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Posts from the ‘Emotional Journey’ Category

Does every cloud have a silver lining?

Reflections on a tough year and impending holiday. Not the blog I wanted or expected to write.

“Every cloud has a silver lining.” What does that mean, I wondered as a friend said those words in an attempt to comfort my heavy heart? Where did that phrase come from? While I get the spirit of it — there’s a bright side to every situation — it made me wonder if I really believed it.

Sometimes it feels impossible to imagine that even the worst situations have some positive aspect — especially when you are in the throws of it. Like when  your heart is heavy and your spirit broken. When things seem so bleak that you can’t find your way out. When you’re in physical and/or emotional pain that feels unbearable. When it seems as if the world is swirling out of control around you. Or, when something bad has happened to someone (or a whole bunch of someones) you love, and you can’t fix it.

And when this happens at the holidays, it feels even worse because there is so much anticipation and expectation around this time of year. For me, and many that I love, this is how we are feeling as we enter the holidays of 2016.

Yet as I process through it in writing this blog, I  realize that as incredibly tough as this past year and the impending holidays seem right now, I have not lost heart or hope. I just feel sad. My heart is heavy.

(Stick with me, it gets better, I promise!) Read more

Six years a mountain climber. Anything is possible!

Lorileif-oberg-bootcamp-bethprobstSome days I love the Facebook history feed. Facebook reminded me on Dec. Lori-obergmountain-bootcamp-bethprobst3rd that I climbed my very first mountain six years ago. How awesome is that?!

I didn’t necessarily set out to climb mountains, nor did I understand fully at the time how life-changing it would be. I am now a happy, mountain-climbing gal – six years and counting.

Today’s blog is about marking this milestone for myself, and it’s for anyone reading this who thinks it’s impossible to climb mountains — or tackle any big, hairy, audacious goal in life. I am here as living proof that, indeed, anything is possible.

If you had told me six years ago — as I prepared for weight-loss boot camp weighing in at more than 360 lbs — that I would climb mountains, both literally and figuratively…That I would go on to become a mountain climbing gal six years in and crave the next climb and adventure… Or, that I would lose and maintain a more than -200 lb weight loss, living every day from the center of my equation…Well, I would not have believed you. I would more likely have asked if you’d been drinking, A LOT! Read more

Managing holiday expectations…the Healthy Holiday Action Plan.

A strategy for self-care and stress reduction around the holidays

pic-holiday-self-careI read no less than eight articles this morning in my news feed with advice about how to handle the upcoming holidays. The titles ranged from: “5 Reasons to Eat Whatever You Want on Thanksgiving,” to “How to Plan a Weight Neutral Thanksgiving,” to “Six Holiday Foods with Health Benefits,” to “Smart Snacking Over the Holidays,” to a host of articles with various coping strategies for stress reduction.

I get overwhelmed just sorting through the advice — much of it contradictory. Needless to say, I was hesitant to share my 2016 holiday coping strategy — aka Holiday Action Plan — in this blog. But when I told a friend, she urged me to do so. And since I have a history of being authentic about my transformation journey and the ongoing challenge of maintaining a -200 lb weight loss and living every day in the equation, why should the holidays be any different?

So here goes. Perhaps you’ll find it helpful coming from someone who’s living it. Read more

From last one up the mountain to the heart health of an athlete

lori-oct2016

Guess who has the heart health of an athlete? Yep, this is her!

If you struggle with self-care and avoid the doctor, or believe you can’t change your health trajectory, please read on!

Dejavu?! Last week, I found myself in the exact same situation almost six years to the day (Oct. 2010-Oct. 2016). In a a hospital gown at the doctor’s office sitting on the edge of the bed talking with my doctor.

While the scene was the same, the visits and the results were not.

In 2010, I FORCED myself to go to the doctor for a medical exam after a nearly 20-year avoidance of all things medical. I had to have medical clearance to participate in the weight-loss boot camp that I was signed up for in Nov. 2010. Of course, my sheer terror of all things medical and the shame I carried around related to my weight, had me procrastinating and cutting this mandatory doctor’s visit pretty close to the start of the boot camp.

As you can perhaps predict, the actual experience of visiting the doctor for the first time in 20 years wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had made it out in my head to be (often the case with our fears). Though I had myself worked up to a state of near panic going in so who knows how that affect my blood pressure!

The doctor’s sage advice that stuck in my head from that terrifying visit in 2010: “I’m going to clear you for the weight-loss boot camp, but I want you to keep your competitive spirit in check and be the last one up the mountain.” Read more

Grateful girl on the mountaintop

Lori-Penobscot-Fall2016Good Monday morning, peeps. And cheers from the mountaintop!

Please forgive the tardiness of this blog. I started it last week, but didn’t get it posted as I was too busy climbing mountains, enjoying the fall leaves of Downeast Maine and Acadia National Park, and living in the moment with Lori in the center of the equation.

Every time I take a rigorous hike to a mountaintop or along a challenging trail, I am overcome with gratitude. I mean it. I carry with me overwhelming gratitude for the ability to walk and hike in places of sheer beauty; for a connection to the Universe and nature that is indescribable; and for my new healthy and fit body that can do so many things I never dreamed of when I was stuck in the office chair 12-18 hours a day making excuses for how I couldn’t grab hold and change my life.

Well, these past two weeks, I’ve been livin’ it. And I’ve vowed that living it, being present in the moment and grateful for every gift — even the hard stuff — will always come first, before writing about it. #gratefulgirl Read more

Maybe what matters most is being brave

EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog is dedicated to the beautifully brave women in my life who have reminded me recently how awesome it is to both EXPERIENCE and WITNESS courage in action. Whether it’s facing a life-changing medical crisis and remaining strong and brave in the face of uncertainty, like my sister Lisa and my cousin, Donna. Or the beautiful and brave women who leapt despite their fear to put themselves and their health and happiness first as they embark on their own In-the-Equation journeys. To all the beautiful and brave women I know — this one’s for you. #brave #bravegirls #onebravething

lori-bravequote1When I was in the physical part of my personal transformation journey — nearing my weight-loss goal — someone asked me what the tipping point was for me. How did I find success this time when I had tried and failed so many other times?

To be honest, I don’t remember my exact answer. But I remember thinking later that I needed to know the real answer for myself. So I kept asking myself — what WAS different this time? How DID I do it?

A few days later, I noodled on a napkin the words: “Everything changed when I learned I could be brave and afraid at the exact same moment.” I lost 200 lbs and made my health, happiness and life a priority, the day I was brave and afraid at the same time…and acted anyway.

It was both the act of deciding and taking action that was brave. And little did I know at the time, but life with Lori-in-the-equation would require living a brave life.

Too often we let fear stop us. The fear of putting ourselves out there, the fear of what others will think, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, even fear of success, can stop us dead in our tracks. When fear stops us, we play it safe. We retract and don’t go for what we really, really want. Often we stay stuck or living small. We don’t let ourselves truly shine. And for many of us, it means we don’t reach our personal and greatest potential. Can you relate?

There is another way. The brave life. Read more

When in doubt, take it to the mountain

Finding my center on the mountaintop. Navigating a difficult year!

lori-oberghike-aug2016One of the most beautiful things about committing to a healthy lifestyle centered around putting yourself in the equation of your own life, is the self-awareness and self-discovery that comes with it. I view myself as constantly growing, learning and evolving. I’m in a constant growth state — this time it’s a personal growth mindset NOT pant size growth! 😉

Over the past five years, I’ve learned to recognize what I need, when I need it and honor it with self-care and self compassion. It’s not always easy, but it’s becoming easier and I have many great mentors who’ve helped me along the way.

These past few months, I’ve been increasingly stressed, sad at times, and I’ve noticed that I’ve started to work a bit too much. I’ve become too isolated in my day-to-day life for this God-given Extrovert, and I’m starting to worry about things over which I have little or no control. The old “victim” voice has started to creep back into my conscience.

There’s no question that it’s been a tough year and I’m navigating some tough personal stuff, but there also are no victims allowed in this new Lori-in-the-equation life! So when the voice of the Gremlins — self-doubt, worry and that good old Victim appear, I know exactly what to do.

I take it to the mountain! Read more

The Post-it Note Plan. #intheequation

post-itnoteplan-intheeqationWho loves post-it notes?

O.K., ME! I am a (colored) post-it kinda gal. I use them for creativity and organization in my work, and in my personal life when I feel stuck, blocked, or like I need focus.

For the last few days on my morning walks, I’ve been noodling a NEW Lori-in-the-equation plan for 2016 to get me better focused on what I can control in my life, and to practice letting go (with grace) of the things I can’t. I’ve been feeling like SO MUCH in my world is out of my control these days. And to be honest, I’ve struggled with that.

Being a pessimist, a victim, a stuck or stalled kinda gal, does not suit me. So while I live in this crazy difficult year and the space between “no longer” and “not yet,” I’ve decided to honor it by thinking about WHAT in this space and time I can control that would propel me forward toward my goals. That includes sorting out what I really want and need to care about right now. Where I want my time, energy and focus to be. And, at the same time, WHAT I can let go of…because it no longer serves me or because it is 100% out of my control and worrying about it only keeps me from focusing on the things I can do something about. Read more

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