Have you read this book? If not, I highly recommend it. Mindless Eating is an interesting, easy to read exploration of, well, just what the title says–mindless eating. Lots of intriguing information about how mindlessly we all eat–and how powerful external forces can be in influencing how much we put into our mouths.
Wansink says that we make over 200 food-related choices every day and he points out many of the influences that can lead us to eat more than we think we are or more than we might really be hungry for. It’s not a “how-to” book but it left me thinking about lots of little things in my own life and household including the size and shape of my drinking glasses (read it–you’ll see).
Reading Mindless Eating also had me thinking about mindlessness in general. Most of us spend an amazing amount of time in a rather mindless, auto-pilot zone. Do you remember your last bite of food–not what you ate–do you really remember actually chewing and swallowing it? Did you see what your spouse was wearing this morning? Did you hear the radio in your car on the way to work? So much of the time we aren’t really present. Not being present is often the first step down the slippery slope of emotional overeating.
Take an inventory of the biggest components of mindlessness in your life. What are the things you do routinely that encourage mindlessness? Surfing the internet? Watching reruns on Nick at Nite that you’ve already seen ten times? Video games?
If you are feeling courageous, I challenge you to estimate the time you spend each day in activities that you KNOW encourage mindlessness. Now list the things you do on a regular basis that help you be more present, more focused and more attentive in your life. How’s the balance?
What is one thing you can do to shift the balance one small centimeter towards more mindfulness? Pick one thing that you could add or eliminate that would help you be more present in your life.
PS: I just added a new link where I can post books I love and recommend. Mindless Eating is there and I’ll keep adding to it. I’d love to hear your suggestions too.