So Which Limb Are You Going to Cut Off?

“If your hand causes you to sin, then cut it off…if your eye causes you to sin tear it out…” said Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.  There’s nothing like graphic Biblical hyperbole to get me thinking sometimes.  My biggest dietary sin happens in front of the TV.  I want to eat a little big something crunchy.

We have an old fashioned popcorn machine in The Man Cave (our affectionate term for the TV room) and it makes the tastiest popcorn EVER.  We cook it in coconut oil and although we switched from margarine to butter sprinkles, it’s still not on my diet.  Perhaps a small serving could be, but I’m pretty sure a bucket full is not.  What’re really, really not on my diet are potato chips with garlic cream cheese dip and a cocktail.  Tostitos and salsa are also ixnay on the meal plan.

Since being in front of the TV makes me want to eat junk food, last year I cut out TV from my life, as though it was the hand causing me to sin.  My husband would watch something good while eating chips, dip, cashews, ice cream and a cocktail or two while I felt like a dork and went to bed.

But I miss the shows.

I have never known a time when eating was not done while watching television.  As a kid we ate popcorn, chips, soda, cookies, Devil Dogs, ice cream and waffles in between laughing at sitcoms.  So this is one of those habits that has been around me for close to 40 years.

The advertisements aren’t very helpful if you are trying to be healthy either.  My junior year of college I attended Goldsmith College – part of the University of London.  At the time there were four channels and one of them only seemed to focus on gardening, so we just hung out at the local pub and practiced the art of conversation.  When I went home for Christmas break my eyes just glazed over at all the visual stimulation on TV.

There was a commercial showing a happy skinny woman eating McDonald’s followed by another with a fat woman promoting Weight Watchers healthy eating.

Hot football players guzzled down steaming pizza and huge sodas and then a gym advertisement showed people sweating and grunting on treadmills like they hated it.

I got so stressed out with the conflicting messages after ten minutes I had to leave the room.

Flash forward to now.  I finished season 1 of Downton Abbey (fabulous show!) and could not make it through a single episode without snagging some popcorn.  I really want to watch Lost from start to finish on Netflix, but don’t want to sabotage my fitness efforts in the process.

I heard that the best way to get rid of a bad habit is to replace it with a new habit.  Maybe I should take up knitting?  But if the Smoke Monster jumps out I might really stab my eye out and I don’t think I want to be that religious.  Rubik’s Cube?  A puzzle?  I’m stumped.

Does anyone else have this problem with eating in front of the TV?  How do you stop yourself from mindless snacking?

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12 thoughts on “So Which Limb Are You Going to Cut Off?

  1. I don’t snack quite as much as most people, but I would always have a cup of tea and a “little something” (2 cookies, or, my fave, a skinny cow ice cream cone) while watching. I’m trying to be super vigilant this spring, so have found I fare better if I don’t watch TV. Instead, I knit while listening to music or books on CDs, or I read. Because both require the use of my hands, and it’s bad form to drip ice cream or cookie crumbs on your knitting or books, I’ve found this helps greatly. I also tend to go to bed earlier because let’s face it, if you can’t snack, what’s the point of being awake?? 😉

  2. I’m fine in front of a TV but I stress eat when work is stressful. So I chew sugar-free dessert gum. Lots and lots of gum. I just have to spit it out before a meeting. The meeting where everyone else is getting handed reese’s peanut butter cups for asking good questions. Now where did I put that pack of gum?

  3. I used to be that way, but have been able to get away from it, but I’ve also did away with most commercials. I get shows on DVD and then I don’t see the temptations and believe me, I was SO tempted by them. I hate all the diet commercials because I know that like most Shape magazines, it’s not accurate and the commercials for the show “Biggest Loser” are just offensive! I log everything I eat and since I’ve likely ran out of calories allowed by evening, just can’t do it.

  4. Television and staying up late are my worst enemies when it comes to slimming down. I’ve cut out evening TV almost entirely. I’ll either go straight to bed or watch something online. I can get up and do something during the commercials and pause the video when I need to. I snack on things like a few nuts, some fruit, herbal tea, or sugarless 5-calorie gum. But if I stay up too long, I’ll be wanting major carbs, so I have to decide to stop watching and go to sleep before I start feeling hungry again! That is my struggle, especially if I find a riveting 1 1/2 hour long movie or documentary! :-O

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