According to Lean Body, Fat Wallet by Ellie Kay and Danna Demetre, you can hit that sweet spot with just a few simple lifestyle changes. Kay is a financial expert, author, and international speaker, and Demetre is an inspirational speaker and author. Their joint endeavor aims to teach you how to live a healthier life, physically and financially.
Surprisingly, these two pieces of the life puzzle fit together seamlessly and respond positively to the same uplifting habits -- or so the book proclaims. Its premise: four specific habits can help rid you of body fat and debt within one year and keep you on the straight and narrow for a lifetime.
The first, foundational habit -- You Are What You Think -- teaches healthy self-talk that evolves into self-fulfilling prophecy. Practice the correct positive self-talk and thoughts, and before long that way of thinking is ingrained. "Personally, it's the habit I struggle with the most," admits Kay. "I did not grow up in a verbally affirming family and consequently I developed ‘stinkin' thinkin'' habits that corrupted my self-image." As a young adult, Kay says, she began changing her thought patterns and relying on her own truth. Striving to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts became a life-long exercise and she has trained her children to do the same. The result: A ‘glass-half-full' person who sees life through a more positive lens rather than a ‘glass-half-empty' person who sees only the negatives.
Next come the 3D Habit and the In and Out Habit, which are what you do to reach your goals. The 3D Habit incorporates three steps: determine, distract, and delay, which in combination help you avoid temptations that threaten to undermine your weight loss and financial goals. By determining how to handle a tempting situation, distracting yourself, and delaying the gratification of giving in, you are making a conscious decision to keep moving toward your targets. The In and Out Habit simply means taking less (food) in and putting more out (exercise) while simultaneously spending less to save more or pay off more debt.
The final habit to acquire is the Sustainable Lifestyle Habit. You start by making small, incremental changes that let you live a full life without feeling deprived but deliver long-run benefits. Kay assures us it's not that tough. "I've been practicing these habits in my finances for over 20 years," she says. "They are habits you can live with over the course of your lifetime."
This all sounds pretty reasonable and, more importantly, pretty doable. But lest you worry you won't be able to pull it off, the book also acquaints you with factors that might cause you to stumble and strategies and positive self-talk statements to draw on when working through the habits. It also provides specific guidelines for each weight loss and financial goal.
The book reflects both authors' life experiences. Kay tells of paying off $40,000 in debt in less than three years and raising a blended family of seven children without taking on additional liabilities; even her kids go to college debt-free. Demetre's story involves weight loss and battles with eating disorders and diet-pill abuse for 16 years.
Lean Body, Fat Wallet is a quick read and offers exercises to help you tailor each habit to your own goals and obstacles. But if you feel overwhelmed by the amount you owe or the pounds you're carrying around, Kay offers some advice: "Start where you are and do what you can. You don't have to lose 50 pounds in a month or pay off $5,000 in two months. The only real failure is to make no changes in your lifestyle in order to get your health and wealth on track."