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My Daughter’s school a few months ago had a campaign against television watching for a week. Parents were asked to keep the TV’s off for a week and to help the kids ‘cope’ and suggest other activities to do instead of watching TV, Lucky for me, my daughter is an avid reader and is about one year ahead in her reading abilities. I think she almost polished off the first edition of Harry Potter that week off from TV. She did severely miss her daily dose of Looney Tunes.
I decided last week to do the same thing and refrain from turning it on. This was hard since the hockey playoffs between Calgary and Tampa Bay had just started. My TV watching in the last few years has amounted to 2 hours average a day (usually in the evening after dinner), so I say I was probably giving up (more like taking back) say 15 to 18 hours a week.
My activities varied…Monday after dinner I learned a few new tunes on my guitar….Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead…and…Father and Son by Cat Stevens. Two hours strumming and picking and singing did a real number on my fingertips.
Tuesday…. I attempted a crossword puzzle while I listened to two of my favorite jazz albums…Kind of Blue by Mile Davis…and Mingus Ah Hum by Charles Mingus.
Wednesday…I bought an Italian Complete Course on CD so I could brush up on the language of my ancestors (thank you Alma for giving me a little inspiration 8-]) ‘Mi porti una tazza di te verde (green tea) e due uova alla coca (hard boiled eggs)’ (helps to keep you compliant just in case you’re in Italy)
Thursday…I started on a new novel…Guy Vanderhaeghe…The Last Crossing...read for several hours and polished off about 75 pages...a tale set in the second half of the 19th century in the American and Canadian west and in Victorian England; a real page turner
Friday…I cleaned out my closet and packed a lot of clothes I hardly wore into two large garbage bags and took them to the Salvation Army depot.
Not a real exciting week but I’m not one to go out to clubs or bar hoping during workdays but the oddest thing happened after the five days were up. I lost three pounds!! (Losing weight is the last thing I need). Now I swear to you I was not eating anything less than usual but all that extra brainpower and light moving each night burned a few more calories than I was consuming.
I have heard it said that the single most behavioral predictor of obesity in children and adults is the amount of TV viewing. Yes… TV watching is sedentary but it is also has a great effect, because of the advertising, in what we choose to eat. The food industry major objective is to get you to eat more food; most of it laden with sugar, salt and trans fats etc, and TV’s objective is to make you more sedentary... a great marriage of sorts.
If you started the BTD to shed more than a few pounds, do yourself a favor and turn the TV off for a week every month or so…you’ll find yourself buying new clothes in record time.