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Success is changing the inside to sustain the outside

Meet the amazing Lori Martin, Transformation success story #4 in my series titled, “Success. It’s personal. And that’s a good thing.”

Success - Lori MartinDetermination. Focus. Heart. Passion. Courage. Stubbornness. Self-awareness. The ability to go all in and then some. A sense of humor. Learning to embrace the process, as well as the end result.

These are are all qualities I had to muster in abundance during my transformation journey. And each serves me well today as I embrace my new healthy way of living.

They are also the very qualities that my friend, Lori Martin, shares in abundance. It’s why she is one of my favorite transformation success stories, and I’m delighted to share her story with you today as the last in my series – “Success. It’s personal. And that’s a good thing.”

Lori’s Martin measures success differently than you might imagine. While she has lost and maintained 109 lbs — and wants to lose another 100+ — she doesn’t measure success in terms of weight loss. At least not totally. Lori is focused on her WHOLE self, transforming inside and out. We’ve shared this “wholeness” goal since the very beginning and I feel privileged to support her through the ups and the downs.

Success - inside and out - Lori MartinLori has faced some immense obstacles during her mutli-year process. Yet she keeps on smiling, keeps on trucking, and moves forward with a positive attitude and a generous heart and spirit that she now applies to herself as Success - Lori Martin 2well as others. Lori is able to take stock of her progress and let go of situations out of her control. Her attitude is one of optimism — even and especially when — it seems everything is working against her. I so appreciate and admire these things about her. It’s how I KNOW she will achieve anything she desires. She already has!

Work on the inside to sustain the outward transformation

Like me, Lori has learned that the secret to real success is to learn to love and embrace yourself first. She says, “to work on the inside to sustain the weight loss on the outside.” It has been a privilege and a joy for me to cheer Lori in her personal quest for self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-love. And if you’re struggling with these things, and/or beating yourself up for not being good enough, I urge you to read Lori’s story. It’s sure to inspire.

What sets Lori Martin apart in her journey is that she not only has weight to battle, but also some series health challenges that counter her ability to tackle the weight. About a year and half ago, she was diagnosed with a variety of chronic heart issues that she had battled  for some time without knowing it. As a result, she literally has days where even though she wants to do aerobic exercise, she can barely walk from the car to the office.

In about a month, she will undergo knee replacement surgery — which is trickier due to some of her other health challenges. Yet Lori embraces each obstacle and challenge as an opportunity to “right” her attitude, learn from the experience and further her inside transformation. More times that not, she takes it in stride. Honestly, I’m not sure I would exhibit the strength and tenacity that I’ve seen in Lori when it feels the world is caving in.

I am SO impressed with Lori Martin that it brings tears to my eyes to write her story. To know, Lori Martin, really is to love her. Thank you Lori for being willing to open up and share your story here to help others. You’re living proof it can be done no matter the obstacles. You totally rock sister — inside and out!

Here is my interview with Lori Martin. Read more about how she views success in this very personal journey.

Q. (Lori S.) How do you define your goal, today?

 A. (Lori M.) My goal is to live and SAVOR a healthy, happy, active and fruitful life.

To me, the definition of healthy is not just about being physically fit and of a lean and trim physique, but about AWARENESS. To be “aware” I need to be mindful – mindfulness to me is “paying attention with purpose.” Being mindful of the food I consume to fuel my body. Being mindful of what I feed my soul, my mind, my inner child. Being mindful of the relationships I have and how they’ve been created. Being mindful to take the steps to be active every day. It’s the process of being aware and the practice of mindfulness that guides us to achieving our wildest dreams and aspirations.

Sooooo, the million dollar question: Where do I begin? The answer – look in the mirror. See that face looking back at you with wonder and bewilderment. Smile, they smile back. Love her, embrace who you are. Love yourself unconditionally. Wow, that feels amazing!

Q. (Lori S.) What does success toward that goal look like to you? 

A. (Lori M.) Some of the tools that help me be successful at achieving my goal are: Perseverance – I might fall off the horse but I won’t get anywhere if I don’t get back on. GPS – Set the destination, and GO. If I run into a detour, I don’t stop, I re-route until I get to my final destination. Attitude – Sure is easier to deal with the detours or falling off the horse if I’m not so hard on the events or myself. Life happens. Reset – Go.

So in short, I stay focused on the goal and keep on keeping on.

Q. (Lori S.) What are some of the ways of the ways you’ve been successful?

 A. (Lori M.) The biggest way I’ve been successful is by admitting I’m not perfect and asking for help.

Part of it is attitude. But the bigger part is because of all that I have accomplished. I’ve lost and maintained 100+ pounds. I have identified that I’m an emotional eater and am working with professionals to identify the causes, working on how to deal with the stressors other than with food. I love myself. That’s huge! There were times I would cry myself to sleep because I didn’t even LIKE myself. My relationships have become healthier (there is still work to be done in this area) but I no longer subject myself to physical and emotional abuse. The list goes on but you get the idea.

Q. (Lori S.) Are you able to recognize and celebrate your own success(es)? How?

 A. (Lori M.) I like a party, so it’s easy for me to celebrate my successes. And to a fault. Maybe that’s been something that has hindered me. In the past, I would celebrate only eating two cupcakes instead of the pack of 12, great, but of course I celebrated with a 3rd cupcake!

Now I celebrate differently, I allow myself extra time to paint, or walk in green space rather than up and down the block. I put myself in situations that expose me to positive influences. I download a song I would like. I call a friend or cuddle with my cat. I relish the little things in life that all add up to a really cool big thing…Life!

Q. (Lori S.) What are you most proud of?

A. (Lori M.)  What really makes ME most proud is the woman I have become and who I am today. That said, remember, TODAY is yesterdays tomorrow (past), and tomorrow’s today (future). We can’t change the past, but we can change the future by who and how we are TODAY! Small behaviors day in and day out , consistently, guides me to my goal.

Q. (Lori S.) If you could share a tip with others related to success, what would it be?

A. (Lori M.) I have several, but here are a few of the big ones. Love yourself! Identify what it is that YOU want to achieve in your lifetime (not what you think you want or others say you need to achieve). Set the bar high, practice mindfulness and, as Mary Kay Ash always said, “shoot for the moon and you’ll land amongst the stars.”

Others are to make a practice of journaling your story and your desires — not someone else’s. Be authentic. Practice gratitude. Put a team in place — you can’t do it alone.

In fact, I need to thank MY team right now: My family and friends; therapists; my awesome personal trainer — Sean Farris; the Women in Leadership Community (WLC); Lou Joyce for exposing me to watercolor (my new love and passion), to my nutritional coaches and adviser, as well as to Fitness North. What I’ve learned and what has been reinforced by all: I CAN DO ANYTHING!

Ok, going to the mirror…  🙂


Wow, how can you not be inspired by this story of personal triumph, inside and out. Lori Martin, I adore you. And I can’t wait to see/support/cheer your next leg of your journey!

If you missed the other success stories in the series you can read them below, as well as blogs I’ve written on the topic of success. I hope by sharing the journeys of these talented and brave souls you see that indeed — success is personal. It’s knowing who you are, what you want, and going 100% all in. It’s your story.

Special, special thanks to Kathy Moriarity, Kendra Malloy, Dean Packingham and Lori Martin for being courageous enough to embark on the journey; strong enough to appreciate their success along a long, windy and difficult path; and brave enough to share it here in public to help others. I thank you all. I commend you. And I remain your biggest fan and cheerleader – all!

Read other success stories in this series:

Dean: Success if finding your authentic self

Kendra: Success is being a warrior. Not quitting no matter what

Kathy: Success is being good to yourself

Other related success blogs:

From lost hope to #beyondgrateful

Two years fit and healthy. New life…new lessons

Three years, another cool milestone

How I got this body. Climbing high and losing weight (Star Tribune)

Lori Schaefer, Before & After


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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. sharon #

    Lori, thank you for sharing your inspirational quest. It puts so many other things in perspective.

    August 18, 2014
    • Lori M. #

      Thanks for kind words Sharon. Reading it again even helps me keep things in perspective. NEVER give up!

      August 19, 2014
  2. Kathy Moriarty #

    Lori – You are such an amazing lady. You have happiness written all over your face and you share that light with everyone you come in contact with. Great job and keep up the good work!! You amaze me…


    August 20, 2014
  3. Jeanne #

    Great interview and insight Lori! You are an inspiration. You are right…you can do anything! Now I just need to remember that myself. Thanks for being the inspiration.

    September 3, 2014

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