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Embracing gray

More than a contest…it’s life’s journey

I started this past week on a high, and I can’t wait to share!

On Monday, I had my final weigh in for the Balance for Life Fitness Center’s Lose & Win Contest. I lost 23 lbs during the six week contest — although most of the weight came off in the last three weeks.

My trainer, Julie, who started this journey with me, also took measurements and the results are quite astounding. I will spare the details, but I lost 45 inches in the last 6 months.

During the contest, I got back on track with working out every day; my food plan was clean; I gave up alcohol all together; and worked through some emotional challenges that were getting in my way. It was by all accounts a fantastic experience and I ended the contest and this part of the journey feeling strong, happy and high on life.

On Thursday, while in a meeting at my beloved Bluefin Bay Resort, I got the email that indeed I had won the contest by a landslide! The reward is even more perfect: $500 in free training sessions. And, of course, the title of Biggest Loser doesn’t hurt either. 🙂

While in this state of euphoria and place of strength, I have had many amazing experiences at work and at play. The biggest, and perhaps most fun, is that I am noticing men again and flirting like crazy! Yes, flirting. I do need tips as my flirting skills are a little rusty. Cases in point. I met a handsome, arty looking gentlemen in the elevator on my way to a client’s office last week (3x) and each time I forgot to see if he had a wedding ring — rookie mistake. Last night, I met a cute boy at the Bluefin Grille and almost neglected to get his name; luckily he asked for my number. OMG, no one has asked for my number in years! Honestly, fun and exciting and … (By the way, for those of you wondering, NO it was not Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman who is pictured here. He is not available (lol) and this photo of us was taken at a client event last week. I just love the photo.)

Other positives are endless: I shopped for new clothes with my mom and got into yet another smaller size; I got to celebrate with friends Jim V. and Dennis and Jolita with a glass (or a few) of red wine at the Bluefin Grille on Thursday night. All three are clients, friends, and huge supporters without whom I am not sure I would be in this place. The entire team at Bluefin Bay has continued their support and encouragement. Last night at dinner I discovered my broccoli was prepared with butter and Chef Ed personally went back into the kitchen and steamed some new broccoli for me! Thanks Ed.

Work opportunities have presented themselves and some of them are big and risky and challenging and exciting. The old me might have been afraid to take the risk. The list of little highs is quite endless and these blogs are long so I am only listing the ones I want to remember when I go back and read this long from now.

A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to my Twin Cities trainers Julie Gronquist and Sandra Swami from Balance for Life Fitness Center, who are not only both great trainers but Lori supporters and a day-to-day part of the fitness team that is bringing this home. Julie is innovative with these contests and this one came with a manual that reinforces everything I learned from Leif Anderson, the head of the excavation team. Leif, what can I say, I trust you implicitly and you led me home – this time, and again and again. There are no words to express my love and gratitude for that. THANK YOU doesn’t seem enough! 

So another amazing journey and a week of highs…but not without a few curve balls.

I expected this story to end on a 100% high. I love happy endings! However, as I got up to blog this morning, I realized it’s more complicated than that. Just like the rainy, gray day that greeted me, life is more often a mixed bag…shades of gray. Often wonderful successes and amazing experiences come with the tough stuff mixed in. For me, it has always been a struggle to embrace and hold both the good and the bad simultaneously. To stop, celebrate and hold the joy and the success but in the context of the realities, thus with a more balanced and perhaps grounded view.

Examples. Life threw me some disappointments this week, too. Sparing the details, suffice it to say, people disappoints. There were trust issues, dashed hopes, and as a result, feelings of anger and sadness. I found myself reeling from the highs to the lows with lightning speed, and letting the disappointments cloud my personal happiness and success. Consequently, I lost focus on working my program and found it difficult to stick to the plan. On top of that struggle, I  found myself wishing I could change the outcome or fix it (there’s that control gene again! :-).

It turns out, the real differentiator is how you hold, react and live with the disappointments and struggles as well as the wins and successes. The old Lori would ride those waves – high highs and low lows. She led a very passionate, yet one might argue, reactionary life. The new Lori is BEGINNING to learn to hold the entire bag, embracing life with a bit more balance, moderation, and proportion. Easier said than done, for sure. But part of my journey.

So if I take my own advice and view the balanced bag of this past week, the positives win but they are tempered by the reality of change. I feel great physically and emotionally. I am strong and happy. And that strength will help me manage the personal disappointments, rising above them while continuing to let go of what I can’t control. I have had an amazing journey and an incredible past six weeks of progress. The ball has moved down the field and I am standing tall and proud! There are some challenges in front of me in terms of how I move forward. The landscape has changed and the field will look different. But I have no doubt, I will be better and stronger for it.

If anyone has wisdom to share, or insights I am not seeing here. Or, even if you can relate, please share your comments either here or in private. And if you have tips on picking up boys – CALL ME! I am ready to roll.

Hugs. Happy Memorial Day weekend all.

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