I've discovered that the weather totally affects (much like everything else in my life!) my motivation to exercise. Case in point: today it snowed (YES, SNOWED) (I saw a picture on the local news of a snow-covered car with "APRIL FOOLS! LOVE, GOD" written on the windshield) and I spent naptime huddled under a blanket on the couch watching The Biggest Loser and eating a low carb ice cream bar.
However! Two days ago I ran three miles for the very first time ever. And yesterday I ran two. And today my legs feel like crapola, so I figured it was okay to take a break. I thought, for a split second, about spending the requisite twenty minutes with Jillian, then decided I prefer my Jillian barking at other people. I don't know what it will take for me to do another Shred, folks. I am not excited about The Soreness.
Anyway. I've been wanting to write about The Diet, not least because people both online and in real life keep asking me questions about it. And then Jess was all "What's your food philosophy" and I was all DUDE, the people! They are clamoring! Apparently the internet cannot continue existing until I submit my unscientific and totally un-researched contribution to the Online Annals of Dieting.
And the first thing I want to say is: I don't think this is a diet.
OH SURE, it looks like one. I mean, you can't eat bread! You can't eat spaghetti! You can't eat brownies! If it looks like a diet and sucks like a diet, IT'S PROBABLY A DIET. And yes, I agree with you. Low Carbishness certainly starts OUT as a diet, but I think at this point, for me and possibly a lot of other people like me, it turns into The Way You Need To Eat.
Before I Low Carbed (and, I admit, both times I was pregnant) I was All Carb. No seriously, ALL CARB. Those are my favorite foods, and the only foods I eat too much of. There are some overweight people who eat too much of everything, and need to concentrate on portion control and all that. I, on the other hand, will have two bites of all the other food groups, then proceed to suck down all breaded and baked treats in a five mile radius, like a vacuum cleaner powered by brownies. That was a problem, and I knew it, I just didn't care for a very long time.
Also: diabetes runs in the side of the family I happen to look like. You know what works great for diabetics? Low glycemic eating, ie: not-crazy low carb eating.
When I started my Low Carb Plan it WAS a diet. I intended to drop a certain amount of weight and then go back to my regularly scheduled life. Hopefully I wouldn't be eating cake all the time (I was hopeful Phase One (the evil, very strict first two weeks of the South Beach Diet) would help get rid of my sugar cravings like the book promised) but what is life without cake? And brownies? And cookies? And ice cream? And spaghetti carbonara? And bread slathered in Nutella? And and and and...
After a few months of the Low Carb Plan (which I only stuck to because it WORKED and there is no motivation like the motivation of a lower number on the scale) I realized I was living on foods other than carbs AND NOT DEAD YET. Yeah, in the beginning it totally sucked to trade my bowl of cereal for two fried eggs every morning, but then? One day? It didn't suck. And I liked my eggs. The salads I made myself for lunch? Totally didn't suck. Dinners without a side of rice or slice of bread or helping of potatoes? Still filling, not suckworthy.
(I don't know if my mom reads Hot By Thirty but if she does she's totally annoyed at the amount of suckage in this post.)
I guess what I'm saying is: this is the way I eat now. I've gone through the What Do I Eat and Will This Affect Me Too Much and How Do I Keep This Up stuff and, I don't know, it's kind of just the way it IS now. And I don't intend to go back. Not if Low Carbing keeps me at a lower weight and helps prevent diabetes and (and this is TOTALLY as beneficial as the no diabetes thing) buy cute summer clothes.
One day, when I plateau or decide I'm done with the weight loss hamster wheel, I'll make carbs a part of my life again- just DIFFERENT carbs. I love brown rice. I've never had quinoa, but I'm pretty sure I'd love it. Oatmeal- mmm, LOVE oatmeal. And there's always room for my beloved baked goodies, but not on a regular basis, or even half-regular. I am all about Everything In Moderation, right? Except for the fact that I have twenty some years of proof that I'm incapable of moderating myself around cookies.
I think the best way to lose weight is Eat Less, Move More. I'm fairly certain all the science I haven't read backs THAT up. Since the only things I ate too much of were full of white flour and sugar, low carb eating ensures I eat less. And this time, the third time I've ventured into Full On Low Carbing, I added the Move More part of the equation and HOLY CATS BATMAN it's made a HUGE difference. [This is the part of the post where I run downstairs and kiss my treadmill.]
So if you see yourself in any of this- a sugar fiend, a genetic predisposition to diabetes, allergic to vegetables- maybe this will work for you, I don't know. I'm FULLY AWARE that I haven't been doing this long enough to prove that it works for me and that it'll be manageable, if not easy, to keep the weight off. But I don't feel deprived, I don't feel hungry, I don't crave (all right, I RARELY crave) the things I'm not supposed to eat. It doesn't feel like a diet, it feels like I changed the way I eat. For the better.
For the record, I DON'T think this works for everyone. I hope I've made that obvious. I don't think there's ANYTHING that works for everyone, especially since I've known plenty of people who Ate Less and Moved More and were still struggling with weight. AND I am extra super duper sure that I can fall off my low carby wagon at any time and gain it all back. Here I am saying this way of eating is my new normal, but in addition to the two pregnancies I used as excuses to eat whatever I wanted, I had the stomach flu. I had bad days. I didn't have time. I didn't get to the store. Too tired to cook. There are a million reasons why I could give up my end of the deal. But right now I don't want to, I'm not even tempted. Right now, this is what works, and this is what might get me somewhere near the realm of Hot by my 30th birthday.