Friday, September 6, 2013

The Tao of Low Carb

Readers may be familiar with the Tao Te Ching, a classical Chinese text of philosophy. It has some common themes with stoicism--to live in harmony with nature, to not be concerned with things outside your control. It reminds me of Bible verses about a soft answer turning away wrath and the meek inheriting the earth; of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's work on flow. Maybe that's as dull as watching the grass grow, but I'd rather do that than bang my head on my desk.

From Verse 38.
The Master does nothing
yet he leaves nothing undone.
The ordinary man is always doing things
yet many more are left to be done.

Or as we say here and now, the faster I go, the behinder I get. My own experience is that once I started low-carb, I spent a lot less time exercising and cooking and got better results--twenty pounds of fat and a bunch of health problems, gone.

From Verse 58.
Try to make people happy,
and you lay the groundwork for misery.
Try to make people moral,
and you lay the groundwork for vice.

How much misery have well-meaning low-fat, whole-grain guidelines caused? How many people will look at calorie counts and get the most calories for their money? (I'm one of them.) How much guilt do people feel when they can't stick to diets that slow down their metabolism or leave them hungry? (I'm not one of them. I've never felt guilty for eating anything. Regret at times, but not guilt.)

From Verse 63:
Confront the difficult while it is still easy;
accomplish the great task by a series of small acts.

Keep track of your weight or your size often, and nip weight gain in the bud. If it's too late to nip it in the bud, you can still build good habits and watch your body's response.

Other readers may be familiar with the book The Tao of Warren Buffett. Buffett is no paragon of healthy eating, but he's very smart--especially about what a person shouldn't do. I think he's funny, too; maybe that we're both ISTJs (at least, he's thought to be that type) has something to do with it.

No. 18: My idea of a group decision is to look in the mirror. 

True on a couple of levels. Looking in the mirror (especially naked) doesn't leave much room for self-deception about your size and fitness. But more importantly, going by your own results is better than following experts, friends or family who don't have to live with ill effects of diets they recommend for you.

No. 16: It's not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.

Much of the good results are from what you don't eat and don't do on LC. Sorry, Jillian Michaels.

No. 57: Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.

Sad to say, but many doctors are like barbers.

No. 61: There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.

Scientific shenanigans, anyone?

No. 28: Managing your career is like investing--the degree of difficulty does not count. So you can save yourself money and pain by getting on the right train.


Lowcarb team member said...

More haste less speed is an everyday saying that often comes into play. If you want to do something right, allow yourself time to do it. If it should go wrong take a deep breath and try again. I find this works on most everyday type challenges that may come your way. Of course some problems may require more time to try and sort out.

With the weekend fast approaching - hope you have a good one.

All the best Jan

tess said...

thanks a lot, Lori (sarcasm alert) -- now i have to add two more books to my backlogged reading list! ;-)

(really, i should have read Ching's Tao a long time ago.)

Lori Miller said...

I'm surprised you want to read a book on Warren Buffett. That said, it had me literally laughing out loud last night.

RobS said...

Wow lao tzu, flow, buffet and low carb intertwined? Great post.