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I’m Going on This Diet (yes, the D word)


Who me, Lisa? The health coach who doesn’t believe in diets?  Yes, it is true.  I am going on a d-i-e-t.  I know, I know. I don’t like the D word, but I have to do it.  I need this diet in order to survive. REALLY.

I am not doing South Beach, Jenny Craig, Atkins …  Those diets don’t work.  Diets  just don’t work. BUT I am going on a “digital diet.” I have to do this because I am getting so out of control with my phone, Internet, TV… When  Kevin threatened to throw my phone out the car window, I knew I was in too deep (and to keep things in reference, I was checking my phone at every stop light; ignoring the chat we were having).

I am constantly checking my smart phone for email messages, tweets, Face Book updates, texts… It is never ending, and I am beginning to notice that even though I work a lot, I am now not sure how much work I am actually doing.  There have been times at dinner where I whip out my phone and get lost in the messages. To tell the truth, I check my email messages every 5-10 minutes during the day; feeling like I will miss something if I don’t get my email updates immediately.  I feel like a crack addict.  I’m addicted!  (never smoked crack, but I am sure I have that same “gotta have it!” feeling).  Plus I sure don’t want to end up like this lady!

I just read a fantastic commentary in Sunday’s Washington Post by Daniel Sieberg. He starts out by asking the following:

Q:  Do you ever feel the urge to pull out your smartphone while someone else is making a point in a conversation?

Q:  Have you ever realized that you were texting or checking your email while your child was telling you about her day at school?

Q:  Have you ever felt that something hasn’t really happened until you post it on Facebook?

Q:  Does a flashing red light on your Blackberry make your heart flutter?

Q:  Are you spending time with your spouse or significant other without talking to each other because you’re immersed in a different device?

“If you answered yes to at least a couple of these questions, you’re among the millions of Americans being overrun by technology.”

Damn. I got a 4 out of 5. AND the one that tugged at my heart was #2. I think I am guilty of this one…which means it is time to take action. There are many anti-technology manifestos out there like, “You are Not a Gadget” and “Alone Together.” There are many who are trying to pull the plug altogether. This isn’t going to fly for me.  All I know is that I am not fully connecting to my loved ones lately, and all the multi-tasking is making me nuts and unproductive.  Research even states that the technology buzz is not good for the brain.

The addiction to my phone is so similar to cravings for baked goods, salty potato chips, and warm creamy milk. From my experience with working with clients, giving up the addiction cold turkey is a set-up for failure.  Deprivation, starvation, will-power are not answers.  Maybe for the short-term. But slowly and surely old habits come back.  If  you want long-term, lasting change, a step-by-step process with support  is needed.

In January, I set a goal to go unplugged Sundays.  I did do this for about a few weeks, but noticed that Sunday was a good day for me to plan and get ready for the week. I seemed to get anxious if I couldn’t get on the laptop to add events in my Google calendar.  My plan fell through, and I haven’t been unplugged since.   So I am now switching to Saturdays ~ if you see me on Face book or texting, tweeting, call me out! Remember, support!  I am also going to just check my email 4  times per day.    Sound like a good plan? Makes me a bit nervous, but I know that I will feel relief and stay productive.  I won’t go cold turkey, but taking taking things step by step will help me reach my goal.  I will be able to spend more time with my family, enjoy life fully, really taking it all in; being truly present instead of half-way.

Can you relate? What do you do to get control of the digital overload? How does this relate to your health?  Any suggestions would be so welcomed!  Leave your message below.


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30 Responses to I’m Going on This Diet (yes, the D word)

Judy Griffin

I can so relate to what you are saying. I need to slim down here as well. I appreciate your post. It really gives me some incentive to scale back and actually be more productive & present.
Thank you, Judy

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Judy! So glad you can relate…I thought I was going crazy, but after reading the article in the Post, I realized that this is such an epidemic. An unhealthy one too. Do you have any ideas on how you will scale back a bit? Any thoughts are welcomed! We can support each other with this.:)

jean compton

Lisa! I can TOTALLY relate! I am turning into a complete internet/cellphone junkie! This is SUCH a good idea. I’m going to try the one day a week fast from cell/internet. Sundays are a good day for me to do this.

Great post, Sistah L.

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Oh, I was so nervous to put this post up…but I just had to reach out and be honest. Okay, we need to keep each other to our days, your’s~Sunday, mine~Sat. So if you see me on FB or on the google group, tell me to get the hell off!:) Thank you so much for your message, Jean! We can do this!!!xo

Kevin Ryan

You should be nervous. It’s hard to quit crack. You’re probably doing through withdrawal right now just thinking about it. So how many strikes do you get before I shut off your service or trade in your iPhone for the 1980s Gordon Gekko model?

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Yep, TOTALLY nervous! I know you will be watching closely! I just feel so badly when I am at the computer/checking my phone when the kids are talking or if you are trying to tell me something. I get it. So I am going on a “diet.” Remember, no strikes. Trying to keep it positive.;)


    First, the greatest 80s phone is the Zack Morris phone. Geez Kevin 🙂 Second, some of us are cheap and still have phones from 2005 that don’t have the internet, but since I have played Angry Birds at least a few times, I wish you good luck with this Lisa!!!!

      Lisa Consiglio Ryan

      I know, Kym. I am a bit nervous…need all the luck I can get!!! I can’t imagine not having internet on my phone. What happened to the good ole days? Thanks for your wish!


I completely agree! I really try to disconnect on the weekends and in the evenings. To add to this, I am scaling back on mailings, too. Unsubscribe is a wonderful thing. (But not to this information, of course!!!) I’ve just outgrown some newsletters and info. I

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Yes! I am going to probably add the evenings to my “diet.” Good idea. I am going to take it slow and unplug for one day; see how that goes with trying to limit my crack-like behavior step by step. Thanks for your message, Suzette!!!! Hugs to you!

Meaghan Massella Walker

Lisa, I agree… too much technology and I am addicted too!!! A great book which has sections discussing being more productive and thus checking email less (and overall being less “busy”) is the 4 hour work week. I’m going to copy you on this one. Starting at 2pm (after work) on Saturday!

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    We need to be in a self-help group with this, girl! Let’s keep each other accountable on our unplugged Saturday. AND I really really dig the 4Hour Work Week. Tim Ferris has it goin’ on.Great book idea, Meaghan! xx


I can definitely relate. I’ve been working on this stuff over the last few months. I stopped using instant messenger which was literally taking hours of my day… I am still addicted to twitter and facebook but pretty good about turning them off during the weekend. It is bad when you realize you around other people and all you want to do is look at your phone. Good to remember that there was once a time when we didn’t have mobile devices!! People used to talk TO each other — so weird!! 🙂

Good luck with your special “diet”!!!

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    I love it! “people used to talk TO each other!” This seems like ages and ages ago!!!! So strange!! Ha ha!:) I like your idea about unplugging from social media all weekend…that might be a future step for me. Baby steps! Just like with changing health habits, a little at a time will last. So glad you can relate, Roz! AND thanks so much for your message!!! xx

Jodi Roberts

I think Saturday is a much better idea than Sunday. I also like to do my planning for the week on Sunday nights. I would totally explode on Monday mornings if I didn’t already have an action plan. I also like the evening idea. I am guilty of doing “one last check” before I go to sleep, which is totally foolish. I am going to try that tip.

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Hey there, Jodi! I was pretty much a wreck on Monday mornings after a Sunday tech fast. I think Saturdays will be better…I tend to play more that day. I actually sleep with my phone…that one last check, and then the immediately when I wake up morning check. My phone is now being charged in my office so I am not tempted. See you soon, lady! xx


well that’s funny that you are asking us to reply to it as we have to reply on our digital monsters which of course breaks the diet and proves us to addicts… ugh…. i feel like i am being drained by technology and everything coming at me so quickly and everyone needing a response NOW…. so here i go to download the photos i took for my kids school so i can post them promptly as this is what i said i would do …. and of course i must check my email to find how many waters i said i would bring to the end of the year gathering and also make sure i rsvp’d to the invites…. while i am building a website for my business…. oh…. now i really want a drink!:)…. no rest for the weary…. lisa… if i weren’t so darned busy i would do another detox!…:)… good tidings to you, andrea

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    You are so right! I am so immersed in this technology stuff I didn’t realize! Maybe we should have met for a tea instead. I am really going to work on this “diet.” AND the end of the year with school is such a crazy busy time with all kinds of emails flying around. AND you are building a website for your biz….oohh, do tell! I can’t wait to see it! I know, a drink sounds good about now…but maybe we can try a green juice and feel all better. 🙂 Hang in there, Andrea!!!! We can do this!!!! xx

Sue Ann Gleason

Oh yes, I’m there. A main liner. I’m checking my iPhone at red lights. Took my MacBook Air on vacation and posted religiously. It’s time for an intervention. LOL

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Yes, let’s have an intervention, Sue Ann!!! Thanks for supporting me…and it is good to know I am not the only one! (I so want a MacBook Air…but that will not help my addiction much). Thanks, Sue Ann!

Nichole Kellerman

LOL, I SO needed to hear this, thank you Lisa!

You have inspired me, I think I need to make my sundays “unplugged”

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Big, big thanks, Nichole!!!! It is getting so out-of-control for me…let me know how your “unplugged Sundays” go…I’m here to support you, girl!!!!

Liz Longacre

Right there with you girl! So funny cause I’ve been thinking of writing a post on this lately. My email inbox literally drives me insane, I hate feeling like it controls my life! I’m trying to check it less but then it gets all backed up which also drives me nuts. Uggh, it’s a battle I have not won yet for sure. I also wonder how much “work” I get done w/all this online mumbo jumbo always distracting me!

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Oh, girl! We need to start a group…I am a bit concerned about going unplugged Saturday, but on the other hand I just can’t wait! My inbox is controlling me, and it is time to get my control back (before I am sent away to the looneybin!). I get a little crazy when my email is all backed up, but I know that on Sunday I will refreshed and focused. I also need to tackle only checking my email 1-2 times per day. My friend Justine just mentioned not checking email in the morning and waiting until 10 am. There is a book, “Never Check Email in the Morning” that I need to check out. It is good to know that we are all in this together. love you, Liz!


Great post Lisa! I completely relate. The past 2 weeks I’ve literally been a-buzz; bouncing between email, facebook, my blackberry and email. I felt like nothing was getting done, and I was starting to wonder if I’d just lost the capacity to finish any project.

I especially find it difficult when I’m working on my business, online.

So, on Tuesday I unplugged. Not completely. But I shut off my email, and closed facebook and twitter. I wrote a step by step list of what I wanted to do and kept focused on it all day long. I left my blackberry on the kitchen counter & did a quick scroll through to see if there were any emergencies while I was grabbing lunch or a coffee. Then, back to work with no little flashing red lights or chimes from my email to distract me.

I got so much done! But still realized I often make lists that are WAY longer than are humanly possible to achieve in one day. I think I’ll take the Tuesday approach more often in the coming weeks. I didn’t miss anything urgent & I felt sane 🙂

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Loralee! Thanks so much for your message! It is so nice to hear that you survived! I will do the same on Saturday…and I like your idea of leaving the phone somewhere. It is so tempting to check it when it is sitting next to my laptop. AND I don’t even know why I am checking it! I just LOVE your success story…you have me inspired and ready for my first unplugged day tomorrow. (and feeling sane, so looking forward to that part!!).


I need this Diet for sure! I am trying to figure out how to simplify my tech time. Less is more.
Setting set times to check and do things are key for me. I know that when I go on a fast, I feel so much better and life is still turning. Thanks Lisa!

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    So happy you related to the post, Casey! Let me know how your techy diet goes…I can tell you, that day of fasting has been working wonders for me. I’m not perfect; like when I have tons of work to do and have to work on Saturdays, BUT I make sure I unplug the next day if I can. I feel so clear and focused when I do that. Thanks for sharing, Casey! xx

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