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Posts tagged ‘Progress not perfection’

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. What does that even look like?

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 on the porch 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.

I’m quite certain that in the past I didn’t think it about. Rather, I wallowed, cried, complained, and suffered alone in my hurt and pain — drowning it with work, food, alcohol — and hiding from the world. And when other people experienced pain and suffering — I was the first one to show up and I gave, and gave and gave at the expense of myself. I tried 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 “hell” while loving and giving to her. So, I get curious again.

Perhaps the real question is: 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

The Post-it Note Plan. #intheequation

post-itnoteplan-intheeqationWho loves post-it notes?

O.K., ME! I am a (colored) post-it kinda gal. I use them for creativity and organization in my work, and in my personal life when I feel stuck, blocked, or like I need focus.

For the last few days on my morning walks, I’ve been noodling a NEW Lori-in-the-equation plan for 2016 to get me better focused on what I can control in my life, and to practice letting go (with grace) of the things I can’t. I’ve been feeling like SO MUCH in my world is out of my control these days. And to be honest, I’ve struggled with that.

Being a pessimist, a victim, a stuck or stalled kinda gal, does not suit me. So while I live in this crazy difficult year and the space between “no longer” and “not yet,” I’ve decided to honor it by thinking about WHAT in this space and time I can control that would propel me forward toward my goals. That includes sorting out what I really want and need to care about right now. Where I want my time, energy and focus to be. And, at the same time, WHAT I can let go of…because it no longer serves me or because it is 100% out of my control and worrying about it only keeps me from focusing on the things I can do something about. Read more

Operation reboot!

7 Tips for a successful start, restart, or total reboot

lori-operationreboot-2015Nearly four weeks ago I boldly blogged about my epiphany on the mountain and #operationreboot. It’s time for a reality check.

The old me wishes I could report that I’ve been perfect — 100% on plan with no slip ups. The new me laughs at that notion and is happy to report that Ive had a good run, with ups and downs along the way. I’m not perfect. But I’m authentically me. I love and celebrate that.

Yep, I’d rather be perfectly imperfect, perfectly authentic and 100% all in! That’s my new definition of success. And it’s working. I’m kinder and gentler with myself without hiding behind the excuses. I am able to take stock of major progress despite a lot of stress, travel and unexpected emotional challenges. I feel great — strong, capable, and on fire. There’s no question, that I’ll reach my goals. Because I know I can! One day at a time.

So here’s the report from the trenches. Read more

Time to restart!

And not because it’s Monday, but because you CAN!

ITE_restart_quoteWithout question one of the greatest gifts of my transformation journey — and my overall success at losing and keeping off 200+ pounds — is the ability to restart. So today for motivation Monday, it’s all about the restart.

What do I mean? Restart. Reset. Forgive yourself and get right back up and keep moving toward your goal. Because you totally CAN!

For most of my adult life, I was on a diet of some sort or feeling bad that I had fallen off the wagon and then I was busy telling myself I was a failure and couldn’t do it. I used my slips and falls on the diet as an excuse to throw in the towel, and as proof that I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t measure up. I couldn’t do it. Read more

There is nothing wrong with imperfection

In fact, says Beth Probst: “I’ve found the greatest joy in things I genuinely suck at.”

imagesI’m coming off another rough night with little sleep. So this morning while I laced up my tennis shoes and sipped my first cuppa joe, I read this beautiful blog titled: Back of the Pack, by my friend and colleague, Beth Probst. (Yes, I am a multi-tasker even at 5:30 a.m.)

Beth describes herself as a “Mom. Communicator. Photographer. Gardener. Coffee Lover. Explorer. Living the simple but awesome and authentic life in NW Wisconsin.” I describe her as “kick-ass at expressing herself in the written word in a real, authentic and approachable way.” She is inspiring.

Back of the Pack,” is my favorite of Beth’s blogs to date. In it she shows us that it’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay not to achieve your goals, but to finish anyway. She writes about running, about passion and finding hers, and about the beauty of screwing up. Read more

Climbing mountains…getting strong

She climbed until she saw…and saw…and saw…

Lorileif-oberg-bootcamp-bethprobstI love the quote, “She Climbed Until She Saw” by Compendium. And so it became the lori&leif-on-mountaintitle of this blog documenting my transformation journey over the last four years. A journey to health, happiness and personal growth.

It also became the metaphor for my transformation — for the internal work I needed to do to learn to love and accept myself  as enough. And for the physical mountains I would climb as part of my journey to weight loss.

It was in weight-loss boot camp that I climbed my very first mountain…and survived! I’ve now been climbing mountains for fitness and for pleasure every since. And I always look forward to both the physical challenge, and the mental one.

In November of 2010, as I readied for weight-loss boot camp, my dear friend Jean sent me this quote, which I’ve found myself reflecting on these past couple of days. I want to share it here again with you all because it is so representative of my journey and the struggles we all face going for our big, hairy, audacious goals — you know, the one(s) that have alluded you and that you say you’ll tackle someday. Here’s the poem — one of my favs.

The 90% Rule

Progress not perfection. 90% = success!

perfectionI woke up this last Friday morning after two days of real struggle working toward my “In the Equation Challenge goal” and remembered: I am not perfect! I am fantastic, strong, smart, courageous, beautiful, passionate, diligent, determined…and perfectly imperfect at the same time. And I LOVE that about me! I am not perfect. Thank God.

One of my favorite quotes related to perfectionism comes from Brene Brown in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection. ““Perfectionism is self destructive simply because there’s no such thing as perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal.” Here, here. I finally get it and embrace it!

Brene goes on to describe the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism. “Healthy striving is self-focused, how can I improve and grow? Perfectionism worries about what other people will think.” According to Brene’s research, perfectionism is not about excellence or healthy striving. It’s a way of thinking and being that says, “If I look perfect, do it perfect, love perfect, work perfect, I can avoid or minimize shame in my life.”

In other words, perfectionism is the ultimate fear that we might fail, and/or the word is going to see us for who we really area and we won’t measure up. Yes, perfectionism is fear. I get that because I’m a recovering perfectionist. I spent most of my adult life trying to be perfect and beating myself up when I was not. It kept me small, and stuck. On the sidelines and NOT in the arena for far too much of my life.

These past four years as I’ve personally transformed both inside and out, I’ve worked to embrace “progress not perfection.” I’ve learned the difference between healthy striving, learning and growing as a person vs. the impossible standard of perfection. And, most importantly I’ve learned self-love and how to offer self-compassion when I slip or fall or fail. I truly believe, I am enough. And that has made all the difference.

Which brings to me to why this blog — the”In Your Equation Challenge” and my revelation of this past week. Read more

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