Monday, December 12, 2011

The Verdict Is In - I'm Sold!

Alum Cave Trail - GSMNP
November 25, 2011

Forgive me for the infrequent posting, but between now and the first of the new year, I've come to terms with the fact that weekly is about all I'm going to be able to manage.  Last year was unique in that it was my first year of blogging and our holiday season looked totally different because we were still adjusting to life without my sweet FIL who had died in late August.  We were trying to balance a hectic holiday schedule with caring for MIL compassionately and we did very little entertaining, shopping or socializing.  Such an about face for us as we love having friends into our home at all times of the year, but particularly through the holidays.  I kept wondering why I was finding zero time to write when the ideas were flowing.  And suddenly remembered how this year's schedule is "normal," last year's was not!  We all admit that often less frequent posts are a sign that things are not going well with the journey, but let me assure you that, in this case, nothing could be further from the truth.

Last Monday's post let you in on the fact that I had quite uncharacteristically chosen to follow a DIET!  Something to which I am strongly opposed as my philosophy is healthy calorie intake vs. calorie burn by physical activity equals sustainable weight loss.  Rather than repeat, read that post to learn what I've been up to for the past 17 days.  This morning, I will complete day 16 of the first 17-day cycle and am thrilled to report that I have lost 9.2 pounds during that time.  The book states that a 10-12 pound weight loss during cycle 1 is not out of the question.  I guess it's possible I could lose another .8 in the morning, but I am more than happy with what I've accomplished.  I suspect that has more to do with the fact that I didn't find the plan extremely difficult to follow as much as the actual pounds lost. 

Tuesday morning, I begin the second 17-day cycle also known as the Accelerate Cycle.  (FYI - Cycle 1 was called the Activate Cycle)  Those of you who wondered if the plan included carb cycling, you are very astute.  Cycle 2 still allows unlimited protein and veggies from Cycle 1's list with alternating days of choices from a much expanded list of protein items.  Cycle 2 also adds two healthy starch selections on alternating days.  The cycle 2 lists are quite inclusive and I strongly feel that no one could feel deprived during either cycle 1 or 2 if creative with their meal planning.   

After the first 17 days and a 9.2 pound loss, here are some observations about why this is working for ME!  
  • First and foremost, this plan allows fruit!  Fruit is my candy.  I could never stick with a program that banned fruit completely for even a short length of time.  From day 1, two fruits are permitted each day and that component is a major reason I knew it would work.
  • My personality type (quirky??) works best if I have a beginning and an ending.  I can do anything for a specified period of time.  The 17-day cycles attracted me because it was long enough to expect results, but short enough not to become bored.  
  • It is easy in that the lists include normal everyday foods and no special cooking, shopping or prep skills are needed.   I can't say that preparing dinners for myself and Mr. B have been all that different.  And to my surprise, he has even remarked that his pants feel looser.  
  • I am looking forward to the additional options available during cycle 2 and then even more in cycle 3.  If not at goal by end of cycle 3, recommendation is to follow the sequence again before moving to cycle 4 which is basically maintenance.  I just love the structure of it. 
I can't say that there is anything I don't like about this plan.   If one goes hungry, it is no one's fault but their own.  My body is so carb-sensitive and I am well aware that if I stop gorging on highly processed carbs, success is more highly pronounced by the quick change in my body SHAPE than in the pounds lost.  I am already down one pants/jean size and energy level is soaring.   Sugar cravings are totally gone and other carb cravings are greatly diminished.

Am I cured?  What a joke!!  Have I found something that is working for me right now?  Yes, and I am profoundly grateful because I was desperate for a shot in the arm from somewhere.  And as is often the case, it came out of the blue from a source I'd never have expected.   A DIET of all things!  But humility is and always will be the word of the day.  One bite, lick or taste and every last one of those taste sensations would come roaring back quicker than I can say, "sugar cookie."  This has given me a much needed shot in the arm, but I have a long, long way to go and a lot left to learn.  And you, my friends have and will continue to help me more than words could possibly express.

When you read this (unless you are, like me, a disgustingly early riser), I will be headed towards a hiking trail challenging myself in a different way.  I am hiking solo and although, I have done some solo hiking, this will be my longest.  I am properly prepared and it is a trail I know well, but there are still some inherent dangers in solo hiking.   So, if you are the praying sort, keep me in your prayers today.  This trail has a ready-made meditation spot about 3 1/2 miles in which is where I'm headed to do some thinking and planning for 2012. 

What's the last challenge you faced that was exciting, but uncomfortable?


  1. So glad the diet is working for you. I know you'll let us know how the next cycle goes. I guess by the time you read this, you'll be back from you hike, so I'll say hurray for the solo hiker.

  2. I love that this is working well for you. I've read some really reputable research about the benefits of carb-cycling; so, it looks like your results are in line with those successes. Is it sustainable?

    And I've also had to limit my posting... it has nothing to do with where I am with food and everything to do scheduling and what's going on in life.

  3. I'm really glad your plan is working for you! I'm sure it's not for everyone, but we all need to find our way in this crazy diet jungle. :)

  4. I am so glad for you, Sharon. I put the book on hold at the library as soon as I read your first post and there were already 26 holds! I might have to break down & buy the book.

  5. So glad this is working so well for you! I can "hear" it in your voice:) I saw a very interesting segment on Dr. Oz some time ago about carb cycling. Might need to find my own version of that to try.

  6. I'm so happy this is working for you! I'm all for doing what works for us--within healthy parameters, of course--until it doesn't work anymore and then we move onto something else. I'll be doing some challenges and experimenting after the holiays--too hard to get a string going in December. :)

  7. I'm watching what's happening with you, Sharon, but you're a "better man" than I am - I'm not starting until after the first of the year. The 17 Day Diet intrigued me so much from what you wrote about it in your last post that I picked up the book, and so far I love what I've read. I'm also being VERY careful to stick with my "no white, no sugar, limited starch" plan of action at the moment, but I'll start my 17 Day cycles with the start of 2012. I really admire you for doing it now! Good luck to both of us!

  8. Man, you are on fire Sharon! I'm curious, what are you doing about all the goodies around at Christmas, since your social schedule is full this year?

  9. How wonderful for you, Sharon! This put a big grin across my face this morning :) Congratulations! And don't be too concerned with the posting schedule. As long as you're still checking in, I'll still keep assuming that you're living a very full and lovely life.

  10. I am glad it is a shot in the arm for you. I know you needed that. Your loss is quite significant. I remain a skeptic, though, to be honest. I will watch your progress and of course wish you success.

    I think the challenges that I face that are uncomfortable are now fitness or health related, but more communicative. I continue to work at honest, yet, supportive communication, especially with extended family members.