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Managing holiday expectations…the Healthy Holiday Action Plan.

A strategy for self-care and stress reduction around the holidays

pic-holiday-self-careI read no less than eight articles this morning in my news feed with advice about how to handle the upcoming holidays. The titles ranged from: “5 Reasons to Eat Whatever You Want on Thanksgiving,” to “How to Plan a Weight Neutral Thanksgiving,” to “Six Holiday Foods with Health Benefits,” to “Smart Snacking Over the Holidays,” to a host of articles with various coping strategies for stress reduction.

I get overwhelmed just sorting through the advice — much of it contradictory. Needless to say, I was hesitant to share my 2016 holiday coping strategy — aka Holiday Action Plan — in this blog. But when I told a friend, she urged me to do so. And since I have a history of being authentic about my transformation journey and the ongoing challenge of maintaining a -200 lb weight loss and living every day in the equation, why should the holidays be any different?

So here goes. Perhaps you’ll find it helpful coming from someone who’s living it. Read more

Balancing fun with the girls & staying on track

Girls Gone North 2016 - HikeI just got back from a much-needed girlfriends getaway. Girls Gone North to be exact.

My “besties” and I headed to the North Shore of Lake Superior this past weekend for our Annual Girls Gone North Weekend at the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. It’s become an annual tradition. We celebrate sisterhood, friendship and the fact that no boys are allowed! (Well, okay, this year the boys from North Shore Winery were allowed because they hosted our fun wine tasting event. But other than that, it’s sacred girl time.)

We hike. We laugh – a lot! Sometimes we “spa.” We catch up on all things “feminine.” And, we eat and drink — sometimes a lot. You get it! Girlfriend getaways are necessary and good for the soul.

But what do you do when you’re trying to eat healthy and stay on track? I get asked that question a lot. So, coming fresh off our November girls weekend seemed the perfect time to share some tips. I’m feeling especially proud of maintaining my weight loss while on vacation and coming home right on track.

This has not always been the case. Read more

Fa la la latte. Lots a sugar oh my!

cariboucoffee-falatoppedbyyouHappy Monday, peeps! I don’t know about you but on Monday’s I’m thrilled to indulge in a big ol’ cup of coffee before and after my morning walk and workout.

This morning I got up early to walk the lake with a friend and treated myself to a large skim milk latte at Caribou on the way home. Yum! It’s my treat to myself  to start the week.

I noticed when I stopped in at my neighborhood Caribou Coffee that the Fa la la for the holidays is in full swing. The gifted marketing team at Caribou is at it again. Check out the NEW awesomeness Caribou is throwing our way. Now, you can get the holiday Fa La Latte (or any holiday flavored latte) with your choice of whip and sprinkled with your choice of flavored chips or candy on top. It’s a Fa La Latte bar of sorts — topped by you.

A very cute gentleman in line before me this morning saw me taking photos of the leader board and said he always wanted to try one. He did. And his comment: “It’s like eating candy!” Read more

From last one up the mountain to the heart health of an athlete

lori-oct2016

Guess who has the heart health of an athlete? Yep, this is her!

If you struggle with self-care and avoid the doctor, or believe you can’t change your health trajectory, please read on!

Dejavu?! Last week, I found myself in the exact same situation almost six years to the day (Oct. 2010-Oct. 2016). In a a hospital gown at the doctor’s office sitting on the edge of the bed talking with my doctor.

While the scene was the same, the visits and the results were not.

In 2010, I FORCED myself to go to the doctor for a medical exam after a nearly 20-year avoidance of all things medical. I had to have medical clearance to participate in the weight-loss boot camp that I was signed up for in Nov. 2010. Of course, my sheer terror of all things medical and the shame I carried around related to my weight, had me procrastinating and cutting this mandatory doctor’s visit pretty close to the start of the boot camp.

As you can perhaps predict, the actual experience of visiting the doctor for the first time in 20 years wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had made it out in my head to be (often the case with our fears). Though I had myself worked up to a state of near panic going in so who knows how that affect my blood pressure!

The doctor’s sage advice that stuck in my head from that terrifying visit in 2010: “I’m going to clear you for the weight-loss boot camp, but I want you to keep your competitive spirit in check and be the last one up the mountain.” Read more

In-the-Equation Workshops Offered in MN

Join us Nov. 12, Nov. 19 & Dec. 3 — and let’s make YOU the priority!

ITE_Survival_quote_sqAre you too busy to be healthy? … Too busy to workout. Too busy to cook. Too busy to call a friend for a walk?

How about self-care? Are you taking care of your health and well-being… pursuing your goals and dreams or just taking care of others? Dare I ask: Are you even on your to-do list?

I get it! Most of us juggle many roles and responsibilities and pride ourselves on becoming experts at multitasking. But what happens when we slip out of the equation and end up doing everything for everyone else, with precious little time to care for and nurture ourselves?

At 381 lbs., working 12-18 hours seven days a week, I was the Queen of Busy and Unhealthy! (If there’s a crown for that one, I deserved it!) I wasn’t even in the equation of my own life. Then I found a better way. I put myself in the equation of my own life and lost 200+ lbs. — and most importantly found my healthy, happy and WHOLE life. You can, too!

As I’ve been sharing my transformation story and tips on how to prioritize you, practice self-care, and achieve transformative change in your life – so many people have asked for help. I recently conducted workshops in Maine and was asked — why not Minnesota?! So here you go. Read more

Healthy, easy, yummy Fall eats

bakedacornsquash-yogurt-honeyCheck out my new favorite fall recipes!

Acorn squash, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, apples, pears, beets, brussels sprouts — I am in heaven! I love Fall’s seasonal eats. And I’m not alone.

I just about jumped out of my computer chair with joy when I found the Baked Acorn Squash with Greek Yogurt, Honey & Pecans recipe — suggesting it for breakfast. I’m in!

There’s a plenitude of blogs out right now about all of the great seasonal fruits and vegetables available to us in the Fall. And there are also hundreds of  recipes coming across my Facebook feed that CLAIM to be “healthy” comfort foods, but honestly when you look are loaded with starchy, fatty, sugary carbs. Some of those claim to cut the carbs, but I’d have a hard time maintaining my weight loss if I didn’t pay attention to what’s really in those so-called “healthy” recipes.

My definition of healthy is different – to me it means low-carb, low healthy fat, low or no refined sugar and whole, natural food. I know from five years of eating this way that it can still be absolutely delicious and satisfying. So I did some research to bring a little creativity and fun to my Fall healthy cooking regime. Read more

Grateful girl on the mountaintop

Lori-Penobscot-Fall2016Good Monday morning, peeps. And cheers from the mountaintop!

Please forgive the tardiness of this blog. I started it last week, but didn’t get it posted as I was too busy climbing mountains, enjoying the fall leaves of Downeast Maine and Acadia National Park, and living in the moment with Lori in the center of the equation.

Every time I take a rigorous hike to a mountaintop or along a challenging trail, I am overcome with gratitude. I mean it. I carry with me overwhelming gratitude for the ability to walk and hike in places of sheer beauty; for a connection to the Universe and nature that is indescribable; and for my new healthy and fit body that can do so many things I never dreamed of when I was stuck in the office chair 12-18 hours a day making excuses for how I couldn’t grab hold and change my life.

Well, these past two weeks, I’ve been livin’ it. And I’ve vowed that living it, being present in the moment and grateful for every gift — even the hard stuff — will always come first, before writing about it. #gratefulgirl Read more

Maybe what matters most is being brave

EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog is dedicated to the beautifully brave women in my life who have reminded me recently how awesome it is to both EXPERIENCE and WITNESS courage in action. Whether it’s facing a life-changing medical crisis and remaining strong and brave in the face of uncertainty, like my sister Lisa and my cousin, Donna. Or the beautiful and brave women who leapt despite their fear to put themselves and their health and happiness first as they embark on their own In-the-Equation journeys. To all the beautiful and brave women I know — this one’s for you. #brave #bravegirls #onebravething

lori-bravequote1When I was in the physical part of my personal transformation journey — nearing my weight-loss goal — someone asked me what the tipping point was for me. How did I find success this time when I had tried and failed so many other times?

To be honest, I don’t remember my exact answer. But I remember thinking later that I needed to know the real answer for myself. So I kept asking myself — what WAS different this time? How DID I do it?

A few days later, I noodled on a napkin the words: “Everything changed when I learned I could be brave and afraid at the exact same moment.” I lost 200 lbs and made my health, happiness and life a priority, the day I was brave and afraid at the same time…and acted anyway.

It was both the act of deciding and taking action that was brave. And little did I know at the time, but life with Lori-in-the-equation would require living a brave life.

Too often we let fear stop us. The fear of putting ourselves out there, the fear of what others will think, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, even fear of success, can stop us dead in our tracks. When fear stops us, we play it safe. We retract and don’t go for what we really, really want. Often we stay stuck or living small. We don’t let ourselves truly shine. And for many of us, it means we don’t reach our personal and greatest potential. Can you relate?

There is another way. The brave life. Read more

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