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TV Makes Me Fat

What in the world do I mean by that?!? Let me explain ...

There have been times in my life when I simply did not have a TV, even before everything could be streamed on my computer. Once in a while I'd hear about a show or special that might make me wish I had seen it, but usually I didn't miss it at all.

Then, when I would find myself in an Airbnb with a television, I would notice something interesting. At first, I would hardly turn it on. Eventually, little by little, I would find myself turning it on all the time. I would begin watching something in the evening, around dinner time. After a few days I would be hitting the remote control as soon as I started making breakfast. I liked inviting the Good Morning America crew into my living space, I was entertained by reruns of NCIS: Los Angeles, Hawaii 5-O, and Blue Bloods, I was inspired by the Food Network and HGTV, and I often found wonderful, enlightening programs on PBS ... until I started to notice some things:

  • My anxiety level was rising and when that happens, I want to eat (hoping that food will calm me down -- it's a coping mechanism I adopted at some point in my development that doesn't work very well). Clearly the content on the tube was not contributing to my well-being.

  • I started to think about swinging through fast food restaurants -- Initially I wasn't even aware how much I was being bombarded by commercials and some of those "combos" were looking mighty tasty!

  • I wasn't really paying attention to what I was eating, (I definitely wasn't savoring my food), while focused on the flat screen. Not a good look for someone who teaches mindfulness and emphasizes its importance around meal times.

  • I was sitting a lot. I totally get and preach that movement is an important healthy habit, yet there I was, nestled on the couch, sometimes for several hours.

  • I was going to bed later and later as I got more and more caught up in late-night shows.

Eventually, I began to realize that the quality of my life was diminishing and I was losing muscle tone and gaining weight. On top of that, I was sometimes cutting my morning meditation short because I couldn't get up as early as I wanted (and was used to) and I was succumbing to the call of Robin, George, and Michael (hosts on GMA). Fortunately, I've done a lot of personal research around getting and feeling better and I took inventory of what had changed in my day-to-day. It was the increasing presence of the TV. What a relief that at least I could do something about that! This doesn't mean I never watch television when it's available. I enjoy it sometimes and I like certain shows on Hulu and Netflix. I especially appreciate the fact that I can watch presentations without commercials on those and other subscription services. I think a tv or computer screen can serve a purpose in enjoying a little downtime and even be educational. Just pay attention and be "watchful" that it doesn't take over your life and health! Need some assistance in getting on track with your overall health? Drop me a line at and we can chat. I truly want everyone to feel better.

Happy Healthy Habit Hump Day,


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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

the Mindful Maven and Mistress of Meditation, is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with everyday life support. 

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