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Posts tagged ‘weight maintenance’

Getting back in the zone

Are you still “In Your Equation” or do you need a restart? Let’s get it!

Okay, anyone feel like they “lost it” in terms of living healthy in January? Be honest.

Not only did January speed right by, but so many people I’ve talked to recently are struggling with sickness, depression and/or the winter blues, and are feeling “off their game” already in 2017. If you’re in this camp, trust me, you’re not alone.

It’s common to start strong and be in your healthy zone — where you’re feeling great and you have the motivation mojo — only to have life throw a curve ball that gets you a bit off track, if not totally out of the zone. I’m feeling it, too.

An early January vacation to Cozumel (which was totally awesome) threw me a bit off my healthy routine at the start of the year. Then I came home and promptly got that awful bronchial crud (there are some nasty cold/flu viruses going around), followed by a case of the post-inauguration blues. Before I knew it, January was gone and I had slipped out of my healthy zone.

Whatever the reason, if you’re feeling a bit “off” or having trouble getting your mojo back, this blog is for you — and me. It’s time to stop making excuses, stop beating yourself up and RESTART. Get ready to go 100% ALL-IN, cause here we go! Read more

Balancing fun with the girls & staying on track

Girls Gone North 2016 - HikeI just got back from a much-needed girlfriends getaway. Girls Gone North to be exact.

My “besties” and I headed to the North Shore of Lake Superior this past weekend for our Annual Girls Gone North Weekend at the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. It’s become an annual tradition. We celebrate sisterhood, friendship and the fact that no boys are allowed! (Well, okay, this year the boys from North Shore Winery were allowed because they hosted our fun wine tasting event. But other than that, it’s sacred girl time.)

We hike. We laugh – a lot! Sometimes we “spa.” We catch up on all things “feminine.” And, we eat and drink — sometimes a lot. You get it! Girlfriend getaways are necessary and good for the soul.

But what do you do when you’re trying to eat healthy and stay on track? I get asked that question a lot. So, coming fresh off our November girls weekend seemed the perfect time to share some tips. I’m feeling especially proud of maintaining my weight loss while on vacation and coming home right on track.

This has not always been the case. Read more

For the love of wine, peanut butter and dessert

winewithaviewWine. Peanut butter. Dessert. What do these three delightful things have in common in my world?

A) I LOVE them all! B) I’ve had a rocky relationship with each of them; C) I’ve learned a lot about myself and my body in exploration of, and with, them over the years; D) At least temporarily, I’ve broken up with each one of them; or E) All of the above.

Well, the answer is E — all of the above.

You might find this surprising, but I lost -211 lbs and 80% of my body fat on a diet program where I was NOT totally and completely deprived of these three loves. After I hit my weight-loss goal, and as I’ve worked to maintain a healthy lifestyle, things have gotten more complicated and, yep, a bit rocky.

I’m sharing my personal story with wine, peanut butter and sugary desserts because I’m guessing many of you can relate. You, too, may have foods (or patterns related to food) that worked for you…for awhile — or at least you thought they did — and as you’ve evolved, changed, or as life happens — your relationship with certain foods may also needs to change.

What do I mean? Read more

A proud salad makin, meal preppin machine!

And, my dirty little secret to avoid grocery shopping mishaps & stay on plan!

Blog series: The restart

2016-06-12 16.26.58 This is how I spent my Sunday afternoon — prepping salads in an assembly line, grilling fresh veggie kabobs with a titch of olive oil and garlic, and readying the second shift for the grill — an awesome new turkey burger recipe, fresh grilled asparagus and lean grilled pork chops. And I did it all in about 1.5 hours.

For someone who hated to cook, and who just over five years ago was lucky to eat one salad every few months, I’m pretty proud of my Sunday meal preppin skills. It’s absolutely one of the keys to my success at weight maintenance and living a healthy lifestyle. And when I need a restart, like right now, I get right back on plan and crank the tunes, create a colorful salad assembly line and embark on meal prepping for the entire week.

If you struggle to eat healthy or stay on your clean eating program, I’m guessing that lack of time is one of the reasons. Any chance preparation and planning would help? Try it. I’m guessing — YES!

Read more

A girl and her mountain.

Lessons from the mountaintop — 200+ lbs lighter…
Celebrating 4 years of Lori-in-the-equation!

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2016 Anniversary Hike – Oberg Mountain

She climbed until she saw…Until she dropped the heavy weight she carried as a shield.

She climbed until she discovered she was enough, just exactly as she was.

She climbed and climbed and climbed until she found self-acceptance, self-love and compassion…until she mastered self-care as priority.

She climbed until she found a WHOLE life, not just a busy one. Until she learned to say no to things that no longer served her and YES! to the big wide-open world of possibilities.

She climbed, until she learned that indeed she could not only climb — she could FLY!

She climbed until she saw.

When I started my personal transformation journey, I also started this blog to document it. That was in Nov. 2010. At the time there was no question what the blog title would be — She Climbed Until She Saw.

Climbing mountains has been a metaphor for my transformation journey. Thus, at every milestone I find myself back on the mountaintop reflecting on the lessons and the gifts. 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

Weight maintenance is hard, rewarding & totally doable!

If…and when…you’re in your equation…
Do NOT be discouraged in weight loss by The Biggest Loser Study

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My before & after

On Monday, the New York Times published an article on the science of fat titled: After the Biggest Loser, Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight.”

Google search #biggestloser and you can read a lot of hullabaloo over the study with everyone from past The Biggest Loser contestants to so called weight-loss experts weighing in. I was hesitant to comment because, well, I’m no expert. But, I am living with the joys and struggles of weight maintenance. For me, it’s real life. And in two weeks, I will be celebrating my 4-year anniversary of keeping off 200 pounds. ( I know, cool, right?!)

Since the obesity research was published in the NYT, I’ve had no less than 10 people send me the article and ask me to comment on how I am able to keep the weight off. Others have messaged privately and asked what I thought of the study.

For those who haven’t read it yet, the research showed a significant slowing of the metabolism for The Biggest Loser contestants that has persisted for years, causing their resting rate metabolism to plummet so they burn far fewer calories when their bodies are at rest as compared to someone their size who did not have dramatic weight loss. It’s more nuanced than that and you can read the full article here.

The questions I was asked:  What do you think? Are you experiencing the same thing? Read more

Courageous Girl: Four years ago I was scared to death…

…and I had the courage to begin my transformation journey.

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Lori_Before

BEFORE: This is me at the start of weight loss boot camp.

lorischaefer-aftershots

AFTER: This is me in my makeover photo shoot after reaching goal in May 2012.

Four years ago today, I found myself at a live-in, weight-loss boot camp at my beloved resort on Lake Superior — beginning a journey that would change the trajectory of my life forever.

I had no idea at the time just how much this one decision would matter, or what it meant in the grand scheme of my life. Nor did I have a clue how much courage I would have to muster. There simply was no way to prepare my mind and body for what I was about to put it through. Nor was there a way to ease my intense fear.

And so, with a pit in my stomach the size of California, I leapt off the cliff. I adopted a “just do it” mentality and trusted that I would survive the boot camp and be stronger for it. I trusted that my business would be okay in the hands of others for those two weeks and that my clients would understand. And, I trusted my mentor and inspiration, O’Neal Hampton, when he said “We’ve got this. You can be happy.”

I trusted in these things because at 381 pounds I felt I had no choice. I weighed more than an NFL Defensive Lineman (the biggest player on the football team) and was living a small and limiting life. Although I was successful in my career, I had given up on love, had a limited social life because I couldn’t do so many things at my size. And, I was secretly hiding behind the shame that I had let my body and my life come to this and I couldn’t seem to fix it.

To mask the internal pain, I stuffed my feelings with gallons of fast and processed foods, and worked 12 to 18 hours a day, seven days a week, in an office chair. This was not a path to a happy and fulfilling life. Rather, it was a quick road to an early death since stroke, diabetes and heart disease all run rampant in my family. I was out of the equation of my own life, not even in the picture at all. And, I was out of options.

Courageous Girl

It takes immense courage to change your life when you’ve lost hope. But I did it. I swallowed hard, packed my bags, handed off the reigns of my marketing business, and ventured to Minnesota’s North Shore for weight-loss boot camp. Taking one moment, one hour at a time, I repeated to myself over and over what O’Neal had said to me: “We’ve got this. You can do this.”

I showed up on day one of the two-week boot camp and in that first meeting with the program director set this goal for myself: “I will NOT quit. No matter what!” That goal has been my mantra since that very day four years ago. Yep, it was not just my goal in boot camp, but my new mantra in life, especially when the going gets tough. And it has served me well.

Most people set weight loss goals at the beginning of the boot camp. But I knew that, for me, it would be tough to stay in the game and not throw in the towel when the going got really, really tough. To keep fighting and pushing forward through intense physical and emotional pain would be my biggest victory. I knew that if I found the courage to do that, the weight loss would follow.

I was right.

I went on to lose -211pounds, nearly 50% body fat, and 11 dress sizes. It took me 18-months from that day to lose the weight and achieve a body fat of 14.5%. I’ve now maintained my weight loss for 2.5 years, with a few ups and downs. That was the physical transformation. But it was the internal transformation that was most profound and that many of you have heard me speak and write about. The internal happiness that comes from learning self-love and acceptance, and really believing that you are enough. This is the gift that leaves one nearly speechless. And the gift that truly keeps on giving, and giving and giving.

Taking stock of the journey & reaping the rewards…one anniversary at a time

Each year on the anniversary of my official transformation start (Nov. 28-Dec. 11, 2010) and again on the anniversary of reaching my goal weight (May 12, 2012), I blog about the impact on my life. I write about what the transformation anniversary means to me and how my life is different as a result. And, each year, I hope to reach others with my message: Each and every person deserves to be happy, can be happy, and has within them the power to make it happen. I am a living example. If I can do it, you can do it.

This year, I’ve decided to take stock in a slightly more formal way. I’ve set a goal to write something every day in my personal journal and/or here about the transformation as I’m experiencing it today. It’s strange but I have found that the farther I get into the journey of healthy living, the more profound the transformation for me.

The internal transformation continues, and the learning and growth are more palpable with each passing month and year. The external transformation — learning to live a healthy lifestyle and keep the weight off (which for me means battling addiction and changing life-long patterns and behaviors) — becomes more real. I thought it would get easier with time but the truth is, it ebbs and flows, like life. It is definitely an ongoing challenge and a process.

Proud, happy and grateful

So, today, on the four-year anniversary of my life-changing transformation start, I feel intensely proud of my courage and eternally grateful for the process AND the results.

I am grateful for the life-changing gift of health and happiness. I am grateful for my new life, even with its twisty ups and downs. I am grateful for O’Neal Hampton, my inspiration and mentor in the boot camp process. And, for my coaches and trainers who’ve helped me along the way. I am grateful for Sue, Shari and Carrie who supported me in those incredibly challenging boot camp days, and in many days since.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all of my family, friends and supporters — old and new — who continue to encourage, cheer, listen and support me now, four years later.

Finally, I hold tremendous gratitude in my heart that I am strong enough, brave enough, beautiful enough, sexy enough, wise enough, courageous enough to follow my heart and go for my big, hairy, audacious goals and dreams — wherever they may take me.

Thank you for reading this blog. For being here as part of the In the Equation community. And for being courageous enough to follow your dreams and go for your big, hairy, audacious goals!

XO

Lori

#courageousgirl #beyondgrateful #happyhealthygirl

Read related blogs here, including a few from my boot camp experience four years ago:

You are exactly where you need to be

Day 1: 7 hours and still going strong

Climbed a mountain and then some

Oberg Mountain — my new personal quest

My Fitness North 2 Finale

Before & After Pics, Video

Celebrating one year in a little black dress

One year sans 200 pounds…my new reality

Two years fit and healthy

Three years — another cool milestone

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