I just had the best workout! I got on the stationary bike for 25 minutes--which might not sound too exciting but it's one of my favorite ways to get my heart pumping--and then I used my Pilates machine for maybe another half hour. I was so energized the whole way through on the bike, which is rare. I'm trying a different way of eating though, and I think it had an effect.
Basically I'm trying to go the low-fat whole foods route. I haven't done low-fat since the early 90's and I feel a tad untrendy for doing it right now (that's an understatement!). But I've been doing some reading lately, and I started to question whether or not the low-calorie thing was really such a good thing for me. I've heard a lot about people screwing up their metabolism by going low-cal. I lost 40 pounds that way back in 2004 (which I gained back and then some!), and I've lost about 18 pounds that way in the last couple of months, but I hit a plateau and I've been stuck there for a while.
The theory with a low-fat diet is that your body needs a certain number of calories to function at its best--at my weight that's around 2000 calories. That's about 800 calories more than I was shooting for on most of my low-cal days. Theoretically you can eat as much as you want of foods that are between 10% and 30% fat. Eat until you're full, and as long as you're working out, you're going to burn fat and lose weight.
The trick here is that I can't skate by eating whatever the hell I want like I did with the low-cal diet. I mean with low-calorie you can eat ANYTHING as long as you keep the portion sizes small. Fast food, ice cream, whatever. But how good is that for you? Not very. Actually sticking to a lifestyle of low-fat foods like whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, lean meats... That would be good for me.
Can I do it? Can I stick to it? I don't know. Because the ice cream and the pizza is always going to tempt me. But for crying out loud, I don't want to be wearing this size of jeans forever. I don't want to keep looking in the mirror and seeing someone that I don't recognize. Today felt good. I had the energy to work out, which I rarely had when I was eating small portions. I was hungry all the time before, and that made me feel less guilty, but how screwed up is that? I mean how mentally messed up is that???
I have a long way to go. This low-fat thing may or may not be the answer, but I am going to give it a shot, because it makes sense to me. I've always said that any diet can work if you stick to it--I've done low-carb, low-fat, and low-cal, and I know that they all work short-term. Long-term I don't know. Guess I'll find out. Stay tuned...