I don’t do shame and I don’t get embarrassed. Once, while clerking, I entered the courtroom to talk to my judge. I whispered my message discretely in her ear then as I walked away I tripped over some cords and knocked out all of the microphones in the courtroom. Worse than having no sound, my foolery triggered the white noise (think the static you find on a tv turned to channel 3 turned all the way up) and no one in the courtroom could communicate unless they were inches apart. In retrospect, it’s probably good that I couldn’t hear. Another time while working on Capitol Hill, right before the auto bail-out, I attended a very somber meeting with Members of Congress and automotive notables. After entering the room, I bent to tie my shoe. A split second later, a Member rushed in, hitting me with the door, thereby knocking me ass over tea kettle – I think I ended up on my face spread-eagle on the floor. I don’t think either story is particularly funny, but I can understand how others would. Really, they’re just days in the life of Didds.
Having no shame and not embarrassing are like not being able to feel pain. It sounds cool at first, then you think of all the things pain helps you to avoid. Imagine not realizing that a pot was hot until you smelled your hands burning. Like pain, shame and embarrassment help us to keep bad judgement calls from turning into calamities. Convinced I needed a workaround, a few years ago, I came up with a rule –if I couldn’t talk about it to my closest confidant, I probably don’t need to do it. An important distinction is that I don’t have to tell, or even plan to tell, but could I? If not, those reasons behind that inability are probably strong enough to take whatever decision currently on the table, out of consideration.
Last winter, I remember lamenting with a colleague how tough it was to lose weight. His road was harder than mine,because he had an injury that prevented strenuous exercise. Weeks later I saw him and commented that he looked like he was getting around better and he responded that it was due to 15 pounds he’d lost. When I asked him for his secret he told me about HCG. Like many people I used to tell myself I needed some sort of boost to kick off my weight loss efforts. These boosts (be it a fad diet, a fast, or a cleanse) are usually extreme and often unhealthy –the HCG diet was both. So for those who aren’t up on biology, HCG is a hormone that’s producted by women when they are pregnant. I was a political science major so I can’t tell you how or why but for some reason introduction of this hormone into your body results in the suppression of appetite and very fast weight loss. Skeptical? I was too. But I saw the guy. After pouring over conflicting data and watching him shed more pounds, I opted in.
I went to a store-front chiropractor’s office, paid the $100 “examination” fee (cash only, no checks, credit cards and definitely no insurance), and was given a package with dosing instructions to drop 10 drops of the liquid beneath my tongue twice a day. In retrospect, I wish I could say that I was hesitant, or even a little sheepish about what I was about to do, but I wasn’t. I used the stuff and it worked. I didn’t notice any side effects and I began to drop several pounds a week, I figured I was good. Given the option to use my lunch break to workout or just stick to my new-found wonder drug, I stopped working out.
I was pleased with my “progress”, my colleague and I compared notes but never let anyone else in on our secret. Then, he ran out of HCG. We both talked about the $100 scam that we went through to get HCG and how we’d avoid it moving forward. He found a place on the net that sold the hormone cheaper. A few weeks went by and I hadn’t seen or heard from my colleague. When we did catch up again, he told me that he’d purchased HCG from the site he’d found online and it made him sick.. very sick.
My own supply got low around February. I had a race in a few days (ironically, a Tough Mudder, the same race I’m currently training for). I had not trained but I figured if I could do the Spartan Sprint (4 mile mud run / obstacle course) which was 4 miles at 240 pounds, I could do the 10-12 mile Mudder at 223. While I got through the race, I was in bad shape. I wasn’t just tired, I felt the type of sore that results from putting your body through something it wasn’t prepared for. When I got back to DC (my race was in Georgia) the first thing I did was throw out the remaining HCG. There’s a reason why working out takes time, our body needs time to respond. Not only was I not in race shape, after the race, it took me weeks to walk without a noticeable struggles. Without exercise, and without HCG, I regained all the weight I lost and added another 5 pounds for good measure. I didn’t care.
In the following weeks, I went to a bevy of doctors. The orthopedist said no permanent damage had taken place in my legs, and my internist gave me a clean bill of health (by now I was expecting some sort of tumor as a side effect of drinking some strange ladies baby juice). I made a promise to myself – I would lose weight the old-fashioned way. No matter how long it took or how much it work it required. There’s no point in losing weight to get healthy if you’re going to put yourself at risk to do so.
I don’t speak to my colleague as often but when I do, he tells me about whatever new gimmick he’s using and how well it’s working for him (just until he’s able to work-out, of course).
The “Doctor” my colleague tells me, has closed her practice and has moved out of the country. I drove by her storefront the other day and saw a new business in the space.
My mother was a Human Biology major in college. When she reads this post, she’ll learn for the first time about my use of what I hope was non FDA approved human hormones to spur my own weight loss. I could never tell her what I was doing when I was taking HCG, and that should have been my clue. It doesn’t take a biologist to ask questions like:
- How do you know it is what it says it is;
- Even if it is what it says it is what if the donor was unhealthy;
- Has it been tested;
- Is this distributor licensed;
- What if you’re allergic to it;
- In the worst case scenario who do you sue;
and a slew of other questions I would have been too embarrassed to answer.