Have you heard the saying, “You are what you eat”? Well nowadays it’s more like, “You are what you watch.” Not quite in the, “If you eat healthy food you’ll become healthy,” because then we would all be Jedi’s, reality stars, and athletes according to our DVR. What I am saying is that you may be experiencing feelings and thoughts due to what you’re exposing yourself to on a regular basis.

It’s just common sense, whatever you put into your brain is going to shape what comes out of your life. I mean, think about it, it’s a natural response to mimic what we see and hear. Our kids are doing it right in front of our eyes everyday, that’s how they learn, but we tend to forget that we’re guilty of it as well. That’s why we must be really careful about what it is we are subjecting ourselves to. Like Jedi Master Yoda once said, “When you look at the dark side, careful you must be. For the dark side looks back.”

That said, I love television series’ like The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. Those shows aren’t going to make me a zombie hunter (yet…but it’s training me just in case) or a drug manufacturer (yet…but it’s training me just in case…kidding). Nevertheless I’ll talk more about these types of shows in just a minute.

Now, all in all there’s nothing “wrong” with watching any of the below shows that I’m suggesting you limit, as they’re made for entertainment purposes. However, if we inundate ourselves with these and allow them to truly affect us and our decisions then that is where some real dangers can arise.

How do you expect to be a Jedi Master if you’re too busy watching Empire…I mean, thee Empire.

Here are some suggestions of shows to perhaps limit and instead which ones you may want to start putting to work for you.

Breaking News!

If you’re a big news watcher, like myself, then I implore you to force yourself to watch different news outlets with differing reporting angles to actually have a better chance of assessing what is really being reported so you can discern, for yourself, what you think you should from it.

If you only seek out your news from one bias source, who tells you what you want to hear, then you will be a bias person who never expands their mind and who can’t learn about the world, and people, around them. This will typically make you angry and bitter because it makes everything “us vs. them”.

In my opinion, and that’s all this is, an “us vs. them” type of parent will never make a great mentor or role model because how can someone teach if they can’t learn? Do they just want to be a mindless zombie who tries to teach their kid to be mindless like them? But that’s my two cents that you can either use or let pass you by.

Affected Watching Could Lead To: Traces of Being Bias and Potential Poor Role Modeling.

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Where’s your heart? Is it in providing a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable environment for you and your family to grow and live together? Or is your heart in keeping up with the Jones’ and always wanting what your neighbors (or friends and family) have? You really need to ask yourself what’s important and come up with a sound financial plan to achieving it.

Watching show’s like HGTV’s House Hunters can cause us to want to buy a new home, that’s not realistically in our budget (because I think most people on these shows seem to be millionaires or something), instead of learning how to make the best out of what we already have. Now if buying a home is an actual goal of yours it might help to see what’s out there and how much it costs.

However, if you’re tired of your house and know that it could just use some improvements over time then it might be worth watching shows like HGTV’s Holmes on Homes, DIY’s Renovation Realities and Rehab Addict, as well as PBS’s This Old House.

Affected Watching Could Lead To: Traces of Jealousy, Discontent, Greed, Covetousness, and Disappointment.

Thyme On Your Hands?

With the rise of cooking shows we’ve been thrown not only a ton of foodie favorites but also multiple channels with a long lineup of listings.

As fun as these shows can be, perhaps limit cooking competitions like Chopped and Top Chef. With these shows you’re getting drama and competition and it can be hard to actually educate yourself on cooking techniques and learn professional chef secrets on how to conjure up some creative cuisines because they’re swamped with commercials and drama.

A great complement to those cooking shows are cooking segments from professionals like PBS’s Sara Moulton and John Besh as these types of hosts are qualified culinary chefs who have written cook books, owned restaurants, taught classes, and overall made a successful living for themselves making food for schleps like me.

Affected Watching Could Lead To: Traces of Being Insecure About Cooking and too Judgmental on Yourself and Others.

Financial Cents

I’m not guilty of this one except that once in a blue moon I am. Commercials in general can sometimes sucker me in but channels like QVC, Home Shopping, and As Seen on TV infomercials are designed to grab our attention along with our wallets.

Instead of getting hypnotized by the countdown clock and “Call Now” call-to-actions, start watching things like History Channel’s American Pickers, PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, DIY’s Garage Gold, DIY’s Salvage Dawgs, and A&E’s Storage Wars as they’re not only informative as to things people do and don’t value in this world, which could help put our own priorities in check, but they can inspire you as to what you can realistically seek out and sell to make an income off of.

You could also start watching PBS’s sister channel, Create TV, as they have a plethora of shows that teach you how to make things that you could actually start selling yourself on Etsy or eBay which could lead to you making an actual career out of it. You never know!

Affected Watching Could Lead To: Traces of Wasting Money, Wasting Time, and Wasting Untapped Talent.

Drop it Like a Squat

Obviously we as parents aren’t as young as we’d like so we hit a place where weight becomes a bit of an obsession or at the very least something that we’re aware of. We either do something about it, make small changes in hopes of seeing effects, or we ignore it altogether. Because of this obsession it’s moved into our living rooms thanks to TV shows like The Biggest Loser and Fit to Fat to Fit.

Unfortunately the one thing these shows hang their hat on is that they are an “inspiration” to viewers. However, I would completely disagree with this assessment. Watching how hard losing weight is, either physically, emotionally, mentally, self-control-ably, and/or accountability wise is probably the stupidest thing any of us can do when we have a major fight in front of us.

Think about it. Any time you’ve had something extremely difficult, like life-changing difficult, in front of you, would you have wanted to watch someone else go through the pain and torture first knowing you’re about to endure it as well? You know you wouldn’t.

Do yourself a favor and stop watching these drama based weight loss shows and start watching something that will get you off the couch and start moving you instead, even if it’s just in your living room.

You could even take advantage of some amazing FREE programs like the Real Appeal where it’s covered under health insurances, gives you a free personal fitness coach, a blender, a food scale, and a plethora of other items all free of charge, including a video workout series.

Another tip I have, that I personally use and have lost a ton of weight from is instead of just sitting watching sports for hours at a time, sit on a stationary bike while you root for your favorite teams. It makes time exercising fly as well as gives you something to take aggression out on when your team is getting their ass handed to them (believe me, I know firsthand).

Affected Watching Could Lead To: Traces of Discouragement, Failure, Doubt, Insecurity, and Gluttony.

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

I’m not going to get into becoming the moral police and tell you whether you should or shouldn’t watch porn, as it isn’t my place to make that decision for you. What I will get into is if you’re using things like pornography, or ABC’s The Bachelor, to fill a void in your relationship, then I can tell you that it’s ultimately going to do more harm than good.

As parents we need to be a united front with our significant other and we need to be doing things to strengthen that bond, not weaken it. Therefore, I urge you to not seek out sexual desires or relational fantasies elsewhere and instead have open and honest communication with your loved one.

If they are not receptive or considerate to your needs and thoughts then there might be deeper issues than just needing something to escape reality for a moment. Please seek help from your pastors, spiritual leaders, relationship counselors, and/or a professional therapist.

Affected Watching Could Lead To: Traces of Spite, Disrespect, Anger, Sadness, and Adultery.

Entertainment Today

you are what you watch

This category is where you shouldn’t even think. Let your brain veg out on mindless entertainment fun. Hell, any of the shows that I discussed above might perfectly fall in line here but just remember that if you’re watching and it makes you think things you shouldn’t think, or want to do things you don’t NEED to do, or spend money on things you don’t NEED to buy then please be self-aware and perhaps start limiting it.

Overall, makes sure it’s fun and gives you a real sense of entertainment and nothing more. Just for shits and giggles, here are my personal recommendations for entertaining watching: AMC’s The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, Netflix’s Stranger Things, HBO’s Game of Thrones, and reruns of Seinfeld and Friends will always get a smile out of you no matter the stressful, shit day you just had.

What do you watch that controls you? What do you recommend? Or do you think the book is better? Let us know in the comments below!

you are what you watch