“If you do what you’ve always done,
you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
Lately I have been questioning many of my own “truths” regarding diet and exercise.
What I have “always done” has “gotten” me a body that is strong and fit yet always a little overweight, always desiring to lose those last 5 pounds. This is hard for me to admit, as a “fitness professional”, but sometimes the hardest habits to examine are the ones that are literally right under our nose-our own!
Old Truth: I need to do cardio nearly every day to burn enough calories to maintain my weight.
New Discovery: I might have a smaller appetite and need less calories if I actually did less cardio, thus maintaining my weight. I need cardio nearly every day to feel strong, help manage stress, release endorphins, get sweaty (which I love), and to maintain a certain level of overall fitness.
Old Truth: Pasta is not enough bang for it’s calorie buck for me, I never eat it.
New Discovery: I ate pasta more than a few times over the last year and it turns out that it’s too high in calories to fit my needs, I just don’t like the taste and texture! This is not to say I will never eat it again, whole wheat pasta in soup can be nice, rice noodles are slightly better texture-wise than wheat, and whole wheat lasagna is delicious.
Old Truth: Once I start eating sugar I can’t stop.
New Discovery: The reason I couldn’t stop before is that I was restricting it so much of the time that when I got a little taste I turned off my control panel and overdid it. Feast or famine! These days I keep a few forms of dark chocolate in the house and eat a sensible amount 4 or 5 times a week. Before I reach for the sugar I ask myself whether I want it because it’s there or because it is exactly what sounds good. If the answer is the former than I go for something else or nothing. The lesson for me is that when I deny cravings they really do stack up against me in the end and it’s harder to practice moderation once I start.
Old Truth: 131 pounds is my “happy weight”.
New Discovery: Here I am at 131 pounds and I still feel like I could easily lose a few more and maintain it. Don’t get me wrong, I AM HAPPY! My body feels strong and lean, my stomach has definition, and my jeans fit well. And, don’t worry, I am not being obsessed with weight or an unattainable number, I am just exploring my options and figuring out what works for ME TODAY. Not you, not her, not yesterday, not 5 years from now. Just me. Just today.
Old Truth: Cheese and butter are too high calorie to fit into my needs.
New Discovery: I love cheese! I don’t care for butter! I think part of this discovery lies in being exposed to better and better cheeses over the years. Run-of-the-mill Cheddar, Provolone, Swiss, or Mozzarella? I still skip it. Show me some blue cheese or extra sharp white cheddar and I am all over that stuff. The thing is, when cheese is quality it’s easier to control the quantity because it’s so flavorful. Cheese is calorie dense though so I prefer to eat it as the main event rather than as one of many ingredients or elements to a meal.
Old Truth: I always eat a lot at night so I need to “save” calories to accommodate for that.
New Discover: Maybe if I don’t “save” calories until night than I won’t need to eat my biggest meal after dark. (I eat 3-4 meals a day and 1-3 snacks. I eat every 3-5 hours. For me “saving” calories in NO WAY means skipping meals. I like to eat way to much for that :)). For a long time my plan has been to eat a small to medium breakfast, a medium to medium-large lunch, and a large dinner (roughly 400, 500, and 600 calories) and a snack or two (200-300 calories). There is nothing wrong with this except that I like the feeling of eating a big lunch and having all day to digest and utilize that energy. This is a very new discovery but I am going to play with it this month, bigger lunches, smaller dinners.
What old “truths” are you holding on to?