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Posts tagged ‘happy’

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

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

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

The emotional side of the journey can make or break you

I choose make! Tips from a (recovering) emotional eater.

eattofuelHappy Monday, peeps. Forgive me for not getting a blog out last week. The truth is, I had to double down to keep Lori-in-the-equation and stay on track amidst some unexpected emotional upset and stress.

This “emotional upset” triggered my long-lost (ex) friend — the Worthiness Gremlin. Yep, that’s my nickname for destructive “old” thought patterns and internal voices that make me doubt myself and my worth. The bottom line: I had to hunker down and go “all in” to stay healthy.

As if that weren’t enough to navigate, we’ve had a crazy heat wave in MN with temps in the high 90’s and heat indexes of 110-120 degrees. That meant my go-to-method of managing emotional stress — power walking my neighborhood lake — was not always available to me. So I had to find alternatives.

Despite those obstacles, I had a solid week on my Lori-in-the-equation healthy restart. Yes! Several wins here. I managed to stay the course on my nutritional plan in the face of emotional pain and upset that in the old days would have triggered emotional binge eating like a pro. I found a way to exercise every day, even when it was in the high 90’s with 78% humidity outside. I stayed off the alcohol, giving up several opportunities for a summer cocktail on the patio with friends. (Though I’ll admit that a week of wild emotions had me wanting to drink!) And, perhaps most importantly, I worked extra hard to hold my strong sense of self and stay positive among some serious emotional pain, upset, worry, and stress. I did this by focusing only on what I can control — ME.

Why am I sharing my personal struggle with the emotional side of the weight-loss and wellness equation? Because I think many of you share it. Read more

Confession of a healthy and fit girl

lori-readytoroll-firstbikeoutingI have a confession to make. I’m 53 years old, and this week I took my first bike ride in nearly 35 years! (Think bicycle not Harley.)

This is a milestone I have to document. And in doing so, I hope to provide hope and inspiration to others who have given up exercise or personal enjoyment because they are too out of shape or afraid of what others might think. I can’t believe it’s taken me 30 years, four years sans -200 lbs, to get on a bicycle again.

How many things do we give up when we become overweight, sedentary, too busy, too focused on others, too afraid? Or, because we don’t think we deserve them. The answer for me was — A LOT!

Over the years of my adulthood as I became heavier and heavier, I started hiding myself behind that weight and the fear of putting myself out there. Slowly but surely, I limited my life and it became small.

Some examples. I gave up dating and romantic relationships — taking myself “off the market” and “turning the porch light off” because I was deathly afraid of rejection. I never traveled oversees or to places like Hawaii or Alaska, because I didn’t want to be on an airplane so long that I might have to use the restroom — I didn’t fit and flying wasn’t a fun experience. It was uncomfortable and I lived in fear of the seat belt not buckling and the flight attendants discovering that and offering me an extension.

Eventually, I gave up a lot of the outdoor activities I used to enjoy — walks on the beach or in the woods, jogging up hills, playing softball, riding a bike. That last one was a killer because growing up in rural Minnesota, I LOVED to ride bike! Read more

Self-care rocks!

A solid week of restart. YES, we can!

lori'sharleyYep, I’m living testament to the fact that when you take care of yourself and your health and well-being, everything else is better.  I’ve tested this theory from both sides, and I KNOW it works!

Over the July 4th holiday weekend, I took a much-needed vacation. I checked out of my day-to-day life and drove off to Madison, WI, to spend the long weekend with a dear friend celebrating her 50th. In four days, we “did” Milwaukee (think Summerfest outdoor concerts, Harley, and craft breweries), Madison’s outdoor concert scene (Steve Miller! and craft beer), and then we had an outdoor concert at Edgewater on the lake and a surprise 50th birthday party (think music and craft beer)!

Why am I telling you this?

Well, let’s just say, I got more than a little OFF my healthy eating at a time when I’ve been really struggling to keep it clean and healthy. So while I was already in a full-on restart after going up on the scale and in a clothing size, I STILL took a time out and partied with my friend to celebrate her 50th and live life. And I don’t regret it.

So now what?

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

My go-to snacks for weight loss

Part of our getting back to basics — nuts & bolts blog series

fruitsnack-cottagecheeseI eat four to five times per day to maintain my healthy weight. And I lost more than 200 lbs. on a nutrition plan that had me eating between four and six times per day consistently.

Why eat so often? I learned that to keep my metabolism stoked, I needed to eat regularly scheduled, smaller meals, more frequently. And skipping meals does NOT work. At least not long-term, because it puts your body into starvation mode and your metabolism then works against you.

At least two of my meals every day are snacks. I used to laugh when I was in fat-loss mode and my coach called 12 almonds and 3 ounces of turkey a meal. To me, it’s a snack. But I love snacks! They can be very important not just when you’re in weight-loss mode, but to healthy eating and living. Healthy snacks are also important for kids to help prevent obesity.

How many snackers do we have out there?

Well, here’s my #1 tip: Snack! Whatever your weight loss plan, do NOT skip meals. It doesn’t work and there is lots of evidence to prove it. When you reach for a mid morning or afternoon snack, make it a good one — to me that means low carb, include protein, and make it something YOU enjoy! Read more

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