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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

Getting back in the zone

It’s February. Are you still “In Your Equation,” or do you need a restart? Let’s get it!

Okay, anyone feel like they “lost it” in terms of living healthy in January? Be honest.

Not only did January speed right by, but so many people I’ve talked to recently are struggling with sickness, depression and/or the winter blues, and are feeling “off their game” already in 2017. If you’re in this camp, trust me, you’re not alone.

It’s common to start strong and be in your healthy zone — where you’re feeling great and you have the motivation mojo — only to have life throw a curve ball that gets you a bit off track, if not totally out of the zone. I’m feeling it, too.

An early January vacation to Cozumel (which was totally awesome) threw me a bit off my healthy routine at the start of the New Year. Then I came home and promptly got that awful bronchial crud (there are some nasty cold/flu viruses going around), followed by a case of the post-inauguration blues. Before I knew it, January was gone and I had slipped out of my healthy zone.

Whatever the reason, if you’re feeling a bit “off” or are having trouble getting your mojo back, this blog is for you — and me. It’s time to stop making excuses, stop beating yourself up or trying to make sense of what happened and just RESTART. Get ready to go ALL-IN, cause here we go! Read more

7 tips for keeping your motivation mojo

New Year. New In-the-Equation You! How are you doing at keeping your motivation mojo?

For so many years, I’d start the new year by setting lofty goals or New Year’s resolutions — usually aimed at losing weight, exercising more and getting “healthy” — only to fall off the wagon by mid-to-late January. Join the club, right?!

I would inevitably feel bad about losing my motivation and start beating myself up. I used my failure at achieving my goals as evidence that I couldn’t succeed. That I wasn’t good enough. My negative self-talk countered any positive progress, and I often ended up feeling worse. Ironically, this became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I stayed overweight, unhealthy, and totally out of the equation of my life. I continued to feel unworthy. And I continued to set resolutions and start anew at the beginning of a new year.

Luckily, that’s NOT how my story ends!

Like many of you reading this, for me, New Year’s resolutions are a thing of the past. So is the negative self-talk that accompanied them and kept me stuck. The NEW healthy and in-the-equation ME doesn’t wait for Jan. 1st to set personal goals or challenge myself to do the things I want to do. I say YES! to life now and embrace a personal growth mindset — all year long.

That said, I absolutely take advantage of the calendar year close as an opportunity to reflect on the lessons and experiences of my year (The Five Lessons of 2016). And, I get focused and intentional about what I desire most in the New Year by setting clear intentions. In fact, I get totally jazzed about this work. I just no longer force it or rush it to meet an arbitrary January 1st deadline. Read more

Embracing the whole, beautiful & imperfect me. Swim outfit & all!

The surprising gift of my first 2017 adventure

This lucky girl just got back from her first adventure of 2017 — a fabulous and fun trip to Cozumel, Mexico to kick off the new year!

This trip was significant for me as it meant tackling a list of fun “FIRSTS” that included pushing outside of my comfort zone. I’ve been on a personal mission to say “YES!” to life since I lost weight and put myself in the equation five years ago.

Before my personal transformation, I held back and lived a “small” and safe life. I didn’t put myself out there or take risks. Too often I let fear rule my life decisions — fear of what others would think, fear of looking silly or doing it imperfectly, and fear of failure often stopped me in my tracks.

Perhaps the saddest part of this reality is that I had convinced myself that I could be happy living small and safe. But the truth is, I wasn’t happy. I was hiding behind the layers of fat I donned for self-protection. I hid behind my work. And at my core was a foundation of low self-esteem, lack of confidence and a fear of not measuring up.

But I’m a success story. In 2012, as I reached my goal weight and the peak of living a healthy, happy and WHOLE life, I realized by definition “living WHOLE” meant putting myself out there. Taking risks and going for it, even and especially when I was scared. I decided to live brave. That meant saying “YES!” to life and tackling a whole list of “firsts,” seeking opportunities to grow and expand — even if that meant falling or failing. It’s been a fun and joyous ride, and five years in, I’m still going strong.

So what surprised me about my first big adventure of 2017 was how in the process of saying YES! and doing new things, I ended up embracing my whole and imperfect body and self in an even deeper way. That’s pretty cool and the focus of this blog. Read more

This middle-aged fit girl has a new FAV workout

Cheers to a stronger, sexier, sassy & sculpted me. Take that, you stalled metabolism!

Happy New Year, peeps. I hope you’ve not only surviving, but thriving in the first week of 2017. Let’s get it!

Since losing weight and getting fit are the most common New Year’s resolutions…and because so many of us get off track over the holidays and restart January 1st…and because I just did my kick-ass workout and feel totally inspired…I want to share the secret of my AMAZING new favorite workout. And yes, I do it at home, in my kitchen/sunroom, with no equipment.

This (new-to-me) fitness routine has changed not only how and when I work out, but how I feel. It makes me feel stronger, sexier, and sassier. It has me excited to exercise. But most importantly, it has helped jumpstart a sluggish metabolism and get back on track with “burnin’ it.”

So, while I don’t endorse products or sell anything here, I want to share my story in case it’s a fit and works for you, too.

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

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

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

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