I’m hanging my head in shame (not for the first time) because in a post a couple of weeks’ ago I laughingly wrote ‘…whilst I do have times when I eat (and drink) more than I want they tend to be fewer and fewer nowadays’. Yeah right. So what happened? Last week I was on my way to France; I was wondering how my mindful eating would go at my dear French friend’s house in Normandy where the staple diet is butter, cream, cheese and mountains of meat. Crikey I hadn’t even left the UK before I had yet another lesson in mindfulness and eating and drinking mindfully. We stayed with close family and as you do I was offered and accepted a glass of red wine (it was fab) and then another…it was great to be with people I loved and I relaxed after a long journey. So how come I woke up the next morning feeling hung over and shaky, head pounding, and wondering why yet again I had failed miserably to manage my drinking?
Because dear reader I didn’t observe what Brain Wansink highlighted in his research (check out his great book Mindless Eating) that size really does matter particularly when it comes to large, wide red-wine glasses. Apparently our brains over focus on the height of objects and under-estimate the width of objects (the Horizontal-Vertical illusion) hence I completely under-estimated how much red wine was in each glass (probably about a third of a bottle) and let my eyes do the talking rather than my body.
Compare this with the more mindful drinking we did in France where the large glasses were for water and all wine was served in small wine glasses which we tended to drink from far more slowly. Hence no over indulging in France…
Oh well, thank goodness mindfulness is a journey not a destination!