The No TV Challenge

I am a bit of a junkie when it comes to TV. Between American Idol, The Voice, Biggest Loser, Modern Family, The Office, Oprah (yes, I DVR’d Oprah), Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Pregnant in Heels (okay, this is a mortifying list) and more, it’s frightening to estimate how many hours of my life were spent on watching TV each week.

Summer hiatus seems to be a perfect time to ease into a new lifestyle that’s much less dependent on TV, so I’ve instituted a challenge. From noon today until noon next Friday, I will watch no television whatsoever. Zip. Nada.

But just because there aren’t many new episodes on does not make this easy. Jon went away for a guys’ weekend this morning and I’m alone for the next 72 hours. I’d normally have spent several of those hours watching my trashy reality shows that he (and most normal people) cannot stand. This time, there’s no TV crutch to lean on.

Instead, I’ve made plans to do some projects with my mom tonight. We’re either painting my bathroom a beautiful gray (see inspiration pic below, which I found here) or organizing photos and sewing curtains. Tomorrow, I’ve got a boot camp class and a BBQ, and I plan to spend the rest of the day decluttering the office. Sunday is blissfully open. I’m thinking gym, church, scrapbooking and a girls’ night would be the perfect plan.

Just looking at this schedule makes me happy. My house will be cleaner, my body will be getting more exercise, and I’ll be making more plans with people. How sad that TV has stopped some of this!

Weeknights will be tougher than weekends, though. After a morning workout, nine hours of work and a long commute (nearly two hours between the drive there and home), I am WIPED. I typically eat a quick dinner and crash on the couch. I’m sure there will be nights on the couch in my future still–I think it’s GOOD to veg sometimes–but I hope there will be more doing other things as well.

I also hope this helps Jon and I to connect more. Too many nights, we find ourselves eating dinner on TV trays and going our separate ways after dinner: him to the computer and me sticking with the TV. Instead, I’d love to take the dogs for walks, play Scrabble, or sit together in front of the computer and plan our dream vacation (it’s very important to be prepared in case we ever win the lottery, you know!).

I’m not giving up TV completely. But I WILL be much more selective in what I watch and remember that for every hour I spend by the TV, I’m losing an hour somewhere else. I’m hoping this mindset trickles over into the finances domain of my life as well. I sometimes have a difficult time remembering that every dollar spent eating out is a dollar less for vacations, a future home, etc. Overall, my goal is this: I want the way I spend my time to be a good reflection of my priorities and values. For this to happen, it’s time to turn off the TV.



About Kristen K

My life has always been pretty darn fantastic--except for one thing: my weight. Not too long ago, I tipped the scale at 283 pounds. I'd gain some, lose some and gain some right back, and I was so frustrated. When I saw a notice for a Biggest Loser-style contest in my local paper, I applied on the spot and I felt like I won the lottery when I found out I was one of the five contestants chosen. We worked out four times a week with trainers and followed a clean eating diet, and my life completely transformed. I've lost more than 60 pounds and I'm feeling confidence for the first time in my life. I'm 29 years old with a great husband, a rewarding job, two adorable dogs and fantastic friends. Weight loss continues to be a struggle now that the contest has ended, but this time I know that I can do it and I'm fully committed. This blog has seved as an accountability tool as I journey from a happy, but fat, person to a happy and confident person. And for the first time in my life, I'm no longer putting it off until tomorrow. This time, I'm starting this minute.
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4 Responses to The No TV Challenge

  1. Sara says:

    No television would be so difficult! How in the world would I do Insanity without it!? LOL… I hope you can make it through week and find times for a good book / projects etc to make the time pass. It is a wonderful thing to get away from technology for a while.

  2. Rachel says:

    Good luck with the no TV thing. We have had no cable since January. We only do Netflix. We watch way less “tv” and sometimes don’t even watch the movies. I agree it is so important to veg out and relax after a long day. I enjoy reading and playing with my dog outside. We bought a “fixer upper” so there is a never ending list of home projects I can do too. My hubby has a job that keeps him on the road M- F, so I know how hard it is to have the house silent and by yourself. Listen to Pandora on the computer or make use of the old cds. You can do it!

  3. Valerie says:

    We have been doing the no TV thing for a while – it helps when you lose free cable and have to switch to a digital antenna. But honestly, whatever is on TV is probably crappier than something real you could be doing in your life right now.

    Harry Potter, LOTR, and Star Trek TNG DVDs, however, are our guilty pleasure. ;o) I guess it’s always something.

  4. Robinne says:


    I was thinking the same thing today! I just want to see what it will do to me, if i stopped watching television. I could do so much more important things with my life. I could read a book, be social with my friends, go and exercise, … maybe i will even find a new interest or hobby I would like to do. I really want to cut down on the hours I spent in front of the tv.

    Good luck everybody!

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