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Posts from the ‘Reflection’ Category

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

Launch into action – right now! Start. Restart. Go.

5-4-3-2-1-GO! Could it really be that simple?

I first learned about The Five Second Rule from my friend, Shirar, in Maine this Spring (not the one about dropping food on the floor, a new rule). We were talking about the Restart and how to get yourself back on track after messing up and Shirar mentioned this great technique that she heard about to  propel yourself into action by counting backwards from 5 — 5-4-3-2-1. It sounded simple and she said it was backed by science. I was intrigued so I made a mental note to check it out.

About a week ago, Shirar referenced the 5-4-3-2-1 in her own restart to get back on track with exercise. I saw the post on Facebook and made a second mental note to go online and check it out…when I had time.

Yesterday morning I implemented the #5secondrule for the first time in my own restart and it worked! It propelled me to action without thinking about it. Pretty cool.

This summer, I’ve started to slip outside of what I call my “Healthy & Happy Zone.” I’ve also recognized the old familiar Gremlin voice of self-doubt creeping into my psyche. So I stopped to take notice and decided to change it up. On Saturday as I was headed to the grocery store I gave myself a pep talk to RESTART and get back in the Zone. In short, the conversation went something like this. “You need to clean it up, Lor, no excuses!” I recognized the counter reply as my “old” and retired Gremlin Voice. It answered: “Next Tuesday is August 1st, start then. Aug. 1st is a way better day to start than today.”

I know that voice of self-sabotage well as I lived with it and allowed it to guide me for too much of my adult life. But I’m living with Lori-In-The-Equation now and I knew exactly what to do next. As I went to bed Saturday night, I thought of Shirar’s tip — 5-4-3-2-1. When the alarm went off on Sunday morning instead of staying in bed and blowing off my workout, justifying a day of “rest” — I launched myself out of bed saying out loud 5-4-3-2-1 … GO! Read more

The power of acceptance

We can’t change what we cannot ACCEPT. And that includes ACCEPTING what we can & can’t control.

I was talking with someone the other day about my transformation journey and five-year anniversary and she fixated on one question: “Aren’t you mad that you have to work so hard to stay healthy and fit and that you’ll struggle with this for the rest of your life?” (No!)

In another conversation recently, a close friend was having a terrible time accepting the reality of depression and was spiraling deeper because of his refusal to accept it. It made me sad.

In a much more trivial moment, I was personally challenged to accept the answer I got from American Honda about a serious defect in my Honda CRV that might cause the engine to blow up and their process for dealing with it. (Don’t even get me started on this one!)

How many of you have had difficulty accepting a misfortune —  something you don’t really like or want in your life? Yep, I’m guessing pretty much everyone.

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

Say YES!…it changes you

What do I need to say “yes” to?

This was the reflection question that came across my email about a month ago in the weekly podcast post, “Best of Ourselves” from my friend and leadership coach, Marcia Hyatt. The podcast was titled “Saying Yes.” Of course, I clicked on it instantly.

YES! has been my favorite word for five years.

It’s been a big part of my new life as a happy, healthy and fit girl living from the center of the equation. Since I hit my weight-loss goal in May 2012, I’ve been on a YES! mission to live, experience and DO all the things that I was too afraid or ashamed to do as a BIG girl living a small life. And I’m having a ball!

Saying YES! does NOT mean saying yes to everyone and everything. It does NOT mean giving it all away while focusing on others. That might have been my old definition, but it’s also how I lost myself along the way.

Nope. Today, saying YES! means pushing outside of my comfort zone…saying yes to the things that scare me…saying yes to living brave…going for what I really, really, really want…validating that who I am is enough. And, that distinction is absolutely critical. 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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