26 Apr, 2010
Know More Do More Mondays: (almost) TV-free
Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Know More Do More
As Emma was getting ready for school this morning I asked her for her thoughts about this past week, which was almost entirely screen-free (i.e. no TV, no Wii, no computer or iPhone games).
“Did you find it hard?” I asked.
“Did you find it weird or annoying that you couldn’t watch TV during the week?”
So there you have it. Right from the horse’s mouth. But for kids who rarely get to watch TV or play with video games during the week, five days without screen time is no biggie. I don’t like them watching TV after school or in the evenings. There are so many better things we could be doing instead.
It was me who suffered the most.
Mark was in Vegas all week and I was home alone. Instead of watching TV or mindlessly surfing the Interwebs in the evenings I read. I read a LOT. That’s all I did. Normally I only read in bed right before lights out, but I plowed through 1.5 books in only a few days.
I watch more TV than I think I do. Maybe an hour or two every night? After the girls go to bed I am so exhausted I just drop down on the couch and pretty much stay there. I watch a show, and then the news.
I just have so little energy for anything else but I hate the idea of those lost hours. Two hours every night, seven days a week, that’s fourteen hours I could be applying to some other area in my life. Now that Mark’s home I want to get back into evening speed walks and visits to the gym. I normally burn too many daytime hours in the gym … hours that are best used for work and other creative endeavours.
I should point out that we have a PVR (or DVR, or TIVO, it’s all the same) and it’s really changed my television watching experience. Our PVR faithfully records all of our shows for us and files them away. I especially like it as it pertains to our children. We record a few choice shows for the girls. They love Saddle Club, Ruby Gloom, and Grossology. We record all three and that’s what they watch on Saturday mornings. They have learned how to skip the commercials. Recording their shows cuts way down on channel surfing. They watch their programs and then they’re done.
The only hiccup in our TV-free week was on Friday night. I had a date to watch Food Inc. (FYI you MUST see this film if you haven’t already) with some Twitter friends and I wasn’t going to back out for the sake of this challenge. Of course when I was heading out the door the girls were already planning what THEY were going to watch. Friday nights are always movie night at our house. Oh well.
But we did it.
This week’s challenge is a tip I made up. The girls are none too pleased.
Say goodbye to junk food for this week.
Personally, I found this little blurb from Wikipedia pretty interesting:
A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny at The Scripps Research Institute suggested that junk food alters brain activity in a manner similar to addictive drugs like cocaine or heroin. After many weeks on a junk food diet, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure. After the junk food was taken away and replaced with a healthy diet, the rats starved for two weeks instead of eating nutritious fare.
Food for thought?
I had the girls help me make a list of what they consider junk food and we attached it to the fridge. We don’t normally keep this kind of food in the house, but it’s still interesting how much of it we manage to eat: chips, fizzy drinks, chocolate etc.
For example, we walked to the candy store yesterday and bought gummy bears and taffy and I made Jell-o popsicles. We still have chocolate leftover from Easter. And it’s all going to have to wait!
I’m going to stock up on healthy treats this week and make them forget that it’s no junk week. I’ll pick up lots of fruit and I’m planning on making a batch of my granola bars too.
I know that a popular phrase as it pertains to eating junk food is “moderation is key!” but something about it still bugs me. Certainly, moderation is key, but eating habits are just that, habits. And when you get out of the habit of eating something for long enough it eventually gets hard to go back to eating that thing and you’re objectively able to recognize it for what it is. For example, I can’t eat canned chicken noodle soup anymore. Or salted butter. Or Shake N’ Bake. We got out of the habit of eating those things and they seem disgustingly salty to me now.
I’m not sure if a week is going to change anything, but it will put things into perspective.
Wish us luck!