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How I lost 200+ lbs & reignited my life

The key to success might be what you THINK!

Lori Schaefer with Dolvett Quince on The Biggest LoserSince I shared my story on NBC’s The Biggest Loser last week, I’ve had the privilege to connect with so many amazing people. Thanks to those who’ve shared their personal stories of struggle, challenge and heartache — as well as successes and triumphs — along the path to weight loss and better health and happiness. I am honored that you entrusted me with your personal stories and your questions.

It’s probably no surprise that the most frequently asked question I get is: “How did you do it?” Or, “What ONE thing was the key to your success?” Immediately followed by questions like: “What diet did you follow? Can you tell me exactly what to eat and how much to exercise? …”

Lori Schaefer on NBC The Biggest LoserWe all know there is no magic bullet to losing weight and getting fit and healthy. And in my view, there’s not just ONE thing that constitutes success. If it were that simple, two thirds of Americans likely wouldn’t be categorized as obese.

Based on my personal experience and those I’ve worked with in the last few years, when you’ve been overweight or obese for all or most of your life, many components have to come together to find success and lose the weight. What happens inside is as important (or more) than what happens on the outside.

The really great news is that, for me personally, there was indeed ONE game changer. There was ONE thing that I did differently this time vs. the other 50+ times that I tried to tackle my weight problem. But, it’s likely NOT what you think. (Or, maybe it is!)

For me, the game changer was my “HEAD.”

I had to get my “head” right — re-frame my thinking and my attitude — in order to have success with the other critical components of weight loss — diet and exercise. I had to bust through some tough stuff from my past along the way. And, I had to be brutally honest with myself about what was stopping me…it was ME.

I was successful this time because I realized and was willing to admit my head was getting in my way. And then I was brave enough to get the necessary help along the way, including coaches and a counselor. Far too often, our “head” tells us: “We can’t. It’s too hard. We’re not good enough, strong enough, determined enough…” I used to listen to that voice. Today, I know differently and I say, BULL_ _ _ _!

It’s about YOU & it’s up to YOU!

So the best news is that it’s about YOU and the key to success comes from WITHIN YOU. It is NOT something that you have to find or buy that is out of your reach or only available to some. It is available to you! Now, I get that doesn’t make it easy. But it does mean that it’s doable and within your reach — starting right now. This day.

What do I mean by I had to “get my head right?”

Here are the things I had to do to crack the code of life-changing transformation and why I believe it’s working this time. I guarantee you that if you can get your head in the game and focused, you can have success too.

My 5 tips for getting your head right.

This is what worked for me after years of diet struggle and failure to get the weight off and get happy:

1) DECIDE YOU CAN DO IT & YOU DESERVE IT. This might sound easy, but it wasn’t. In order to start my transformation journey, I had to really believe I could do it and I deserved it. First, I had to find HOPE again and then allow myself to believe. Hope & inspiration walked into my life in the form of O’Neal Hampton. But when you want it, and are aware and open, HOPE is all around you. You must have your eyes and you heart open.

2) PRIORITIZE YOU. Put yourself in the equation. I flipped my life around completely. I went from giving everything I had to everyone else to instead putting me and my basic needs first. At first it felt wrong, uncomfortable and selfish. I remember telling my closest friends that I’d probably turn into a selfish b i _ _ _. But, it turns out that putting myself in the center of the equation of my own life, and prioritizing me and my health, was the only thing…and the best thing I could possibly do for myself and those closest to me. Self-care is a necessity not a nicety. When you take care of you, everything else is better. You are better for you and for others.

3) PUSH PAST FEAR & SELF-DOUBT. Take the leap despite how scared you are! All of the other times I had embarked on this journey, or thought about it, I let fear and self-doubt get the best of me. It stopped me in my tracks. This time, scared to death, I leapt anyway. This was perhaps the hardest thing I did…and the very best thing! The feeling you get from pushing past your fears and doing something really, really hard — well, it’s awesome. And for me it snowballed. I felt brave, strong and courageous — because I was! I did it.

4) GO ALL IN! You can’t kind of take this on. This is tough stuff and you have to go 100+% all in! It becomes your focus, your part-time job. This time, instead of setting an unrealistic weight loss goal, I vowed that: “I WOULD NOT QUIT, NO MATTER WHAT. EVER!” That was my goal and it remains my goal today. And it worked. When I wanted to give up and throw in the towel on myself, I went back to my promise. It was non-negotiable.

5) RECOGNIZE YOUR BODY IS CAPABLE. IT’S YOUR HEAD THAT IS STOPPING YOU. The truth that I learned in weight loss boot camp and when I willingly pushed myself was that my body was not failing me — my head was. I was saying “I can’t” about 50 times a day, often without even trying. I learned, perhaps the hard way, that I was capable of absolutely anything I put my mind to. Once I discovered this, and proved it, WOW — I was/am unstoppable. It’s amazing how the confidence builds, the excuses drop away, and you just do it. Because you can. YOU CAN!

These are some of the basics of what it took to get my head right. And to achieve transformation success, inside and out! You can download my Top 5 Things I did to lose 211 lbs (top of this page, in right sidebar, click on the pink box). And in upcoming blogs, I’ll share more specifics about my nutrition and exercise program, as well as my support system.

But today, I challenge anyone who is feeling stuck, desperate, or hopeless to start with the “HEAD” and, as my friend and mentor, O’Neal Hampton, says: “Connect the head and the heart.”For me, this was the key.

Please leave any questions or comments here. And remember, “We’ve totally got this!”




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