Boob Tube: Tuning Out to Tune In

I've been doing allot of reflecting these past few weeks in light of my decision to finally tackle my weight problem. One of the hurdles I still face and have yet to conquer is my love-affair with television. That is to say I love watching television and I'm starting to get a clearer picture of how watching TV has a negative impact in relation to my personal weight loss goal.

After work, I typically eat my dinner in front of the television while chatting about my day with my husband Spencer. The very first thing I do once I get myself settled onto the couch is to press the Select button on our DVR remote to see which episodes are ready for viewing. Typical selections are : The Colbert Report, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Tim & Eric Awesome Show GreatJob! and multiple episodes of Locked Up Abroad on truTV. But wait...there's more.

Because I missed a text message one day from a very thoughtful co-worker scooping me that Justin Timberlake was going to be featured in a segment of Entertainment Tonight, I actually decided to record the show every night going forward so that I'd never miss out on a JT sighting again. That decision has costs me an additional 3-1/2 hours of TV viewing to my week. Besides, that's what YouTube is for, right?

Yet I bitch and moan to myself that I just don't have the time or the energy for exercise. Whine, Whine, Whine. I figure that by the time I have dinner and settle myself down for the day it's nearly 8pm and why would I want to exercise so close to my bed time? I'd rationalize to myself that I wouldn't want to get all revved up right about the time I'd be drinking a warm glass of 1% milk and tucking myself into bed for the night. I even go so far as to bargin with myself that I'll exercise on the weekends instead when there's more time, but I never do. Who am I kidding besides myself?  (Incidentally, does walking around The Solomon Pond Mall looking for plus size clothing count?)

My most recent appointment with Jenny Craig was disappointing in the sense that I only lost a pound. To my mind, certainly not good enough by any stretch of the imagination! For all the weight I need to lose to be a healthy optimized human being, I need to be averaging two pounds if I want to hit my goal by early next year.

However, I have been setting these small weekly achievable goals about getting at least 2 to 3 sessions of exercise a week. I've met every week's challenge, but my counselor did make a good point. Perhaps I may want to consider stepping up the exercise because walking my chubby beagle Minnie may not be the most rigorous walk imaginable. After all, we all know Beagles follow their noses and all that careful sniffing doesn't exactly add up to a evenly paced 3 mph walk- more like a .5 mph stroll.

I took her words to heart and intend to begin using our treadmill beginning in August in addition to whatever mild doggy walks I also do at the end of the day. Since I'm following the Jenny Craig program down to the very last exacting detail (I gave up an opportunity for just a 'taste' of chocolate cake today during an afternoon break to celebrate a birthday), I must need to exercise smarter and harder to achieve that weekly two pound weight loss.

Now stay with me for just a little bit longer because I'm about to link the TV watching and the exercise although I'm sure you're clever enough to see where I'm going.

I'm currently reading a book called Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? by Peter Walsh. I recently came across a passage in the book-page 70 to be exact-that really struck a chord in me.

He writes:

"You heard me. I said: Give up TV...TV is the biggest rut that we all fall into. What would your life be like without it? You owe it to yourself to find out. Think of your no-TV time as a gift to yourself. Use the time to plan activities you never have enough time to do: filing papers, reading a book, calling an old friend, going to the gym, hosting a dinner party. Or don't do anything. See where the time leads you." Granted there's no chance in hell I'd ever host a dinner party, but the rest of what he said makes perfect sense to me.

I decided to make a serious change in preparation for my new imposed exercise regime beginning this month. The change involved using the delete button on my DVR. I deleted what I consider to be 'time waster' shows such as all the prison shows, all the cartoons and Entertainment Tonight. I don't need any of it. The cartoons will eventually be available for rent on Netflix and what value is there in my life knowing all the behind-the-scene details about the filming of Mama Mia! the movie with Meryl Streep. Who cares?

Since making this recent decision, I've had some pretty productive past few days. Last night I got my exercise in by pulling weeds for over an hour. I was stooping, kneeling, tugging, pulling and ripping all sorts of stuff in my yard that normally I would just have cut with the electric weed whacker. I even got to see a fuzzy brown and black caterpillar slinking around amongst the weeds. I think I was like ten years old the last time I can recall seeing one of those creatures. I would have never seen something so cute if I wasn't doing the physical act of pulling weeds. In fact, I could very well have sliced and diced the little bugger in half without even knowing it had I used my lawn equipment.

Tonight I was able to stay late at work and clear my inbox which definitely lightened my stress level going into Friday and onward towards the weekend.  I also was able to write this long, long post! That's something I'd like to do more of - simply write.

I am confident that making the decision to delete selected TV shows from my weekly viewing is going to pay dividends. The gift I've given myself is the ability to exercise for 30 minutes 3-5 times a week which will ultimately result in consistent weight loss as I maneuver myself through this new world of eating healthy.

I could learn a lesson from that cute little fuzzy caterpillar - slow and steady wins the race. Or was that the tortoise?

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  1. Peter Walsh advocates not watching TV?!!! Ah, so that's why Oprah dumped him...

    Remember, though, "No beer and no TV make Homer go crazy!"...

  2. Anonymous10:58 AM

    Kim, you've made such great progress so far! There are lots of other online resources you can take advantage of when you are disappointed with your weigh in, hit a plateau or just want to get a fresh perspective. Have you tried the forums or chat at There’s a whole bunch of people on there who are going through the same thing as you are right now! You’ll find the strength to stick with the commitment you’ve made to yourself, your health and feeling good about yourself. Keep on truckin.

    Jenny Craig Online Community Manager

  3. Anonymous9:27 AM

    You could also make a deal with yourself that you can't watch tv UNLESS you are active during the show (do crunches, arm exercises, march in place, etc.). That way you can feel less guilty when you do watch some tv. There's nothing that says you have to sit still while the tv is on.

  4. Anonymous2:11 PM

    Kimmy! When I read these posts, I swear we're the same person... no joke! I 100% understand your love of food (particularly, easy, sweet food) and TV! I hate exercise and do it only grudgingly occasionally and you KNOW I have a very good excuse to be better about it! Maybe you'll inspire me!

  5. Anonymous6:26 PM


    My mom was a big drinker. To help her quit, she wrote out a BIG check to the NRA and the Ku Klux Klan. If she took a drink, her sponsor would mail the checks and she would have to write out new ones.

    My mother no longer drinks.