My initial plan for living without TV was to see how it went for three days (until weigh-in at TOPS). I realized unplugging completely would be another case of Black or White/All or Nothing thinking, a pattern of mine that is usually unrealistic and breaks down fairly quickly.
Balance has always been elusive. Perhaps being a Libra with bipolar disorder tips the scales (so to speak), and I overcompensate to aim for that center line. Or perhaps with so much that is unmanageable in my life, I clutch at ways to take control. Whatever powers may be in play, pathological or cosmic, I’ve learned this about myself and try to loosen my thinking and actions from their rigid, polar leanings.
The statistics for those three days didn’t really surprise me. I took in 1000 calories less each day and ended up losing 4 pounds for the week.
I still went to my friends’ house on Wednesday night for our Criminal Minds date. It was the two-hour season finale, and I watched closely as my desire to eat woke up toward the end of the first hour. My thoughts kept sliding to what I could forage from my friends’ kitchen. As the show continued, I started planning my attack on the Kwik Stop on the way home—Cheetos or Chips? I watched and pushed against the compulsion, fell into the dream of the show, watched the desire rise, pushed against it. This is what Ouspensky calls strengthening the Will as opposed to exercising will power. Tomato, tomah-to…
So, now what? TV is definitely a portal to my compulsive eating. Do I use it as a tool or chain it up and toss it onto oblivion? Can I hold the awareness it would take to work with it? What about when the next bipolar episode arrives and I need a cheap, easy form of distraction?
I journaled about this for several hours and found no easy answers. Of course. If it was easy, someone would have written a book about it by now. I think I’ll leave the TV off for now, not shun it, not cast it into the Fires of Hell. If I need it, it will be there. Along with a little notebook to record my Observations and help me hold awareness. Maybe that will help me push against the compulsion when it rises. Maybe not.
In the meantime, I have a lot of my own Programming to Watch.