The Art of Living

by Anne Bennett on January 2, 2014


Welcome to January, the month of abstinence, when everyone seeks to shed the pounds gained in December, and perhaps even well before then.

This week Weight Watchers is unveiling their 2014 plan, called Simple Start. Unlike the regular WW program, which requires members to count points (much like calories) and track the food that they eat, the new plan provides two weeks worth of menus built on what WW calls Power Foods. Members are told to eat the foods listed and not to worry too much about how much they’re eating. There’s no point-counting and no tracking. Just eat and lose.

I’m all for getting people to eat healthier foods, thus I think Simple Start is headed in the right direction. Power Foods are basically lean proteins, whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables. The trick will be in getting people to continue to eat these foods…for the rest of their lives. We Americans are hooked on fast food, which is laden with refined carbohydrates, sugar and fat. Since Simple Start contains no fast food, WW members may have a difficult time letting go of their drive-through habit.

Here’s where I take a detour and go all zen on you. The following passage, taken from an article by author Leo Babauta, talks about how the art of living is about letting go. When I first read it, I thought to myself that if I could let go of just some of the things Leo mentions, my life would be a whole lot more peaceful. I copied his passage and I’m going to re-read it often to remind myself of the importance of letting go, of falling and of getting back up again.

Here are Leo’s words:

“Letting go. This is the art of living in two words: letting go. It’s letting go of judgments, expectations, wanting to be right, wanting to control, fear of discomfort, fear of uncertainty, fear of failure, fear of boredom, comparing myself to others, wanting distraction, being irritated, complaining. It’s noticing when I’m holding these, and letting go. Loosening my heart’s grip on any of these, and letting go. And then letting go again. And again.

And so the art of living is a practice, one that doesn’t end, that doesn’t have a mastery level. It’s a constant letting go, a constant picking up again, and then letting go again. And falling, and getting up without beating myself up.

The art of living is the art of getting back up.”

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha January 2, 2014 at 8:11 pm

What are your thoughts about sugar in fruit. I started South Beach yesterday thinking I need to withdraw from sugar. However it is refined sugar that seems to cause me problems.

Martha January 2, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Btw, Happy New Year! 🙂

Lin January 3, 2014 at 6:15 am

I like this and believe letting go brings contentment along with being able to laugh at yourself. A skill you are good at and one that makes life more joyful and your meetings fun.
I am glad Simple Start includes a few indulgences or I might be hitting the drive thru myself.

Pat January 3, 2014 at 7:52 am

I’ve pinned this great message to my Joyful Living board and vow to practice, practice, practice! I have a feeling mindful eating naturally will follow more mindful living. Can’t make today’s meeting. Thanks for all you do to help us with this journey!

Jody G. January 3, 2014 at 11:51 am

Lots of wisdom here, Anne. Makes me want to know more about the writer. I’m googling him right now!

Also, thanks for the run-down on what Simple Start is all about.

Happy New Year.

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