Yesterday I had a session with my Personal Trainer and we combined it with a bit of a social natter. There is always so much we have to talk about, we share ideas and philosophies in so many areas of life. This time it turned into what I will call 'coffee conversations', but in actual fact this was a pivotal moment in a lesson of context. We both come across this so many times with clients but it's often hard to see it for yourself.
This guy likes his coffee, I've always known that and he talks about 'having a coffee' in the morning. Yep, there's nothing wrong with that you might argue except he then goes onto mention that he often has another coffee after lunch, except this is a mug of coffee, except this is not just a regular size mug but a super large 500ml mug... That equates to 1 litre of coffee each day!
Mind blown. Reality check moment. He hadn't realised that had been happening at all. Seems crazy, but in his mind he just had 'one or two coffees'. It was a really interesting moment of discovery for us both.
This went on to chatting about the mindset of context and the notion of scale in general. Let's use me as an example... I have a bit of a 'problem' with dried dates. I sometime have 'a handful' but actually when I come to think of it, I can fit a huge amount dates in one handful if I'm really going for it and I know they are full of sugars. Yet when I say 'just a handful' in a flippant way it's not quantifiable, it's easy to gloss over and forget, and in my mind I think of it is just 'one or two'.
So many people do this with drink too.... a 'glass' of wine anyone?
We all know how dramatically different the size of a a glass can be!
Someone who makes sure they have their government guidelines of '8 glasses of water a day' may have a barely half filled stubby tumbler, or a full filled high top tumbler- a person drinking from one version would equate to drinking about three times the amount of the other!
I often ask clients when keeping a food and drink diary to take photos of the food and not simply write down what they've consumed. I may have two people who come to me and say 'I had spaghetti bolognese for dinner' yet those two people may have had such hugely different portion sizes to the extent that the food itself is not really the critical factor at play at all, it's the context of scale and of quantity that we really need to keep a check on and create awareness around.