How your phone is making you fat.

How your phone is making you fat.

Hello, are you there? It’s me, your body.

Everywhere I look I see people staring into smartphones.

They’re on trains, in buses, at dinner tables, waiting in queues, walking along the street bumping into things, in toilets. (Oops maybe I only saw myself do that, but I know you’ve probably done it too. Gross hey…) Every spare second is filled with virtual space, it’s demanding, incessant and seductive. And it’s pulling us out right out of our bodies.

Do you escape from your body into your monkey mind and out into the virtual world at every opportunity?

I know you probably do. Here’s some stats to prove it. 

  • Almost 50% of 18-34 year olds check Facebook when they wake up – 28% before even getting out of bed 
  • 57% of people talk to people more online than they do in real life
  • Globally more people own a mobile phone than a toothbrush.
  • 60% admit to using their device while going to the bathroom. ( See it’s not just me! )
  • There are more devices connected to the Internet than there are people on Earth.
  • 24% of people have missed witnessing important moments because they are too busy trying to write about them on social networks.
  • 40% of people spend more time socializing online than they do face-to-face.
  • On average, we spend 4.4 hours of our leisure time in front of screens each day.

Source: http://thesocialskinny.com/216-social-media-and-internet-statistics-september-2012/

 

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But, what does that have to do with my weight?

Overweight-ness (I know that’s not a real word) and escaping from your body go hand in hand. If you’re constantly in the virtual world then you’re ignoring all the other sensory messages from your body.  You can become so disconnected that you forget how to listen to the subtle, quiet messages from your cells. Like hunger, or fullness, or sensory pleasure.  Not to mention the damage to our focus and productivity our brain pings to check our phone or email a few hundred times per day. All of this constant activity can cause you to feel busy and stressed and unhappy. Which means your cortisol levels rise and you store belly fat. And if you’re busy, stressed and unhappy you’re more likely to mindlessly comfort eat and not remember how to stop.

Quiet, stillness, introspection, listening to the quiet wisdom inside is the key to lasting happiness and health. It’s not just me saying that either.

“Within my body are all the sacred places of the world, and the most profound pilgrimage I can ever make is within my own body.” – Saraha

 

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha

 

“It is only by grounding our awareness in the living sensation of our bodies that the ‘I Am,’ our real presence, can awaken.” – G.I. Gurdjieff

 The “get back in your body” challenge…

I challenge you (and myself) to ground yourself in your body at least three times per day by switching off your phone, taking three deep breaths and spending 5 minutes feeling your feet on the floor, the air on your skin and listening to the ambient noise. Close your eyes and allow yourself to dive within. I just did it here at my desk and it feels awesome, expansive, beautiful. If your monkey mind is chattering, calm it by repeating a word or two, like: Peace. Love. Stillness. Joy.  

And sometimes when you’re walking down a nice street, put your phone away and just enjoy watching the sun through the leaves, or the sound of your feet, the feel of your clothes on your skin. Life is too short to spend it all tweeting, posting, liking, pinging etc. Get back inside your body and remember how it FEELS to BE alive.

Comments (16)

  1. I'm going to challenge myself to one FULL phone free day a week. Sundays.
    Ill switch my phone off Saturday night before I hit the sack and switch it back on 24hrs later.
    How scary!
    But how liberating to think that ill have to spend that whole day actually talking and listening to the people in my life!!
    Thanks Mamma Ryan xxx

    • Oh yeah Sunday tech free day, I like that @Betsy & @Ellen, I had that this weekend just because I was enjoying the lovely day with my family. It was liberating. Tech free… blissful.

    • Yep I agree Cathy. It can be done, and I think it's totally worth the effort.

  2. Hi Kylie,

    Great article! An apt reminder of how much I “unconsciously” use social media and technology in general.

    Now for some action to reduce it….! 🙂

    Dina x

  3. Hi Kylie,

    Great article! An apt reminder of how much I "unconsciously" use social media and technology in general.

    Now for some action to reduce it… 🙂

    Dina x

  4. Challenge is on for me Kylie. Makes so much sense and I have always been aware of my smart phone addiction. X

  5. I do love not checking my phone and not being available to everyone all the time – it has been a very liberating process…….and now this article has made me realise that I do check my phone when I wake up, as it is my alarm….mmmmm time to change that habit too 🙂

    • Yep. It’s a dangerous habit to get into. Back to the old school alarm clock I say.

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  8. Hi there
    I recently went to the US and I left my phone at home.
    I had my macbook with me so I could read my kindle books (which I didn’t end up reading because I was too busy seeing the sights!). I also used it to check the odd email when the hotel had free wifi in the evening (so not every night, and I was only ever on for a max of 20 mins) and to make a few Skype phone calls home (to save getting silly bills on my iphone), but that was it. During the day … it was just me, my surrounds and a camera.
    So liberating. I thoroughly recommend it.
    Someone over there asked me there what would happen if there was an emergency? They were a bit shocked when I suggested a landline. Funny how we all get so attached to our technology.
    Fiona

    • What a great experience! Thanks for sharing Fiona! So true.

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