Food Addict : Beware of the TV!

Here's a great article on why TV probably won't help you in overcoming your eating disorder. A better use of time? Seek God out in His Word, and let His Holy Spirit speak to you from the pages of Scripture! (Hat Tip: fellow Christian counselor, Heleen Woest...check out her group "Women Struggling With Food" on Facebook!)


DID YOU KNOW: There is a proven link between Watching TV and Obesity.

TV watching is also linked to certain eating disorders such as Binge Eating Disorder. It's not just the lack of physical activity that causes weight gain, but the food commercials trigger cravings, and the images of perfect bodies cause feelings of dissatisfaction and inadequacy which in turn are "medicated" through binging.

Research shows that most women complain of feeling inadequate, insecure and depressed after watching Fashion Shows or TV programs.

If you have an eating disorder you want to be especially aware of your surroundings and in touch with your body when you eat. Sitting down at a table, talking to others or enjoying a great view is the best way to do this.

Eating on the run, or in front of the computer or TV is just downright looking for trouble. You may not even be aware that you are trying to numb feelings of stress, pain, inadequacy and dissatisfaction, because you loose touch with reality and your own body when you're eating and watching TV or surfing the web.

What you really need when these feelings wash over you is to find someone to talk to (God, a friend or a counselor). I know it's difficult, but let your feelings be a red light, warning you to not turn on the computer or TV when you're not feeling okay. If you do, you know it your mind will start wondering to food (all the commercials will be right there cheering you on) and you will find yourself in the kitchen anxiously tearing open bags and loading up on food.

It took me a long time to give up this idol. TV and food was definitely connected in my struggle with food: As long as I mindlessly watched TV to escape reality, I could not shake of my eating disorder. I was not even a "big" TV watcher, but when life got tough I would run to a "mind numbing" activity such as watching TV and binging. I was really hiding from the world and my own scary feelings.

More Reasons to turn off the TV:

You will have more time!
Just give it a week, eliminate TV and surfing on the web from your schedule and you will be amazed at how much more time you have to do the things you always "don't have time for". Did you know that the average American adult watches more than 4 hours of television a day, that calculates to 116, 800 hours by the time we're 80 in comparison to 98,000 work hours. Accept the challenge to turn of the tube, it might change your life. You might have time for that walk, or to visit with a friend, or even better, get into a powerful women's Bible study.

You will have more money!
f course you will save a bunch of money if you simple disconnect your cable and go without TV. However, even reducing your package to fewer options and spending less time watching can help you save money. You will be less likely to buy something on a commercial if you don't spend a lot of time watching. People who make these commercials have done countless studies to get your attention and trigger your desires to buy something. How many things have you bought that you simply didn't need?

It can improve your relationships!
Turning off the TV can do wonders for your marriage as well as leave you with more time to spend with your kids. Maybe your whole family have a "TV addiction" going, and it would cause a lot of conflict if you were to just toss the television on the curb. Take it slowly, reduce the children's TV time and plan some interesting activities and outings for the family to help with the initial withdrawal (boredom), soon everybody would discover that there's more to life than TV. Just like introducing your family to healthier food, this too will take an effort, but it will be worth it. Your family could be talking, sharing and discovering life together again.

It can lower your stress level!
Watching TV is far from relaxing. I know we tend to think of TV as "winding down" time after a busy day at work or a hectic day with the kids, but it can actually make your stress level higher. Procrastinating by watching TV when you have some issues to deal with whether it be financial, emotional or relational, can only add to your stress. A feel good movie every now and then can actually be relaxing, but we tend to flip through the channels, bombarded by bad news, greed, murder, pain, suffering, adultery and every kind of sinful human behavior under the sun. Turning off the TV and rather facing our problems, paying the bills, talking about our issues, making time to pray, or just reading a good book reduces stress and brings back peace, a rare commodity in our society today.

If you know that this is a problem for you and you have tried countless times to walk away from the TV and stop binging without success, then it might be time for you to reach out to someone for help. Please have a look at my online program for Women Struggling with Food and find out how to stop binge eating and break this vicious cycle forever. I know about the feelings of failure and the loneliness of this struggle and I want to help you.

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