09/21/2007 at 09:00 AM EDT
will soon be debuting a new album but for now she's happy to debut a slim, new look.
"My secret is bleak diets," the singer told reporters at VH1's Save the Music gala at Lincoln Center in New York on Thursday night, looking noticeably svelte in a figure-hugging purple gown."I still feel like I have a way to go."
But there's no chance of Carey, 38, losing her womanly curves. "I don't feel like you have to be a size zero. We should all just embrace who we are physically," she said. "I'm not supposed to be a stick figure girl. It's just not me."
Last year, the singer first confessed her "bleak" diet consisted of "basically soups and fish prepared really blandly." And Carey couples the nutrition plan with arguably the most well-traveled trainer in town.
"I have a wonderful trainer whose name is Patricia, she lives in St. Barts, poor girl," she said. "People say, 'Only you would fly someone from St. Barts to New York to work out.' "
Carey added, "We do water aerobics mostly."
Reporting by JEFFREY SLONIMWho's turning 40? Which celebs are high school dropouts? What's hot and definitely not in fall fashion?
Check out PEOPLE's new digital magazine now!