In this installment of Eating to Live, I’ll tell you, my four faithful readers, how the Purveyors of Pink Slime can help you in your journey to health.
I can tell you’re excited. You think you’re getting to eat french fries again, don’t you?
Actually, the story of McDonald’s is fascinating. Before it became the galactic, planet-eating corporation that it is today, it was just a small burger joint in San Bernardino, California, owned by Dick and Mack McDonald. I read the story recently in Michael Gerber’s book, The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. And while it’s a book specifically written for the small business owner who is setting up a new business, it has a great deal of application for those of us on the journey to good health.
Gerber tells the story of McDonald’s with the arrival of Ray Kroc, a salesman who visited the restaurant and saw its amazing potential. Why this little burger joint out of all the other restaurants and businesses he’d visited? Efficiency. They served a limited menu, and they focused on quality at every step of the process. As he watched them make burgers and fries, serving them to customers, he imagined how simple it would be to duplicate this process anywhere, with the same amount of quality and efficiency, no matter the personnel. It was then he got the idea for the franchise prototype.
This franchise prototype basically starts with the end in mind. What do I want my business to look like when it’s ultimately successful? How will we outperform our competition? How will we create excellent customer experiences? With that clear vision of success in mind, the business then begins to document everything they do — both the things that work and the things that don’t — in order to achieve that vision of success.
One of the reasons for McDonald’s success, Gerber says, is the system employed to ensure the quality and consistency of each and every item on the menu. There is a system for how to cook the burgers. There’s a system for how long they can stay under the heat lamps before they dry out. There’s a system for how much salt should be on the fries. There’s a system for everything, which reduces the need for a trained and highly-skilled technician behind the counter. This system guarantees that no matter which McDonald’s you visit — anywhere in the world — you’ll get the same menu, prepared the same way, every time.
So, what does this have to do with health and weight loss? Three things:
1. Start with the end in mind
When one begins their journey to good health, they, too, have to start with the end in mind. Why do I want to lose weight? Why do I want to eat healthy? Is it vanity? Is it to avoid a genetic predisposition for diabetes? Heart disease? These questions have to be answered to create a clear vision of success in your mind. Without a clear, concise goal in mind, you won’t stick to a diet or exercise regimen.
2. Systems, systems, systems!
Once your clear vision of success is established, you will begin to craft your unique and proprietary system which gets you to your goal. I’ve often called this “being prepared.” Based on the foods that you like, what will you eat? What will you prepare if your family is in a hurry? What will you do if you’re invited to a restaurant? What will you eat if you and your family go to an amusement park?
This road to health is a journey, and you are creating the rules as you go. These systems, these ways of being prepared, are going to keep you moving closer and closer to your goal.
3. Observe, Evaluate, Adjust
Because this is indeed a journey, you will have to figure out what is working and what isn’t working along the way. Be sure to keep track of what works!
I know that I can’t have Haagen-Dazs Sorbet more than once or twice in a month. If I do, I get on a sugar kick bender that might last for days and pile four or five pounds on me in the process. I know that every evening I have to prepare my lunch for the next day. If I don’t, I’m stuck at work with donuts, fast food joints and lots of other temptations I don’t want to face.
As you go, you will have to observe what you’re doing, evaluate its effectiveness and adjust it when necessary. It’s an everyday process, but you’re writing your success as you do.
The greatest thing about the franchise prototype model is the fact that success is guaranteed. Once a system is in place, all you have to do is follow it. It doesn’t take a specially trained nutritionist. It doesn’t take a highly trained athlete. It just takes someone willing to learn and willing to follow the plan.
Now, drop those french fries! Nobody said you could start eating them again!
What systems have you put in place in your life? How are they working for you?