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Posts tagged ‘Before and After’

Five lessons of five years living in the equation (sans -200 lbs)

With gratitude from the mountaintop

Those of you that know me personally or have followed my blog, know that I’ve used a mountain climbing analogy to describe my personal transformation journey. I truly believe that as we conquer the mountains, we conquer ourselves.

One of the fundamental things that’s different about me as I celebrate five years of living in the equation sans -200 lbs is that I now actively seek those mountains. I say YES!, accept the challenge, and aim to live a WHOLE life not just a busy or safe one. I do this because I know that as I conquer the mountain (literally and figuratively) I will grow and bloom. In fact, this is where the growth and bloom occurs.

As a fit and active girl, I take it to the mountain when I’m searching for answers, needing a restart, wanting to feel strong and fit, when I want to challenge myself, and to celebrate every significant milestone in this journey. It’s my go-to place…my sanctuary…the place I feel closest to the Universe. And, it’s where I’m actively conquering me.

Last week, I took it to my all-time favorite mountain — Penobscot in Acadia National Park, Maine. I embarked on a solo climb to celebrate my 5-year milestone and ponder my biggest and next question: “What do I need to say YES! to right now?” As usual, the mountain did not disappoint. Read more

Healthy, happy & whole sans -200 lbs. More than a weight loss story — it’s an inside job!

Celebrating 5 years of Lori in the equation!

Lori in the equation 5 years – May 2017

I woke up today on the official 5-year anniversary of living with “Lori-in-the-equation” and hopped on the scale. A cheer erupted when I weighed -202 lbs LESS than I did at my highest weight, confirming that I’ve successfully maintained my 200+ lb weight loss for 5 years. YES!

My pants are still 11 sizes smaller than when I started my journey in 2010 (though a few things have shifted!). I feel strong, healthy and fit! I’m climbing mountains for fun. I’m living a WHOLE life, not just busy one. And, putting myself in the equation and taking care of me now comes naturally. It’s non-negotiable.

As I mark this five-year milestone, I am beyond grateful and even humbled by these incredible gifts that have now become my norm.

Most people look at me as a weight-loss success story. But, my transformation journey isn’t about weight loss. It isn’t about diet and exercise. It’s not about counting calories or macros. Nor is it about deprivation…or even willpower. And, it’s not done.

The greatest gift I’ve given myself is not the hard numbers — though it feels incredible to be healthy and have reversed my health trajectory. Rather, the greatest gift is how I’ve changed on the inside. This is what makes it an inside job.

Here are just a few things that are different on the inside. I’ve learned to push past fear and stop being paralyzed by perfection. I no longer self sabotage and beat myself up for being imperfect. I know that I’m enough, exactly as I am. I’ve proven to myself that I can do anything I make up my mind to do. I’ve learned to love and accept myself, imperfections and all. I’ve discovered that self-care is a non-negotiable, and acquired new skills like the “restart” to keep me on track. And I’ve learned to change beliefs and life-long thought patterns that were keeping me stuck and stalled.

Read more

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

The mountain and me

Six years, countless climbs. Still conquering the mountain & me!

It started on this mountain in the depth of winter a little over six years ago. This is where I dug deep and found myself – my strength, my determination, my resolve, and my desire for a better life.

This is where I officially decided that I wanted more out of life than being obese and living small. This is where I decided I wanted it all. And most importantly, I decided — YES, indeed, I could do it!

It was December 2010 when I first met Oberg – a little mountain on Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior. I weighed upwards of 360 lbs (down 20 from my all-time high). I was on day two of weight-loss boot camp when they told me we were going to climb a mountain…in snowshoes.

I was pissed, scared, and a bit defiant when it came time to suit up in our snow gear. Fear took over as I contemplated my first mountain climb ever. I stood there and allowed Jeremy, the young activities director, to strap on my snowshoes because it was too hard for me to bend over and I had no idea how to assemble those contraptions to my feet.

How time flies and circumstances change!

Today, March 18, 2017, I find myself back at the foot of Oberg Mountain Loop strapping on trackers over my hiking shoes. I am alone. I am -200 lbs lighter in load. I am strong, confident, resilient and beautiful. And this time, I am oh so grateful for the trip up what I now refer to as “my mountain.”

I KNOW this mountain. I know me. And I know that I will find exactly what I need today as I make my way up the deceivingly steady incline at the start of the trail, on the switchbacks, and as I make my way around the hilly 2.2 mile loop with breathtaking views. Read more

Hiking under the Arizona sun

You almost LOST ME at rattle snakes, scorpions & tarantulas!

Last week I got to spend some quality vacation time with family and friends under the warm Arizona sun. I’m an ocean-loving girl, so it’s been more than nine years since I’d been to Arizona.

The last time I visited, I was at my all-time heaviest weight of 381 lbs and it was a very different trip. Needless to say, I was more of a passive observer of the Arizona mountains on that trip. I had trouble walking even short distances and couldn’t imagine actually getting out in the wilderness and hiking.

But this year, as a fit and healthy girl, it was important to me to get out in the dessert and experience it up close and personal via my favorite outdoor activity — hiking the mountains. At least that was my plan UNTIL I learned that rattle snakes and tarantulas frequent the trails! Eeek. Literally, my worst nightmare and one of my biggest fears. That said, my desire to hike was greater than my fear of reptiles and creepy crawly things (barely). So, off we went.

We had a host of hiking recommendations in the Superstition Mountain Wilderness — including the Siphon Draw Trail and Flatiron. But, after hearing my 20-something niece and nephew describe the difficulty of these hikes, we decided our inaugural dessert hiking trip would start with something simpler — the three mile round trip Hieroglyphic Trail near Gold Canyon. 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

For the love of wine, peanut butter and dessert

winewithaviewWine. Peanut butter. Dessert. What do these three delightful things have in common in my world?

A) I LOVE them all! B) I’ve had a rocky relationship with each of them; C) I’ve learned a lot about myself and my body in exploration of, and with, them over the years; D) At least temporarily, I’ve broken up with each one of them; or E) All of the above.

Well, the answer is E — all of the above.

You might find this surprising, but I lost -211 lbs and 80% of my body fat on a diet program where I was NOT totally and completely deprived of these three loves. After I hit my weight-loss goal, and as I’ve worked to maintain a healthy lifestyle, things have gotten more complicated and, yep, a bit rocky.

I’m sharing my personal story with wine, peanut butter and sugary desserts because I’m guessing many of you can relate. You, too, may have foods (or patterns related to food) that worked for you…for awhile — or at least you thought they did — and as you’ve evolved, changed, or as life happens — your relationship with certain foods may also needs to change.

What do I mean? Read more

I weighed more than an NFL Defensive Lineman

LoriSchaefer-Before-AtWorkIn honor of Throwback Thursday, I’m throwing it back to one of the very few “before” photos that I have of me weighing 381 lbs — more than an NFL Defensive Lineman! (I’m on the far left, and yes, that’s Naomi Tutu & my team next to me at a work event.)

I didn’t allow my photo to be taken much when I was this weight, so this is a rare post. I’m posting it in honor of #tbt, but also to remind me what is possible when we get our mind and our thinking straight.

I am living proof that anything is possible when we put ourselves in the center of the equation of our own life. When we take care of our health, our wellness, our happiness, first — before we take care of everyone and everything else. Read more

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