Energy in, energy out.

Going debt free and losing weight are similar on several levels.

Let me start with weight loss:

As we move into 2015 I looked down at the scale under my bare feet and was shocked by the verdict.

Numbers can’t be denied, I’m clearly taking in more energy than my body needs.

That extra energy has then magically converted itself into 35 pounds that I will never need, unless I get stranded on an island for years and become best friends with a volleyball named Wilson.

So I have a choice, accept my expanded girth and waste my money on larger clothes, or adopt some discipline and slim down.

My other goal is to go debt free by my 43rd birthday, buying new clothes would get in the way of my financial goal, so I started to track 2 numbers each day: calories consumed + body weight. Back in 2010 I went on a 500 calorie per day diet and lost 25 pounds, but after I hit my goal weight I stopped tracking my calories.

I had failed to consistently PDCA the process:  Plan, Do, Check and Adjust.

This time my goal is to find that magic number of max calories to maintain 170 pounds, an ideal weight for my frame. I’m also going to continue to track my calories, even after I’ve reached my target weight. I might have to adopt this habit for the rest of my life.

I’m doing some swimming, running and walking, and this is one variable that will stay the same.

FIRST I have to reduce my daily calories to less than what I need until I hit my 170 pound target. When I was living on 500 daily calories in 2010 I felt fine, but I also made sure I was eating veggies and getting my basic required nutrition.

Learning calorie counts is easy, there are even calorie counts on fast food menus now, a Filet O’ Fish at McD’s is 390 calories. Add fries and a soda to your sandwich and that total shoots up to 700!

This website will tell you all you need to know, prepare to be shocked:

The chili-cheese fries over at Applebee’s alone are 630 calories!

I survived for over a month on LESS than that each day. If you are an adult with a normal level of activity you don’t actually need that much food to survive and thrive. We eat out of habit, boredom or just for entertainment.

The connection to weight loss and going debt free is simple: your calories consumed are similar to the income you earn, and what you spend each day is similar to the calories you burn.

The fat around your midsection is an energy storage device, just like your bank account!

There is also a correlation between weight and finances, I feel sharper and more confident when I’m slim, and as middle aged guy my clothes fit better. This is not to say that you can’t be wildly successful and carry extra weight, but given a choice I’d rather be lean.

Being lean and confident should also allow me to increase my income, especially as a business owner. When talking with prospective clients or new members of the team I want to look sharp and disciplined at all times.

Money is just a form of converted energy, it goes into your life as your earn it, and out as fast as you spend it. The key to going debt free is to simply reduce the amount of money leaving your pocket while also increasing your income.

Your savings account stores money, just as a battery stores electricity and your midsection stores extra blubber!

Interest on debt drains your financial energy. When you buy a home for $150K and finance it for 30 years your real cost in dollars spent is about $320,000!

Think about this the next time you walk in your bank and the bank officer is wearing a fancy silk tie and an expensive Rolex. The interest you paid on your 30 year mortgage pays for that big bank building, the bullet-proof glass, and even the salaries for all the people working in that branch.

At this writing I have 4 sources of income, one stream of income is based on my sole efforts, but the other three are residual in nature, they do not require my physical presence, and continue even if I happen to be sipping tea in another time zone.

One of my ongoing and residual streams of income is my first book: We Twist for Tips.

Last week a modest commission was deposited in my bank account from Amazon, all over the world random people are downloading my book when I’m sleeping, with no continuous effort on my behalf.

For this reason I’m also a fan of the compensated community business model. This allows you to build a community of people who are generating revenue on a subscription basis. Back in the 80’s this was also known as multi-level or network marketing, but today the model has evolved considerably.

Since there are 7 billion potential consumers on this planet there is almost no limit on your income within a compensated community. Last year Mary Kay cosmetics grossed over $3.5 billion dollars globally. They’ve been around since 1971, and I have no idea how many millionaires have been created in that business, but I’m sure they will continue to grow and prosper.

In 2014 I started a modest compensated community within Life Leadership, mostly because of the positive impact the Life Leadership training had within my life.

Before I made an Amazon commission check from We Twist for Tips I had to invest 300 hours in writing and editing the book. Building the Balloon Distractions team required years of effort, as well as an investment in building software systems to make it all work.

So whether you want to lose weight or go debt free consider your energy in and your energy out.

-Ben Alexander

January 2, 2015.

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