Kill Your TV: A Whole9 30 day program

On Sunday May 1st, we’ll be sponsoring a 30 day program here on the Whole9 site. It’s not another Whole30, although it’s based on Whole30 principles and ideas. For many, it’s going to be more difficult than a Whole30 – more mentally challenging, more frustrating, more seemingly “impossible”. From May 1st – May 31st, we’ll be asking you to kill your TV, and experience an entire month of no television, no movies and no video games.

Why TV? Because You Are Giving It More of Your Life Than You Realize.

Over the course of the next month, we’re going to explore the subject of TV’s effect on your intellect, your emotional status, your stress levels and your family relationships. Today, we’re just going to list some statistics (courtesy of the A.C. Nielsen Co.) to demonstrate exactly how much time we’re giving up to the magic box every day.

Average Viewing Habits

  • Time the average American watches TV each day: 4 hours
  • Time the average 65-year old has spent watching TV: 9 years
  • Number of hours per day that TV is on in an average U.S. home: 6 hours, 47 minutes
  • Percentage of Americans that regularly watch television while eating dinner: 66
  • Percentage of Americans who say they watch too much TV: 49

TV and Children

  • Number of minutes per week parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children: 3.5
  • Number of minutes per week the average child watches television: 1,680
  • Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900 hours
  • Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1500

What we are watching

  • Number of murders seen on TV by the time an average child finishes elementary school: 8,000
  • Number of 30-second TV commercials seen in a year by an average child: 20,000
  • Percentage of local TV news broadcast time devoted to advertising: 30
  • Percentage devoted to stories about crime, disaster and war: 53.8
  • Percentage devoted to public service announcements: 0.7

We are addicted

Millions of Americans are so hooked on television that they fit the criteria for substance abuse as defined in the official psychiatric manual, according to Rutgers University psychologist and TV-Free America board member Robert Kubey. Heavy TV viewers exhibit five dependency symptoms–two more than necessary to arrive at a clinical diagnosis of substance abuse. These include: 1) using TV as a sedative; 2) indiscriminate viewing; 3) feeling loss of control while viewing; 4) feeling angry with oneself for watching too much; 5) inability to stop watching; and 6) feeling miserable when kept from watching.

But Wait – That’s Not You?

Whew, you’re saying to yourself. That’s not ME. I don’t watch THAT much TV. I only watch educational programs, documentaries and Discovery Channel. I limit my viewing, I TiVo and skip the commercials, so I probably don’t have to worry about this at all.

We disagree. This isn’t just for THEM, this is for YOU. Because even if you’re watching the Discovery Channel and limiting your viewing and skipping commercials, there’s a really good chance that you still have an unhealthy relationship with TV. Impossible, you say? That’s also what you told us when we told you that certain foods may be affecting you in sneaky ways that you don’t even realize. And then we told you how to find out, once and for all, how those foods are REALLY affecting you. And you did, and you were surprised at the results, and you are so much happier, healthier and better off for having made the effort. This IS for you.

Whole30 Principles Aren’t Just for Food

When we founded the Whole30 program in April 2009, it wasn’t just about making your physical body healthier. Principles of the Whole30 extend far beyond the physiological effects of the food we eat – primarily because eating isn’t just a physiological process. Throughout the years, we’ve built relationships with food – often unhealthy. We’ve got patterns and habits and cravings that sabotage our good intentions. We’ve used food as punishment, reward, comfort and friendship. And a huge part of the Whole30 is built around increasing awareness – not only of how the food you are eating is physically affecting you, but of the mental consequences of your food choices and habits. We don’t want a particular habit or behavior – like sugar cravings – to control you. And during the Whole30, we ask you to go without certain mental “triggers” and learn to develop alternate, healthier coping mechanisms to meet your psychological needs. We also tough-love you into not being so lazy with your food choices, reaching for something less than optimal (despite the mental and physical consequences) just because it’s convenient or socially commonplace.

We want you to do the same thing with your television habits.

Television can just as easily fill the same psychological need as food. You turn on the TV for comfort, as reward, for “company”, for some perceived “human” connection. You turn it on because, well, it’s there. And you let it run, assailing your brains with messages you can’t control, for hour upon hour every single day. When that TV is on, you are not present – not for yourself, nor for those around you. The television turns you into a spectator, not a participant in your own life. And the worst part is that you’re not even aware of what you are doing, and what you are missing as a result.

How many of us have turned down the opportunity to interact with a real, live person because we have to watch our show? How many of us have blown off spouses, children, friends – people standing right in front of us – because we are too distracted by the characters on our TV screen? How many of us know more about our favorite American Idol contestant or sitcom actor than we do about our next-door neighbor?

How many of you have massive anxiety at the idea of missing your favorite programs for an entire month?

We considered looking at the general TV schedule to make sure there wasn’t some huge sporting event, series finale or season cliffhanger that folks would be missing during the month of May… and then we realized we didn’t care. Because if the idea of missing a show or a televised event gives you anxiety, you’ve got a problem. And aside from freeing yourself from the habit, from building new, healthier habits, from increasing awareness and moving forward in your life in a more balanced, sustainable fashion, there’s another major reason to take this on during the month of May.

You Just Don’t Have TIME…

We hear this phrase from all our consulting clients, at every workshop, from every web site commenter and Whole30 participant… “I just don’t have time.” You are all chronically short on time. You don’t have time to exercise, to stretch, to foam roll or go for an hour long recovery walk. You don’t have time to shop for fresh food, prepare your food, cook good food. You don’t have time to read, to go outside and play, to take a class. You don’t have time to sleep more. No kidding, people, if you’re giving hour(s) a day to the television. Even if you’re “productive” while you’re watching your shows, ironing or folding laundry or prepping food, you’re not actually being productive. You’re distracted, half-doing your task in an inefficient way. You are not PRESENT while the TV is on, and Oprah knows you could use a couple of extra hours in your day. So we are going to give them back to you. You’re welcome.

Tune In to Tune Out

On Friday, April 29th, we’ll be outlining our rules for Whole9’s “Kill Your TV” month. We’ll be posting helpful articles along the way – research to support our initiative, and resources so you can do something productive and healthy with all that extra time you’ll have on your hands.

In the meantime – get ready. Get your families on board. Spread the word. Do it with your gym, your book club, your friends and relatives in different states. There are no excuses – it doesn’t cost anything to participate, and you don’t have to have access to anything fancy like grass-fed beef or a Whole Foods Market. All you need to do is unplug your TV. And we’ll help you do the rest.

For other articles in your Kill your TV series, click here.

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  1. Tess says

    We stopped TV about 6 years ago.

    Instead, we have a subscription to Lovefilm (UK type Netflicks) so that if we desperately want to see a TV series or film we can. We’ll often sit down for an hour’s viewing on a Friday night, say, but the nice thing about it is that it is a set, discrete amount of time. Once the film or program is finished, there’s no more. There’s no channel surfing.

    I wouldn’t go back to TV if you paid me!

  2. says

    A few years ago Susan and I were working for a company that shut down. Finding ourselves jobless we did what any two mature, responsible adults would do. ROAD TRIP!

    We packed our tent and headed out on a 12 week odyssey. We left FL for South Dakota and then proceeded west and hit many of the mountains, deserts and National Parks in this fine country we live in.

    Newspapers ceased to exist. Cellphones stopped working. Once in a while we’d stop in a bar or restaurant as a treat and see a TV but seldom really WATCHED it. Even the trucks stereo remained silent for long parts of the trip. Most of the time we had no idea what was happening “out there”. It was liberating. It felt good. As Melissa put it, we were PRESENT.

    So, try a disconnect from TV. That’s an easy one. You stop missing it really quickly. You get a chunk of your life back. It’s way easier than a food Whole30 ;)

  3. Melissa says

    Love this. Well I hate the thought of it and that’s why I love it. I watch TV at night to shut my head off. I’m sure that time would be better spent hitting my foam roller and getting reaquainted with the other person in the house. And I’m guessing I’ll sleep better too.

  4. Kim says

    I haven’t had TV since I moved to my new place about 2 years ago. I couldn’t get a good enough signal, and was too cheap to pay for cable/satellite, so I just don’t have it! Initially I was a bit nervous about not being able to catch the news (for the weather) in the morning, but the radio fills me in with my weather report, and anything else I “need” to know. I can’t believe how much “stuff” I have to do even without having the TV to distract me. I love not having it, but people have a hard time believing I can live without it.

  5. Meg says

    Love this. 2.5 years ago my husband and I cancelled our cable–never thought we’d make it this long. Honestly, we don’t miss it AT ALL! However, we do watch “stuff” on netflix…increasingly more “stuff” lately–I’ll be glad to participate in the challenge:)

    On a side note, my four year old has never watched regular television programming. He was at my mother’s home and was clearly agitated by them STOPPING his curious george to TALK in the middle of show–hilarious. He also couldn’t recognize Ronald McDonald (my proud parent moment.) Selfishly, he also doesn’t throw fits at the store because he wants “stuff”–because he hasn’t been taught by a commercial what to want. Just some food for thought.

  6. says

    This is great timing for our family. We have been talking about getting rid of our cable service for awhile. We’ve gotten our viewing time down to .5-1hr a day, but I hate having my son watch TV and I could be writing for my blog or something way more constructive. Can’t wait for this.

  7. Jen says

    I gave up my tv about a year ago. It’s amazing how much reading I get done without a tv! Sometimes I do watch shows online, but I’ll be giving those up, too, for the month of May!

  8. Vanessa Vanden Bout says

    Love this! However, you’re talking to a girl who hasn’t owned a television in five years. I go months at a time without watching a single movie or TV show. And, I don’t miss it. I cook, clean my house, play with my dogs, workout, sit on the patio, walk in the woods, talk to my family on Skype and spend time with friends. And really, once you take the TV out of your life…you will be surprised by all the things you are more “present” for. Now…off to tackle my coffee addicition.

  9. says

    I think this might not be too hard for me! I think I only watch a few hours a week these days; tell me to get off the internet for a month though, THAT would be tough. I had a successful “No Social Networking Sunday” this past weekend- I did it, but felt pretty antsy. I almost got on Facebook a couple times “just for a minute;” it felt oddly like quitting smoking :/

  10. Jack G says

    My wife and I got rid of our tv and cable about 4 months ago and we LOVE it! We have more conversations now and meal time has become social time instead of mindless eating in front of the tube.

    We sold the tv at a garage sale we had with my mother-in-law, and she still calls my wife to tell her to turn it on some show. My nephew has been coming to our house each summer, and when he found out we didn’t have a tv or ps3 anymore he didn’t want to come this year. Very sad how many families wrap themselves up in tv and never spend meaningful time together.

    Looking forward to the challenge, I’ll try applying it to internet time too and see how it goes.

  11. Vaughan says

    When I became a single mom and couldn’t supervise my children’s TV watching while doing all the other things I needed to do AND could no longer afford the cable bill, the TV “broke”. The immediate result was conversation and helpers during dinner preparation, plus a more relaxed meal since no one was speeding through the food to get back to the TV in the basement. The TV has stayed “broken” ever since, and it’s been nearly 17 years. Like a food Whole 30, it starts as 30 days, but fast becomes just how you live your life once you see how healing and empowering the change is.

    Lately I’ve gone one step further, and only listen to radio news in the house. During my commute I listen to books on CD. I’m just as well informed, and happier not hearing bad news (you’d think there wasn’t any other kind!) repeated over and over!

  12. J.Spice says

    1,2, 3…here I go! I know I will be fine. I guess all my guilty pleasures (Real Housewives of any county) will be fine without me. Now, just to get Sam to shut off the T.V. during NBA playoffs. You may here his crying all the way out in UT!

  13. says

    We’ve been talking about doing this for awhile. I don’t think it is as simple as just unplugging the TV, though. Shows and movies are available to watch on mobile phones, iPads, and laptops. I could see how someone could easily replace TV watching with more time on their laptop or other device.

    One way to limit this on computers would be a browser plugin like StayFocused. You choose the websites and the daily time limit for those websites. After the timer has run out for the day, you can’t visit those sites until the next day.

  14. dana says

    Sooo happy to be in the no tv contigent! My hubby and I watch an hour, maybe once a week for a treat of internet tv (Top Chef!!) and other than that, nothing.

    I must say, when I first moved in 6 years ago I thought I’d really miss it…but as with everyone here I was surprised how much I get done, and/or how many books we read/music we play. The internet for casual activity, though….that’s a little harder. Both are WAY simpler for me than a strict whole30!!

  15. Nick says

    Sounds great! If I can break my addiction to television I can cancel my cable subscription and use that money for hard to find healthy food….

  16. ElizabethJ says

    This is great. But it doesn’t apply to me. I might watch 2 hours of a TV a month. And that’s a big MIGHT.

  17. Kass says

    But I really do only watch 2 hours of television a week: Jersey Shore and Intervention. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS! Geez. :-)

    Is this ban going to be extended to podcasts as well?

  18. penty says

    But … but .. the new Dr.Who season is just getting ready to start….

    Seriously tho:

    “The television turns you into a spectator, not a participant in your own life. ”

    This is the same with any non-interactive narrative media like reading, the radio, or even watching a play.

  19. says

    @Reid: We’ve got those loopholes covered – we’re going to outline our “rules” next Friday, and they’ll include avoiding all forms of TV/movie watching on ANY screen (big or small). We’re also going to ask people to live by the spirit and intention of the program instead of trying to find ways to work around the technical rules. Swapping out your TV for a computer monitor doesn’t fit the bill.

    @Penty: I disagree. Reading may not be interactive with others, but it forces you to turn on your brain and interact with YOURSELF. I found this great explanation of reading vs TV during my research, which I completely agree with – a few additional thoughts of my own here, too.

    “The TV bombards you with a sensorial experience, showing scenes, scenarios and “facts” as they were imagined or mentally constructed by the director, marketers, advertisers and product placement professionals. Books offer a conceptual description of beings and their universe. While reading, we “process” the written information, so that it becomes intelligible, and so that we can relate to the characters and situations they experience. Thus, we are forced, or “invited”, to perform a much more complex reasoning and mental constructions. We are, so to speak, exercising our brain while reading.”

    I think we can make a similar case with radio – while the information is being communicated to us, we have to create the setting, context and applicability to our own lives in our own brains. It sparks creativity, imagination, in a way that TV just cannot.

    Finally, watching a play IS interactive between the audience and the actors. The actors feed off cues from the audience – laughter, boredom, boos and applause. Your TV actors can’t tailor their performance to their audience, because YOU (the audience) isn’t there in place OR in time. (And if you happen to be in the audience, then that’s more of a play than a TV show, isn’t it?)

    Finally, if that were the ONLY reason we were asking folks to kill their TV, we might not have as strong an argument. But you picked one phrase out of a hundred to isolate – and the issues we have with TV watching go far beyond the spectator/participant issue.



  20. penty says

    Admittedly attending a play is a bit of a gray area, the viewer is 1 person grouped into a set of possibly a 100+. At what point is the interactiviey lost?

    I would disagree that radio causes more “creativity, imagination applibility to your own lives” than TV can. I think it’s only a differnet set or kind. A book/radio/tv show can all cause a person to dream and aspire…did watching the moon landing kill “creativity, imagination” more than listening to it on TV? Did the radio show “Buck Rogers” do more for imagination than say Televised StarTrek? Or is TV simply a newer technology and those earlier media types are simply people expressing a perference for the “good old days”?

    I totally agree TV is a tool, just as food is, and misuse can be serious amd cause serious issues.

    Anyways not trying to turn this into a huge deal. I look forward to reading the specfics.

  21. Meghann says

    Yes, yes, yes! I am so excited. We got rid of TV a few years ago and love it. I regularly write about the dangers of kids and TV (wow, you wanna piss people off, try that!) and my life is super enriched since I got ready of TV. People ask me how I get everything done in my life and I say “I don’t have a TV.” Plain and simple. People also ask what my husband and I do in the evenings. Um, we talk to each other??

    I have seen lives affected and relationships ruined by TV. Dropped out of my first mum’s group because all they had to talk about was reality shows I’d never seen. And I think a lot of people will find this harder than the Whole30, and will be surprised.

    Man, I need to go do some yoga to calm down. This is REALLY gonna change lives!!!

  22. says

    Bravo Whole 9 – I really like your approach and also feel very strongly about this subject. We are becoming less efficient and social due to our addiction to TV/Video Games. Furthermore, this addiction is not making us happier or more fulfilled. I have given up TV two different times in my life (graduate school and starting my own business) and each time time I do so I become a more balanced and fulfilled person. I will be joining the challenge staring May 1, keep up the good work.

  23. JenJ says

    IN! I know it will be tough, and I’ll miss playoff hockey, but I’ll wait to watch again when the Wings are in the Stanley Cup finals in June. Good stuff.

  24. Matt S. says

    I was so psyched at Reid’s comments about stayfocsd. I’d never heard of it, and promptly installed it. I’ve really been wanting to improve my work productivity (plus get out of the house earlier in the mornings rather than surfing the internet). It’s just what I needed! I’ve already been blocked several times — I had no idea how mindlessly I was clicking around.

  25. Matt S. says

    Oh yes, one more thing. Last week we went to a taping of Jimmy Kimmel.

    They spent a whole hour getting us ready to laugh “You’re in Hollywood, practice acting…” at even the most mundane jokes. I was shocked at how flimsy/small it looked live.

    However, when we watched the show later that evening it appeared like everyone was having the best time ever….VERY revealing just how manipulative the medium can be.

    I always wondered what morons were laughing at the lame jokes…now I know.

  26. Katie L says

    This sounds great, though like a couple other commenters, I don’t watch tv, and rarely movies, if I do its at a friends house. BUT I know I spend way too much time on my computer and frankly a lot of the time it feels icky (that whole realizing you’re wasting your life away in front of a screen feeling) and I feel like its turned into what TV used to be. A “kill your computer” Whole 30 for all the time I’m not at work is in order. I’m looking forward to seeing what your guys’ rules are.

  27. says

    Just yesterday I called up my cable company to cancel my subscription because I thought spending over $800 a year (!!!) for kinda/sorta watching tv was ludicrous. ($8,000 in 10 years … you could buy a lot of real life experiences for that kind of coin)

    Well I didn’t stick to my guns when she said how about a more basic package for half the price … I bit. I’m so p*ssed at myself for caving.

    So … THIS challenge comes at the perfect time then. I WILL cancel my cable to do this!

  28. says

    The big challenge for me will be curbing television consumption via computer. We don’t even have cable and only watch 2-4 shows with any frequency, usually in mini marathons. Time to cut out netflix.

    Video games will be harder, especially since I just got a new console. I can feel the urge to play them before… *something* happens and I’m prevented from doing it. :P

    Hope you guys are doing well.


  29. says

    I am in. It is going to be ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT CHALLENGES I have ever come across but I am on board 100%. I am going to do a blog post on my blog next week as well to help spread the word. I have been primal for one full year and am now ready to start minimizing my life.

    I could say that this does not really apply to me either. I literally intentionally watch 60 minutes of TV per week. I watched The Wild Within once per week when it was on. It then ended and now Jamie Olivers Food Revolution is on. I will watch the weather on TV for a few minutes since the TV is already on.

    Why is it going to be a challenge even though I only watch that much TV?

    I live with my parents and the TV is on for 1-2 hours at a time or more in the morning and evening. Thats the easy part though…

    I am going to a wedding in the middle of May with my brother. He loves watching TV prior to going to bed and guess what? I get to room with him… that will be interesting. I will tell him what I am doing but refuse to force him to keep it off. I will simply tune out (I hope).

    The NBA Playoffs are on and it will get exciting towards the end of May. I’ll be seeing my brother possibly 3 different times and we are HUGE fans of the NBA. Damn – this really is going to be a challenge.

    But, I am in. I am going to give it my 100%. Jamie Olivers Food Revolution will have to wait. I don’t have to watch it anyways. I know what he is doing and I am joining him – in a primal way.

    I can not wait till May. But, why not start it now? Well, I will be going to Chicago this weekend too. So, I will wait. The Bulls play Saturday…

  30. says

    I’ll admit that I never would have even contemplated giving up TV until seeing this post – but I’m totally in.

    I suspect it will be a little uncomfortable – but the benefits will far outweigh all of that.

    Thanks Dallas and Melissa!



  31. kathleen says

    Oh how I have contemplated this. I’ve imagined it and dreaded it and occasionally felt free in these thoughts. But that’s all they are, thoughts. My other half is unfortunately NOT on board (especially during the Stanley cup playoffs…grrrr). It’s one thing completing a Whole 30 eating plan where I have full control….. but TV? Please, offer hints for the lone Whole 30 folk out there.

    There is a small chance I may be able to get him on board later in the summer. (fingers crossed)

  32. nicross says

    I’ve thought about disconnecting my cable for awhile now. When my parents retired two years ago they started watching an unhealthy amount of television in order to fill up their day. Their new habit was bothersome, but at the same time was a reflection of myself. Television serves no purpose in my life, but I watch it more than I care to admit. When I’m not watching, it tends to fill a quiet house with noise. There’s no way I can ignore this challenge…count me in!! I have a feeling this will make a tremendous impact on my life!

  33. says

    Weeee, love this idea! I look forward to reading the articles about the issue as the challenge progresses. I don’t have a TV but I do procrastinate on hulu … same thing …

  34. says

    Kathleen, while it’s going to be far more difficult to not watch TV if it’s on in your household, we recommend explaining to your husband (and other family members) why you’re undertaking this project, and what you hope to achieve in these 30 days. And then, ask him to respect your choice. He can still watch his TV, but you won’t be around when he does. Go in another room, busy yourself with another task or leave the house if possible to emphasize your commitment.

    Perhaps you could also ask if there are any TV times he’d be willing to give up to spend more time with you and your family/friends. If the playoffs are not negotiable, maybe he would be willing to give up another show or program around the game to spend time doing things you’d like to do.

    Hope that helps! I suspect as we kick this off in May that you’ll have a lot more people in your situation, and more tips, tricks and support too.



  35. says

    Hm my TV is never ON for almost half year now.. i never watch TV and I only watch occasional online shows (which could be 3 times in a month??) Giving up internet surfing that would be the TOUGH one. We can’t live without our internet in this day…giving up TV is not hard.

  36. HeatherS says

    I have to agree with the thoughts of some other readers. I think giving up the internet would be a much harder option. My husband and I opted to “kill our TV” a few years ago. We still have a TV, but no cable service. We still use it for the occaisonal dvd. This made the most amazing improvements in our life. Better conversations, more accomplished, more time cooking, prepping food, more time outside in our home gym, more time interacting with our son. But I admit to spending far too much time surfing the net. Wonder if that is a do-able “Whole30” program? Kill your wi-fi? I think this is almost a tougher challenge than the TV in this day and age!

  37. Brittany says

    When my husband and I moved we held off on getting cable for a few months because we knew we’d be busy with family events and vacation. Well a few months turned into three years. We don’t watch TV anymore…EVER!! Our TV is on for about 2 hours every other month (an occasional friday night where we go out of our way to rent a movie and have a night in). Best part is, we don’t even miss it. In fact, it’s irritating and distracting the few times a year we turn it on to catch a soccer game (I’d rather get tickets and BE AT the game). We talk more, relax more, listen to music, read books, take walks together…all of the things we said we’d do more of if we had more time. Love life without television!!

  38. nadia says

    hmm…we don’t own a TV, and haven’t for 4 years. we do watch 4-5 movies a month, either going out or through Netflix. Don’t have internet at home either now. When I first went off TV, I noticed that I bought less stuff. Went off internet….bought waaay less stuff. lots more quality time, lots more outdoor time, more home cooking as well.

    I highly recommend doing an internet-free month. Although, it might be hard to hear about people’s progress.

  39. Kelly says

    As a Film and Television major, I don’t think I can do this lol. If everyone in the world were to give up their TVs and not go to the movies, I’d have no career! But, I believe in not watching any TV or films until it is dark out and I don’t have anything to do or I need a good break.

  40. ScoJo says

    This was a noble cause in the 80s, but you’ve got to move on to a no-social-networking model or something. How is reading banal comments of anyone with an internet connection (myself included) on an internet message board that we were probably led to from FaceBook and posting like we’re all doing now really that much better? A lot of people don’t have TVs, they all have MacBooks, and they waste their time twirling the mouse or watching NetFlix and Hulu.

    Anyway, some watching is fine. “Kill your addiction to TV” or “Kill your Wi-Fi” would be more productive. If it were the 30s, it would be “too much radio”, if we were cave people, we’d be sitting around starring at the fire too long. The reasonable people find a middle way of moderation.

  41. Heather says

    I would LOVE to try this! Expect an angry response from my husband (who currently cooks all my paleo lunches and dinners and has done two Whole30 challenges with me I might add!).


  42. says

    Hahaha! Sorry, this is funny because my fiance Kylie and I don’t have a TV and we we’re planning on purchasing one next month, along with starting our second round of TheWhole30 on the 1st of May as well.

    Since we met in January of last year, we have become very busy in the last year and five months. We started attending CrossFit, eating Paleo, blogging about our CrossFit & Paleo lifestyle, we recently got engaged, and we are now planning our wedding. We even started a compost pile the other day to get ready for our vegetable garden this year. Because of this, we actually have had very little time to watch TV anymore and have seen a drastic decline. The main reason we want a TV now is for viewing sports (Go Blazers!), entertaining guests, and watching the few select shows we still have interest in (mainly Dexter, Fringe, S.O.A, Spartacus & True Blood), which we barely had time to keep up on with the most recent episodes either.

    Hmmm, this is also funny to me… reading this post about “Killing your TV” has made me realize that if a person is living an active, busy lifestyle, the amount of time for watching TV becomes very limited. It has also made me realize that I don’t know what movies are out at the box office anymore, something I knew all the time because I am, or was, a movie freak. I do however know that “Thor” will be out next Friday, as I am total geek and was geeky comic book nerd growing up. Not knowing when a comic book movie is going to be out is pure blasphemy, in my comic book nerdy opinion.

  43. says

    This is a tough one for me. I am a news junky, as are most men in my demo. (old farts). But, I think I am in. I will have to totally disconnect and remove the TV from the living area.

  44. says

    We don’t think this is “80’s” at all. People DO still watch TV… too much of it. Kids, especially. And now it’s TV AND internet AND iPhone AND Facebook AND Twitter AND text message… the total screen time is multiplied by factors of ten. We’re addressing what we can with this program – TV is the low-hanging fruit, in truth, but the potential impact and benefits for most folks (even those who don’t watch “that much” TV) is gigantic.

    Doing a “no internet” or “no social media” month is trickier. For one, if Dallas and I were to abandon the site, Facebook and Twitter for a month, our business would crash. There are plenty of you in the same boat – social media is powerful for marketing, advertising and networking. So maybe we implement rules, like limiting to one hour a day or ONLY jumping on line when it’s work-related… but that line blurs pretty darn quick. So until we can think of a way to wrap our arms around people’s ever-growing addictions to their phones and computers, we’re targeting television.

    Thanks for your support.


  45. Andi says

    I haven’t watched TV in literally about 15 years now and as someone else commented above…you couldn’t pay me to go back to it.

    I worked as an art director for a large animation firm in LA for years. When I interviewed for that job, I remember the CEO asking if I wanted the job after finding out I hadn’t ever seen any of their shows. After working there for years, though an amazing and wonderful experience for me, I decided that if I ever had children, I would NEVER allow them to watch TV. We have Netflix and watch the occasional movie or National Geographic special, but never commercial or cable TV.

    My kids are now 11 and 8 and are excellent students and voracious readers. They PLAY and have never once told me they were bored. If there is nothing else to do (rare) they have no problem finding happiness on the grass watching the leaves fall.

  46. says

    We havent had a TV in over 20 years, except the 2 weeks post 9/11. I actually bought one last Jan and used it/watched TV maybe 6x since then. This is not difficult for me. My husband, on the other hand, is addicted to netflix! But he doesnt exercise or eat paleo/whole9 either. His loss

  47. Marye says

    I’m in. I was thinking about getting rid of the tv anyway. I don’t watch it a lot, but we just see how it goes.

  48. says


    While we probably won’t be re-running the program officially this month, you can absolutely participate on your own! (And we may do another go later in the year.)


  49. JF says

    Saw this post last year, and thought nothing of it. Stumbled upon it again recently and thought to give it a go.

    Surprised to see how much I crave to watch a program or 2. Started yesterday, and failed by cracking under the pressure of watching some “New Girl.” That being said, the 30 minutes was less then my normal HOURS and still gave me a plethora of time to do other things. Re-started the 30 days today, and am at that craving point again. The fact that I failed on my first day and want to fail again right now, makes it clear that I need to complete the 30days.

    This should be interesting.

  50. JF says

    I’ve failed horribly. Can’t seem to string at least 3days together of no TV watching. At first, the fact that I “had” to watch TV gave me more drive to continue with the program (or re-start).

    Now I’m beaten.

  51. says


    It’s hard, isn’t it? We are so conditioned to our habits, and TV is such a big part of most of our lives. How else do you fill your down time, right? Don’t beat yourself up – perhaps starting with a daily or weekly limit will help you prioritize those shows or events that you truly want to engage with… and leave out some of the time-wasting-filling shows you don’t really want to watch, but end up watching anyway.