I read this week that Johnny Dep is in financial ‘hardship’. He didn’t even know it until his management team advised him to liquidate some assets to stump-up the needed moolah. Turns out he spent $400,000 alone chartering a private jet to save his handbag dogs (Pistol and Boo) from a long-term stay in the Southport pound. He also spends $300,000 a month on wages for his 40-person entourage.Yet Johnny’s real failing was his decision to outsource control of his money to someone else. (Seriously, it’s as if he’s never read a celebrity biography … Johnny, it always ends the same — the manager rips them off, bro! The Beatles. The Rolling Stones. Freddie Mercury. Bruce Springsteen, Jack Sparrow. The list goes on.). That’s a lesson for you and me, too. You should always know exactly where your money is, and where it goes.

Yet if real wealth is health, how many of us outsource this as well? You’re probably doing it right now and you didn’t even know (put down the KFC and move slowly away from the dinner table!). You see, a drive-through burger, a microwaved pizza or a cholesterol-lowering statin is all about the quick-fix. The nutritional version of Selley’s super-glue. Something is broken – our hunger, a blocked artery, lack of time – and we need to put it back together, and fast. By nature we, as humans, reach for the easy way. The lower ground. Sadly, it’s the path most of us travel in our quest for instant results.

So what’s the problem with outsourcing our health? Corporations outsource stuff all the time…..

1. We Lose Value

When it comes to your well-being, ordering dinner on-line for less than $10 may seem like value for money. In fact over time it’s quite a saving. A small win on the slot machine. But in the long run it’s a bogus investment. No one has as ever got rich on a slot machine. Soon enough your short term gain will turn to long term pain. You pay a premium for boxed, styrofoamed, low nutrient garbage – it’s called chronic disease. And it develops slowly but surely under the cosy blanket of convenience. At this point you my be saying “But David, no one ever died of one KFC meal”! True, but how many of us have had just one? The last time I had a ‘Zinger Burger’ was August 1989. But judging by the drive-in queues I see on my daily drive home, KFC is doing just fine.

2. We Lose Control

I once trained a client (Tony) who thought it was normal practice to go-out for food every time he was hungry. McDonald’s for breakfast, a cafe somewhere for lunch, while dinner was a typical drive-through scenario. He had nothing in the house which resembled anything edible. When he was hungry he had to stop what he was doing, lock up is apartment, get in the car and drive. Every-time! This situation was simply mind-blowing to me. I felt so sorry for the guy I dropped around with a bag of groceries one night and made him a stir-fry under the condition he wrote down every step of the recipe!  Talking over dinner he disclosed that he was brought up in a family which rarely cooked or prepared food (his father died of a heart attack at 58). As a young kid he recalls eating dinner every night from a packet or box. He was simply never taught how to cook for himself and as a result was at the complete mercy of takeaway food. To his credit he would always look for the ‘low-fat’ or ‘natural ingredients’ option which, as we know, is marketing hype for ‘loaded with sugar’. Tony had become the victim of his past and felt he had very little say in his nutritional future. He had put his health into the hands of others. Developing a chronic, preventable disease (i.e. diabetes 2) means we’ve lost control. Control of our ability to nourish ourselves properly. Loss of control means the disease controls us. Just ask those with diabetes 2 who now spend 5 hours a day, 7 days a week in hospital on dialysis.

3. We Lose Quality

Outsourcing your nutrition is like a stray cat turning up to the back door of the Chinese restaurant each night. She’s never really sure what she’s going to get. Beggars can’t be choosers and let’s face it, the chef isn’t throwing the ol’ tabby the choice cuts. They’re called scraps for a reason. Remember, when you eat McChickens delivered through your driver-side window you’re buying convenience, not nutrition. This is ‘big food’ doing it’s damnedest to squeeze every last dollar from the crap it serves. They ain’t using virgin beef rared from thigh-high super-grass baked under the glinting golden sun-rays of Montana either. You’re lucky to get ears, tongues and lips mashed and glued together to form a what looks like a beef paddy.  As my Dad always used to say “a poor man buys twice”…in this case once for a poor diet and twice for your health.

So how can we curb our outsourcing appetite? Here are three strategies to get you back on track:

1. Hang up the phone.
There’s a saying in the psychedelic world: “If you get the answer, you should hang up the phone”. In other words, when you get the satisfaction you need (eating a takeaway meal) you shouldn’t keep asking (having more takeaway!) at least until you’ve got more clarity around the habits which lead you to this situation. Look, the odd McCrap burger is OK, everyone knows that, but if the drive-through waiter knows you by name, you really should be hanging up the phone.

2. Do the work.
Eating well means preparation. Period. Shopping, making home cooked meals and packing a lunch is vital to your health success. These are simple things to do. They may not be easy in your busy world but they are simple nonetheless. Remember, its the simple things, done time and time again which forces success. These are the habits which leave clues. It’s easy to use outsourcing as a crutch and avoid doing your own work.

3. Needs V’s Wants
Outsourcing our health gives you what you want, not what you need. When we seek the help of a surgeon to unblock our arteries we get what we want: a return to health as soon as possible. But what we really need is better nutrition and a more active lifestyle. When our dinner is delivered on the doorstep we get what we want – to stop our hunger without the hassle of food preparation or a sink full of dirty dishes. But what we really need is the skill of eating better.

As this is my final blog for the year, I’d like to thank you for supporting the 50Fit website and all those who are experiencing better health with the 50Fit Program.  Have a safe and happy Christmas and I look forward to your company in 2018.