A weighty matter Featured

10:49am EDT October 23, 2001

Even though Angie Hollerich was successful financially, she'd struggled for years with weight problems that she feared would affect her career, especially when she went on speaking engagements.

She had a perception of what her audiences might be thinking about her: "How can she tell me how to manage my money when she can't even manage her weight?"

When Hollerich embarked upon a 15-month effort to take off 65 pounds she'd gained over eight years, she noticed something interesting. She began to see parallels between the factors that most influenced her weight and those that affected how she -- and her clients -- dealt with money.

She put pen to paper and boiled down her theories on weight management and wealth accumulation to 12 factors:

1. Environment.

2. Motivation.

3. Attitude.

4. Habits.

5. Family.

6. Budget.

7. Education.

8. Goals.

9. Time.

10. Age.

11. Needs vs. wants.

12. Risks.

In her case, Hollerich's habits -- eating whenever she was around other people and food was available, even if she wasn't hungry -- were significant factors in her weight management. Age was another factor; now 54, she finds it more difficult to lose weight as she gets older.

By understanding these and other factors, she made healthier eating choices and has been able to keep the weight off for a year. She's gone from a size 20 to a size 10. She's also progressed from barely managing five minutes of exercise on a StairMaster to resistance training, along with enough aerobic activity to burn off at least 500 calories about six days a week.

The same principles that helped her lose weight can be applied, she says, to successful money management.

"The bottom line is we have to look at the internal and external forces that affect what we do," Hollerich says. "Once you can identify whether they're positive or negative, you can build on the positive and then change the negative."

By March 2000, Hollerich had finished writing a book showing the many parallels between weight management and wealth accumulation, "The Weight & Wealth Factors."

It comes with a recipe box concept to help people manage their financial and physical fitness through various stages of life -- graduation, newlywed, new parent, suddenly single and retirement -- the same stages during which she used to re-evaluate finances with her clients.

"I've actually lived this. This is my story," Hollerich says of her success so far in promoting the book for nearly a year.

She's had a story printed in The Columbus Dispatch and has been interviewed on radio stations in San Francisco and Michigan.

"I think it's motivating," Hollerich says, "because someone will look at me and say, 'If she can do it and I get the concepts and understand the factors, I can do it, too.'"