It’s just common sense: If you eat more than you burn off, you gain weight. And (more common sense) if you spend more than you bring in, you’re going to sink deeper into debt. As an Indiana bankruptcy attorney, I can’t help feeling there are valuable lessons to be learned from observing the weight loss industry.

The National Institute of Health tells us that many people who lose weight gain it back within the next few years. With people who have undergone bariatric surgery to reduce the size of their stomach, gaining weight can actually be life-threatening.

As an interesting parallel, a study done at the University of Iowa College of Law found that, one year after filing bankruptcy, some debtors were once again struggling financially.

It occurs to me that both bariatric surgery and bankruptcy are designed to give people a new start in life. In the one case it’s a start towards physical health, in the other a start towards financial health. When either fails, it’s often because there was no real change in habits. If a formerly obese person goes back to the unhealthy eating habits he or she used before, it will be right back to the old problems – or worse. Same with bankruptcy. People need to make changes in their lifestyle and their habits.

For clients who use the relief provided by our Indiana bankruptcy law to create a new way of managing their money and their lifestyle in general, learning to spend less than they take in, bankruptcy can turn into a true success story.