I’ve come to the end of the experiment and from the media hiatus standpoint I find myself reluctant to dive back into the water. For 2 weeks I’ve been viewing nothing on the T.V., radio, or the Internet except for checking on the weather, and deleting Spam from my email accounts. Where I’ve definitely missed watching the Hockey playoffs I have not found myself in some state of withdrawal over the rest of it. I did not lunge for the mouse to click on HuffingtonPost to get caught up on info I might have missed. My initial state of boredom got filled in getting a head start on the personal readings assignment for class and also sifting through music I might use for teaching a yoga class. I’ve also kept up on our laundry. Technically, I did not see any change in chronic pain that was part of the impetus to do this part of the experiment. That was whether the pain was a physical manifestation of psychological stress. But there was a subtle shift, or perhaps a reminder of what I already knew, that I have the say in whether to watch something or not. Sometimes in the tumult I forget that simple fact and get sucked in by making sure to tune in tomorrow and the next day and the day after that for updates that are not really updating anything. I did watch a hockey game after breaking the media fast, and my observations were that it was loud. I had to turn the volume down from where I would usually have it. Also, I found myself a step behind the action. Hockey being a fast moving game, I could normally keep up or know where the puck was going, even ahead of the camera. I was definitely behind the pace. I’ve read about silent meditation retreats where a person was silent for a year or something and could not comprehend spoken language for a time after returning from the retreat. I was not that radically shifted, but my experience with watching the hockey game reminded me of it.
Regarding the dietary changes consuming no dairy or wheat, the original test about whether it would affect my sinuses did not bring about any tangible results. Physically, I lost 7 pounds, and the suspected hypoglycemia dissipated. Like the media part, I did not dive in eating a pan pizza or a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The psychological affects were more apparent. A few years ago my wife and I did the South Beach diet, and I guess misery loves company, because doing this experiment alone was more isolating than the previous experience. I was able to eventually practice being with the experience and not labeling it as good or bad which diffused some of the whining impulse. Also as I mentioned before, the awareness of the saturation of these ingredients in most foods has given me new empathy and respect for people who through personal choice or medical necessity have excluded these items from their diet.