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Posts tagged ‘-200 lb weight loss’

Say YES!…it changes you

What do I need to say “yes” to?

This was the reflection question that came across my email about a month ago in the weekly podcast post, “Best of Ourselves” from my friend and leadership coach, Marcia Hyatt. The podcast was titled “Saying Yes.” Of course, I clicked on it instantly.

YES! has been my favorite word for five years.

It’s been a big part of my new life as a happy, healthy and fit girl living from the center of the equation. Since I hit my weight-loss goal in May 2012, I’ve been on a YES! mission to live, experience and DO all the things that I was too afraid or ashamed to do as a BIG girl living a small life. And I’m having a ball!

Saying YES! does NOT mean saying yes to everyone and everything. It does NOT mean giving it all away while focusing on others. That might have been my old definition, but it’s also how I lost myself along the way.

Nope. Today, saying YES! means pushing outside of my comfort zone…saying yes to the things that scare me…saying yes to living brave…going for what I really, really, really want…validating that who I am is enough. And, that distinction is absolutely critical. Read more

Six years a mountain climber. Anything is possible!

Lorileif-oberg-bootcamp-bethprobstSome days I love the Facebook history feed. Facebook reminded me on Dec. Lori-obergmountain-bootcamp-bethprobst3rd that I climbed my very first mountain six years ago. How awesome is that?!

I didn’t necessarily set out to climb mountains, nor did I understand fully at the time how life-changing it would be. I am now a happy, mountain-climbing gal – six years and counting.

Today’s blog is about marking this milestone for myself, and it’s for anyone reading this who thinks it’s impossible to climb mountains — or tackle any big, hairy, audacious goal in life. I am here as living proof that, indeed, anything is possible.

If you had told me six years ago — as I prepared for weight-loss boot camp weighing in at more than 360 lbs — that I would climb mountains, both literally and figuratively…That I would go on to become a mountain climbing gal six years in and crave the next climb and adventure… Or, that I would lose and maintain a more than -200 lb weight loss, living every day from the center of my equation…Well, I would not have believed you. I would more likely have asked if you’d been drinking, A LOT! Read more

Courageous Girl: Four years ago I was scared to death…

…and I had the courage to begin my transformation journey.

ITE_Weight_Quote-blog

Lori_Before

BEFORE: This is me at the start of weight loss boot camp.

lorischaefer-aftershots

AFTER: This is me in my makeover photo shoot after reaching goal in May 2012.

Four years ago today, I found myself at a live-in, weight-loss boot camp at my beloved resort on Lake Superior — beginning a journey that would change the trajectory of my life forever.

I had no idea at the time just how much this one decision would matter, or what it meant in the grand scheme of my life. Nor did I have a clue how much courage I would have to muster. There simply was no way to prepare my mind and body for what I was about to put it through. Nor was there a way to ease my intense fear.

And so, with a pit in my stomach the size of California, I leapt off the cliff. I adopted a “just do it” mentality and trusted that I would survive the boot camp and be stronger for it. I trusted that my business would be okay in the hands of others for those two weeks and that my clients would understand. And, I trusted my mentor and inspiration, O’Neal Hampton, when he said “We’ve got this. You can be happy.”

I trusted in these things because at 381 pounds I felt I had no choice. I weighed more than an NFL Defensive Lineman (the biggest player on the football team) and was living a small and limiting life. Although I was successful in my career, I had given up on love, had a limited social life because I couldn’t do so many things at my size. And, I was secretly hiding behind the shame that I had let my body and my life come to this and I couldn’t seem to fix it.

To mask the internal pain, I stuffed my feelings with gallons of fast and processed foods, and worked 12 to 18 hours a day, seven days a week, in an office chair. This was not a path to a happy and fulfilling life. Rather, it was a quick road to an early death since stroke, diabetes and heart disease all run rampant in my family. I was out of the equation of my own life, not even in the picture at all. And, I was out of options.

Courageous Girl

It takes immense courage to change your life when you’ve lost hope. But I did it. I swallowed hard, packed my bags, handed off the reigns of my marketing business, and ventured to Minnesota’s North Shore for weight-loss boot camp. Taking one moment, one hour at a time, I repeated to myself over and over what O’Neal had said to me: “We’ve got this. You can do this.”

I showed up on day one of the two-week boot camp and in that first meeting with the program director set this goal for myself: “I will NOT quit. No matter what!” That goal has been my mantra since that very day four years ago. Yep, it was not just my goal in boot camp, but my new mantra in life, especially when the going gets tough. And it has served me well.

Most people set weight loss goals at the beginning of the boot camp. But I knew that, for me, it would be tough to stay in the game and not throw in the towel when the going got really, really tough. To keep fighting and pushing forward through intense physical and emotional pain would be my biggest victory. I knew that if I found the courage to do that, the weight loss would follow.

I was right.

I went on to lose -211pounds, nearly 50% body fat, and 11 dress sizes. It took me 18-months from that day to lose the weight and achieve a body fat of 14.5%. I’ve now maintained my weight loss for 2.5 years, with a few ups and downs. That was the physical transformation. But it was the internal transformation that was most profound and that many of you have heard me speak and write about. The internal happiness that comes from learning self-love and acceptance, and really believing that you are enough. This is the gift that leaves one nearly speechless. And the gift that truly keeps on giving, and giving and giving.

Taking stock of the journey & reaping the rewards…one anniversary at a time

Each year on the anniversary of my official transformation start (Nov. 28-Dec. 11, 2010) and again on the anniversary of reaching my goal weight (May 12, 2012), I blog about the impact on my life. I write about what the transformation anniversary means to me and how my life is different as a result. And, each year, I hope to reach others with my message: Each and every person deserves to be happy, can be happy, and has within them the power to make it happen. I am a living example. If I can do it, you can do it.

This year, I’ve decided to take stock in a slightly more formal way. I’ve set a goal to write something every day in my personal journal and/or here about the transformation as I’m experiencing it today. It’s strange but I have found that the farther I get into the journey of healthy living, the more profound the transformation for me.

The internal transformation continues, and the learning and growth are more palpable with each passing month and year. The external transformation — learning to live a healthy lifestyle and keep the weight off (which for me means battling addiction and changing life-long patterns and behaviors) — becomes more real. I thought it would get easier with time but the truth is, it ebbs and flows, like life. It is definitely an ongoing challenge and a process.

Proud, happy and grateful

So, today, on the four-year anniversary of my life-changing transformation start, I feel intensely proud of my courage and eternally grateful for the process AND the results.

I am grateful for the life-changing gift of health and happiness. I am grateful for my new life, even with its twisty ups and downs. I am grateful for O’Neal Hampton, my inspiration and mentor in the boot camp process. And, for my coaches and trainers who’ve helped me along the way. I am grateful for Sue, Shari and Carrie who supported me in those incredibly challenging boot camp days, and in many days since.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all of my family, friends and supporters — old and new — who continue to encourage, cheer, listen and support me now, four years later.

Finally, I hold tremendous gratitude in my heart that I am strong enough, brave enough, beautiful enough, sexy enough, wise enough, courageous enough to follow my heart and go for my big, hairy, audacious goals and dreams — wherever they may take me.

Thank you for reading this blog. For being here as part of the In the Equation community. And for being courageous enough to follow your dreams and go for your big, hairy, audacious goals!

XO

Lori

#courageousgirl #beyondgrateful #happyhealthygirl

Read related blogs here, including a few from my boot camp experience four years ago:

You are exactly where you need to be

Day 1: 7 hours and still going strong

Climbed a mountain and then some

Oberg Mountain — my new personal quest

My Fitness North 2 Finale

Before & After Pics, Video

Celebrating one year in a little black dress

One year sans 200 pounds…my new reality

Two years fit and healthy

Three years — another cool milestone

One years sans 200 lbs…my new reality

Taking stock one year after -200+ lb weight loss: Fit, active & healthy…
embracing life & reality from the center of my equation

Lori at one year - first "little" black dressThis is one of the toughest blogs I’ve written in two and a half years. I had intended to post it on the one-year  anniversary of my -211 lb weight loss (May 11, 2013) but it wasn’t ready. The words were not flowing as easily as I had hoped. The truth is, I am more proud of this accomplishment – maintaining my goal weight and living fully in the center of my equation as a healthy, happy and fit “girl” – than I am of getting here in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong. Shedding more than 200 pounds and going from a body fat percentage of 60+% to 14.5%, learning to live in the center of my equation for the first time ever, sharing my story for the world to see, and loving and accepting myself along the way – those are incredible, incredible accomplishments for which I am forever grateful and extremely proud! Life changing. And nothing will diminish that. Read more

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