Friday, March 15, 2013

My Pavlovian relationship with TV

Monday, I was concerned that this week would be tough on the new food plan because I had a lot of social and work engagements. One week a month, I teach three evening classes and that week was this week. But that has turned into a great blessing as I was happily busy with other people until past 9 pm each night. No time on my hands, no butt in the chair in front of the TV.

You may remember the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, who discovered the concept of conditioned responses. He fed dogs and rang a bell at the same time. Before too long, the dogs would salivate at the sound of the bell even when no food was present. I have a Pavlovian relationship with TV. For decades, I've eaten in front of the TV, mostly mindlessly. A great deal of the extra weight I carry is from TV eating.

On my new plan, I don't eat late and I don't eat after dinner unless I'm actually still hungry. TV eating is not about hunger. It's about restlessness, it's perhaps about loneliness, and it's definitely about conditioning.

Tonight was my first night alone on the new plan. I had dinner at 7 in front of the TV. I was full and not hungry but the restlessness didn't take long to set in. I sat with it, continued watching TV, and felt the repeated urge to get up and get something. I had a craving for something sweet, something salty, something fat. I did not have a craving for kale. And I made it through it without eating and then turned off the TV to write this blog.

I knew when I started the Feel Great Project that unhooking TV and food would be one of the challenges. And it is.

1 comment:

zbmeredith said...

You are doing SO GREAT!! and demonstrating the many facets of redefining our relationship with food - wow. HOW are you feeling?