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Posts tagged ‘Fit’

Embracing the whole, beautiful & imperfect me. Swim outfit & all!

The surprising gift of my first 2017 adventure

This lucky girl just got back from her first adventure of 2017 — a fabulous and fun trip to Cozumel, Mexico to kick off the new year!

This trip was significant for me as it meant tackling a list of fun “FIRSTS” that included pushing outside of my comfort zone. I’ve been on a personal mission to say “YES!” to life since I lost weight and put myself in the equation five years ago.

Before my personal transformation, I held back and lived a “small” and safe life. I didn’t put myself out there or take risks. Too often I let fear rule my life decisions — fear of what others would think, fear of looking silly or doing it imperfectly, and fear of failure often stopped me in my tracks.

Perhaps the saddest part of this reality is that I had convinced myself that I could be happy living small and safe. But the truth is, I wasn’t happy. I was hiding behind the layers of fat I donned for self-protection. I hid behind my work. And at my core was a foundation of low self-esteem, lack of confidence and a fear of not measuring up.

But I’m a success story. In 2012, as I reached my goal weight and the peak of living a healthy, happy and WHOLE life, I realized by definition “living WHOLE” meant putting myself out there. Taking risks and going for it, even and especially when I was scared. I decided to live brave. That meant saying “YES!” to life and tackling a whole list of “firsts,” seeking opportunities to grow and expand — even if that meant falling or failing. It’s been a fun and joyous ride, and five years in, I’m still going strong.

So what surprised me about my first big adventure of 2017 was how in the process of saying YES! and doing new things, I ended up embracing my whole and imperfect body and self in an even deeper way. That’s pretty cool and the focus of this blog. Read more

Resilience. The key to happy, healthy & whole.

GOOD NEWS: If you don’t have resilience, you can develop it!

lori-speakingfitfest2016This week, I’m celebrating four years of living from the center of the equation of my own life as a fit, active, happy and healthy girl. Yes! A big deal.

I’m more proud of maintaining my -200 lb weight loss and Lori-in-the-equation life for four years than I was to lose the weight and get to my goal in the first place. And that’s saying a lot, because I was ecstatic to get to goal on May 12, 2012 and celebrate with my special peeps!

While losing and keeping the weight off is a huge accomplishment and changed my health trajectory, the greatest gift I gave myself was a WHOLE life. I got off the hamster wheel of a busy life, where I was drenched in self-doubt and worthiness issues, and learned to take care of my health and happiness first. I learned to live more from intention and less from habit. To honor and respect myself. To practice self-care consistently. And to stop doubting myself, beating myself up and being a victim of my circumstances.

WHOLE is not easy! And living a whole life manifests differently for everyone. I define it this way: WHOLE = happy + healthy + hard. I didn’t get here by taking the easy road. One of the most important skills that I developed along the way was resilience. I’m learning now — four years in — it makes all the difference. Read more

I lived. I did it all!

Blog Series: Celebrating Five Years…
The most precious gift of personal transformation: A WHOLE life!

lori-bluehillmountain

Climbing Blue Hill Mountain, celebrating 5 years.

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! 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

Sometimes it takes a village

Support and accountability were key to my -200 lb weight loss & to maintaining it for 3 years!

Celebration Climb Mountaintop - May 2012Cheers to the village!

Thanks to support and encouragement from friends, I just got back from a cold, Minnesota cardio workout — power walking around my lake at 7 p.m. on a Monday night, in 40 degrees and drizzling rain. It was cold and wet, and lonely — only the nutjobs and die hards were out tonight!

I was not in the mood. I had every reason (okay, excuse) in the book for why I couldn’t workout today. Yet, I did it. And, WOW, does it feel great when you have to fight for it!

I will never underestimate the power of support and the accountability that goes with it. It was critical to my success in losing the weight, and it continues as I celebrate three years of healthy living and maintaining my -200 lb weight loss. Read more

3 lessons I learned on the mountaintop

NOTE: This week marks my 3-year anniversary living as a fit, active, healthy, happy girl from the center of her equation — maintaining a -200 lb weight loss. To celebrate, I’m working on a series of blogs sharing the lessons of the road of the past three years of healthy living. This is a continuing journey. It’s been the ride of a lifetime and I wouldn’t change a thing — even and especially the hard stuff.

Lori-ObergMountain-April2015

Hello mountain. Hello fresh spring air. Hello switchbacks and ascending trails….expansive and breathtaking views. Hello critters of the forest. It’s just us today. Just the way I like it. Good morning!

As I pass the entrance to Oberg Mountain and hit the ascending trail, this is my internal conversation — with myself and my mountain. It’s been months since we’ve met and it feels like coming home again.

Oberg — on the beautiful North Shore of Lake Superior — was the first mountain I ever climbed. And like a first love, it will always have a very special place in my heart.

That was not always the case. Read more

Beautiful or Average? …Beautiful!

Dove-choosebeautifulcampaignphotoIt’s no secret, women struggle with body image. We are our own harshest critics. I don’t think many people — even the men in our lives — would argue with that.

Yesterday, I watched the new Dove “Choose Beautiful” campaign for the first time and was mesmerized. If you haven’t seen it, watch here.

The campaign centers on a 3.5 min video that shows women from five cities around the globe having to choose to enter a building through one of two doors — a BEAUTIFUL door and an AVERAGE door. Read more

My In the Equation morning ritual

Cardio with a twist!

Como Lake Light on DucksThis summer I’ve adopted a new morning ritual and this morning I realized it and deemed it as such. It’s my “in the equation” start to every day and it totally works for me.

For almost three months, I’ve evolved my morning routine to include this 45 min ritual. It combines my preferred form of cardio — power walking in a beautiful place, preferably around or near water — with a couple of simple mental practices that help me throughout my day.

Also, because I’m on the move and living part-time in Minnesota and part-time in Maine, it allows me to have a daily practice that is consistent and helps me focus mind, body and spirit before the day ensues — no matter where I am. It helps ground me. Read more

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