Losing It: Robin Hates Cooking Dinner

Our weight-loss blogger's not one for meal planning—or cooking for that matter. How can she learn to love a little kitchen time?

Robin’s Weight Tracker
Starting: 130.4 pounds
Current: 127.1 pounds
Goal: 113 pounds

Things I don’t exactly hate but, rather, dislike:

1. Rachael Ray. Don’t even get me started. On second thought, she might actually fall into the “hate” category.
2. Colored denim. Yes, I know it’s in style but you will never, EVER see me wearing it.
3. Manual transmission. I drive for convenience, not sport.
4. The word “tender.” It’s always bothered me.
5. Meal planning and cooking dinner.

Not to diminish the worldly importance of items one through four, but I’m going to focus on number five, and I suspect that many of you feel like I do about this subject. For someone who is such a planner and control freak I am just not good at planning a week’s worth of meals in advance. I’ve tried, and I think it stuck for one week, but beyond that I couldn’t be bothered. Instead, I figure out my meals one day at a time and, therefore, spend an inordinate amount of time at the grocery store. I’ve been told that this is not good for my waistline or my wallet, but it’s the way I roll.

I envy those people who like trying new recipes and instinctively know when something needs just a bit more tarragon; I’m just not one of those people. I (obviously) love to eat good food and really like watching people make it (hello, Voltaggio brothers), but prepping and sautéing are not high on the list of things I enjoy doing. By the time I’ve gotten home from work and/or picked my daughter, O, up from school, gone through the mail, unpacked school bags and work bags, played 15 games of Candyland, checked in on my Words With Friends games, and taken a breath, the last thing I want to think about is the new recipe I’m going to take out for a spin. Instead I have about 10 dinners that I can whip up easily and, with a little take-out thrown in here and there, we manage not to get bored.

Take tonight’s meal, for instance: salmon a la Soy Vey with roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots (or in our house, salmon #2 and veggie #7). Who wouldn’t want to dine at my table knowing that dishes so delectable were on deck?

Perhaps if I were a little bit better about planning in advance I wouldn’t always be trying to throw together a meal using only what I have at my disposal. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think much (that’s healthy or edible, anyway) can be made from the combination of canned tuna, Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, puff pastry dough and frozen mango. This is definitely something that I have to work on if I plan on maintaining any sort of weight loss and if I want to teach my kids anything about healthy eating habits. But more on my kids, eating, and guilt next time …

What I Tried This Week

Proof of my yoga adventure!

I have gotten so much positive feedback about my first post and it has all been so appreciated. The quote I believe I heard most was: “You’re so brave for doing this. I would never tell people what I weigh.” I find this statement to be so bizarre because weight is not a permanent number. I’m not dazzling you with my IQ. I’m not telling you something private, like how much my husband and I made last year. It doesn’t bother me because, unlike so many other things in this world, my weight is something that I have the power to change all on my own and, according to the ticker up there, I’m doing it! So go ahead, turn to the person next to you, introduce yourself and tell them how much you weigh. We can start a weird and somewhat uncomfortable weight-revealing revolution. Who’s got a T-shirt slogan for me?

If you read last week’s post, you know one of my goals with this little weight-loss experiment is to try new fitness classes in search of one that’ll stick. So each week, I’m going to report back on my progress. First up: Angela Travaglini’s power yoga classes at Sol Yoga Studio in Conshohocken. I’d been hearing great things about  it, so I made it stop #1.

I’ve tried yoga before, but found it boring. I really want to be all Zen and introspective and breath-observing, but these are more things that I am just not. I figured that I would try this one out because of its promise of maximum calorie burn due to sweat output. Power yoga is conducted in a hot room and there are few things I dislike more (see above) than being hot. But I can do anything for 75 minutes, so I signed up.

End result: I loved this class! I didn’t have time to consider my boredom or the person next to me in the rockin’ Lululemon outfit with the perfect form, because Ang kept us moving the entire time. I felt muscles at work that I long ago forgot even existed. Somewhere in there Ang even had me doing bridge pose, which I haven’t done since I was 11 and called it a backbend. Ang made this class doable and not the least bit intimidating for even the beginners in the room. During cool-down she even gave me a mini foot massage (which I was horrified about because I hadn’t shaved my legs in God-knows-how-long; yes, my husband is a lucky man), a special treat that will lure this reformed yoga-phobe back to Conshy for another class.

Next up: Summoning the willpower to NOT finish my kids’ leftover chicken nuggets, and Combat class at the Ambler Y.


Robin Raskin blogs about her weight loss journey every Thursday on Be Well Philly. Catch up on the series here, and follow her on Twitter at @RobinRaskin.