Saturday, August 25, 2012

I bought the magic beans, now where’s my beanstalk?


Can I share a little rant here?  I don’t want to open myself up for public ridicule, but I’ve always considered myself a savvy (or cynical) enough person to not to be sold a false bill of goods.  So right now I’m a little surprised that I let myself be duped by some 21st century snake-oil salesman.

My only defense here I suppose is that when you’re desperate enough, you’re going to pat logic on it’s head and tell it to run outside and play, it’s getting in the way of things.

I am like…50 pounds overweight.  And that’s on a good day.  I pretty much have been so for the last decade (though in the last few years, it’s either gone up 4-5 lbs or down 1-2).  I’ve written about it here before, insisted I was losing the pounds ‘for real’ this time, and then things went nowhere (as usual).  I’ve never stopped hoping for some sort of miracle though; don’t we all love miracles?

So a few weeks ago during a ‘work from home’ day, I shut off my laptop promptly at 4pm & flipped on the tv.  ‘Doctor Oz’ was on, I’ve probably seen his show twice.  (But I know all about the man, a respected doctor and surgeon, and one of Oprah’s personal gurus.)   Still, I’m just not into him.  I grabbed for the remote to switch the channel when I heard him say something about a ‘miracle in a bottle’ and “you’re saying these people did nothing and still lost all this weight?  These weight loss numbers are astounding!”  Wait--what? 

Some so-called medical expert was on there, detailing a study done on a group of chubby people in Scranton, Pa.  They were given a dose of pure green coffee bean extract 30 minutes before every meal, and were instructed not to change their diet or ‘up their exercise game’;  yet at the end of the 12 week study, they all lost weight, an average of 18 pounds each, 10% of their body fat.  Dr.Oz was very impressed with the results & told his audience that this is a wonderful discovery.  There’s no reported side effects, the extract isn’t expensive, but be sure to buy it PURE, in a vegetable-capsule form. 


“The great and powerful Oz has spoken—now go!”

Now normally I’d hear something like this & think “I need to research this on my own first, and maybe in a couple months if no one has reported growing an extra arm or head…”  but then I remembered that a few months previous, when the great & powerful Oz told his fatter watchers to load up on raspberry ketones, it sent their price soaring thru the roof (and off the shelves of every pharmacy for months).  So I flipped open my laptop again and jumped on—I found them!  And just as the wizard specified, ‘pure’ extract in vegetable capsule form.  I patted myself on the back for my quick actions & promptly ordered a bottle.  No wait, Amazon—I want TWO bottles!  Heh heh!  

Fortunately, I didn’t have a long wait; they arrived in just a few days.

Back in June, anxious for some real motivation, I joined a ‘Weight Race’ with a few others in my office.  Friday mornings we report our weight, and a chart is sent out showing your current numbers, your loss or gain for that week & a final column showing your success (or failure) to date.   I had ended my first couple weigh-ins actually going up a pound, before finally losing 2, 3 & then 5 pounds total.  Then things stopped—and for the next few weeks, no change.  (Miriam, one of the others in the race says “you’re not gaining—and you’re still ahead of everyone else!”  which is no real help, it only means we’re a pretty sad group.)  But now I had an ace in my sleeve, my magic beans!  I begin doing just as the doctor ordered—800 mgs with a glass of water, twice a day (and 30 minutes before eating).

Bean Week 1:  No change.  Well, this stuff doesn’t happen overnight.

Bean Week 2:  No change.  Well, a little more exercise wouldn’t hurt either.


So here’s my dilemma; I only have enough of those infernal pills to last me 7 more days (I ordered a month’s supply).  If I go thru my final week’s supply & still see no results, do I admit I’ve been suckered?  Or do I say 'wait I haven’t been suckered enough, it’s only been a month & that was a 12 week study’? 

THAT’S the question; I’ll come back in a week & let you know if there’s been any changes, and what I’m going to do next.  (And hopefully this is the last time I let someone sell me some miracle in a bottle!)

Well, it’s now week 4 & there’s been a change alright, I’ve gained 2 lbs. from a week ago.  Time to stop looking for answers in a bottle and get busy.


  1. If it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is...

  2. Iikka, you would think at my age I'd know that by now :) I only fell for it because it was endorsed by the powerful Dr.Oz, so we'll see!

  3. Ah, Doug.

    Doug, Doug, Doug, Doug, Doug.

    I'd have thought after trying those other 'miracle' pills (the ones that make you bigger rather than smaller), you'd have dismissed this quackery out of hand.

    What happened to that exercise machine?

  4. Andrew, don't you know the story? I sold the machine for the magic beans :)

  5. I like Dr. Oz, but if you followed everything that he advocated you wouldn't enjoy anything "sinful" ever again--I think his diet is extremely strict and unrealistic for the average person. Also, he's obsessed with poop! I haven't heard of these pills, but my first thought was that there will never be a magic pill substitute for the good ol' fashioned way to lose weight, which is exercise and a healthy diet.

  6. Diana said: Doug, buy yourself a house. Between yard work, maintenance, and stress, you will be loosing weight at an alarming rate!

  7. Hi Pam--hey, I like Dr.Oz too (I know he's also the King of Poop & hey he's going to be in Pittsburgh next week helping do physicals for my company!) But I just think he is hawking TOO MANY SUPPLEMENTS. I know what I've gotta do--start living like a monk, I guess :)

    Hey Diana, thanks for the advice but I already have an 8 x 10 patio with a couple hanging plants, that's all the home maintenance I'm looking for! :)

  8. Aw Doug, I love your honesty and humour and appreciate your efforts. It's freaking hard to lose weight. Everyone has a story of a diet they've tried. Back in the day I tried Slim Fast and all it did was make my tummy upset! Tried the Special K diet and nothing happened (except a mild addiction to the Vanilla and Almond Special K. Yummy!). Dr. Oz does have a great rep (man is he ever obsessed with poop—you and Pam are so right on that) but take caution if you plan to go the 12 week distance: make sure it doesn't make you sick. I agree with Pam, healthy eating and simple exercise can't be beat. As long as you are having fun. Good luck bud!!

    PS: I've read blogs where people document their daily diet and activity and it seems to help them stay the course.

  9. THanks Chelly! Yes, it IS freaking hard to lose weight, and I think it's 10 times more so after age 40. (Omigosh, I remember Slim-Fast all too well, my mom had that in her cupboard for years!) Anyway, the pills did nothing for me but I know the real secret to losing, LOTS more exercise, I'm afraid. Thanks for the "diet log' suggestion too Chelly, it is definitely someething to consider. :)


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