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Posts tagged ‘gratitude’

Grounded in gratitude

Gratitude for being — perhaps the key to positive change in your life

It’s difficult to blog while in the throws of emotional struggle and turmoil. Today I decided that’s exactly what I need to do. Many of you in the Nov. All-In Challenge Group have said you appreciate me “telling it like it is” and not sugar coating how difficult the process of healthy living and striving can be. So here you have it…

Sometimes it’s DAMN HARD to take care of ourselves and live our healthiest and happiest lives! Sometimes, just getting through the day is a challenge. Like when you feel depressed or sad to the bones. When you or the people you love are getting pummeled by things out of your/their control. For me, it’s the emotion that gets me. I feel everything, and my well worn path when I’m emotionally struggling is to stuff the feelings with food. Food = comfort (or numbing).

Well that’s no longer an option, so now what? How about getting grounded in gratitude? Read more

Finding my strong on the mountaintop

Can you be strong when your world falls apart?

As I awoke to the morning sunlight streaming across the ocean and into the bedroom window, I was reminded that Hurricane Irma had just hit my life. Sadness set in before the sleep was out of my eyes. How can you be strong when it feels as if your whole world has just fallen apart? I’ve survived some tough stuff, but I’m not sure I know how to do so while being strong.

I got out of bed and made my way outside to the wrap-around porch to drink my morning coffee and watch the tide slowly roll out, exposing the sea life on the ocean floor. Will those critters survive this tidal change, I wondered? What do they do when they become exposed and are gasping for air?

As I sit rather zombie-like starring out at the sea, I feel sad, mad, worried, empty, scared, tired, overly emotional, and…more. Feelings too exhausting to think about. And yet I find myself preoccupied with one question — what does it look like to be strong when the world as you know it is changing forever and not by choice? When bad things and challenging times pummel you with gale-force speed like an unforgiving Hurricane batters the shore, and you can’t fix it or change it.

This is not the first time I’ve been pummeled, of course, but this feels like the worst pummeling ever. (Most of the details don’t matter to the story — we all have times we experience this). What strikes me today is that I don’t think I’ve ever pondered this question in the midst of a pummeling.

Rather, I’ve wallowed, cried, complained, and suffered alone in my hurt and pain — drowning it with work, food, alcohol — and hiding from the outside world. And when other people experienced pain and suffering — I was the first one to show up. I gave, and gave and gave at the expense of myself, trying to fix it.

None of this feels right to me now. None of it fits my new Lori-in-the-equation life. And yet the pull to go back to bed and bury my head in the covers is strong. The pull to eat everything in sight — even stronger! I have a lot of experience with that.

But perhaps this is the next evolution of transformation for me. An opportunity to find my strongest and best self and learn to cope with “hard,” while loving and giving to her. So, I get curious again.

Can you be strong when your world falls apart? Read more

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

With gratitude from the mountaintop

Those of you who 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 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

The five lessons of 2016

As the year comes to a close, it’s typical to find ourselves reflecting on its challenges and gifts, while beginning to envision our intentions for the coming year. For the past several years, I’ve shared my year-in-review insights in a blog. It helps me to put it out in the Universe, and I hope that others might find something enlightening, useful or relevant.

This year, it’s taken me the better part of a week to formulate the lessons of 2016. While it was a year with plenty of joy and success, the clouds and challenges were significant and proved difficult to navigate for this “in-her-equation” gal. The gift of it all, as I wrote in my blog last week, is the GROWTH and BLOOM that has occurred for me as a result of those challenges. (Here’s a link to that blog: Does every cloud have a silver lining?)

As I reflected on how to articulate the lessons of 2016, I went to Facebook to see what it had to say about my “Year in Review.” While I usually take these Facebook analyses with a grain of salt, this one really nailed it. It reads:

“2016 has had its ups and downs, Lori, but overall it’s been an important and positive one for you. You’ve learned a lot about yourself and will start 2017 more confident than ever before. Looking back you must be proud knowing that you successfully navigated this year and its turbulence. You have emerged stronger than ever and are ready to keep on smiling.”

And so there it is — the GROWTH and the BLOOM. Read more

Does every cloud have a silver lining?

Reflections on a tough year and impending holiday. Not the blog I wanted or expected to write.

“Every cloud has a silver lining.” What does that mean, I wondered as a friend said those words in an attempt to comfort my heavy heart? Where did that phrase come from? While I get the spirit of it — there’s a bright side to every situation — it made me wonder if I really believed it.

Sometimes it feels impossible to imagine that even the worst situations have some positive aspect — especially when you are in the throws of it. Like when  your heart is heavy and your spirit broken. When things seem so bleak that you can’t find your way out. When you’re in physical and/or emotional pain that feels unbearable. When it seems as if the world is swirling out of control around you. Or, when something bad has happened to someone (or a whole bunch of someones) you love, and you can’t fix it.

And when this happens at the holidays, it feels even worse because there is so much anticipation and expectation around this time of year. For me, and many that I love, this is how we are feeling as we enter the holidays of 2016.

Yet as I process through it in writing this blog, I  realize that as incredibly tough as this past year and the impending holidays seem right now, I have not lost heart or hope. I just feel sad. My heart is heavy.

(Stick with me, it gets better, I promise!) 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

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

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