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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 life! 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

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

Faith, courage & love

Requirements for braving the wilderness & living healthy, happy & whole

There is no other blog I could write today. I had the privilege of being in the audience last night at United Methodist Church in Minneapolis, MN, as the amazing Brene Brown kicked off her book tour for Braving the Wilderness, The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone.

Those of you who frequent this blog, know that I’ve not only been inspired by Brene Brown’s work around courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame and empathy, but her best-selling books have mirrored my growth AND my personal understanding about my transformation journey. In her message, I am blessed to learn, grow and evolve as a wholehearted human being, and now to share that experience and perhaps help others in doing so.

The values that Brene Brown speaks about — faith and courage — I share. I try to live daily by the core values of faith, courage and love — and it has perhaps never been more challenging than right now. Read more

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