I officially started the 17 Day Diet in May of 2011 after watching a couple of co-workers shed pounds like it was nothing. I immediately purchased the book and got myself acquainted with the basics of the diet. I planned on a specific day to start the diet and made sure I was well-prepared with all of the food I would need for the upcoming week.
That first week was the absolute worst for me; not in the sense that the diet itself was too much to handle, but in the more psychological sense where my thoughts were negative and I wondered why I had to work so hard to look and feel beautiful. Once it settled in that my lifestyle needed some serious changes (and that my body was and always will be very different from my "smaller" friends), I began to accept the fact that this is what needed to be done.
I started to become quite the advocate for the 17 Day Diet. Friends, relatives, and co-workers were noticing results on me FAST. This served as a perfect motivator for continuing success, and it brought about many questions from those all around me. In the past whenever I was dieting, I wouldn't tell anyone about it because I thought I would "jinx" myself and have an added pressure to do well for those around me as well as for myself. With this, however, I wanted the world to know that I was doing it and that it actually WORKED!!
I initially started this diet to lose weight for a vacation I had coming up at the end of the year. This was a family vacation in which 4 of us decided to place a bet on who could lose the most weight for the trip. We each threw in $100, winner takes all. I ended up winning due to the lack of success of my other family members (all of whom did nothing different in the timeframe of the bet!) I, however, stuck to the 17 Day Diet and ended up losing 42 pounds! I went from 187lbs in May to 145lbs by November; the lowest weight I had been able to reach in a long time!
I will tell you some of the great things that came from this experience (and why I've decided to start from the beginning all over again):
Although I have not been diagnosed with celiac disease, it has been brought to my attention by my doctor that I may have an allergy to wheat products. I had the blood test done which came back negative, however, I was told that an allergy, unlike the disease, will not show up on this test. After feeling extremely bloated, sluggish, and constipated on most days, I was told I have IBS (in this day and age, I would like to know who DOESN'T have IBS?!) Anyway, after only a few days of being on the 17 DD, I started to see all of the raved about results.
- Energy level increased significantly
- Better digestion and more regular movements
- Pounds dropping at a rate of .5-1lb/day
- Clothes immediately fit looser
- I no longer had carb cravings and was completely satisfied with all of the food choices I was allowed
For me, this diet worked better than any other diet I have tried because it's so specific. While I have no intention of bashing Weight Watchers (which I've tried a few times), it's not a plan that works well with me. When having the option to eat ANYTHING you want as long as it is COUNTED, I chose all of the "wrong" foods, saying to myself "Well as long as I count it, I can eat it!" However, what's most important, and why I think I succeeded with the 17 DD is because it teaches you all of the RIGHT foods to eat. When I think of WW, I think "diet". When I think of the 17 DD, I think "lifestyle change". It has really taught me what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, and overall how to make better, healthier (and still so delicious) decisions.
I will say that I did not follow the diet to an exact T, but fairly close. I ended up drinking wine on the first cycle, as I began the diet at the start of the cook-out season. I was able to tell the difference in how I looked and felt when I drank wine compared to when I didn't. Without the drinking, the weight definitely would have come off much faster. Also, as I started to get into the 2nd and 3rd cycles, they didn't work as well for me. Truth be told, as soon as I was allowed to have that first piece of bread, I made myself half a sandwich for lunch with a soup. As soon as I ate the sandwich, I immediately felt crampy, bloated, and sluggish. This immediately affirmed the alleged wheat "allergy" that I was told I might have. As soon as I had solid evidence of a wheat intolerance, I had to modify the diet to fit my needs. I was not able to eat any grains, breads, pastas, etc. and I was honestly fine with that. After having a better understanding of how eating wheat made me feel, I never wanted to feel that way again!
I think this may have been one of the biggest reasons for why I did not contine religiously with the diet; it became difficult for me to incorporate different foods. I would have been happy sticking to cycle 1 a little longer and then incorporating some of the things from cycle 2 (especially the different meats and shellfish that is allowed). Although I stopped following this lifestyle in early December, I still continued to follow the basics of the plan.
To this day (without actually being on the diet), I continue to have green tea, eggs, and yogurt daily, and I am more apt to choose healthier meals when dining out or even cooking at home. Being "off" of the diet caused me to gain roughly 10 pounds in 6 months, something that I'm actually not too ashamed of. I've been able to eat pizza, sushi, chinese food, burgers, ice cream, etc., but because I've tried to achieve a nice balance of "bad" and "good" (whereas all of my choices used to be just "bad"), I still feel as though I have been successful. This is why I believe that it's a lifestyle change. With previous diets, as soon as I fell off the wagon, ALL of my weight would come back, plus some. Although some might argue that gaining 10 lbs in 6 months is in no way an accomplishment, I now know my body better than I ever have and I know what needs to be done to lose unnecessary weight. I know it works and I know that I can do it... again!
So I'm on to the second time around, 1 year later. I'm starting at 156lbs and hoping to achieve a goal of 130. I've given myself a timeframe of 2 months to do this, but I'm really not sure what a reasonable amount of time would be for dropping 26lbs? Two months should suffice, but I'll even be happy with 3.
Some of the things I'm wondering is if because I now have less weight to lose than I did before, will I lose at a slower pace? Will the results be different if I stick to no alcohol during Cycle 1? Will it be easier or harder than it was the first time around? I'm anxious and excited to get the answers to these questions and I'm sure a few more in the days and weeks to come!
Good luck to all of you 17 Day Dieters out there!!