I can sense your confusion. Yes, Catholicism has everything to do with sacrifice (and the sun rises in the east and the sky is blue). But what's the connection with Special K? Well, in order for something to be a sacrifice, we have to miss it when it's gone, feel that something is truly lacking. If you eat chocolate every single day and really love it, giving it up for Lent would be reasonable because you would feel something was lacking. However, if you only eat chocolate every once in a while, it wouldn't be much of a sacrifice.
Here's the connection. The commercial for Special K suggests a substitution. The woman depicted in the ad is sitting on the couch, while the narrator describes her craving for chocolate. She smiles as she gets up and pours herself a bowl of chocolate-flavored Special K, because now she's fulfilled her need for chocolate. Settle for the cereal, the commercial continues, and you can even lose weight! I've eaten Special K before, and it's fine as a cereal. Tastes pretty good, actually. It's not chocolate, though. Now, I realize that most people are not eating chocolate-flavored cereal on a regular basis as a substitute for the real thing. Diet foods, however, are often touted as "indulgences" that can stand in for what you're craving. To follow this logic, you could have a peanut butter-chocolate granola bar and skip the peanut butter-chocolate ice cream. The beauty of this approach, the diet companies rave, is not having to sacrifice the tastes you crave. But is this really such a good thing? Is sacrifice inherently bad?
Sacrifice, in and of itself, is a wonderful thing. Note: I did not say it is fun, or comfortable, or easy. Jesus died for us, for our sins, though, so the least we can do is to offer up our own sacrifice in His name. Our culture is so full of ways to keep from sacrificing that it's easy to get the wrong perspective. We'll settle for bland, tasteless, artificial-everything "foods" to try to convince ourselves that we're eating rich, indulgent fare. We're willing to settle for innumerable side effects and even risk cancer (from hormonal contraceptives) to avoid having to sacrifice sex. We settle for quick Facebook wall posts to avoid sacrificing too much of our time catching up with an old friend by letter or phone. We're so focused on avoiding sacrifice, we fail to see it for what it really is: a truly beautiful way to recall what Jesus did for us. So the next time you're sitting on the couch, craving chocolate, either have a piece or don't. If you're always settling, you'll never really be able to sacrifice - and that would be a shame indeed.
"And so, I beg you, brothers, by the mercy of God, that you offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, with the subservience of your mind.2 And do not choose to be conformed to this age, but instead choose to be reformed in the newness of your mind, so that you may demonstrate what is the will of God: what is good, and what is well-pleasing, and what is perfect." Romans 12:1-2