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Kill Your Television

You may have heard the phrase, “Junk In, Junk Out”. This is typical in the IT world and has become all too relevant in our technologically-inundated lives. Over the years, I have become more and more protective of what is shoved into my brain by my surroundings. This started during my undergraduate studies in Exercise Science. We were beginning to get the first real wave of disturbing evidence pertaining to the obesity epidemic. This evidence began to bring up a nature v. nurture argument about food choices and our media-saturated society. Where does corporate responsibility meet personal responsibility? Who do I have to blame for no longer having 12% body fat?… the only thing I miss from my early twenties.

One of the best explanations for this is found in the ground breaking documentary, “Super-Size Me”. The entire movie is free on hulu.com. If you haven’t seen it, you need to. One of most glaring statistics pertained to corporate marketing budgets.

In 2001, McDonalds spent $1.4 Billion in Direct Media Advertising; Radio, TV, and Print. Pepsi spent over $1 billion. Hershey spent just under $200 mill worldwide. And the 5 a Day Fruit and Vegetable Campaign, in its best year operated on a lowly $2 mill.

Does this mean that we should pull a stunt like New York City and legally restrict the size of soda bottles? Absolutely not. I firmly believe in the free capital system and a consumer’s right to choose a product they can afford.

However, over the last few decades we have become a society doing what is popular, quick, and “feels good”, and then taking absolutely no responsibility for the consequences. I would refer to such things as the lawsuits filed by obese individuals against McDonalds.

In the last 12 years, I have only paid for a cable TV subscription one of those years. It was last year, and I subsequently cut it off. I promise you can live without it. Am I a social pariah because I don’t know who recently got Botox on Real Housewives of Idiotville? Absolutely not. However, I do miss out on the occasional “did you see that commercial” conversation.

Do you remember when you mother urged you to stay away from “the bad kids” in school? After being employed alongside a decent share of jerks, I figured out what irritated me the most. Their lack of happiness was making me angry. I was having to reboot my brain at the end of the day to try to undo the stupidity I had been exposed to. Well, now the bad kids are on the internet, in your IHeartRadio App, and the other electronic leashes we have within arms’ reach… every second of the day.

Your brain is a highly evolved computer. (At least it should be. I can’t speak for some of the guys I’ve dated, but I digress.) Remember, crap in, crap out. Before you start arguing with me that it is stupid to live in a voluntarily induced state of naiveté, I am urging you to replace quantity with quality.

The minute I went back to a life without Cable TV commercials, I began to lose weight. There were no more messages telling me to each pizza tonight. There were fewer images of unattainable beauty forced into my head. I started saving money from not eating out. I remembered a favorite, stress reducing hobby called cooking.

Ever wonder why it is so hard to take a kid to the grocery store? Look at the height of the more colorful “kid” cereals on the shelves. Of course little Tommy is not going to want to eat Colon Cleanser with Cranberries. The Trix Rabbit is 3 inches from his face, saying “take me home” as if some sort of “adopt a cartoon pet” program.

I am not saying it is the answer to solving all of your problems, but it certainly is something you can control. So here are some recommendations that I have enjoyed over the years. Remember they are just recommendations. Like a grocery store, take what you want and leave the rest. I hope this helps you begin to power up your brain’s “Software virus protection”.

SuperSize Me – Documentary – Link on hulu

Book: What to Say When You Talk To Yourself, Shad Helmstetter – Available on Amazon

Book: Hung by the Tongue, Francis P. Martin – Available on Amazon

Book: The Tongue: A Creative Force, Charles Capps – Available on Amazon 

Book: The Master Key to Riches, Napoleon Hill – Available on Amazon

NYC ban on soda: Article Available on Washington Post 

 

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