Diary of a Fat Girl

The Conclusion Of The 17 Day Diet

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Diary of a Fat Girl – Day 263

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I had decided to hold off on writing my last journal entries for the 17 Day Diet because I wanted to be fair (which explains why I haven’t written in my journal for awhile).  I wanted to be honest and address issues that concerned me as well as inform others why this diet had failed me.  However, I did not want to discourage others from starting or continuing this diet.  As I know that it has plenty of the positive aspects that I have been preaching about for the last year.

When I embarked on this journey of the 17 Day Diet, I was excited and eager to start something that encouraged a healthy lifestyle.  As a vegetarian, I had no idea how difficult it would be for me.  When I cannot eat meat, I find meat substitutes in products such as soy, spinach, nuts and broccoli.  However, the first 17 days I am not permitted to eat nuts or soy products.

I am willing to consume eggs, fish, and diary products, but have an aversion towards eggs and fish.  For me it was difficult eating them during this diet.  After the first tasty meal, I began to develop a gag reflex as I started to think about the next fish or egg product I had to make for dinner that night.  Even Eggplant Parmesan was getting old for me.

When the foods that I was limited to became limiting, then it became harder to commit to a diet for 17 days.  Rapid weight loss in a short time frame was appealing and starting this diet with detoxification was a wonderful idea.  However, detoxification should last no more than three days according to Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.  Those first three days I felt wonderful and my body was happy to finally be working in a healthy state.

I cannot blame the detoxification period.  I can, however, blame the other period for all of my struggles.  I learned that if I am going to try this diet in the future, that I will make sure the day of detoxification starts the day after my period ends.  Then, there will be a smooth transition from Cycle 1 to Cycle 2, and I will be able to eat those foods that are required on the PMS diet during my Cycle 2 without skipping a beat.

Next, there was the insurmountable cost of food.  Today’s American families are struggling more so than we have ever thought we would.  I live in a household where my husband makes minimum wage at a part-time job while attending college, and I am collecting unemployment where a third of my income is missing.  We struggle to pay our bills and often times we cut back on our healthy eating habits just so we could have food to fill our cupboards.  To this day, I am still unsure how we will manage to pay for two extra mouths when Richie’s girls come to visit for seven weeks this summer.

Dr. Mike did say that we would be saving money because we would be eating less.  Hmpf!  Not true in our case.  For a girl who clips coupons and counts the number of sheets on a toilet paper roll to pinch pennies, I blew our entire monthly budget on two adults for 10 days worth of healthy eating. 

A friend told me that you could purchase the food through the 17 Day Diet website.  So, I checked it out.  I was hoping to find a more economical solution to our money woes.  I clicked on the site, found the link for the cost of food, and my jaw dropped as my eyes settled on the price tag.  Their rates were outrageous!  It quadrupled our budget on food for the month, and that was just for one person!!!  This is why the diet failed me.  I didn’t fail the diet.  I was willing to forge ahead.  I still want to start it over, again, but I cannot find the means to pay for the healthy food.

All is not lost.  I did learn some valuable things within this diet that I have taken with me and I am now making more of a conscious effort when purchasing my food.  It’s ridiculous how much sodium is in food today.  It’s even in frozen vegetables and fruits.  Ugh!  What are manufacturers thinking?  If they can’t kill us with trans-fat (which by the way is cleverly disguised under the name partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredients list) they will inevitably give us a stroke with high sodium.

I also learned that I am carb sensitive.  It explains my cravings for pastas, chocolates, and ice cream.  As I become more aware of this, I begin to find myself reducing the carbohydrates and filling up on the fiber.  I am gaining control of my sugar addiction.  I look for unsweetened tea instead of soda.  I scoop out a cup of ice cream instead of an overflowing bowl of ice cream.  If I have an intense craving for sugar, I grab a piece of hard candy instead of an entire chocolate bar.  It takes a while to suck on one of those puppies.  By the time I’m done, my craving has been reduced to something manageable and I won’t feel guilty about scarfing down that big bowl of ice cream.

The green tea effect has given me pause to consider.  I have learned from cancer survivors about the effect sugar has on cancer.  I believe that they are still researching this, but some believe that sugar feeds the cancer and allows it to grow.  While others know that the cancer is feeding off of our bloodstream through these blood vessels called angiogenesis that grow to attach the cancer to our bodies.  Fat is also attached to our bodies in a similiar fashion.  Dr. Mike suggests that green tea hinders the growth of these blood vessels, which is not backed by research, yet.  I don’t want to give cancer a fighting chance and my fat has had enough food, thank you.  More green tea, please!

Finally, there is the issue of my swollen foot.  For the last eight years, I have visited with doctors about my left foot.  My right foot swells, but it isn’t as noticeable as my left.  An ER doctor couldn’t explain it and my OB/GYN doctor states that this sort of thing is commonly seen in pregnant women. 

I am not pregnant, nor have I been for the last eight years!

The swelling of my left foot has been so severe during the summer months that I would be in excruciating pain.  I tried everything I could think of to reduce the swelling.  I would lie on the couch and prop up my leg.  If that didn’t work, I would find an ace bandage and wrap it around my foot to reduce the swelling.  Sometimes, I would prop my leg up with the ace bandage wrapped around it and attempt to sleep at night without moving it.  My hope was that I could wake up the next morning and be able to fit my foot in my heels.  Then, I dated a massage therapist and he would work on it for me.  Sometimes the swelling would reduce, but it would never really go away.

Until I found the miracle cure; water!  Yes, that’s right!  I was dehydrated.  I thought I was drinking enough water.  In fact, I love water.  Whenever I visited a friend at their home, they’d offer me something to drink.  Water was my choice of beverage.  I would get a questioning glance, but I prefer the refreshing taste of water over any other beverage out there.  I don’t know why.  I just love it that much and never thought that I would be dehydrated, but I was.

I wasn’t drinking enough water in a day.  I do agree that drinking 8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day gives me an urgency sensation at all hours of the night, but it keeps the swelling down.  I had no idea my body was so starved for water that it was retaining water and drinking water would release the retention.  Now, I know what my body is trying to tell me when I look at my swollen foot.  My body is thirsty and would just like a glass of water.

I would encourage everyone to read this book and learn some of the healthy eating habits available to you.  If you have the financial means, work this diet.  It is worth it!  My husband and I agree that when we become financially secure, again, we will return to this diet and finally loose all the weight we had gained throughout the years.  In the meantime, we will continue to forge ahead and make healthier choices on the limited budget that we do have.

Go and live healthy my friends!