Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Eating at the table
When our kids still lived at home, we always ate meals together at the kitchen table. I think Cliff and I retained this behavior even after they left the nest. I don't know when we gradually slipped into the habit of eating in the living room while watching television. I suspect it was probably after we signed up for cable or satellite TV. Or maybe after it became possible to record TV programs and watch them at will.
Our television isn't usually on during the day except for a few minutes of news in the morning and about an hour while we eat midday dinner, when we watch something recorded (Good Wife is our favorite; we watch it during the noon meal every Monday).
One of the things suggested in every diet plan or weight-loss book I've ever come across is that people should only eat at the table. For instance, here's a quote from a free Kindle book I'm reading, "Skinny Thinking Daily Thoughts". "Make it a point today to really be present when you are eating. Ironically, those of us who love food and see it as central to our happiness are not very aware when we're eating. We find ourselves eating quickly, or while doing something else such as driving, talking on the phone, watching television, or reading, so the experience of eating isn't as satisfying as it could be."
So I told Cliff I thought maybe we should try this and, although I'm pretty sure he thought I was crazy (what's the difference where we eat?), he agreed. We sat at the table eating our barley pilaf, sweet potatoes, and green beans. I don't think either of us felt it was making any difference in our feelings, and we would have been lots more comfortable in our easy chairs. By the time it was coffee-and-dessert time (a tiny piece of un-iced cake and 1/2 cup of ice cream), after only a couple of bites we practically ran to the living room, where we could watch our recorded episodes of "Pawn Stars" while finishing our dinner.