TV Diet?

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’m a football addict. If you passed me on the street you would see a
mild-mannered 65-year old. But when the season rolls around, it takes
lots of self-control not to start watching. I’ve never been addicted to
anything else, like alcohol or drugs, though maybe ice cream in the
summer. If I watched every game that’s on (college and professional)
I could lose every Monday and Thursday night, and all day Saturday
and Sunday. I have friends who are rabid fans of our local college
team (fingers crossed, national contenders!!) and others who root for
our hometown pro team (not so much, sigh). But I think I’m the only
one who would watch much more on my own. Do I allow myself to do
it for a few months, or set some limits?

TV Diet?

Dear Need A TV Diet:

Every addiction needs limits. Here’s my suggestions. Schedule your
“don’t miss this game” viewing time for games that you actually care
about. That’s approximately twelve for your college team and eighteen
for your pro team, two per week from September to December. Then
add in all the playoff and championship games in January and
February. The good news is that after the college bowl season ends
(intensive pre-holiday and holiday season viewing), you get a chance
to taper off, like drinking lite beer or low-cal ice cream. Make all of
those occasions social ones as well. Food and drinks, friends and
cheering. If you watch other games, keep track of them. Keep track of
your mood, what you eat, and why you are choosing to watch TV
rather than engaging with other people or a good book.

Then take inventory of your life and think about other activities that
give you pleasure. Activities as in active not passive. Anything from
playing cards or bingo to volunteer work. Schedule an equal amount of
weekly time for those, and yet again as much for other things that
give you pleasure but are not football. Think cooking a great meal or a
date. Whatever extra energy is left for TV, use to watch highlights