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Posts from the ‘Hiking & Mountain Climbing’ Category

Transitions

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir

8.6 miles, 24,000+ steps, 99 floors/flights. 4 hours.

Those were the stats logged on my fitness tracker from Sunday’s stroll up and down Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Mt. Desert Island, Maine. This, on top of mountain climbs on both Saturday and Monday, making it a perfect 3-3 long hiking weekend!

But Cadillac Mt. was the one I thought just might break me – the now officially “out of shape” and imperfectly perfect, middle-aged ME! Seriously, that hike was a mental game. Just about everyone I met on the trail was in their 20’s and clearly physically fit! I felt like I was back in weight-loss boot camp pushing myself past every mental limit or barrier just to finish. Near the end of the 4.2 mile hike down the mountain I had to focus on things other than how sore and tired my legs, and knees, were from the pounding. I kept repeating, “Lor, we’ve got this! You can totally do this!”

I knew from experience that my mental and physical capacity was stronger than any excuses I could conjure up. But that didn’t prevent me from considering stopping many times before the actual summit. Nor, did it thwart the idea once I reached the summit that I could ask a “cute guy” on a Harley for a ride down the mountain. [Those of you who know me personally, know exactly how that might have ended! 😉 ]

It’s likely that Cadillac Mt. would not have kicked my butt so severely had I hiked it last year when I was -30 lbs lighter and in better physical shape. It’s been a year of transition and big changes…of grief and loss in various forms. And this has had me reeling a bit as I find my way to solid footing. Correction – as I hike and climb my way back to my zone of healthy, happy and whole, and open myself up to a new level of Lori!

Transitions are life-altering events meant to shake things up, open us up and move us! 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

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

Finding my strong on the mountaintop

Can you be strong when your world falls apart?

As I awoke to the morning sunlight streaming across the ocean and into the bedroom window, I was reminded that Hurricane Irma had just hit my life. Sadness set in before the sleep was out of my eyes. How can you be strong when it feels as if your whole world has just fallen apart? I’ve survived some tough stuff, but I’m not sure I know how to do so while being strong.

I got out of bed and made my way outside to the wrap-around porch to drink my morning coffee and watch the tide slowly roll out, exposing the sea life on the ocean floor. Will those critters survive this tidal change, I wondered? What do they do when they become exposed and are gasping for air?

As I sit rather zombie-like starring out at the sea, I feel sad, mad, worried, empty, scared, tired, overly emotional, and…more. Feelings too exhausting to think about. And yet I find myself preoccupied with one question — what does it look like to be strong when the world as you know it is changing forever and not by choice? When bad things and challenging times pummel you with gale-force speed like an unforgiving Hurricane batters the shore, and you can’t fix it or change it.

This is not the first time I’ve been pummeled, of course, but this feels like the worst pummeling ever. (Most of the details don’t matter to the story — we all have times we experience this). What strikes me today is that I don’t think I’ve ever pondered this question in the midst of a pummeling.

Rather, I’ve wallowed, cried, complained, and suffered alone in my hurt and pain — drowning it with work, food, alcohol — and hiding from the outside world. And when other people experienced pain and suffering — I was the first one to show up. I gave, and gave and gave at the expense of myself, trying to fix it.

None of this feels right to me now. None of it fits my new Lori-in-the-equation life. And yet the pull to go back to bed and bury my head in the covers is strong. The pull to eat everything in sight — even stronger! I have a lot of experience with that.

But perhaps this is the next evolution of transformation for me. An opportunity to find my strongest and best self and learn to cope with “hard,” while loving and giving to her. So, I get curious again.

Can you be strong when your world falls apart? Read more

Five lessons of five years living in the equation (sans -200 lbs)

With gratitude from the mountaintop

Those of you who know me personally or have followed my blog, know that I’ve used a mountain climbing analogy to describe my personal transformation journey. I truly believe that as we conquer the mountains, we conquer ourselves.

One of the fundamental things that’s different about me as I celebrate five years of living in the equation sans -200 lbs is that I now actively seek those mountains. I say YES!, accept the challenge, and aim to live a WHOLE life, not just a busy one. I do this because I know that as I conquer the mountain (literally and figuratively) I will grow and bloom. In fact, this is where the growth and bloom occurs.

As a fit and active girl, I take it to the mountain when I’m searching for answers, needing a restart, wanting to feel strong and fit, when I want to challenge myself, and to celebrate every significant milestone in this journey. It’s my go-to place…my sanctuary…the place I feel closest to the Universe. And, it’s where I’m actively conquering me.

Last week, I took it to my all-time favorite mountain — Penobscot in Acadia National Park, Maine. I embarked on a solo climb to celebrate my 5-year milestone and ponder my biggest and next question: “What do I need to say YES! to right now?” As usual, the mountain did not disappoint. Read more

Healthy, happy & whole sans -200 lbs. More than a weight loss story — it’s an inside job!

Celebrating 5 years of Lori in the equation!

Lori in the equation 5 years – May 2017

I woke up today on the official 5-year anniversary of living with “Lori-in-the-equation” and hopped on the scale. A cheer erupted when I weighed -202 lbs LESS than I did at my highest weight, confirming that I’ve successfully maintained my 200+ lb weight loss for 5 years. YES!

My pants are still 11 sizes smaller than when I started my journey in 2010 (though a few things have shifted!). I feel strong, healthy and fit! I’m climbing mountains for fun. I’m living a WHOLE life, not just busy one. And, putting myself in the equation and taking care of me now comes naturally. It’s non-negotiable.

As I mark this five-year milestone, I am beyond grateful and even humbled by these incredible gifts that have now become my norm.

Most people look at me as a weight-loss success story. But, my transformation journey isn’t about weight loss. It isn’t about diet and exercise. It’s not about counting calories or macros. Nor is it about deprivation…or even willpower. And, it’s not done.

The greatest gift I’ve given myself is not the hard numbers — though it feels incredible to be healthy and have reversed my health trajectory. Rather, the greatest gift is how I’ve changed on the inside. This is what makes it an inside job.

Here are just a few things that are different on the inside. I’ve learned to push past fear and stop being paralyzed by perfection. I no longer self sabotage and beat myself up for being imperfect. I know that I’m enough, exactly as I am. I’ve proven to myself that I can do anything I make up my mind to do. I’ve learned to love and accept myself, imperfections and all. I’ve discovered that self-care is a non-negotiable, and acquired new skills like the “restart” to keep me on track. And I’ve learned to change beliefs and life-long thought patterns that were keeping me stuck and stalled.

Read more

The mountain and me

Six years, countless climbs. Still conquering the mountain & me!

It started on this mountain in the depth of winter a little over six years ago. This is where I dug deep and found myself – my strength, my determination, my resolve, and my desire for a better life.

This is where I officially decided that I wanted more out of life than being obese and living small. This is where I decided I wanted it all. And most importantly, I decided — YES, indeed, I could do it!

It was December 2010 when I first met Oberg – a little mountain on Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior. I weighed upwards of 360 lbs (down 20 from my all-time high). I was on day two of weight-loss boot camp when they told me we were going to climb a mountain…in snowshoes.

I was pissed, scared, and a bit defiant when it came time to suit up in our snow gear. Fear took over as I contemplated my first mountain climb ever. I stood there and allowed Jeremy, the young activities director, to strap on my snowshoes because it was too hard for me to bend over and I had no idea how to assemble those contraptions to my feet.

How time flies and circumstances change!

Today, March 18, 2017, I find myself back at the foot of Oberg Mountain Loop strapping on trackers over my hiking shoes. I am alone. I am -200 lbs lighter in load. I am strong, confident, resilient and beautiful. And this time, I am oh so grateful for the trip up what I now refer to as “my mountain.”

I KNOW this mountain. I know me. And I know that I will find exactly what I need today as I make my way up the deceivingly steady incline at the start of the trail, on the switchbacks, and as I make my way around the hilly 2.2 mile loop with breathtaking views. Read more

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