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I needed a lifestyle change. Are you “Man” enough?

In my quest to help patients (and myself) find ways to prevent chronic disease, I have had plenty of crazy ideas.  As we all should know chronic disease is usually a product of poor choices related to diet and exercise.  Yes, I can help you improve your nutrient and hormone balance, but there is nothing more powerful in preventing chronic diseases than diet and exercise.  This is often referred to as a lifestyle change.

About a year ago I visited my brother-in-law in Knoxville, TN.  He asked me to get up on game day (Saturday) at 6:00am to go to a workout with him.  I thought to myself, 6:00am is 5:00am central time.  That is a bit early to be working out, and also I haven’t really been working out much lately.  I wasn’t about to let my brother-in-law in on this bit of information because that is what guys do, right?  “I thought I can hang with this guy”.  The next morning I roll out of bed and hop in his jeep and off we go.  We pull up to a dimly lit parking lot in a park.  I thought, “this is odd, where’s the gym?” A bunch of guys in black t-shirts are stretching out and hanging out chatting.  When we walk up to the group they start saying hello to someone named “Proton”.  I soon realize they are talking to my brother-in-law.  As I was being introduced to several of them they all had odd names.

One was “Crawdad”, another “P-nut” on and on it went.  I also noticed that there was not much common about each of them, some were in school, some had blue collar jobs and some white collar.  Their group didn’t seem to care what race, religion, or nationality you were.  There were only a couple things that were common among this group.  They were all men, they all had a weird name, most had a black t-shirt, and they were all crazy enough to wake up on Saturday morning at 6am to go to a workout.

About that time a 30ish year old guy named “Woodshack” starts gathering the group into a big circle around an american flag sticking out of the handle of a shovel.  He quickly gets everything started with some exercises.  I have watched a military movie or two to know we were doing each exercise in cadence.  He then instructs us to “Mosey” over to the baseball field now that the warm-up is over.  At this point we are in lines like I remember in football practice and starting to do shuttle runs, lunges, squats and an assortment of exercises.  At this point I am trying to remember if I had ever heard of a 40 year old acquiring asthma?

I am not giving up yet but through the sweat I realize that I am at the back of the pack with a guy that is 60ish.  I am not sure but I think they assigned him to make sure no man was left behind.  We are jumping on stuff, pulling up on stuff and running all over the place.  Meanwhile these jokers are chatting the whole time, making jokes and just having a grand old time.  Me, I am wheezing so loud the neighborhood dogs are barking back.  I realize that we have been going for 45 minutes straight without much of a break.  Woodshack leads the group on what seems to be the last exercise.  Run up the hill and touch a building called the Asylum.  When he said hill I thought that is not a hill, in Memphis we call that a mountain.  So, me and my new 60ish year old buddy work our way up the hill and we finally make it.  We “mosey” back to the parking lot and the rest of the group is already doing some kind of not stop abdominal torture.  This lasts for several minutes and I am now to the point of not caring anymore and giving up.  Crawdad then says recover and everyone is on their feet.

Next is the part that I thought was unique and different about these guys.  Crawdad then asked all the new guys to come to the center and they named each one of us.  I was assigned the name “Escobar”.  I believe that this is because I am a pharmacist (drug lord) from Memphis.  Crawdad then gives a little talk on something that had challenged him spiritually that week then we huddled up and prayed.

A few things were revealed to me during this hour of torture.

First, these men came together regularly and bonded while pushing each other to their limits.  They were friends and accepted any and all men.  The friendships that they formed were not the kind that changed as soon as their job changed.  They were not the friends of their wives husbands.  They joked with teach other but they pulled for each other and helped each other.  These men were learning how to lead each other which translated over to leading their families, leading their churches and leading at work.

If you know someone that needs accountability, discipline and better health send him to  We recently started this in Memphis and any man can get up to 6 workouts a week.  We have 4 locations throughout Memphis.  All workouts are free and are always outdoors.  All workouts are peer lead and are difficult.  All workouts will change you as a man.

Join us for a workout, if you are man enough.

Why I chose HCG for weight loss.

This time of year I get several questions like “What is the latest pill for weight loss?”  With only a few weeks till summer break, many are seeking a quick fix for weight loss.  I never remember who I have told about my own experience with weight loss.  A few years ago I lost 32 pounds in 35 days.

I am always looking to improve my current health or prevent disease in the future.  Sometimes I forget to share this information.  One of the best things that I have found for weight loss came across my desk several years ago.

Here is my story

I became aware or concerned one day when I found out that a 6 foot man that weighs 225 pounds is considered obese.  I was just checking out a couple of cool new on-line pharmacy calculator programs (I know sounds a bit geekish) and I found a BMI calculator.  The BMI is the Body Mass Index.  Using this calculator my BMI is 30.5.  A BMI of 30 or greater is considered obese.  That was a total shock to me.  Anything above a 25 is considered overweight.  But I was OBESE.  Yikes.  Having a BMI above 30 means that I am at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.  This revelation opened my eyes to the fact that I needed to do something.  I tried a few diets and a bit of exercising, but I had a long way to go and nothing seemed to work for me.

At the time, the extreme weight loss options were limited. There was phentermine, which increases your metabolism while you take it, but when you stop the metabolism goes back and you gain the weight back, or the other option,which was a medication that caused a side effect of “anal leakage”. Nuff said.

At this point I had kind of given up when one of my mentor pharmacist told me about something that she was doing that worked for her and for several of her patients. This option was HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin). HCG is a hormone that naturally occurs in the body.  Side effects of this formulation are very minimal, but can include dry skin and constipation.  My mentor pharmacist gave me all the details so I thought I would give it a try.  I asked my physician to do blood work before and after the HCG program.  My Cholesterol was high as well as my Triglycerides.  My blood pressure was high normal.  So off I went to formulate my first HCG nasal spray.

Phase 1

I studied the plan and what to expect for a month or so and I decided to start on January 2nd.  This was great because the first 2 days were on a weekend and a holiday.  These 2 days were filled with eating whatever and however much I wanted.  Yep that is right.  You eat whatever you want for 2 days while taking the nasal spray.  This is called phase 1.  I went from Waffle House to the donut shop then had a burger at Huey’s and a mid-afternoon milkshake.  For dinner I had a big Mexican feast.  The next day was similar but I was starting to feel the effects of the fullness of the day before and the HCG was kicking in.  The HCG works by curbing your appetite.  So I didn’t eat much from about noon on January 1st until the next day.

Phase 2

January 2nd came and so did the 500 calorie diet.  Yep, 500 calories, 250 calories for lunch and 250 calories for dinner.  This is what is known as phase 2.  This phase lasts for a minimum of 23 days, up to a maximum of 40 days.  I made it 35 days.  The first week was the most difficult.  During this time you are not eating much and you are detoxing.  All of the allowed foods are clean like a paleo menu.

I was concerned that I would not be able to function mentally and physically at work with only 500 calories, but I experienced the opposite.  I had more energy and was mentally sharp.  During phase 2 you are not supposed to exercise.  Walking and normal day stuff is allowed, but pushing yourself at the gym can possibly lead to more muscle breakdown.

The first week I lost 10 pounds.  The expectation is to lose 0.5 to 1 pound every day.  This was so exciting to see the pounds and inches fall off every day.  I noticed that if I ate beef that there would not be as much of a weight loss as when I ate chicken or shrimp.  I purchased a couple books to help me out HCG Weight Loss Guide by Linda Prinster and HCG Maintenance Recipes.  One of the lessons that I learned was that an empty stomach does not necessarily mean you are hungry.

Phase 3

This turned out to be where I struggled the most.  The goal of this phase is to maintain your new weight for 6 weeks.  You are allowed to eat more but you have to make sure that you don’t fluctuate up or down more than 2 pounds.  It was hard to restrain myself from eating too much but I learned how much I could eat and not gain weight.  I think this was the most valuable lesson that I learned from the whole program.  During this phase you are encouraged to exercise as much as possible.  Get in shape and build your metabolism back.

Once phase 3 is over phase 4 is to eat the rest of your life with a new knowledge of yourself.  Also, you are now enjoying a lifestyle change.

Now how about you?

If you are in need of a 15 to 30+ pound weight loss I would ask that you consider HCG as an option.  So far we have had over 1300 patients on the HCG program.  If you are interested click here and I will send you a program overview.

If you have had experience with HCG, what were your results?  Comment below.

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