Food Addict : Beware of the TV

Food Addict : Beware of the TV

By Heleen Woest

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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 food commercials trigger cravings, and the images of perfect bodies cause feelings of dissatisfaction and inadequacy which in turn can be “medicated” with binge eating.

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 need to be especially aware of your surroundings and it’s important to stay in touch with your body when you eat. Sitting down at a table, talking to others, or enjoying a great view can help you stay in touch with your body, your emotions, and the food you eat.

Eating on the run, sitting at the computer, or infront of theTV 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 these “mind-numbing” activities keep your attention. You may only experience your real emotions and some added guilt and shame after you’re done binging and you turn off the television.

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 negative feelings serve as a warning sign to you that the last thing you need is a “mind-numbing” activity such as TV. If you watch TV when you are emotionaly fragile
(night time is such a fragile time for most people with eating disorders) you will probably end up in the kitchen, anxiously ripping open some bags, and loading up on food.

It took me a long time to give up this idol. TV and binging 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 of 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!

Of 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 TV 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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You can get help for yourself or a loved one through my 12 Week Online Study Course. I’ve compiled this course from my own experience with food struggles, insight and understanding I’ve gained through counseling ladies in my support groups, Biblical principals, as well as material I’ve gathered by well-known Christian authors, counselors, and doctors. This study is jam-packed with information, practical guide lines and honest testimonies.


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