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Posts from the ‘Before & After’ Category

Diet or lifestyle, discipline or deprivation?

How you think about it really matters to your ultimate success

Back in Nov. 2010 when I “officially” started my transformation journey we were having a discussion about diet vs. lifestyle and my coach said: “Of course you’re going to be on a ‘diet’ to lose 200 lbs!”

It’s logical that to change my body that significantly, I would need to follow a nutrition and exercise plan with distinct rules, and that it would require self-control and discipline. I remember him also saying that I wouldn’t be on a diet forever, alluding to a “maintenance phase” I would learn later.

I believed my coach was right about the “diet,” and I knew he had the knowledge and expertise to guide me to goal. My job was to follow the plan. So I didn’t think much more about the diet vs. lifestyle mentality at the time, though I was consciously aware that I had been on many different diets in my lifetime and most had failed. In fact, I could have been the the “poster child” for the yo-yo dieting club!

So what was different this time? Well, a lot. Read more

Sometimes we all need a little help

Mindset, Motivation & Momentum — an accountability group for weight loss & healthy living

Me at 6 years healthy, May 12, 2018. Keepin it real.

Ringo Starr and the Beatles were definitely on to something — sometimes we all need a little help from our friends. Or, rather, we get by with a little help from our friends! 🙂

Asking for help — personal or professional — is often challenging for people, especially when we are struggling. When it comes to weight loss or wellness, we often believe that because we know WHAT to do, we should be able to “just do it” on our own. We might not want to be a bother or burden to others. Perhaps we’re ashamed that we actually need help and can’t bring ourselves to admit that we’re struggling for fear of what others might think. So, we continue in excuse mode. We struggle, and stay stuck or stalled alone instead of reaching out for help. Does any of this sound familiar?

Today, I’m leading by example. I am both asking for help and giving you an opportunity to do the same. Read more

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! I don’t know about you, but I need a fresh start.

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 the Commitment 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

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