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Posts from the ‘Before & After’ Category

Time to up the ante on self-care & self-renewal

Spring: A time of new beginnings, fresh starts, and renewal. You in?

Ahhhhhhh Spring. It’s finally here!

Many of us love Spring for what it represents in terms of new beginnings, rebirth and renewal. Spring brings longer days, warmer temperatures and sunshine; greening of the grass, trees and fields; fresh buds and blooms sprouting as if to say “hello” or “hey, pay attention to me;” animals awakening and birds and ‘peepers’ serenading us in song — in essence the earth seems to come to life again.

Spring is known as the season of new beginnings in part because of this rebirth and renewal, and in part because of the equinox. The Spring, or Vernal, Equinox occurs around March 20 in the Northern Hemisphere. (Though if you live in MN, Spring just arrived this past weekend.)

I love Spring for it’s reliability, if not predictability. But mostly, I love it for the symbolism of rebirth and renewal. A chance to start fresh, and with that comes hope, inspiration and anticipation — something I truly need this year.

Bye Bye Winter Blahs! Time to Refocus, Restart & Renew Commitment to Thy Self Read more

Just walk to the end of the block. Trust me!

“Just walk to the end of the block, Lor,” my friend Jim urged enthusiastically. “Then see if the next day you can walk a little further and eventually you’ll make it all the way around the block.”

Jim is a great friend. One that has known me for 20+ years, watching me balloon to my all-time high weight of 381 lbs by my late 40’s.

As my close friend and confidant, he was also witness to my internal sadness, increasing complaints of health problems, and my shrinking life as I played victim to the weight. And, when I finally got serious and embarked on a successful transformation journey to drop 200+ lbs, he was without question one of my biggest cheerleaders.

There was a time when walking to the end of my block seemed impossible — and I live in the middle of the block, so the distance was more like 1/2 block. I had every excuse in the book. But it was really only impossible because I made it so in my head. I was absolutely capable of walking that half a block and then some, but my mind was stopping me and I didn’t even try. Perhaps some of you reading this can relate.

Well, little did I know at the time, I would go on to walk that block and then some on a journey to put myself in the equation of my own life and take care of me. Read more

A year to STRETCH in every way…

…in work, love, physical pursuits, kindness, bigness, emotional bravery & more!

Hello March! Is anyone reading this surprised we’re already nearly three months into 2018?!

I must admit that I started this new year disoriented and disinterested in setting goals for 2018. My Dad had just died (Dec. 2017) and, of course, it has   left me in grief mode — feeling sad, lost, depleted, uninterested in goal setting, unsure of what next, and more.

Honestly, I was clear on only one thing at the end of 2017 and that was that I wanted 2018 to be different. I needed and wanted to shake things up in my life — to open myself up to the Universe in new and challenging ways, and I didn’t want to have to think too hard immediately about how. (If you’ve ever been in this place, you get it.)

For this In-the-equation girl who has been living brave, saying YES! and  constantly growing and changing during the past 7.5 years — just the realization that I needed a “time out” to regroup and recharge is hugely important.

In late January, I was on a morning walk with a close friend when I realized that what I really wanted in 2018 (besides a change of scenery and routine) was to STRETCH — personally and professionally. So I decided STRETCH was my word theme for 2018. What that means in practice, well, that’s a work in progress. And that’s how I believe it needs to be. Read more

Struggle with body image? Read this!

I read two blog articles this morning, both related to body image and how we present ourselves to the world as a result of that image. I decided to ditch the blog I was writing to share some thoughts on this important topic and provide links to the articles so you could read them for yourselves.

Body image is a tough one for so many women — and increasingly for men. Stats show that nearly 80% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance!

I’ve definitely had my own struggles over the years — especially when I weighed more than an NFL Defensive Lineman! For me, body image and self-love were directly connected. Until I learned to love and accept myself and show up as the person I really am (see “Permission to be Real“), it affected my work life, my love life…my overall life! Consequently, I was living small trying to protect myself from shame and the perceived judgements of others.

My personal transformation — inside perhaps even more than outside — has come bearing the gifts of self-love, self-acceptance and self-compassion. But I have to work on it every day! Read more

The first Christmas without Dad

Honoring my Dad who gave me the gift of health & more!

Today would have been my Dad’s 77th birthday. He died on Dec. 3rd this year, just three weeks before Christmas and his birthday, and after a sudden bought with Meningitis followed by an official diagnosis of Lewy Body disease.

When I spent the day with my Dad on Aug. 5, he was seemingly strong and resilient, like always. Days later he was hospitalized in ICU with delirium and a dangerously high fever. He never really came back to us after that day and he never went back home. Dad spent the final months of his life in and out of the nursing home, hospital, memory care, and finally hospice. It was only four months from the time he got sick until we lost him.

As I turned on the computer this morning to write, I wasn’t sure what this blog had to do with health and well-being — or even if it would be published. But I knew I needed to write. I now realize the message is powerful — for me and perhaps for you — and it has almost everything to do with health and well-being. Read more

Grounded in gratitude

Gratitude for being — perhaps the key to positive change in your life

It’s difficult to blog while in the throws of emotional struggle and turmoil. Today I decided that’s exactly what I need to do. Many of you in the Nov. All-In Challenge Group have said you appreciate me “telling it like it is” and not sugar coating how difficult the process of healthy living and striving can be. So here you have it…

Sometimes it’s DAMN HARD to take care of ourselves and live our healthiest and happiest lives! Sometimes, just getting through the day is a challenge. Like when you feel depressed or sad to the bones. When you or the people you love are getting pummeled by things out of your/their control. For me, it’s the emotion that gets me. I feel everything, and my well worn path when I’m emotionally struggling is to stuff the feelings with food. Food = comfort (or numbing).

Well that’s no longer an option, so now what? How about getting grounded in gratitude? Read more

Put Yourself In the Equation & Re-Ignite Your Life

Join me at St. Paul YWCA & Portland, Maine’s WMPG 90.9 Radio to learn how

One of my all-time favorite things to do is to connect with others who share a similar story of struggling with weight and self-esteem for most of their lives. Just as my inspiration and mentor O’Neal Hampton from NBC’s The Biggest Loser gave me the gift of HOPE, my goal is to pay it forward, spread hope and inspire other to change.

This month, you’ll have two opportunities to join me as I share my In-the-Equation transformation story and message of hope publicly. YES, this is your personal invitation to put yourself in the equation and re-ignite your life! I hope you’ll join me. The details are below.

Put Yourself in the Equation & Re-Ignite Your Life, YWCA St. Paul

Please join me in person at the Saint Paul YWCA in Minnesota this next Wednesday, Sept. 27 from Noon to 1:00 p.m. This YWCA sponsored Learn & Burn session is for both YWCA members and is open to the public, plus it’s FREE!

I’ll share my transformation story and principles for creating transformative change in your own life. And there will be time for Q&A. This event is FREE and open to the public, but it does require pre-registration by clicking here. Please join us as I celebrate five years of living in the equation sans -200 lbs and talk about not only how I lost the weight but how I’ve kept it off. I’m so excited for this talk and hope to see you at the YWCA. Read more

WWLD? Staying “In The Equation” in a crisis

WWLD — What Would Lori Do? This is my new mantra for practicing self-care and keeping myself “In The Equation” when the going gets really, really, really tough. (Yes, three reallys!)

And right now things are tough. My Dad has spent the last 12 days in the hospital about 60 miles from where I live — a week in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit. My 13-year old nephew is still without full-time parental care and living in a temporary foster home. His mom, my 53-year-old sister, is in her third nursing home in 1.5 years working on recovering from a massive stroke. And the family dynamics amidst all of this are a challenge to say the least.

Thus, for the first time since May 2012, I find myself really struggling to stay “In the Equation.” I’ve fallen off my healthy eating plan and eaten more junk food in the last two weeks than in the last five years (yep, I’m not perfect). I haven’t practiced my regular high intensity workout routine for weeks. Sleep is a challenge. I haven’t written a blog in nearly a month. My home and yard need attention… And yet, despite all of that I have NOT thrown in the towel on my own self care. Why? Because this is my new “Healthy Lori” non-negotiable.

As I returned last night weary and sad from a long stretch at the hospital, I debated whether I could muster the strength to write a blog in an attempt to process some of the stress I’m feeling. What would I say to myself to get back on track that might also be useful to others who find themselves in a tumultuous sea of crisis — things totally outside of their control and struggling to stay afloat?

What popped into my head was not an answer, but a question: “What would Lori do?” I wondered. Read more

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