Doing the Dishes

There are always dishes to be done when you cook.

The more components to the meal, the more dishes you’ve got to clean.

Baking cookies from a mix? You might get away just rinsing one bowl.

Baking the perfect gluten-free brownie? You’re tempering chocolate and getting pretty messy.

I know a chef who teaches other chefs and home cooks how to cook, and he pointed out to me that ‘the aversion to doing the dishes’ is actually one of the biggest barriers to people cooking regularly at home.

So I thought I’d take a minute today to re-frame this aversion for you.

As you know I coach people about nutrition. But it doesn’t do any good to tell someone to cook more if they are not ready, willing, and able to do it. And that willingness needs to be an 8 or 9 out of 10. A 5 or 6 isn’t going to happen.

Why is doing the dishes viewed as a painful chore in the first place? Let’s start there.

Because you’d rather be doing something else? (More fun.)

Because you’ve got a lot of other things to do, places to be? (Busy schedule.)

Because you’re a man, and that’s ‘not your job’? (Cultural stereotype.)

Because you did the cooking, and your spouse should have to wash? (Relationship balance.)

Because you’re tired? (Priority & schedule check.)

Because it’s not worth the effort? (Easier to take out, for example.)

Well, guess what: you’re right.

How you feel is … totally valid.

All 6 of those things are true, for as long as you want or need them to be.

They don’t have to stay true, however. You can change the story that you are telling yourself.

If you’re willing to look a little deeper, you’ll see that none of those things are actually about the dishes at all. Not one bit.

Every single one is about some other, underlying issue or source of tension.

The time to make for more fun is not dish washing time. Your feeling surrounding the dishes as a chore are about you, and no one else.

The real question you need to be asking is, are you worth it?

Are you worth the effort, the time needed to cook more and invest in your health?

Of course you are.

It’s not the dishes that are in the way.

It’s you.

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