Changing Habits

Before there was “Netflix and chill”, I was spending most of my 20s buying TV shows on DVD (or renting–hello, Blockbuster and that 3 disc limit!). Pretty much every weekend was a new show: Sex and the City, Felicity, Dark Angel, ALIAS, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was bliss! I got to catch up on so many shows I had missed the first time around!

It was also horrible for my health. No magazines were shouting “sitting is the new smoking” yet, but I still knew I wasn’t doing myself any favors. You see, not only do I love to watch a show…I love to snack. TV and food go hand in hand for me. (You probably already got that memo from my previous posts.) When you add up every weeknight of a few hours of this, plus almost every weekend…well, you get the idea.

My bad habits really took off right after college. I had a good job all through school, and I thought it would translate to an obvious position after I graduated, but when I moved to Chicago I spent four months searching for work to no avail. This was my first time dealing with unemployment, so I did what anyone would: daily walks to the video store for episodes of 24, and the corner store for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. My weight had already yo-yo’d a bit through college due to lifestyle changes and medication, and by the time I graduated, I was a little over 200 lbs….and pretty in denial about it.

After four months, I had to move back home and my dad offered me a job at his firm so I could save up and get something on my resume. (Spoiler alert: I did save up, and when I moved to Los Angeles later that year, I found a job within the first month.) I’ll spare you the play-by-play of the next decade (13 years, to be exact), but let’s sum it up like this:

  • Emily uses TV immediately after work to escape boredom of jobs she doesn’t care about, and background noise while living alone
  • Emily loves binge-watching on weekends with friends and sister, but still feels like her life is stuck in the same place, and she is perhaps wasting A LOT of time
  • Emily attempts to go cold turkey and lasts exactly one week…apartment has never been cleaner, and computer games (pre-smartphones!) replace TV-watching
  • Weight continues to yo-yo…when I’m happy and busy (i.e. not parked on the couch for hours with pizza) my weight drops, but goes up again when “life happens” and I fall back into bad habits
  • Emily has come full-circle and is back to living with her parents, still dealing with the weight/food issues, and feeling “stuck” in general

I’m not implying that my life sucks and all of my problems are because I watch too much TV. I just need to find balance and scale way back on the thing that gets the most in my way of living fully. I don’t have to watch every “must-see” show out there. No one’s paying me to watch every pilot. (Although, that’d be pretty cool!) And, I know myself–some people catch up on shows while they work out, but that doesn’t work for me. I also know that my window of watching without snacking is about 30 minutes to an hour, tops–after that, all bets are off.

I realize some habits just have to change, no matter how hard they’ll be. I want to finish out my 30s in the healthiest, best way possible. And I’m willing to give up some TV shows and movies here and there to do it. I’ve done my binge-watching, and then some. It’s not that I’ll never stay up late watching shows again (let’s be real), and I can’t guarantee I won’t power through Stranger Things in the first 24 hours, when season 2 comes out. But, I can take small steps on a weekly/daily basis to live healthier.

So, what does this mean for a blog about TV and movies? I honestly don’t know yet, but I want to start with focusing on quality, not quantity. I want to make time for the shows I truly look forward to, not just the “Eh, it’s on and I’m bored”, or the “I guess I’ll stick with this for one more season, even though I haven’t liked it since season 3”.  Yes, everyone’s “quality” is different…I realize this every time my college BFF & I disagree on yet another show. (Love you, D! Pacey forever!) So, as always, I’ll give you the scoop on what’s coming up and let you know what I think is worth viewing, but the rest is going to be a work in progress…

If you’re also struggling with making some changes or sticking to resolutions, I wish you the best of luck! Let’s make 2017 THE year!

Coming Up:

2/1: The Quad on BET @10/9c

2/2: Powerless on NBC @ 8:30/7:30c, Superior Donuts on CBS @8:30/7:30c, Training Day on CBS @10/9c

2/3: Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix

2/5: 24: Legacy on FOX @10:30/9:30c…or whenever the Super Bowl ends. (Lady Gaga alert!)

Plus, on Hallmark: Countdown to Valentine’s Day! Two full weeks of Romantic Comedies, people!

*Notice how I didn’t even mention films? It’s because they are glorious, little 1.5- 3 hour capsules of goodness and much easier for time-management. Really! 😉

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