hCG with ketone strips. As people that have done the Atkins diet are aware: ketones are released with the destruction of fat cells, and gets passed to your urine, which can then be detected on the strips. 

The next argument they give is “well, it’s all just psychological”. Really? Are you telling me that just by brain power alone, after 42 days of just eating 500 calories a day, I could still climb stairs, walk and talk normally without a fuzzy feeling, feel awake and completely normal? Damn. That’s amazing. Actually, the first week of the first time I tried this diet back in 2009, I was starving. Part of it was psychological in the fact that I was used to eating not just when hungry, but when bored. I would confuse my body’s want of hydration for being hungry, and eat even when I wasn’t. So, when I started this diet, I had to just take it and realize that I couldn’t munch on the couch anymore. It was an extremely hard habit to break. But when that first week was done, I was okay. The hunger pretty much went away. I do still get hungry at times, even now as I’m doing my 8th round (I had a couple of failed attempts; more on that later), but I drink tea and water, and it usually disappears within 10 minutes.

It takes extreme dedication and willpower to go on this diet. All the ads tout that “you can lose 42 pounds in 42 days!” which, by the way, isn’t even true. It’s 32 lbs at most. For women you can lose about .5 lbs a day if you’re lucky. Sometimes men can lose a bit more. But it’s really not “too good to be true” because honestly, this diet sucks. It sucks bad. It is not easy. Putting what you can only eat aside, the simple fact that cheating is all but impossible. If you were to cheat – even just a little bit, by say, having a salted almond (yes, just one almond) or forgetting and using lotion one day, you will see the consequences of your actions the next morning on the scale. Not only will you not have lost any weight, but you might have even gained some. And considering that you’re on a time limit; either 26 or 42 days depending on how much weight you want to lose, every day counts. The diet severely limits what you can eat, and no substitutions are permitted.

But, on the plus side, I have lost over 100 lbs on this diet. You get validation each and every day when you weigh yourself and see the weight slipping off. You’re not hungry, you still feel completely normal, and even better: you’re actually not allowed to exercise. Like, at all. Exercising has always been my downfall. Well, besides my extreme lack of willpower with cupcakes that are in the break room.

This is me in October of 2009,                                       This is me July 2012, 175 lbs
all 290 lbs of me.

But, back to the bad news. As I stated before, the FDA has not approved hCG for weight loss in this country. In fact, they even out right banned the sale of homeopathic hCG in the stores. But that’s okay with me – one of my failed rounds of this diet was with the homeopathic version. I’ve read how people praise it and how it works for them, but it didn’t work for me. I was hungry and I cheated. I didn’t last very long taking the drops. Besides, I’ve read that you will not see ketones in your urine when on it, like with the real stuff. So tell me again how or why it works? 

Anyway, so after I decided to try this diet the first time, I looked up a lady on youtube named Mamaclok. She was my savior. She told me how to order and mix my real hCG so that I could take it sublingually – or under the tongue in other words. (That’s right, no shots!)

If you’re still interested, please watch her videos. She will even show you how much weight she’s lost. But they are kind of old, and where to order it is out of date. The place I have always ordered from is, but they have become referral based for some reason. However, if you’d like to order, I have an invitation code and I can post it in the comments; just let me know. It’s not that cheap, and I repeat: it’s not easy. Please read Dr. Simeons .pdf “Pounds and Inches”. He was the original creator of the diet back in the 1950’s and it’s written as a clinical trial so there’s a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, but it includes how the diet works, why cheating is bad, and what exactly the diet is.

So I ask again: How desperate are you?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The day I put a hole in my car

Back in the way back, in the before time around '06-'07, I was heading up to Seattle for a job interview. Back then, I was scared of driving on freeways, especially going north, and I absolutely hated driving in Seattle (still do, really). What possessed me to apply for this job in the first place? I couldn't even tell you. I must have been desperate, because the one thing I despise is heavy commute traffic and from Tacoma to Seattle is some of the worst.

I should have taken this as a sign to turn my ass around and head home. But noooo… out of some kind of obligation, or pride, or desperation (possibly all three), I continued my drive up to the despicable city and horrid company tower.

What happened, you ask?

I ran over a piece of metal on the road and it ended up hitting my thigh.

It was an interesting set of circumstances. I was driving my Mercury Mystique, which if you've followed my earlier posts know of its lousy track record, and there was some debris on the road from a possible previous accident. It had been swept over to the pullout by the fast lane, but I managed to hit a piece of metal anyway. All I remember is the sudden pain in my upper thigh. I was like “WTF?” I couldn't really see anything down there, especially since I was driving – on a busy freeway I might add. I kept rubbing my thigh, wondering what in God’s name happened. Then, I noticed a flash of light occasionally coming from the floor of my car. That flash of light happened to be the shine of the pavement that I could see through a 2 inch hole in my floorboard. And in that gap was a piece of metal that looked to be the kind of square iron rod that is found in the bays of pick-up trucks. It didn't take much deduction to realize that I’d ran over this piece of metal parallel to the car, and the velocity of the tire threw the metal right through the floor and into my thigh.

That's right - I still have it after all this time. Ahh, the memories.

It was painful, but as far as I could tell I wasn't bleeding profusely or anything. I even managed to save the piece of metal by pulling it all the way out of the hole - while I was still driving, mind you. The damn thing was probably 2 feet long. So, my choice was to take this as a sign and book it out of this stupid city, or continue to this interview that I probably wasn't going to get the job for anyway.

Obviously, I chose the latter. So, I parked and checked out the damage, which was actually very minimal. Nothing but a small hole. Pretty amazing. However, my wound would have to wait. It was really high up on my thigh and I wouldn't be able to take a look without a mirror. I entered the building and looked for a restroom, since I was early (of course). The bathrooms were locked and for employees only. I hate Seattle. So, I just went into my interview. I have a feeling that I didn't get the job because I told her what had happened on the way here and how scared I was to drive in this damn city! (Not one of my proudest moments). After I left, I attempted to find a fast food restaurant so that I could finally see WTF was wrong with my leg. I pulled into a McDonald's, and saw a sign that said “restrooms are for paying customers only”. Did I say I hated this city? So, pissed off, I decided just to drive home instead. Luckily, the wound was nothing more than a bloodless cut/gash-thing and bruise. I also never got the hole in the car fixed, so it was kind of cool to see the road beneath me. Totally made it worth having that junk of a car (not!).

I’m so glad I didn't get that job.

Monday, October 7, 2013

I'm not dead, I promise.

I know I haven't been posting much lately and I do apologize. I mean, I know ya'll were worried about me, right? Right? I thought so.

Anyway, I've been pretty busy and stressed lately, which is pretty unusual for me. (The being busy, not the stressing.)

I've decided to "go back to school" for one thing. I put that in quotes because I'm not really going anywhere; it's all online. I specifically chose this because I work 8 hours a day and I don't know how other people do it, but I just can't possibly fit 40 hours a week at work and 30 hours a week at school and still have any semblance of a life. When you add possible additional commutes to the mix, I don't even think it's scientifically possible. Anyway, so I decided to become a coder. (I know, I'm cute. Like I can go to school at this day and age and say I'll become anything). They fit my personality to a T, except for all the numbers bit. I'm horrible with numbers. (But at least it's not math!). But, I get to sit in a cubicle all by myself and work alone and do my thing with no patient interaction and then go home. Perfect.

Thanks to how Franciscan and how the classes work, I get to pay 100% out of pocket, too. And I don't mean a student loan. Nope, don't even get that. For one thing, Franciscan will only pay for your schooling if you 1. Do classes that Franciscan can use you for. AKA, nurse, doctor, physical therapist. (Apparently, CODERS don't count.) and 2. You get a college degree. Coders don't get college degrees. They get a certification. So immediately, I'm out for any kind of tuition reimbursement from Franciscan. Secondly, banks (or the Government) won't give me a student loan because AHIMA is not a college, per se. They are the accreditors of the HIM (health info management) field, and they just happen to offer online courses through their website. Through my research, they were really the only ones that offered a completely self-paced course that you could buy one class at a time and complete at your leisure. In other words, for people like me.

I've also been busy busting my hump at work these last couple of weeks thanks to the implementation of the EPIC electronic medical record (EMR). I'm sure many of you heard me bitching about it on my facebook page. 

This was me last week.

In addition to going to school and learning a whole new system and workflow, I've been desperately grasping at straws trying to keep my current job. I work in Medical Records. We're implementing EMR. Which means I'm basically no longer needed. Franciscan is trying to phase out all of the clinic med recs people, and consolidate them into one cohesive unit, in one room. I want to stay with Saffari, and both him and our ARNP are trying to fight to keep me, because they know I'm needed and they know I want to stay. But it's not guaranteed. So, in the meantime, I have to reach out to make sure that I still have stable employment. They're offering jobs in 2 phases. Phase one ( a couple of weeks ago) was for 14 ROI positions (release of information) which I applied for and failed to get. Phase 2 will be for (I think) 22 HIM positions in central medical records, which should be coming out any day now. Be aware that there are more than 60 HIM people out in the field who will be clamoring for all 36 positions. This is what I'm up against. It won't be easy, despite my experience. A new, recent development gives me renewed hope that I might be able to stay in Saffari's office, though. If Stephanie, one of our current PARs (patient access rep. I know, a lot of freaking acronyms, huh??) becomes a full-time referral coordinator for our office (which we desperately need) that will leave an opening for a PAR that I can fill. But, we shall see. I can't put out too much hope though, lest I be greatly disappointed.

Anyway, that's what's been going on with me these last few weeks. What have you been doing?!