The 17 Day Diet: Exercise

The buzz is soft.

Loud enough to wake me, but quiet enough to keep everyone else asleep.

I need this time, I crave it.

So by dark and by feel and by drive, I pull myself away from my coveted bed and pad down the stairs, pulling my hair into a ponytail as I go.

The nubby carpet beneath my toes wakes me a titch more with every step I take toward doing something for me.

I’ve been using The 17 Day Diet plan for a year now, and I’ve learned more about food and portion sizes and self control and myself than I ever thought I could.

I’ve also learned that I so have it in me to exercise, to change my body (and my mood and my muscle tone) through movement.

When I started Cycle 1 the first time, my exercise goal was short and sweet: Exercise every single day for 17 days, 17 minutes at a time.

But my reasons, were big.

I needed to make the goal manageable, so I would be successful, and I needed to make exercise a habit, so it would be maintainable.

So that’s what I did.

I went on the elliptical for 17 minutes everyday. And once the weather warmed and the ice melted, I ran.

I used the Couch to 5k program, which I can’t say enough good things about, and micoach, also completely fabulous, to adjust the run times from 30-ish minutes, to 17.

Because exercise hadn’t been part of my life for a very long time, I wasn’t used to carving out time for it. I needed to create the habit.

And today, that’s exactly what it is.

Just like drinking coffee and checking Facebook and worrying whether my kids are kind enough-happy enough-loved enough, exercise is just what I do.

I continued exercising just like this during my first times through Cycle 2 and Cycle 3. And then, I got stronger.

I was ready to get more out of my workouts, and I’d lost enough weight to be able to manage more.

So I did.

I invested in two workout DVDs that I’m completely over the moon for: Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 and My Trainer Bob’s Kettle Bell Training DVD.

I’ve been rotating through the two DVDs and running (for a total of six workouts a week) for several months, for several reasons.

I like the cross-training effect of doing multiple workouts, they always feel challenging.

I wasn’t strong enough to do Jillian everysingleday when I started.

And I’m running my first 5k at the end of October, so I need to keep running until then. (I’ll pick running back up in the spring.)

I learned how to make exercise a part of my life by taking it slow, making it an expected part of my routine, and only adding more when I felt I was stronger and could handle it.

I wanted to end this post with a photo showing how much happier and at peace I am in my own skin now.

And I reached for the one above, the one with my kids, whom I’m so very proud to model these good habits for.

But that’s what we do as moms, as women, as overweight people, isn’t it? We hide and cover and all but disappear.

So then I thought, no.

No freaking way.

I’ve worked so very hard to reshape my days and my habits and my muscles, to learn that I am worth the time and the effort and the work that it takes to exercise and eat right, and I’m not hiding anymore.

So below is my first ever “Before and During” photos.

It’s both humbling and freeing to share them. {Be gentle with me.}

Half the jeans size I once was, and FORTY pounds down!

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  1. You are awesome! I I love that you were kind enough to yourself to set manageable goals without worrying who was doing more or seeing faster results or whatever. You can see the glow of good health in your during picture. So inspiring! Good luck with your race!

  2. You are beautiful. You always have been, inside and out, but I know, I KNOW, that with your new body, YOU see that now. And I’m so proud of you.

    (and OMG, Jillian? You brave, brave soul)

  3. you look just amazing, although, with that smile? sheesh. how could you not, no matter what size. but i get it. exercise is something i need to put consistantly back in my life. thank you for the encouragement to have today be that day!

  4. Galit, I almost cried. I think my heart got a little bigger and belted out a tune. I am so, so happy for you. I’m so proud of you for making the decision to be healthy and model it for your kiddos. I’m so happy that you put yourself out there and let people know just how hard you are working. You will inspire many, most you won’t even know about. I’m so proud that you said, “no freakin way” and stepped in front of the camera in all of your glory. I’m proud of you for getting your outside to match so much of your inside. You look awesome. Keep up the hard work, my beautiful friend.

  5. You are amazing! Good for you! So proud of you. And the 5 k – awesome! Go, Galit!

  6. You look simply amazing… radiant… happy! I remember when we all started the 17 day diet as a group and how awesome you did in the beginning. I think many of us quit… but you stayed the course and look great!

  7. Woo Hoo. You go girl. That is the hardest thing for me to. Dragging myself out of bed in the dark. Can’t wait to hear about your first 5K. I bet you might try to run a little longer. I remember running now almost 25 years ago with my husband on a country road in Minnesota on a late December day. And the kettle bell . . . You will see results with that. You’re awesome.

  8. keely weiland says:

    SO. FUCKING. PROUD. OF. YOU. And love you to bits. XO

  9. There are not adequate words for me to describe how unbelievably awesome you are!

  10. You are so beautiful in both pictures. Outside – yes – and inside – because your heart shines through. Yet, I did totally understand the desire to weight less and increase fitness. I feel better in my own body when I am fit and a healthy weight and that allows me to be more for myself and for my kids. I walk with you on this journey. Hugs.

  11. That is so wonderful, Galit!

    I have been wanting to carve the time for exercise out, too. I have gone in fits and starts; it hasn’t stuck. You have inspired me to keep going and to focus on that goal!

  12. YEEEEEESSS!!!!!! I’m so happy (for your readers AND for you) that you shared this on your blog. Forty pounds is major work and I know from eating several meals with you how much thought and dedication and action has gone into this milestone. I love every one of these pictures–the one with the kids and of course the ones where you aren’t hiding. What an astute point how we hide like that in literal and metaphorical ways.

    So proud to call you a friend. You’ve been an inspiration to me too when I was losing the baby weight. You made me see that I can eat with other people and focus on the PEOPLE more than the food. Thank you for that and for just being YOU in general.

  13. Galit, this is so awesome and so brave. I am so very proud for you (of you sounds a little patronizing.) What an inspiration you are:)

  14. BRAVO!!! You are such a rockstar … huge accomplishment, and what an inspiration to share it. Thank you, thank you! xox

  15. Hi Galit! I found you on my blog (Only You); thanks so much for stopping by! I loved your comment.

    And I love what I’ve read on your blog (about what you’ve done, what you do, etc.). I too have never been an exerciser, and I’m really looking for inspiration right now, especially as I’m about to start rehab on a leg I broke back in August! I’m fantasizing about running and I’m excited to hear you will run your first 5K! Wow!

    You look fantastic!

  16. Wow – just wow! Great job, Galit! I’m so proud of you. I’m sure you are feeling so fantastic in this new way of living. I have considered doing the 17-day or clean eating – not really sure the difference between the two. Maybe you’ll need to give me the low down!

  17. Girl – you looked and look amazing. And you are inspiring me to finally tackle this myself!

  18. You look amazing!!! Go you!
    I’ve got to get a couple exercise DVDs. I think I’d make time for exercise if I could do it at home. Good luck in your 5K race!

  19. Galit!!! Amazing work, my friend. Isn’t it amazing what you can do when you carve out a little time for yourself? I haven’t been treating myself very well and just started the 30-day shred. LOVE Jillian! I know it will jump start a healthy lifestyle for me. You’re doing so great! Keep up the hard work.

  20. Galit!!!! You look beautiful and I’m so so so very proud of you!! This is such hard work but I love your perspective and your approach. Day by day, little by little – that’s definitely the way to approach it and when you body is ready to take on more versus forcing it to take on more. And you are absolutely right that exercise does need to fit into the routine otherwise it’s so easy to leave it out. I can’t wait to hear about your 5K. You will do great. You already have.

  21. I love that you are celebrating the journey, not the destination. Too often we feel like we will be happy when we get there instead of taking time to be proud of where we are. Thank you.

  22. Good for you Galit! What an accomplishment!!

  23. Whoodee Hoodee Hooo! You look fantastic! Truly fantastic.

    If more people took exercise on like you did, starting out with baby steps, I think this would be a happier planet. Being happy in your own skin, that’s what it’s about.

    Exercise has always been a big part of my life. In fact, there were quite a few years that I was a total gym rat, at that gym at 5 AM every day. A few years ago, I decided that something had to give in order to accomplish my writing goal and unfortunately, I decided it was my daily workouts. What a big mistake. It didn’t take long for the extra pounds to accumulate. I felt sluggish all the time. My clothes started to not fit.

    This year, I’ve gone back to my daily workouts, not crazy gym hours, but I try to fit in an hour a day of something. It’s so vital to our health, our sense of self.

    And I LOVE my kettle bell. Jillian Michaels, on the other hand, is the devil camouflaged in spandex.

    Keep up the awesome work, Galit!

  24. Galit, I am so happy for you! I can relate to this completely. My youngest one is about to turn 3 and only now am I able to say that I am well on the way to my pre-baby self. Back in March when I decided to change things I could only run for 10 minutes in the gym. Now, I run 5K every other day and enjoy every minute of it. It’s hard to imagine how I was ever able not to have this in my life.

  25. Galit! You are truly a source of inspiration. I exercise about 20 minutes every day. I just go on my treadmill and walk. Don’t get me wrong, I walk fast…but I walk. I’ve always felt like it isn’t enough.

    Meanwhile, I love how you ALWAYS seem to have just the right perspective.

    Seventeen minutes is better than no minutes.

    Walking is better than sitting on my Lazy Ass.

    I am so proud of you.

    Not just because you look beautiful, but obviously you are achieving a goal which is important to you — and modeling this for your children.

    I’m tweeting Jillian Michaels. Maybe she’ll make you part of her campaign.

    Knowing you, you’ll get your own reality television show! 😉

    Keep up the good work, lady!

  26. Fantastic, mama! I’m so glad it’s become a part of your day now. It makes it much easier when it reaches that point.

  27. Physically, I have totally noticed how great you look- but like pregnancy, it is something you never want to mention in less you know for sure! Exercise is so hard to start for some people, yet so rewarding when you finish. Good for you, and good luck in your 5k!

  28. Oh my God woman. You so inspire me! I just love how you eased yourself into things. Meeting small goals leads to meeting bigger ones. How often I forget that. You are beautiful. And I can feel your joy :)

  29. I’m so glad you’ve found your stride and am proud of you for this very hard work. But what strikes me about these pictures is the pure happiness captured in each one. You can’t put a number on that, my friend. xoxo

  30. Galit,

    I am so inspired by and proud of you. I need to get back on the Jillian bandwagon myself. I haven’t exercised since Piper was born and I don’t feel happy or strong. Thank you for sharing this, you amazing woman, you! You are beautiful inside and out, and I know this post will inspire many others. PS @CecilyK has a similar post about weight issues today, though hers is more about changing her diet….

    xoxoxox LOVE YOU!

  31. YOU!

  32. I did Jillian Michael’s Shred for a while….and there is a part of me that really missed it. sigh.

    What I really love is how much you talked about feeling strong. Strong. Because it isn’t just about being skinny or beautiful (you were always beautiful), but about having that physical strength and stamina to match your inner strength.

    You have done hard work here. And that is amazing. You are amazing.

  33. Way to go Galit! You have reminded me that I need to get back on the workout wagon again. I am starting it slowly but surely. I need to check out the videos you have referenced. It is amazing what can happen when we take time out to take care of ourselves.

  34. You look gorgeous, but you always did.

    I did the 17 day diet… for 17 days and I definitely lost weight. But then I don’t know. I stopped. I didn’t continue to cycle 2. I started exercising and I stopped again. I kept letting excuses and life get in the way. On some level I just gave up. I didn’t want to try. I sit here today again thinking I should go to the gym, after all what else do I have to do? But I’m not sure if I will make it out the door. Always some excuse not to you know?

    So proud of you for continuing and doing so amazing well. So proud. Its definitely a huge accomplishment and you should be so proud of your commitment and dedication!

  35. There is no need to be gentle with you, because you are amazing. I’m so glad you talk about the baby steps you took, and listening to your body. When you have a significant amount of weight to lose, it’s so easy to get lost in the number and not want to do it slowly. Thanks for the inspiration today!

  36. well look at you…looking all amazing and AWESOME!!!

    I am so proud of, jealous of, HAPPY FOR you….all that work shows in your smile, that smile lit up this blog and I will carry it with me all day.

    you’re gorgeous girlfriend, inside and out. KEEP BURNING. xoxoxo

  37. You look absolutely amazing!

    “I learned how to make exercise a part of my life by taking it slow, making it an expected part of my routine, and only adding more when I felt I was stronger and could handle it.”….that’s where I’m at after having the baby, I’m trying to take it slow, otherwise I burn myself out!

    You’re inspirational!

  38. I am so very happy you are doing this for yourself. But you know, your weight and body may have changed but that amazing, joyous smile and that HUGE heart inside are always the same. Love you and GREAT JOB, sweet friend!!!!! xoxo

  39. So, so proud of amazing, awesome YOU!!!

  40. OMG, You are amazing. Can you be my trainer. I need inspiration. You look so beautiful and happy and comfortable in your skin. I crave that, like air. I am trying to be less negative and more positive but I know I will never be truly happy at the size I am. How did you do it? Please share it with me. GO GIRL!!! XOXO

  41. You go girl! You’re gorgeous. So proud of you!

  42. You look fantastic!! Congrats! You should be very proud of yourself, girl! xoxo

  43. Love that this says “Before” and “During” rather than after because you’ll be encouraged to keep going. That is awesome! Congrats.

  44. Kick ass!

    I still remember the excitement of my first 5k — there, really, isn’t anything like that. To work your way up, and keep on working, and keep on working, and then you go out there & do it.

    You’re doing great, Galit!

  45. Anti-Supermom says:

    You look great! And doing your first 5k is a huge step in outwardly showing the world just how awesome you are in the inside!

    I’m doing the Monster Dash too, along with 12K other peep like you (rolling eyes). I’m doing the half merry though, so I won’t have a chance in seeing you (it’s in St. Paul)… but I’m letting you know, I’m cheering for you!

    Congrats on all your success!

  46. Good for you! I need to follow your path of making it into a habit. You are inspiring!

  47. Girl? You are an inspiration. I love that you talk about taking care of yourself so that you can model healthy living for your kids. But you know what? You are already modeling for them everything that matters most: kindness, love, grace, determination. You are a beautiful soul, Galit – inside and out. xoxoxooo

  48. Awesome, Galit!!! Awesome job! You look marvelous. It’s so worth it isn’t it? To feel better and look better. So proud of you :)

  49. Amazing, Galit! What strength and motivation and ohmygoodness self-control! I’m kind of addicted to exercise now, too. Doesn’t it feel great?!

  50. Go you! You look awesome and your story is fabulously inspiring.

  51. You have an inspiring story and testimony!

  52. Way to go Galit!

    You are doing awesome and you look great.

  53. Girl, you are doing an amazing job! And you look wonderful!!!

  54. Oh, Galit! You have always been an inspiration with your writing but sharing your exercise journey makes you an all around inspiration. I’m going to do it. I am going to set the small goals. I will. I will. How can I not when I see that beautiful smile on your face. I want that! I want to stop hiding. You, my friend are beautiful, through and through. So happy that you are finally noticing. :)

  55. Congratulations Galit!!! I know how difficult it is to stick to these regimens ………….last February I wanted to get back to daily yoga practice, I did it for years. And I did. I feel so much better.
    Amazing what benefits there are through exercising regularly, as you have discovered.
    Thanks for sharing this with us, you are a wonderful role model to us all.
    Thanks for your comment as well today.

  56. Absolutely, totally fantastic. Yay you! Can’t believe you’ve been doing this all along and have been so quiet about it! Awesome work, mama.

  57. Proud of you! It’s doing this for the long haul that’s so challenging, and you’ve been so faithful with this! You’re doing beautifully, and you’re so brave!

  58. Omg, what a sweet photo that is right there. Those are three beautiful reasons to be on this path, Galit.

    I admit that I had absolutely no idea what that kettleball thing was. I was sure it was a modern new-age lock of sorts. Maybe it’s time I start motivating myself a bit, too. XOXO

    Also, HOLY HOT MOMMA!!!! You look GREAT!!!!!!! Seriously, there aren’t enough exclamation points to indicate how incredibly happy I am for you and this amazing transformation. Your confidence is the best part of these after photos :)

  59. Love, Love, Love!!!!!

    So proud of you! I am working hard on the exercise and the mental part of it, because those two things will help me with the food part of it. You inspire me.

  60. Wow girl- you are doing great!!!!

  61. You look amazing!

  62. You look FABULOUS!! I am so impressed and inspired by you! Maybe this will be the motivation I need to get myself into an exercise routine. Congratulations, Galit.

  63. You kick major ass, lady!! You should be so very proud!!

  64. I. Hear. You.

  65. shut UP with how awesome you look. And it really doesn’t have anything to do with your weight (although fricking HIGH KICKS AND ROUNDHOUSE NINJA KICKS for that amazing accomplishment), it is more about your confidence and your beauty shining through.

    Own it, woman. You rock.

  66. Wendy @ mama one to three says:

    You are such an inspiration– in every way. I couldn’t be happier for you. And truly, I need to follow your lead. I am keeping you in mind! :)

  67. Jen Rodriguez says:

    You are amazing Galit, and good for you for carving out time for yourself and for your amazing progress! You’re an inspiration!

  68. Galit, congratulations! So inspiring to read all about your journey. You LOOK fabulous!

  69. You look amazing! (And holy crap I thought I was never going to get to the end of the comments to leave my own!) I think it is so, so, so important that our kids see us taking care of our bodies. I just did my first event with my husband and a team, and I think I’m a junkie now. Congrats to you, you look fantastic, and I bet youo feel it too!

  70. You look beautiful in both pictures. Seriously. I know you’re uncomfortable with the weight in the first one. I just lost forty pounds, too (didn’t think I could – got stuck at 20, then started the glycemic index diet, and that’s done the trick for me) .But my focus has been on health. Because I looked good at 220. And I look good at 180. And I hope I’ll look good at 150. (For some reason, I’m more nervous about the lost than gained weight.)

    The difference I see between your two pictures is absolutely that you look more at ease with yourself in the second one. Here’s to good health, and CONGRATULATIONS LADY!!! Go drink a healthy smoothie to celebrate.

  71. Awesome progress – that’s so inspiring! I’m trying to get back to exercising after some injury “time off” and…. well, right now I’m checking blogs instead, apparently…

  72. Congratulations! This is very inspiring to me. I feel the need to finally, really change my eating and exercising (lack of) habits. I like that you started with 17 minutes. That seems totally do-able! Good luck with your 5K! I am super impressed and happy for you!!

  73. What an inspiration Galit!!! You were beautiful before–but the strength, resolve, and confidence in your words now is so incredibly powerful!!!

  74. This post and your progress makes me so happy! I KNOW how hard it is to not only find a program that works for you, but to stick to it. Willpower is a tricky beast. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE that you included a before photo and a during photo, because you are not done. :)

    Way to go, my beautiful friend. Way to go!

  75. Kick ass you ass kicker! You look (and I can tell Feel!) great!

  76. Yay! I love everything about this post! You look amazing and are totally doing things in such a good way – listening to and honoring yourself, only moving forward when you know you are strong enough and ready. It’s so hard to get out of bed some mornings but I love my morning yoga. I need that time for my mental health just as much as my physical – lol! Good luck with your 5K at the end of the month, you will do awesome! I hope you post about it.

  77. Thank you so much for sharing! You are absolutely beautiful! :)


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