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Lessons From Masterchef

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I love cooking competition shows. I watch a lot of them. Next Food Network Star, Chopped, Masterchef, Top Chef, Cutthroat Kitchen, Food Truck Race, Iron Chef get the idea :)

Last night I watched the most recent episode of Masterchef. If you haven't seen it, it's a show on your local FOX channel where home cooks (Yeah, more like amateur/semi-pro chefs) compete against each other in different competitions, and each week one is eliminated.

It's always an interesting mix of people, and the pressure of the competition brings out the best and worst (usually the worst) in the competitors. It's actually a pretty mild show by FOX standards. The drama is not too over the top, and Gordon Ramsay (one of the 3 judges) doesn't swear much, or throw things around.

In this challenge, they had to create a meal using ingredients picked by Joe Bastianich, one of the other 3 judges. Joe picked ingredients that would make a great Italian meal, and the challenge began.

One competitor I've had a soft spot for is a young woman named Elise. She specializes in Southern comfort foods and baking. I've been drawn to her because she seems to be a sweet, soft-spoken young woman who struggles with her weight and self-confidence.

Tonight was her downfall, and I don't think it had to turn out that way. She attempted to make pasta and it ended up a total mess. She was nearly in tears, and Gordon came over to see what was wrong. She expressed her total defeat, and said she knew she was going home and that she might as well give up now.

Gordon encouraged her to keep trying and helped her salvage the pasta. She completed the challenge, but when she brought her dish to the judges you could see that she'd given up. Her dish was a very lackluster attempt at a ravioli, and the sauce had no seasoning.

My heart broke for her; I wanted her to dig her heels in and fight. When Gordon asked her if she had what it would take to win, all she could say was, "I think so." She no longer had any confidence in herself or her abilities.

Elise ended up being eliminated in this episode, and I wasn't surprised. How can someone who's given up do a good job of competing?

Once you give up, you might as well roll over and curl up into a fetal position, because you will never succeed.

The lesson from that episode is this: you will never lose weight if you don't believe you can do it and you give up. Never give up, never stop believing in yourself. You WILL have setbacks and failures, but they only stop you IF YOU GIVE UP.

The road to success is paved with determination, stubbornness and perseverance. This all comes from inside of you, and it happens when you DECIDE you will do this, you WILL NOT give up.

It's up to you! And I KNOW that you can do it!
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