Sitting down to eat breakfast shouldn't feel like a luxury, but it does—at least on weekdays. A recent study of 78 women—conducted for Special K by Dr. Jennifer Newson, a cognitive neuroscientist from Oxford University—indicated that eating cereal from a square bowl rather than a round one made the participants feel they were having a more satisfying and better-tasting meal because somehow it looked more nutritious. Fine—brains and eyes are weird. The perhaps more disturbing thing to me personally is that the study also found that participants perceived the exact same cereal as more beneficial and filling if they ate their breakfast standing up. This is precisely the mindset I've been trying to free myself from.
It's good to know I'm not alone and that it's all in my head, but it also annoys me that it's taken up space there for so long. If I am eating standing up—as I often do—I'm telling myself that somehow I don't deserve the full benefit of this meal. That I'm sneaking it past the guards and can easily saunter away from it should I find myself actually taking time to relish any aspect of what I have so long understood to be a purely functional meal.
What do I think I'm going to achieve by awkwardly posturing with my breakfast salad (I eat a lot of breakfast salad) while staring at Al Roker? It's not like I'm capable of a wide range of activities from which I am hampered by sitting down like a human being who can actually reach her coffee. Oh no! I could have been working on my Nobel-worthy project that will save mankind from poverty and disease, but touching my hindquarters to a cushion while I shoveled chia pudding into my drooling maw thwarted it all. Sorry, Earth.
I've been trying to break myself of this habit, because it's done me no good, and perhaps has achieved the opposite. If I start my day in frenzy and deprivation, it will continue that way. I'm beginning to have this nutty notion that I deserve better than that, so I've been taking an extra few seconds to bend my knees, lower my body, and sit with my breakfast items in front of me. Granted, it costs me another several seconds to straighten my limbs, recollect these items, and raise my body back up, but I'm willing to take that risk. For now. As an experiment. It's a one-person study and results may not be applicable to everyone, but let's see how long I can stand it.