Rule Your Life or Let the Television Do the Job!

As I’m working with more and more people who overeat, it’s obvious that television plays a critical role in their overeating habit, but— surprisingly enough— also in most people’s lives.

Start thinking about how television makes you feel at the end of a busy workday or after you’re done taking care of your kids? Does it allow you to relax? Is it pleasant? Most of my clients affirm that they enjoy television because it helps them take their mind off what happened during the day. In addition, they avoid engaging into any demanding thought process. Many of them end up surfing channels or watch any TV show to relax.

The truth is that television offers you a mental journey without you having to do anything besides pressing the ON button—and that is quite convenient. So, why does TV have so many detractors? Why do people who overeat do it in front of the TV 95% of the time? I believe that it’s because of that fundamental need that we all have to get, at some point, a mental break. We need to “let go” of our mind, at least for a while. And as I mentioned, television allows us to do this. The problem is that, as we let go of the control of our thoughts, we absorb the messages the television shows send us, because we are in a very receptive state and we do not want to engage into any counter thought process! In other words, we think we switched off our mind but, in fact, we are intellectually fed by the television!

It is so addictive that when we watch television, most of us lose awareness of time, of what we eat, of tasks we planned on doing, studying, or reading we wanted to start. It also reduces the communication between family members, the time you might have to take care of yourself, go to the gym, etc.

Have you ever clearly realized this?

It surprises me when people, who have some compulsive overeating disorders, start dropping their overeating behavior because I ask them to not watch television while they eat or overeat. They become so aware of what they do to themselves that, even though they experience a food craving and might initiate a binge, they stop it way before they would have if they were watching television.

Overeating is definitely another way to release the mind in the sense that it helps you change the way you feel. If you were stressed, you overeat and feel some relief, except that you are achieving this result “artificially” because you are not doing it, food does. Without television, the loss of awareness is not as great, which over time and with proper guidance, allows overeaters to realize that this is a dead end.

So how can you let go of our mind? Just drop your own thoughts, but not in front of the TV, not in overeating. Meditating is a wonderful way to get that release our mind needs so much. Of course, it’s like everything else in life. If you don’t know how to meditate or what meditation is, you must go through a learning process. But isn’t it worth it? (If you want to learn about meditation, check my meditation program indicated for beginners or for those of you who know about meditation, but don’t quite connect with it and yet are interested in exploring this further.)

If you watch television on a regular basis, try to calculate how many hours you sit doing nothing in a front of that black box. I’m sure it will motivate you to minimize the time you spend watching TV! The website,, gave some alarming statistics: “UPDATE 9/21/06: the average American watches over 4½ hours of television every single day….That is 31½ hours every week (almost a second job!). That is also 5½ solid days per month and more than two whole months every year. By age 70 that is over 13 years watching television!” That is enough time to learn how to meditate and to levitate J.

At the end of the day, you are still the one in charge—not the television. Realize that if:

  • You enjoy eating or overeating in front of the TV a bit too much,
  • You never get to do what you want but have the time to watch TV,

Then, you are giving away precious years of your life to the television; You might also be forgetting about your health as well as the opportunity to create the life you really want!

It’s worth taking the time to reflect on the life you want to create and realize how TV holds you back. Then make your decision: what is it going to be? The TV or You?

If you want to learn more about the Bellsai weight loss method, I invite you to take my Free 5-Keys to Successful Weight-Loss e-course:
You’re welcome to use this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the “About The Author” info below:)

About the Author:

Isabelle Johansen is a life coach specialized in helping people address their overeating and weight loss challenges.  She is the Founder of Bellsai Mindful Weight Loss and She coaches individually and in groups, and lead weight management classes at top Silicon Valley companies and the YMCA. Her clients gain a more positive outlook on their life, feel more centered and happy as they lose weight without struggle with the Bellsai Method.  To learn more go to:

Her free 5 Keys to Successful Weight Loss eCourse is available at

Copyright @2010  Isabelle Johansen. All rights reserved.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: