And I am so happy about my decision. :D
Now - granted, I haven't been perfect this year - but I've learned so much along the way. I've lost 30 pounds and gained SO much knowledge on how one is truly supposed to eat and nourish the body.
I've been in maintenenance now for about 5 months and have decided I'm very happy where I'm at. 166 - 169 (give or take, depending on the day). This time last year I was 197 lbs. I just did NOT understand why I could NOT lose weight...then I realized it's all about the insulin!
So I went low-carb and lost 30 pounds (give or take, lol). I've learned that I CAN live without certain things - but that I also don't have to completely give them up for the rest of my life either. This is probably one of the hardest lessons learned.
This lesson is huge for me because in the past I've always been an "all or nothing" type of person - and my personality comes off like that to everyone who knows me (except my fiance, that is, lol). Honestly, for the most part, I truly do live a low-carb lifestyle now...ordering my burgers without the bun - getting a salad with full fat blue cheese dressing as my side instead of fries...
But something I've done lately - and I'd say this is honestly about once a week - is that I can "indulge" and allow myself a piece of bread or a bun now and then when I go out for lunch or dinner. Now I do post to a couple different low-carb message boards online and I know that a lot of people would tell me how awful and horrible I am that I am "cheating" and admitting that I eat white bread now and again...because obviously white bread is NOT allowed on a low-carb diet - plus anything white really ISN'T good for you. However I also live in the real world where sometimes you're in a rush and don't want to eat your burger with a fork. Now, granted - again this is maybe ONCE A WEEK (literally, once a week, IF that...). And I know it will NOT turn into anything more than that because I'm very concious of it at all times. I've also allowed myself to indulge in a few other things throughout the year (more the last few months as I'm learning HOW to indulge)...but that's just it - it's truly about learning that it's OK to have 1 SMALL slice of cake for a celebration - but if you do you can NOT have anything else that's not "low-carb legal" that day or the next or really for a few more weeks...even Dr. Atkins said not to completely say no to everything for the rest of your life - and that's what I'm doing is learning how to "indulge" in certain foods here and there but live my lifestyle about 95% of the time low-carb.
Here are some things I've learned this year:
1. New Foods.
This one is huge for me as I've come to love almond flour and flax seed and cherry tomatoes and coconut milk...Foods I'd either never heard of before or used to hate or thought was too fattening have become absolute staples in my diet.
The almond flour, for example - I use it to make pancakes/waffles, sandwich bread, shortcake, cookies, cakes, muffins, its uses are incredible!
Flax seed - makes great pizza crusts and are SO good for you!
Coconut milk - fabulous smoothies, hot chocolate...
What I love about low-carb living and finding all these new foods is that I can pretty much make a substitution for ANYTHING I can think of! The only tru substitution I can't find yet is good ol' white potato fries - HOWEVER that being said, I LOVE sweet potato fries fried up in coconut oil!
2. I don't have to be "perfect"
This is another one that's HUGE for me...while I'm "perfect" low-carb most of the time - if I do indulge here and there - it's NOT going to kill me and I'm also NOT going to go back down the slippery slope to my old habits because I LOVE my new habits WAY too much!
3. I don't have to micromanage my diet!
This has always been one thing I've HATED about dieting and weight watchers and whatnot...and yes even low-carbing. For the first few months this year, 2009, yes I DID journal my food intake...but after a while I just learned what I can eat - should eat and what I can not. Every once in a while I'll feel the need to start writing down my food intake but never lasts more than a day...lol...but the great thing is - I've lost my weight AND maintained it withOUT having to micro-manage everything that goes into my body! I've finally just learned how to eat correctly!
4. I'm healthier than ever!
I got my levels check at my doc's and everything is great. 'nuff said!
5. I've become a much better cook and fiance
One thing that my fiance wanted me to do was to become more "womanly" around the house as far as chores go. I won't go into the other details about chores - but specifically the cooking, he used to do for us. Once I started low-carbing I found out how great and fun cooking truly can be! SO many things to make and it's all whole unprocessed foods!
So yeah. I do absolutely LOVE this lifestyle and I know for a fact I will NEVER EVER EVER go back to low-fat eating EVER again!