I am having a problem with the TV. Not the set… but the viewer. Me. When I watch I want to eat. There is some deeply ingrained conditioned response that I need to break!
Once upon a time I thought I only had trouble with certain shows. Like cooking shows. Top Chef sent me running for a snack. As does Chopped. (I like the competition shows, not the how-to shows. I have given up on learning how to cook but love the drama of chefs battling it out with knives.) I thought it was seeing all that great food that was my trigger. But now I realize that almost any time I park myself inactive in front of the boob tube I truly turn into a boob!
When I succumb to the TV-watching food temptation, I am not necessarily eating “bad” food, or what I would consider to be cheating on my diet, just eating when I am not hungry. And if I am not eating I am thinking about (not) eating. The set goes on, my mind follows right to the pantry. Sigh.
So as a result I have been watching a lot less TV lately. Which has resulted in a huge backlog of shows on our recorder. Recently in cycling class two women started talking about Lost and I shushed them since my hubby and I are now two weeks behind! And when I come across mention in blogs of The Biggest Loser, I immediately stop reading since who knows when we will catch up with that! I know that watching less TV is not actually a bad thing, but I really do have some shows that I enjoy and I would like to have that mindless entertainment without guilt or adding calories.
I know I am not alone in this. Studies have shown a clear correlation between watching more TV and weight. But do the shows make others eat because of the power of suggestion or mindless nibbling, or is it more that watching means less physical activity to burn calories? What would happen if we could only watch TV by powering our sets with a stationary bike or treadmill!
In the past I have sometimes found TV shows to be a helpful dieting tool. If I wanted to eat, I told myself I could do that at the end of the show. And sometimes I was no longer interested in food, but if I was, I had at least put off eating for a bit longer. I got through the first several seasons of Grey’s Anatomy on DVD this way:) But now that does not seem to be working as well and I am too aware that TV is a trigger for me. So I spend a lot more time on the computer now than in front of that beautiful idiot box. And I think I need to start recording more shows on TV that I can see from the exercise equipment than the TV near the kitchen. Or take up knitting so my hands are occupied while I watch. I don’t want to give up TV entirely, but I sure do want to give up the eating urge that comes with it!