One Meal

Yesterday was my first full day of low-fat eating, which so nicely coincided with the onset of my monthly cycle. Thank you, universe. I was ravenous all day. I didn’t just sit and eat non-stop but I did eat periodically and I think it really wasn’t that bad calorie-wise. (Still worrying about those even though I am not tracking.) Today was better but still hungry. I am blaming it on my femaleness, hoping it gets better.  I was even good tonight when I realized the meal was not low-fat.  Made salmon, mac & cheese and salad.  I don’t do fat free dressing so both sides were out.  Salmon is not low fat either, but I paired it with a side that had substance but almost no fat and I think that balanced out the meal as a whole.  I had some of this:

birds-eye-protein

Really good, 320 calories for a cup. That’s a lot but so is a cup! I didn’t measure it but just ate a nice scoop. And only 5 grams of fat. This would be a good thing to eat with a handful of diced chicken mixed in as a meal. I’ve had the Italian one too and it’s also good. I really want to try the California and Asian ones.

But let me tell you, choosing to make an alternative for myself rather than shrugging it off as “one meal” is progress for me right now. I’ll take it!

Purge!

I just deleted every post in this blog, and there were over 150.  It’s been a record of little success and much failure.  I want to start fresh, open up the metaphorical windows and let in the breeze.  I am hoping that I am headed in a new direction that will serve me well.

fresh2bstart2b3

I always find it interesting when there are coincidences.  I decided I would go back to a low fat diet.  And then today I logged on to Facebook and saw a post at the top of my feed that Dr. McDougall’s free webinar was starting in 10 minutes.  Just a coincidence, or a nudge from the universe?

So, I sit here listening and decided to completely purge this blog and make it about my low fat “journey.”  (I hate that word in this context.)  I will explain why I am choosing this style of eating and then I intend to weigh in on the 1st of March, eat low fat without, um, oversight?  I don’t intend to weigh in again until April 1 and I will not be weighing, measuring or counting anything except making certain that what I eat gets less than 30% of its calories from fat and that’s a very simple, no-brainer calculation for me.  I want to see what “free-range” low fat eating does to my weight.

Growing up, I was never overweight.  In college, I thought that I was, but in truth, my weight, all the way up until I got pregnant for the first time, never exceeded 136 which coincidentally happens to be the top of my healthy weight range.  But I always wanted to be a bit smaller and in the mid 90’s I succeeded with the help of a woman named Susan Powter.  Oh yeah, I stopped the insanity.  Well, for a while.  I was a healthy weight and lost 16 vanity pounds following her program.  I’ve since learned that those are the hardest pounds to lose.  But I did it.  I did it effortlessly (well, there was effort in the workouts!) and I was the smallest (and fittest) I have ever been in my adult life.  I maintained that for a while and then I got pregnant and for some reason, ever since, I have not been able to discipline myself to recapture that success.  And it is insanity, because I keep trying things that are even more restrictive or require more work.

So, part of my failure is listening to “conventional wisdom.”  Low fat is dated, it doesn’t work, fat is good for you, blah blah blah.  The bottom line is that this worked for me.  But, I also didn’t eat a bunch of low fat crap until later because it didn’t exist.  There were no Snackwell’s and such.  If I wanted cookies, I ate Fig Newtons because they were naturally low in fat.  Of course they later came out with fat free ones.  (Ew.)  I even had Pop Tarts sometimes because they’re low fat and then of course they had to come out with a reduced fat version.  I ate things that were low in fat as they existed because the niche market hadn’t happened yet.  And that’s what I need to go back to.

One of the big draws for me right now is being able to eat when I am hungry.  I have long maintained that counting calories and writing down everything I eat should not be normal. I found this story where the author summed it up nicely:

#1)  My hunger signals couldn’t be wrong or faulty.

I figured that something is wrong with the system – not my body – if I needed to count, weigh or measure everything.

Something’s wrong with the system if I have to addle my brain with counting 1.73 grams of protein to 2.426 grams of carbohydrate, or any other living-your-life-as-a-lab system.  Wrong with the system – not my body.

#2)  There must be a way to eat that would allow me to use hunger and fullness signals as my guide. 

I’d see the squirrels and deer grazing in the woods outside our door and they weren’t counting or measuring anything.  And they weren’t fat, either.  And it’s not because they didn’t have enough to eat.  Obesity is unknown in the wild.  What had they figured out, without thinking, that I hadn’t?  Sure, I knew about calories and most of my diet incarnations had some sort of calorie counting component.  I could manage my weight with portions and counting.  For awhile.  But it was hard and I was hungry.

(source)

I could have written that.  It has been my frustration for years!  I think that in subsequent attempts to go back to low fat I have either gotten impatient with results or started eating too much junk food.  That’s why I want to avoid the scale this time and avoid anything not “naturally” low in fat or if I do eat something, such as baked chips, strictly one portion.  And by naturally, I don’t necessarily mean only whole foods but also things like the above mentioned Fig Newtons.

I won’t be working out with Susan this time, well maybe sometimes, but I mostly follow Fitness Blender.  Working out was definitely part of the equation back then.

I’ll report in with changes I am making, recipes I find (or rediscover) and in March we’ll see where I stand!