Monday, December 5, 2011

Call Me Crazy, But Call Me Determined

Abrams Falls - GSMNP
December 2, 2011

It is December and I am DETERMINED to begin 2012 at a lower weight than last January 1.  My hiking bud (who probably doesn't weigh 110 fully layered for a sub-zero hike!!) pronounced me "crazy" when I told her I had started a diet.  But I'm not crazy and if I've learned one thing over the years, it's that when the inspiration hits even if it comes in the strangest way, don't stop to think about what time of year it is.  Don't THINK at all!  JUST DO IT!  And I did!  And here's the story - crazy as it seems!

As you well know, I don't do "diets" so I'm starting out going against the grain of my own philosophy.  I strongly believe that (for me) the proper way to lose weight and keep it off is a balanced eating plan using the simple formula of calories in vs. calories burned = pounds lost.  I have also learned that I am somewhat carb sensitive and heavy carb ingestion even if total calorie intake is correct will still result in slow or no loss plus every one of those carbs attaches itself directly to my thighs and posterior.  

But on a rainy, cold morning, I was perusing the shelves at Barnes and Nobel when a book entitled, "The 17-Day Diet" caught my attention.  Why??   I have NO idea.  It was amongst 10,000 other titles each hoping theirs would catch some ignorant  gullible sucker and rob them of $25.  Maybe it was the pink and blue cover.  Maybe it was the "rapid results" part although normally that turns me off pretty quickly.  That's why the whole thing was so weird.  Usually, this is something I wouldn't have given a second glance.  At any rate, I picked it up, grabbed a cup of coffee, found my favorite window seat and began reading.  And there I sat until I had finished the book.  I wasn't sold, but I was intrigued.  

Did I buy the book?   Of course not - I'm far too cheap!  But I went straight to my public library, checked it out, then headed home where I ordered it from at half the price it was in Barnes and Noble.  I won't go into detail explaining the plan - that's not the point here and you can read plenty for youself online.   Basically, it follows three 17-day cycles with a fourth cycle that is "maintenance" if one stint through the first three cycles gets you there.  It's high protein and very low carb.  But you do have a variety of choices from the protein list and probably a primary reason the plan attracted me is that you are allowed two fruits (from the list) each day plus two servings from a list of probiotic items i.e. yogurt, kefir, Breakstone LivAction Cottage Cheese (which I was not familiar with and LOVE), and a few other selections.  In Cycles 2 and 3, your choices become much wider.  In fact, I could probably LIVE on Cycle 3.

Let me repeat that I have no idea why this drew me in when I've struggled so for the entire past year just to find ANY momentum to lose this weight I've regained.   Why now?   Why one more book when I've probably got 50 diet books stored away?   Whatever it was, the intuitive sensation that said, "try this" was very, very strong.

I am happy to report that all this happened on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  I began the first 17-day cycle on the Friday following Thanksgiving (coincidentally, the same day I reached my 300 mile hiking goal) which means I have successfully completed the 10th day.   Other than a slight slip-up when Mr. B put a tiny bit of butter in some asparagus, I believe I have toed the line all ten days.  As of this morning, I have lost 7.4 pounds.  The two daily fruit and probiotic servings are wonderful as those are both items I consider "treats" at any time.  The Cycle 1 list of fruit servings includes most of my favorites, so doesn't feel restrictive at all.  In retrospect, perhaps that's the reason I was drawn to this plan.

With the exception of a total "bonk" on the third evening, it has not been difficult.  There is plenty to eat and one need not go hungry.  I suspect the "bonk" was when the carb/sugar withdrawal kicked in.  I spent a couple of miserable hours biting Mr. B's head off alternating with sobbing on his shoulder.  Doesn't sound pretty, does it??  Believe me, it wasn't.  But he handled it well as I'd tried to prepare him that SOMETHING would happen.  I just wasn't sure exactly what!   Once I was past that, my energy level has soared and I feel great.  Cravings are pretty much gone.

And as Forrest Gump would say, until one week from today when I reach the end of the first 17-day cycle, "that's all I'm going to say about that!"

I'm happy to report that I did reach my 300 mile 2011 hiking goal and am now up to 309 miles.  In my head, I'm kind of playing with trying to get to 350 before December 31st, but that all depends on our weather and the availability of hiking partners.  I'm becoming increasingly comfortable with solo hiking and am certain the snake phobia factor is no longer present, but there are still those big black things known as bears and as you recall, I've had more than my share of encounters with them this year!!  In another couple of weeks, they'll be warmly hibernated doing whatever it is bears do in their dens that cause MORE bears next spring.  LOL!!

 SHE DID IT! - 300 mile 2011 hiking goal REACHED!
At Arch Rock on the Alum Cave Trail - GSMNP
November 25th, 2011

Have you heard of the 17 Day Diet?  How difficult would it be for you to follow it?  Is it something you would ever consider?


  1. 300 miles hiked is .... amazing. Seriously, just amazing!

    I couldn't have done the diet because I dont' do well on low carb at all.. So no. :)

  2. I've never heard of it, but I'm not a big fan of low-carb dieting because of its dismal long-term maintenance. I'm still marveling over your 300 mile hiked accomplishment! You should get a ribbon or something!

  3. You win the Gold Medal in Hiking for the year!

    I'm happy you've found a way of eating that you enjoy so much! I've heard of this "diet" but I haven't explored it too much. Maybe after the holidays? Right now, I seem to be okay muddling along in my own way. :)

  4. Hi- found your post through another blog and yes, I have been sorta kinda following the 17 day diet. I should be more diligent but it's hard this time of year. However, I have lost a few pounds and want to really get on track in big downfall is I love to bake and
    I have too many nuts (I mean pecans/almonds and walnuts)in the house. I did find a real bargain Friday when I was in a different city and bought 5 bottles of kefir for $2.39 each- here they are close to $5. I drink at least a cup a day and I like the cottage cheese too but hey, the only food I have ever found I don't like it black licorice. I wish I was more discriminating when it comes to food!

  5. First, congratulations again on achieving your hiking goal for the year.

    I've not heard of this particular eating plan, but it sounds like it might be similar to South Beach, which a lot of people really like. I also don't think it's odd to start a new eating plan in December. In fact, it's a good time because even if you indulge a bit on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or both, you've still been eating very well, very clean, and very healthy on all of the other days of the month. And I think that's what this is really all about.

  6. I have heard of it, and will probably look into it. I want to go low carb for awhile, and have been trying it for the past couple of weeks, although halfheartedly. Great job on reaching the 300 mile mark! You are truly dedicated!

  7. I haven't heard of it either, but great results! I wonder if it has a component of carb cycling in it. That really does seem to have results in a lot of different diet plans.

    That waterfall picture is magnificent!

  8. I've heard of the 17-day diet, but haven't looked into it yet. May have to check it out, though. It sounds like something I could get behind.

    Congrats on the hiking goal. That's a-mazing!

  9. I've not heard of the 17 day diet, but I'll be doing some research on it to be sure!!

    Congratulations on reaching your hiking goal for the year.

  10. No, I have not heard of the 17 day diet, but then I am not looking. It will be interesting to see how you do, especially long term. Me, I will stick with what is working right now.

    Excellent: 300 miles is a lot of hiking!

  11. Congrats! You sound like me - I hate it when a book title says "diet" and I hate it even more when a book title says "quick & easy". I just took a book out of the library about what to eat for good skin care - but it's called The Skin Care DIET or something like that - which totally annoys me! I guess it's that people think that diet = losing weight, and it's not always about that, sometimes it's about just eating healthily!
    I'll step off of my podium!
    BTW, I do think that eating in cycles is very healthy - I know I get into ruts, I am such a boring eater. My weight moves very slowly but it does move faster if I change up what I'm eating.
    Good for you!

  12. Sharon! Congrats on reaching your hiking goal! That is amazing! Very proud of you!

    I have not heard of the 17 day diet, and at some point when I need a boost off a plateau or something, I might check into it! I just came off of Medifast (after battling with myself about how I despise real "diets"), so it will probably be a few months before I put myself back on a for real diet.

    And YES! I'd love to go hiking with you sometime. I'm honestly pretty busy through Christmas...but I'll check in with you after then and we'll find a day and a trail! (And we can do a shuttle hike for sure!)

  13. Sharon, how absolutely wonderful of you! SO proud of your loss, and the fact that it seemed fairly easy to stay on plan. Maybe, just maybe you've found something that works for YOU :) That would be fantastic. You found that book at the right place, right time, I say :)

  14. This sounds great. I've decided today is a no-sugar day and my cravings are decidedly less. Guess it really helps not to feed the sugar monster. I need to look up this diet, and congratulations!

  15. Hey Sharon,
    I heard about it from you. I am following it now (day 8) and am reading and enjoying your old posts from when I wasn't blogging much. Thanks for sharing this info--this plan REALLY works. Who would have thought that a 60 year old could lose 7.4 pounds (easily and comfortably and healthily) in just 8 days!