Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘self-acceptance’

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

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

Maybe what matters most is being brave

EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog is dedicated to the beautifully brave women in my life who have reminded me recently how awesome it is to both EXPERIENCE and WITNESS courage in action. Whether it’s facing a life-changing medical crisis and remaining strong and brave in the face of uncertainty, like my sister Lisa and my cousin, Donna. Or the beautiful and brave women who leapt despite their fear to put themselves and their health and happiness first as they embark on their own In-the-Equation journeys. To all the beautiful and brave women I know — this one’s for you. #brave #bravegirls #onebravething

lori-bravequote1When I was in the physical part of my personal transformation journey — nearing my weight-loss goal — someone asked me what the tipping point was for me. How did I find success this time when I had tried and failed so many other times?

To be honest, I don’t remember my exact answer. But I remember thinking later that I needed to know the real answer for myself. So I kept asking myself — what WAS different this time? How DID I do it?

A few days later, I noodled on a napkin the words: “Everything changed when I learned I could be brave and afraid at the exact same moment.” I lost 200 lbs and made my health, happiness and life a priority, the day I was brave and afraid at the same time…and acted anyway.

It was both the act of deciding and taking action that was brave. And little did I know at the time, but life with Lori-in-the-equation would require living a brave life.

Too often we let fear stop us. The fear of putting ourselves out there, the fear of what others will think, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, even fear of success, can stop us dead in our tracks. When fear stops us, we play it safe. We retract and don’t go for what we really, really want. Often we stay stuck or living small. We don’t let ourselves truly shine. And for many of us, it means we don’t reach our personal and greatest potential. Can you relate?

There is another way. The brave life. Read more

When in doubt, take it to the mountain

Finding my center on the mountaintop. Navigating a difficult year!

lori-oberghike-aug2016One of the most beautiful things about committing to a healthy lifestyle centered around putting yourself in the equation of your own life, is the self-awareness and self-discovery that comes with it. I view myself as constantly growing, learning and evolving. I’m in a constant growth state — this time it’s a personal growth mindset NOT pant size growth! 😉

Over the past five years, I’ve learned to recognize what I need, when I need it and honor it with self-care and self compassion. It’s not always easy, but it’s becoming easier and I have many great mentors who’ve helped me along the way.

These past few months, I’ve been increasingly stressed, sad at times, and I’ve noticed that I’ve started to work a bit too much. I’ve become too isolated in my day-to-day life for this God-given Extrovert, and I’m starting to worry about things over which I have little or no control. The old “victim” voice has started to creep back into my conscience.

There’s no question that it’s been a tough year and I’m navigating some tough personal stuff, but there also are no victims allowed in this new Lori-in-the-equation life! So when the voice of the Gremlins — self-doubt, worry and that good old Victim appear, I know exactly what to do.

I take it to the mountain! Read more

Changing from the inside out

ITE_Whole-Life_Quote_sqWhen I share my transformation story with others I’m often asked a provocative question: If I could do it all again — meaning lose 200+ lbs and become a fit, healthy and in-the-equation girl — but only keep ONE of the gifts of transformation, which would I choose?

What they mean is. Would I choose to keep the external, physical transformation of a 200-lb weight loss OR the internal transformation (the mindset and behavior shifts that garnered the happy, healthy and WHOLE life I describe in those speeches)?

For me, it’s a “no brainer.” I would absolutely choose the internal transformation — hands down!

Some are surprised by my answer, but here’s why. It’s because of my internal transformation –– changing my limiting beliefs and self doubts, learning to really love and accept myself, believing I’m enough exactly as I am, embracing my imperfections, having the courage to push past fear, learning to let go of what I cannot control — that I KNOW I could lose the weight again!

It was the limiting thought patterns and beliefs that I learned at a young age and practiced most of my adult life, that had me turning to food as a source of comfort and put me on the path to weighing 381 lbs. It was those very same limiting beliefs and thought patterns that kept me working like a crazy person to prove my self worth, cutting myself off from love and romance, and ultimately limiting my universe to things I thought I could control. Life got small as I got bigger. It certainly wasn’t what I now call a WHOLE life. 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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: