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Burger Lesson

May 13, 2020



One of the best things born of staying-at-home is my husband’s hidden chef-ing abilities.


Thank you Food Network!


Many new and delicious dishes have graced our plates and I’m tickled and oh so appreciative.


You see, even though it’s hard for me to admit . . . I hate cooking.


I’d love to love it.

I’m envious of those who enjoy creating in the kitchen. It looks like fun, but as much as I’ve tried—and I spent years—I just don’t.


And this week I think I’ve figured out one of the big reasons.


Along with Taco Tuesdays, we have our boys’ favorite: Burger Fridays.


My husband really does it up right: grilled onions, lightly toasted brioche buns, burgers cooked to perfection and golden brown skinny fries.


At least that’s how it turned this week.


My son gave him the biggest compliment of all time, “It’s better than a restaurant!”


But it didn’t start out that way.


It took weeks of overdone burgers and underdone fries. But with each trial came ideas for how to make it better next time.


And now it’s perfected.

The food is delish and the process streamlined. Friday meals in the bag!


It didn’t take long, either. A few weeks overall.

Nothing compared to the months of enjoyment we’ll get from Family Burger Fridays.


But in order to get there my husband had to tolerate imperfect meals for his family.

Trying and coming up a little short.

Risking not being perfect this time.


I was never good at that.

So I stopped trying.

And I never got the “better than a restaurant” compliment.


Reminds me a lot of trying to lose weight and keeping it off.


If we aren’t willing to try something different, even though it might mean failing at it at first, then we’ll never find what actually works.


Instead we use "all or nothing" thinking: either you’re on a restrictive diet OR you’re eating everything in sight. Both are easy to know when you're doing it right.


It’s much harder to tolerate the middle, like when you want to eat healthily, but you overeat at a meal instead.


Rather than the usual berating yourself for failing and then give up, try:


  • Getting curious
  • Discovering what you could do differently next time in a similar situation
  • Letting yourself off the hook


The first way fixes the discomfort of failure by distracting from it and postponing it—pushing it away to deal with later.


The second has you in the discomfort, tolerating it long enough to get value from it. The discomfort can then pass through and leave. 

A real fix is much more likely as you get better and better at tolerating temporary discomfort and tweaking the situation.


In fact, tolerating and tweaking gets you everything you want—whether that’s the perfect Burger Night or lifelong weight maintenance.