I lived. I did it all!
Thank you OneRepublic for one of my all-time favorite songs — “I Lived” and now my mantra for my incredible, beautiful and WHOLE life.
Last Saturday, Nov. 28, marked another milestone in my journey — exactly five years since my transformation start. To celebrate, I climbed a favorite — Blue Hill Mountain in Blue Hill, ME; bought myself flowers from my fav local flower shop; watched the sunset over the ocean in my fav place on earth; and went out with some favorite friends. Oh, and cried happy tears of gratitude for this new life — twice!
This Wednesday, I got to celebrate five years by giving the keynote speech to 100+ business and organizational leaders in Bangor, ME, at the United Way of Eastern Maine’s Annual Meeting. My topic: How to find your spark and live a WHOLE life, not just a busy one. It was an awesome day with a group that does amazing work for our Eastern Maine communities. I’m still on fire!
Five years ago, if you had told me that I would keynoting the United Way of Eastern Maine’s annual meeting, I would not have believed you.
If you had told me then that I would be a fit, active and healthy woman living from the center of her equation, sharing her personal story and helping others achieve life-changing transformation…climbing mountains for fun, falling in love, riding a Harley, participating in half marathons, and appearing on NBC’s The Biggest Loser — well, I would have asked if you had been drinking — A LOT!
Seriously, I simply would not, or could not, have believed it. Why? Because for much of my adult life, I wouldn’t let myself have those kinds of dreams because I could not have imagined them true.
At the time, I was living a busy life — working 12 to 18 hours a day, seven days a week, in my start-up marketing business. I was living on a diet of fast and processed food and doing everything for everyone else. Indeed, I was the hamster on the wheel of life, spinning around and around day-after-day doing what I thought I was supposed to do. I was unaware at the time that I was practicing virtually no self-care. Yep, I was not even in the picture or equation of my own life. I was stuck living a small life, although I was a big girl weighing in at 381 pounds.
Hope, Inspiration & Courage = Change
That all changed five years ago when I found hope and inspiration in O’Neal Hampton and his NBC The Biggest Loser success story. And, in his generous spirit and willingness to reach out to me. It changed when I found the courage to push past my fear and leap — to go for what I really, really, really wanted out of life. When I had the courage and the strength to set a goal in weight-loss boot camp that I would not quit no matter what. And, it changed, when I went 100% all in and set myself up for success to achieve the goal of putting Lori in the center of the equation of her own life.
Nov-Dec. 2010. That’s when I decided to say YES! to myself and my big, hairy audacious goals rather than sit on the sidelines of my own life. That’s when I decided that a busy life that didn’t have me in it wasn’t good enough. Nope, I wanted and needed more. I wanted health, happiness, love and romance, and I wanted to give back to the world in BIG ways. (See my I lived – I did it all video here.)
Those two weeks in weight-loss boot camp five years ago jump started my transformation, but the gifts keep on giving and the greatest gift is my now WHOLE life. Now, as I listen to the lyrics of “I’ve Lived” by OneRepublic — I know that I did it all. I went for it. I put myself in the arena and went for my biggest dreams and most audacious goals. Sometimes it has worked out. Sometimes it hasn’t. Sometimes I charge valiantly into the arena and fall flat on my face, but I’ve learned I can do anything I set my mind to so now I always get back up and go for it again. And I always will!
Today, I live and love with my whole heart. I put myself in the equation and take care of my needs first so I am my best self for my life and for others. I go 100% all in. I attempt valiantly even if I might fail. I do hard things. I say YES! and… This is living a WHOLE life!
Living a WHOLE life
To me, living WHOLE, means living from a place of self-love, self-acceptance and knowing you’re enough exactly as you are. Until I spoke to the United Way of Eastern Maine on Wednesday, I don’t think I fully appreciated how much I’ve personally grown, learned and developed and how awesome this journey continues to be — five years in.
Losing the weight and reversing my risk for major chronic disease was/is awesome. Keeping 200 lbs off for 3.5 years, even more awesome. But honestly, finding my spark and learning to live a WHOLE and HAPPY life is indeed the gift that takes my breath away and keeps on giving. The gift that makes me cry tears of joy, gratitude and awe. The gift I want to give away to everyone and anyone who struggles with self-worth and self-acceptance.
At the center of my new life is ME! Lori in the equation every day, practicing self-care and living big, no matter what obstacles come my way. The things I am doing differently today that I did not do when I weighed 381 lbs:
- Believing in myself
- Caring for myself and my health
- Loving myself so that my spark can not only make me happy, but can help change the world.
Yep, I want to change the world by touching one life, helping one person, sparking one transformation, one good deed at a time! And then another, and another and another… I want to pay it forward for the rest of my life and start an In-Your-Equation Revolution!
My message to anyone reading this…
If I can do it, you can absolutely do it! YES, you can! And I promise you, it is not as difficult and as scary as we make it out to be in our heads. If you’re feeling stuck on the busy wheel, or struggling to find a way to put yourself in the equation, or struggling with your weight and your health, or all of the above — message me here. Please, I want to help.
So, happy five-year anniversary to ME… and to each and every one of you who has inspired me, coached me, trained me, loved me, supported me, cheered me, and encouraged me. You know who you are and if you are reading this you are likely one of those people. My heart is full and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
To Shira, Jesse, John and the amazing team at the United Way of Eastern Maine, you totally rock! Thank YOU for allowing me to celebrate my five-year anniversary with you. Keep up the amazing work you do. It matters. You matter. And I celebrate you.