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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

A year to STRETCH in every way…

…in work, love, physical pursuits, kindness, bigness, emotional bravery & more!

Hello March! Is anyone reading this surprised we’re already nearly three months into 2018?!

I must admit that I started this new year disoriented and disinterested in setting goals for 2018. My Dad had just died (Dec. 2017) and, of course, it has   left me in grief mode — feeling sad, lost, depleted, uninterested in goal setting, unsure of what next, and more.

Honestly, I was clear on only one thing at the end of 2017 and that was that I wanted 2018 to be different. I needed and wanted to shake things up in my life — to open myself up to the Universe in new and challenging ways, and I didn’t want to have to think too hard immediately about how. (If you’ve ever been in this place, you get it.)

For this In-the-equation girl who has been living brave, saying YES! and  constantly growing and changing during the past 7.5 years — just the realization that I needed a “time out” to regroup and recharge is hugely important.

In late January, I was on a morning walk with a close friend when I realized that what I really wanted in 2018 (besides a change of scenery and routine) was to STRETCH — personally and professionally. So I decided STRETCH was my word theme for 2018. What that means in practice, well, that’s a work in progress. And that’s how I believe it needs to be. Read more

What do you really, really, really want?

Not sure? Prioritize YOU. Join our vision board workshop – this Saturday, March 3!

This one is for the women out there. Why? Because I know so many women who have trouble prioritizing their needs, their self care, and all too often, their goals and dreams.

Nod (and keep reading) if you struggle to fit yourself into into the equation of your own life. If it makes you uncomfortable to prioritize yourself and your needs over others. And, if it makes you twitchy to go for what you really, really, really want.

Can you relate? I thought so.

When I ask women in my speeches what they really, really, really want at this point in their lives, the two most common answers are: “I don’t know,” and/or “I’m too busy to figure it out.”

Ah, yes, BUSY! I truly hate that word in my new in-the-equation life.

We’re too busy to practice self-care…too busy to get to that exercise class we’ve always wanted to try…too busy to connect with our girlfriends…and way too busy to attend a class/workshop or find other ways to consistently grow, challenge ourselves and feed our souls.

Trust me, I get it! I was in the “too busy” camp for much of my life, and then I realized this fundamental truth: NO ONE but me could/would take care of me and my needs. So if I didn’t do it, what kind of life was I actually living? What kind of future was I creating for myself?

So, ladies –or kick-A women, if you prefer — that is the reason I’m hosting my first-ever In-the-Equation Vision Board Workshop. (Well, that and the fact that for the first time in a long time I’m personally struggling to find my focus.) I’m excited to share this workshop with you, and with this blog, I invite you to join us. We’ve got just a few spots left.

Click here to jump to the event details and sign up on Facebook… or keep reading. Read more

Struggle with body image? Read this!

I read two blog articles this morning, both related to body image and how we present ourselves to the world as a result of that image. I decided to ditch the blog I was writing to share some thoughts on this important topic and provide links to the articles so you could read them for yourselves.

Body image is a tough one for so many women — and increasingly for men. Stats show that nearly 80% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance!

I’ve definitely had my own struggles over the years — especially when I weighed more than an NFL Defensive Lineman! For me, body image and self-love were directly connected. Until I learned to love and accept myself and show up as the person I really am (see “Permission to be Real“), it affected my work life, my love life…my overall life! Consequently, I was living small trying to protect myself from shame and the perceived judgements of others.

My personal transformation — inside perhaps even more than outside — has come bearing the gifts of self-love, self-acceptance and self-compassion. But I have to work on it every day! Read more

The powerful combo of grit & grace

I started the year reading a poem written by a new friend. It opened with a line about “grit and grace” and I was immediately captured by how connected I felt to those two words. I felt like the poem was calling to me and that someone really “got” me.

I re-read the poem about the same time I was reflecting on my Dad’s recent passing and his legacy, and noted that it was perhaps “grit” more than anything that he instilled in me — by genes and by example/experience.

Ironically, just days after I discovered the poem, two different friends (in two separate conversations) recommended a book called “Grit: The power of Passion & Perseverance” written by Anita Duckworth. I began reading Grit earlier this month and, wow, does it resonate — for me personally and as a Health & Wellness Coach aiming to help others. I highly recommend it! 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

Grounded in gratitude

Gratitude for being — perhaps the key to positive change in your life

It’s difficult to blog while in the throws of emotional struggle and turmoil. Today I decided that’s exactly what I need to do. Many of you in the Nov. All-In Challenge Group have said you appreciate me “telling it like it is” and not sugar coating how difficult the process of healthy living and striving can be. So here you have it…

Sometimes it’s DAMN HARD to take care of ourselves and live our healthiest and happiest lives! Sometimes, just getting through the day is a challenge. Like when you feel depressed or sad to the bones. When you or the people you love are getting pummeled by things out of your/their control. For me, it’s the emotion that gets me. I feel everything, and my well worn path when I’m emotionally struggling is to stuff the feelings with food. Food = comfort (or numbing).

Well that’s no longer an option, so now what? How about getting grounded in gratitude? 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

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