Recently, I became aware of an unhealthy habit that was undermining my efforts to eat right, stay fit and enjoy a healthy life. Like the invisible fish and birds in a recent post, the habit was hidden until caring friends helped point it out.
Unhooking from this one habit has made a huge impact on my weight loss efforts and fitness goals. Here’s the one habit that was impeding my efforts to stay healthy and live fully alive, and here’s what I did to unhook from it.
What was my habit…? Crashing! That’s right, during the day I was very productive and attentive to the strategies that have helped me lose weight and stay fit. After dinner I would crash. Often I would turn on the TV, find a comfortable chair and vegetate until it was time to go to bed. And what does one do while vegetating in front of the television?
I am convinced sheer boredom of watching mindless television causes a person to go “grazy.” I was munching on a handful of nuts here, a peanut butter sandwich there, a bite of a bran muffin during commercials.
Food had become the “special treat” that broke the boredom of doing nothing. There is nothing wrong with watching a favorite television show, but four or five mindless hours will drive you grazy! What else does crashing in front of the TV cause us to do…?
Stay up too late.
Benjamin Franklin was right, “Early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.” It also keeps a man or woman energized and keeps him or her from emptying the refrigerator, the pantry, and the energy in life. My family makes fun of me, but I am working on following Ben’s advice. I’m going to bed earlier and feeling much better. I’ve even thought of flying a kite in a lightning storm. Talk about recharging your batteries!
Crashing in front of the tv also causes us to…
Waste valuable time.
I always felt I had to stay up long enough to be depressed by the news. Then of course I had to hear Jimmy Fallon’s monologue, then… suddenly it is 11:30pm and I’ve accomplished nothing of value. So much for healthy, wealthy and wise. There is a difference between resting and crashing. Don’t Crash!
So what am I doing to unhook from the crashing habit?
I am unhooking from TV.
Tivo was designed to help us control what we watch and when. I started using it, but…
I still believe most families should:
- Unplug their television.
- Carry it to the second story of their home.
- Throw it out the window.
If you’re unwilling to do that, at least make an effort to control it instead of letting it control you.
I started using the time after dinner for worthy activities.
- I work on fun hobbies.
- I read.
- I had an actual conversation with Diane.
- We’ve gone on long evening hikes.
NEVER do I feel hungry during those activities. Before I know it, bed time arrives. I am sleeping more soundly then I ever did after frying my brain on television.
- I lost 10 pounds in three weeks. If you find ’em, please keep ’em!
- I was able to ride my bike for 30 miles at 9000 ft and still have energy to enjoy the rest of the day.
- I am climbing mountains.
- I navigated a ropes course.
- I went for a three hour hiking tour without “crashing.”
What’s the difference between resting and crashing for you?
What advice do you have to help keep from grazing after dinner?
How do you feel about the affect of television on your life?