Metabolic Research Center — Questionable Tactics
Snake Oil, Opportunist, or a Legitimate Weight Management Programme Having a Really Bad Week?
Arguments for everyone! This round's on me!
I didn't survive being left for dead under a truck to get screwed by Metabolic Research Center in Southlake, Texas.
Joining my dog's Hit By A Vehicle and Lived to Tell the Tale Club in November 2008, my energy levels spiraled downward. As luck would have it, this came right after being laid off from a well-paying career; So I had time to recover and literally 'walk it off'.
October 2012, I'm back in a well-paying career. Being a card carrying member in the Traumatic Brain Injury Club - which I have the lifetime membership thanks to Scott and the Ford Motor Company - hasn't ruined my reason and rationale. It did, however, drastically alter my intolerance for BS.
Unfortunately, my energy level and physical ability to flit through exercise programmes are uncompromising. With my hormones and thyroid proving to be joining the fight against me, I was clutching at any straw to see what would work to resolve my weight issue.
Because one of my best friends proved the Metabolic Research Center programme worked for her, and because she doesn't spend money on anything less than quality, when the opportunity presented itself, I went with it and became a client at MRC.
I didn't choose the cheap option, figuring if I'm going to do this, I'll do it right: take all the supplements I know I need that I'm not getting on my own.
FACT: Within a month I did feel better than I had in the previous 10 years.
What bothered me from the first weigh-in visit on, was I got on the scale, having just weighed myself at home on a scale I know is dead on with our family's doctors' scales, I had lost like 3 or 4 lbs. When I questioned it, the rep did not look me in the eye and just said I had lost the pounds. The conspiracy theorist in me suspected this is how they sucker people in to believe their programme is working. I said okay and shut up.
Within the next month, give or take, I decided to compare apples to apples. I got me a tape measure and measured myself exactly as MRC's reps measured me. I kept their numbers on a spread sheet and I kept my numbers on a spread sheet. I purchased a scale after researching reviews that scans almost all the percentages that MRC's Tanita scale scans. I noticed some of their numbers were …how in the world did they get that number when I got a significantly lower number? I suspected at the next measuring I would be conveniently down a few more inches WOO WOO WOO!!!... That scheduled measuring hasn't happened yet.
I played their silly little games of buying all their 'product' that my body responded to in positive ways - their HNS drinks - liquid and powder. I hate the term 'product'. That really says more about the programme in its entirety if you think about it. Product is a retail thing that translates to SELL!!! SELL!!! SELL!!! We got money to make off the suckers!
• Their pudding HNS tastes like… <insert own negative description>.
• I'm afraid to try the soups after another very animated friend made a face after trying the soup.
• The Very High Protein Shakes are pretty good when mixed with water and a little ice through the blender.
• The Mint Chocolate bars are good once you get past the thought of licking chalk.
• The Cinnamon bars are… you really have to want cinnamon and have no other options.
• I've only heard about the other bars so I can't comment on them. MRC can thank me later…
Only one of the reps I dealt with came across as genuine and concerned, trained monkey routines notwithstanding. The others were very limited in their ability to deal with customers on an interpersonal level that was uninspiring me to stay and spend more money - rather, thinking… hurry up already, I got nothing I'd rather do somewhere else…
Another bone of contention that I have is their blood pressure machines. Yes, I'm on blood pressure meds for a hormonal condition. My real doctor has confirmed my heart and cholesterol are fine. 50 mg of Atenolol and their machines show me at 150/90, give or take. BS. One of their reps had already admitted on several occasions that their machines don't work well - yet they are required to note the blood pressure numbers. And then I've also been told they haven't had problems with high readings on other people. What the hell!?!
I made damn sure from the start that me being on their programme was going to be a little different format than usual - due to my hit and run ordeal. Eating ounces of food every few hours, mixed with drinking protein every other few hours wasn't working for me - it was making me jittery and non-functional. In my line of work, the risk of being careless, missing details and making errors that could affect people's and companies' money runs a SIGNIFICANTLY high risk of biting me in the ### immediately and eventually -- ie, FIRED.
Let's also mention it makes me a threat on the road.
Within the first two months of being on MRC's programme, I cut out Dr Pepper (I'm an addict, admittedly) 100%. This alone, I should have lost at least 5 lbs. I didn't lose jack. No matter how well I behaved on their menu, or how bad I misbehaved, my weight never fluctuated more than a pound or two, most probably due to water retention or clothing (long trousers do weigh more than T-shirt material shorts).
I also made it clear that I wasn't going to follow their menu real close because my goal was to change my dietary habits so when I was not on the programme, there would be no transitional shock. I was NOT going to plan to cut out eating out or fast food; Simply changing what I eat and how often and how much. I was never a pig and restaurants are good at putting plenty in front of you to sucker you into feeling you got a lot for your money…. So splitting dishes or not ordering French fries became the norm for me.
MRC reps were all so adamant on consuming lots of water. Granted, it was summer and water is necessary. But 100 ounces a day no questions asked, just demanded, was a red flag. I was drinking around an average of 65 ounces a day but when my kidneys were starting to hurt and I was feeling sick, just from water, they were still gung ho and 'you can do it! I know you can!'… I wound down the programme and let my body tell me when to drink water and whatever else.
Here's where my experience takes a dark and twisted turn…
Metabolic Research Center's premise is weight is controlled by metabolism and hormones, the two main reasons I went to them because I know this is where I am all screwed up. Due to instructions turning out to be unclear and an intervening holiday so I wasn't able to get clarification, I was delayed in taking the hormone test. Part of it was my fault so I won't completely throw them under the bus. The extra month wait did nothing for my patience levels. I'm sure they were fine with my buying another month worth of supplements from them…
*** Hormone test proved I'm all messed up - confirmed by my real doctor's tests. ***
Following instruction on Metabolic Research Center's Natural Balance Cream (a bio-identical hormone cream) and taking it as directed, I had to stop 4 days into the 14 days on and 14 days off. I went into such a severe mental/hormonal tailspin that I was a complete psychotic basket case. If this is what normal female hormones do to normal and pregnant women, no wonder why men fear for their lives. That would also fuel the argument if the split tail is worth it, men aren't that smart, and why only the strong - or lucky - survive.
I'm better off living life with the hormones of a neutered poodle.
Unfortunately, the last two months have been catastrophic. Between bleeding like a stuck pig, exploding hormone lottery balls and suicidal tendencies, my schizoid dark side has been making surprise appearances.
Meanwhile, every rep at Metabolic Research Center, from day one, has been trying to instill the mantra that their supplements are all natural and blah blah blah. So is cow dung and Castor beans (where Ricin comes from).
One of my spies informed me there's a sign on the front door of the Metabolic Research Center office in Southlake, Texas that the office is now closed, and people were fired/let go whatever you want to call it - they were ousted. When I called the number for that location, I was re-directed to the McKinney office where I talked to the manager. Long story short, the Southlake office is having landlord issues - which may or may not be completely truthful, according to my multiple other sources.
I still have visits left I have already paid for but for now I can go to the McKinney location which I am told is only 20 minutes away, in the other direction. Yeah, 20 minutes in a space aged catapult. And I'll still be able to get that - there's that word again - product - mail ordered. Sorry. Homey don't play that.
I asked to just part ways and have the prorated balance refunded if they can't make good on it. Oooh, but they can - to locations on the other side of the planet and by mail. Due to the fact they've been emailing out to their list a bazillion times a day lately, I was figuring this was the last throws of death in trying to spark interest in their sales and being open fewer days a week to keep from closing their doors. I wonder how many people had taken advantage of their sales promotions within the last week to get this screw job done to them. Ironically, I had emailed them the night of the 10th to email me at a different email address (specifically, I made this request so I didn't get interrupted all day long by lame emails coming to my cell phone every couple of hours or more).
I can get a refund if I have a medical letter from my doctor requesting I come off the programme. NO PROBLEM. I can get one all day long. But I decided I'm not going to drag anyone else into this that I don't have to. My doctor didn't do anything wrong - he did me the favour of signing the recommendation letter for their programme for my insurance issues - which at the time - was a legitimate recommendation from my doctor.
The part that irks me the most in these feeble attempts of redirecting clients/customers is I have seen some of their other clientele. They're elderly and don't need to be on the road from the Southlake/Colleyville/further west area to go all the way out east to Plano and further to McKinney, all where people drive like speed freaks and almost collided with me the last 3 times I've driven in Plano. Some areas are not safe to be passing through for being ripped off on a weekly/monthly basis. Maybe they're in bed with the gas companies at $3.50 a gallon. Some of us won't buy Toll Tags and pay for the privilege of driving on already funded roads.
Is this really how a reputable company does damage control with a clientele that has spent who knows how many hundreds/thousands of dollars for their services??? I'll speculate the fact they've gone broke and don't have the resources to return what's been paid to them.
There is NOTHING on their website http://www.emetabolic.com/locations/centers?st=TX to even warn their clients before they make the drive through the wonderful Southlake construction zones before they discover they've just wasted however much fuel and free time. Not even an email to tell us to go whiz up a rope.
Please call the number listed on the door [protected]) and determine for yourself if it sounds like they're making it up as they're going along.
For the $100ish bucks still in my MRC kitty, I figure it's worth more to me in turning this into a blood sport and calling it for what I see it as and posting my review here and with Fox 4 News.
Ya don't jack with a rabid dog if ya don't want to get bit.
Make it right and I will call off the dogs.