An Uncommon, Life-Enhancing Benefit of Diets


I hate the thought of diets. Pretty much everyone knows diets don’t work.

Nonetheless, I’ve been following a new (shall we call it …) “eating plan” for the last 3 weeks. (Yeah it’s a diet I guess. Though I don’t really intend it to be.)

Of course I want to lose weight. But I’ve wanted to lose weight for the last 5 years and haven’t done a thing about it. So that’s not the real reason for changing how I eat now.

Truthfully, what I wanted was simplicity. I hate everything to do with food. I hate purchasing it. I hate thinking of what to make. I hate making it. I hate having to stop what I’m doing to make and eat it. I certainly hate cleaning up after making and eating it.

That’s a lot of hate.

So I thought:

If the need to feed myself, and all its associated hassles, fill me with such contempt, what’s the point in hanging on to my bad eating habits?

I won’t share my eating plan with you, lest you think I am giving dietary advice, which I am wholly unqualified to do. But I will share with you the process:

  • It’s simple.
  • It’s effective.
  • And I never have to think about it.

Yep, I pretty much eat a selection of food from only a handful of options. But then – I only have to shop for those handful of options. They are carefully selected to make sure my body gets all it needs. But I’ll admit, it’s boring. And that’s okay, because I’d rather be bored with my food than pissed off at it.

Now – how to incorporate diets into the rest of life…

Food isn’t the only area of my life that needs to go on a diet. There are many areas that are far-too-complicated that piss me off on a regular basis. So, for the next few months, the rest of my life is going on the dreaded “diet”.

Here’s how I’m paring down and shedding excess “weight”:

1. Stuff

I’m no pack rat. But like most people these days, I still have too much stuff. My house is nowhere near a setting in Hoarders, but my stuff still weighs me down. I’ve cleared out cupboards and closets full of one-day-I-might-need-this rubbish, and given it away or sold it. I feel lighter already.

2. Email

I get way too much email. Join the club right? I’ve un-subscribed to every email list I don’t actually open and read on a regular basis. So go ahead and un-subscribe to The Art of ADD if you don’t read it routinely. (I can safely say this, knowing that those who don’t read this regularly won’t actually see this message, ha ha!)

3. Social Courtesies

We all have them. Some of them are fulfilling, and some of them sap our energy and our souls. So I’ll give you a few examples of how I’m paring down in this area:

No more playdates for the kids several times a week. If they are having their friends over, they are both having friends over. Get it done – in one shot. In fact, once a month we may even have a big sleep over and they can both have a couple of friends over. One night of chaos is worth many days of bliss.

Screw potlucks. Everyone at work enjoys a big potluck gathering to celebrate someone’s birthday or to send off someone who’s leaving for a new job. I HATE POTLUCKS. Are you kidding? I don’t even like making food for my own family, why would I want to make it for my colleagues? So now, I’m the girl that brings the bag of buns. I’m good with that. I just won’t eat the buns myself, on account of the fact that they’re not at part of my new diet.

Facebook messenger. I won’t reply, so don’t bother. If you really need to reach me, pick up the phone. The same might go for texts, but I haven’t figured out how to tactfully incorporate this one in to my life yet.

The whole point of life diets

I’ve listed some things I’m getting rid of to make my life easier. They might not be your things though. The whole point of a diet is not to deprive yourself, but to make things better – whether it’s your body or your life.

If you love playdates, potlucks and messaging – keep them! But figure out what you are doing “just because you should” and see if you can weed it out for a while, or at least make it simpler. A life diet is about shedding the excess that brings you nothing but grief, so that you can make more room for the things that feed your soul.

For more, check out Tim Ferriss’ post on de-loading.

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