Are Weight Loss Injections Safe?

A decorative cover image for the posts discussing my weight loss story.

As someone who’s been in the hamster wheel of crash diets and wacky quick fixes in the quest for weight loss, I know firsthand the feelings that go into seeking these kinds of things out in order to lose the weight. I’ve seen ads for quick fixes on TV, and more than once, I wished I had the money to try them out.

I saw something the other day where someone asked about the safety of weight loss injections, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

It brought me back to high school, when I was close to my estimated highest weight. That was in middle school, but I wasn’t that far removed from it at the time.

I’d gotten a copy of Marie Claire from the checkout line at the store, and read it in study hall. I’d run out of ideas for the story I was writing at the time, none of which has ever seen the light of day, and never will, haha. So I took it out of my gym bag, and started reading. The whiff of Estee Lauder’s Beyond Paradise sample inside had engulfed my gym bag, which I liked.

It was then I found this story about how someone who passed themselves off as a plastic surgeon gave people cosmetic treatments by the name of Myriam Gaona, or referred to by her patients (more like victims) as “La Doctora Myriam”. While this isn’t the exact article, I found two others about what Gaona did.

The Marie Claire article talked about how one victim got weight loss injections and ended up with these horrible infections. I remember how gruesome the pictures in there were. I couldn’t find any of them on the ‘net, which is probably for the best.

The L.A. Times article mentions that those who sought out Gaona’s services for this reason were told the injections were “citrus blends to burn fat,” and that Gaona’s pricing structure depended on one’s financial status. According to the article, people would line up around the block seeking services, and for those who couldn’t come to the clinics, Gaona would hold gatherings in the style of Tupperware, Mary Kay, or Avon parties in people’s homes. Gaona would also give people looking for a little extra help in the weight loss department diet pills, stated to be herbal and homeopathic remedies.

These turned out to contain ephedrine (and weren’t exactly what you’d call legal), and it’s anyone’s guess as to what those “weight loss injections” actually contained beyond the industrial silicone (for use as an automotive and appliance sealant!), oil, and a substance similar to Jello according to the L.A. Times article. I remember something in the Marie Claire article mentioning motor oil, but don’t quote me on that one. Whether there was motor oil in it or not, it’s still horrifying.

Dozens of the people who sought out Gaona’s services got sick, and some even needed amputations. Others attempted suicide in response to the devastation all this caused for them. According to the L.A. Times article, some of those people were 14 years old. They were kids my age at the time!

I didn’t know this at the time I read the Marie Claire article. It was bad enough Gaona maimed grown women in terrible places with themselves, but this?

How fucked in the head does someone have to be in order to do this to a child?! Seriously, this sounds like shyt Mengele would’ve done during World War II. Yeah, that does it. I’m done Interneting for the day, lol.

Gaona’s lawyers took umbrage with the media referring to her as “The Beauty Killer.” While Gaona didn’t personally murder them, she at least contributed to the death of Silvia Blanco, whose autopsy indicated multiple organ failure. Gaona’s legal team tried to pin the blame solely on her weight at the time, but I call b.s. While Blanco’s weight probably didn’t help matters any, I’m of the opinion she’d have still been alive if it weren’t for Gaona’s snake oil.

This happened almost 20 years ago, and my heart breaks at what those people went through. I wonder how they’re all holding up these days.

I’d never heard of weight loss injections being a thing when I read that Marie Claire article, and it scared me off of them even if they were a thing.

My takeaway is this: even if weight loss injections were somehow safe, they’re not a sustainable option for the long-haul. That is what you want, right?

I wish there was a way to spot-reduce weight, believe you me. Unfortunately that’s not how it works, and the only thing (outside of weight loss surgery) is good ol’ fashioned diet and exercise, and learning a suitable calorie budget based on your specific circumstances.

That said, if anyone tries to offer you weight loss injections, you tell them HELL NO, and run the other way. Even if they were somehow safe, why take that chance? You deserve better than that.

Over to you, readers. Have you ever heard of weight loss injections? Ever heard of the news stories of Gaona maiming people after preying on their insecurities? What are your takeaways? Drop ’em like they’re hot below, and let’s talk.

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