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Posts from the ‘Hiking & Mountain Climbing’ Category

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

Hiking under the Arizona sun

You almost LOST ME at rattle snakes, scorpions & tarantulas!

Last week I got to spend some quality vacation time with family and friends under the warm Arizona sun. I’m an ocean-loving girl, so it’s been more than nine years since I’d been to Arizona.

The last time I visited, I was at my all-time heaviest weight of 381 lbs and it was a very different trip. Needless to say, I was more of a passive observer of the Arizona mountains on that trip. I had trouble walking even short distances and couldn’t imagine actually getting out in the wilderness and hiking.

But this year, as a fit and healthy girl, it was important to me to get out in the dessert and experience it up close and personal via my favorite outdoor activity — hiking the mountains. At least that was my plan UNTIL I learned that rattle snakes and tarantulas frequent the trails! Eeek. Literally, my worst nightmare and one of my biggest fears. That said, my desire to hike was greater than my fear of reptiles and creepy crawly things (barely). So, off we went.

We had a host of hiking recommendations in the Superstition Mountain Wilderness — including the Siphon Draw Trail and Flatiron. But, after hearing my 20-something niece and nephew describe the difficulty of these hikes, we decided our inaugural dessert hiking trip would start with something simpler — the three mile round trip Hieroglyphic Trail near Gold Canyon. Read more

The five lessons of 2016

As the year comes to a close, it’s typical to find ourselves reflecting on its challenges and gifts, while beginning to envision our intentions for the coming year. For the past several years, I’ve shared my year-in-review insights in a blog. It helps me to put it out in the Universe, and I hope that others might find something enlightening, useful or relevant.

This year, it’s taken me the better part of a week to formulate the lessons of 2016. While it was a year with plenty of joy and success, the clouds and challenges were significant and proved difficult to navigate for this “in-her-equation” gal. The gift of it all, as I wrote in my blog last week, is the GROWTH and BLOOM that has occurred for me as a result of those challenges. (Here’s a link to that blog: Does every cloud have a silver lining?)

As I reflected on how to articulate the lessons of 2016, I went to Facebook to see what it had to say about my “Year in Review.” While I usually take these Facebook analyses with a grain of salt, this one really nailed it. It reads:

“2016 has had its ups and downs, Lori, but overall it’s been an important and positive one for you. You’ve learned a lot about yourself and will start 2017 more confident than ever before. Looking back you must be proud knowing that you successfully navigated this year and its turbulence. You have emerged stronger than ever and are ready to keep on smiling.”

And so there it is — the GROWTH and the BLOOM. Read more

Winter workout: Baby, it’s cold outside!

Time to change it up for the season! Here’s my winter workout strategy. What’s yours?

Lori-6yearsonmountainWe had our first major snow dumping in Minnesota this past week (so pretty), and when I awoke this morning it was -4 degrees in St. Paul. Brrrrrrrrrr! Winter has officially arrived. And Dean Martin’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!” came to mind as my feet hit the cold hardwood floor early this morning.

Does anyone have trouble staying motivated to workout in the winter when the weather turns?

I do. And I decided a few years ago when we hit record low windchill that I had to change up my workout routine in the winter. Although I absolutely love to be outside walking the lakes after a fresh snow, or climbing my mountain in a magical winter white forest, that is often not always possible in MN winter. And it’s pretty unpredictable, too. So since “A” workout is better than no workout. I adopted a plan that worked for me.

Here’s my winter workout strategy. 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

Balancing fun with the girls & staying on track

Girls Gone North 2016 - HikeI just got back from a much-needed girlfriends getaway. Girls Gone North to be exact.

My “besties” and I headed to the North Shore of Lake Superior this past weekend for our Annual Girls Gone North Weekend at the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. It’s become an annual tradition. We celebrate sisterhood, friendship and the fact that no boys are allowed! (Well, okay, this year the boys from North Shore Winery were allowed because they hosted our fun wine tasting event. But other than that, it’s sacred girl time.)

We hike. We laugh – a lot! Sometimes we “spa.” We catch up on all things “feminine.” And, we eat and drink — sometimes a lot. You get it! Girlfriend getaways are necessary and good for the soul.

But what do you do when you’re trying to eat healthy and stay on track? I get asked that question a lot. So, coming fresh off our November girls weekend seemed the perfect time to share some tips. I’m feeling especially proud of maintaining my weight loss while on vacation and coming home right on track.

This has not always been the case. Read more

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