Tag Archive | moderation

Lent Week 1

After the first 7 days without TV, I don’t have any earth shaking revelations, but I have had some realizations that I thought I would share.

First, let me say that in the first week, I went cold turkey. I decided that I wanted a full TV cleanse and therefore did not watch the allotted one movie, nor did I watch TV on the treadmill. I exercised outside 3 times and on the treadmill twice. On the treadmill, I found some podcasts to listen to instead of turning on the TV. The podcasts kept my attention as well as the TV and for the outside exercise, as usual, I had no noise. I found that my best thinking of the week came during those times. My thoughts on moderation, patience, etc…all happened when I was running without distractions (well unless you count my misery on that first run as a distraction). Since reducing distractions is the whole point of this, I have now changed my “rules” and will not be watching TV when I exercise. I’m pretty sure I will survive. In fact, this added restriction is in line with something that my pastor said in her teaching on Sunday….if I’m bored, I’ll just be bored. It is ok to just feel what I am feeling, notice what is missing and see what happens with that space that the TV would have filled. Thanks Becky.

I also did some more thinking about moderation. Putting my thoughts into my blog at the beginning of the week had an interesting effect. I no longer feel the urge to push myself on my runs. I have realized that 4 miles is a VERY respectable distance and when I set out to ONLY run 4 miles, I feel so much better for the whole time. The pressure is gone. I know I can run 4 miles, and when I do, I won’t be exhausted when I am finished and will feel good enough to run the next day. When I run 5 miles, I am always much more fatigued that evening and almost never run the next day. So the only thing I get from that extra mile is a day off…which really isn’t the point. I know I can run 5 miles (which was my original goal) and on really good days, may do it again from time to time. But since my goal has never been to increase my distance to run in a 10k or half marathon, 4 miles is just ENOUGH. I’m sure this seems eye rolling obvious to all of you, but to me, it was a bit of a breakthrough. I had to have a couple of quiet, no distractions runs to work that out. This also makes the no TV on the treadmill thing feel less intimidating. After all, how bored could I get in 40 minutes?

Many of you have asked how I’m doing without TV. It has actually been very interesting for me. I can honestly say that there has only been about one 30-60 minute time window when I missed it. It just hasn’t been that hard AT ALL…even last night, when I knew that the season finale of Parenthood was airing, I didn’t even have a twinge. The one time I missed it was just when I was between activities and it was very quiet. As soon as I started doing something else, I was fine again. This has forced me to start asking myself what permanent changes I may have to make in this area after the moratorium is lifted. In the meantime, I have been enjoying reading and Pandora Radio and quiet.

However, this TV fast has obviously become an issue for my sub-conscious. Last night, I dreamt that I forgot about the commitment and watched a bunch of TV. When I realized that I had done this, I felt pretty bad. I was glad to wake up and realize it was a dream. I think this falls into the same category as the dreams I have of being a waitress and forgetting to go to work, or forgetting to bring someone’s food to them, or forgetting a flag corps routine just before a performance or forgetting to put on clothes before being in public. Yes, I have ALL of those dreams on a fairly regular basis. I’m not sure it means, but it is always a relief to wake up!

As for what I have been doing to fill my time, well I have to admit that Facebook has taken up more time than is probably good. I’m going to pay more attention to that this week. But I also read three books and finished another one. I am tackling some weighty subjects in my reading but am reading something fun between every book that weighs me down. So far, it has been a good balance. This week, I think I am going to start to organize my thoughts on the weighty thing. I’m not sure whether I will be sharing that here, but you never know. I will tell you that the book, “Julie and Julie” by Julie Powell is better than the movie of the same name. It is funny and irreverent and flat out obscene at times. (After all, what is sexier than French food made by a Texan who swears like a sailor??) This book has confirmed my love of a new (to me) genre of books…memoirs. I have a bunch more lined up on my bookshelf just waiting for me to get to them.

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Lent Day 1

I won’t be doing this every day, but I have had some interesting revelations (may be too strong a word) today.

The first revelation is that TV is as much a habit as anything.  I have the TV on when I cook and tonight, the silence was weird.  When I sat down to eat (on a TV tray sitting on the couch), that was also weird, especially since nobody else was home at the time.  So what does one do when they are eating alone…on the couch…in front of the TV?  Reading a book was a little sloppy, but it was the distraction I needed.

The second (and probably more important revelation) was that it has already become clear to me that God is going to do some work on me during these 40 days.  I have a problem with moderation.  A big problem.  This applies to many areas of my life….TV, food and drink consumption, exercise.  I am just an all or nothing girl.  And sometimes when the pendulum swings too far in a particular direction, I use abstinence as a correcting tool.  In other words, I go from one extreme to the other.  My extremes are relative…I don’t go from drunken binges to detox, but I do tend to be more on the edges of what is comfortably healthy at times.  (That was hard to write, but is truth.)  Exercise has been an area that moderation has been a real struggle.  Once I set an exercise goal, I have trouble not turning the goal into my everyday expectation.  For example,  a recent goal was that I wanted to be able to run 5 miles.  I had previously only done this on 2 occasions ever. TWO!  So getting to the point that I could do it at all would be a major accomplishment.   The goal in my head is that I would be able to run that far on occasion and not die.  The reality is that as I increase my distance in pursuit of that goal, my goal becomes the new benchmark. I hit the goal two weeks in a row and then the goal somehow became the new benchmark.  And by the way….5 miles is a once a week deal.   I can’t do it two days in a row, and often have to take a day off after I do it.  It is NOT a good goal for everyday running.  I know this.  Yet, I still feel bad when I “only” run 4 miles.  Mark has tried to use logic to explain why my reasoning isn’t healthy.  Um…no kidding Captain Obvious, I have a problem!!  J

So back to today.  For those of you who are keeping track, my commitment for Lent was no TV with a couple of very specific exceptions.  The exceptions were specifically to address this issue with moderation.  I said that I would be allowed to watch TV when I am on the treadmill.  I need the distraction or the exercise becomes too much of a chore.  I don’t want to have the no TV thing become an impediment to regular exercise, so I gave myself this permission.  HOWEVER, today, I decided that I really didn’t want to start day 1 with even a little TV.  Cold turkey baby!!  So instead, I went for a run outside….in the rain…two days after a 5 mile outside run.  My bones are 41 years old next week and they tend to let me know that outside runs are great, but make me more fatigued than inside runs.  So I kinda knew the outside run thing could maybe not go well today.  I made up my mind that I would only go 4 miles and I would not feel bad about it.  At about mile 1, I tried to give myself permission to only go 3 miles because I was feeling kinda crappy.  No dice.  I went the full 4.  For the last mile, I was DYING.  My legs felt like they were encased in cement, I was gasping for air and generally miserable.  All the while, I am reflecting on this little problem I have with moderation and thinking, “So you think you’re trying to show me something God? Huh????  Well, I’ll show YOU!”  Ask me how that worked out for me.  But I know you already know the answer.

Tomorrow, if I can get myself up and down the stairs, I will WALK on the treadmill with the TV on.  Moderately.