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Posts tagged ‘set yourself up for success’

Managing holiday expectations. Do you have a 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 own holiday coping strategy for fear of adding to the clutter. But when I mentioned it to a friend, she urged me to do so. I’ve been quite transparent over the years about the difficulty of maintaining a significant weight loss, and the holidays packed with emotion and stress present a particular set of extra challenges — at least for me. I’ve found that spending just a little proactive time thinking about where you are, what the holiday schedule and expectations look like for you, and then planning self care and coping strategies in advance is a helpful approach. Each of us is different, and often from year to year the challenges are different.

Have you thought about creating your own holiday action plan? Here’s what works for me. 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

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?ย Because I think many of you share it. 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

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

Helping others with self care & stress reduction

This past Thursday, I shared my transformation story on live TV on Speak Your Mind, a half-hour program on PBS (channel 8) in Duluth-Superior. The show is sponsored by the Human Development Center, a nonprofit mental health center that provides integrated mental health and addiction services fostering hope, self-determination, and recovery.

The topic of our show was: Stress Reduction and Self Care, and you can watch it here.

I was invited to be a guest on the show by host Carolyn Phelps, Ph.D., L.P., after she read my transformation story in Duluth Superior Magazine. Speak Your Mind is a call-in program designed to jumpstart the conversation in our communities about mental health issues and to encourage people to ask the questions theyโ€™ve always wanted to ask. I applaud the mission and was excited to make my TV debut on a program that really, truly helps people and on a subject that changed my life.

The heart of my transformation was about self-care. Two years ago, I was not practicing self-care – at all! I was not even in the equation of my own life. Working 12-18 hours per day, seven days a week to build my marketing firm, I had ballooned to my heaviest weight on record: 381 pounds. Yes, bigger than a professional NFL linebacker.

I was so attuned to my to-do list that I had forgotten to put myself โ€“ or my health โ€“ on that list. I was living a sedentary lifestyle on a diet of processed and fast food. My stress levels were out of control. Everything, including my relationships, suffered. I was both literally and figuratively dying.

My real transformation began the day I decided to focus on self-care. About that same time, hope walked through the work door. That hope and inspiration was O’Neal Hampton who was on Season 9 of NBC’s Biggest Loser with his daughter SunShine Hampton. O’Neal helped me believe I could do this. But I still had to take those first steps myself.

How did I do it?

  • I leapt despite my fear. I grabbed hold of the opportunity to change my life and grew stronger by pushing past the fear and accomplishing that of which I was most afraid. Yes, there is fear in doing anything transformational or big, but the strength, the courage and empowerment you feel when you push past it and succeed – well, WOW, it can’t be topped!
  • I set myself up for success by finding the right team of experts and support and developing a plan. That plan included a list of non-negotiables that would allow me to consistently be in the center of my equation and provide self-care, bar nothing.
  • My commitment and focus was 100% all in. I mean, I decided I would not quit – no matter what! And, most importantly, I learned to reset my mindset and restart when I slipped and had a bad day. Too often we beat ourselves up and throw in the towel when it gets really hard. I told myself, this time that was not an option.
  • Set short-term goals, milestones and challenges along the way and celebrated when I achieved them. And this time, I rewarded myself without food!

When you put yourself in the equation, everything else is better…

Self care for me was learning the important lesson that if I don’t take care of myself, not only am I not going to be around long term, but I can’t be there for everyone else. There is no question that I am happier, stronger, braver, more creative, more strategic and more fun today because I live life by taking care of myself first.

I am a better business owner, consultant, partner, daughter, sibling and friend because of it. I guarantee you that when you practice self-care — as Ann discusses in the piece and I am a living example — everything is better. Not just you, but everything around you. And this is an awesome gift to yourself and others!

Where to start…

My number one tip for those of you wondering how to begin is exactly what we discussed on the show.

Start by becoming mindful of where you are today. What are you practicing that serves you or not? What is standing in your way of making the time and commitment to put yourself first? What stories are you telling yourself about that?

Just notice. Maybe journal about it. Or, better, let’s start a dialogue here on my blog.

For me, it was lack of self-love and acceptance. Fear of inadequacy. Fear of failure. And yes, to some degree, even fear of success and a very different life that would result. Well, I am living that very different life right now and I have to say, it is awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

Now is the time…

The holidays are a tough time for many of us when it comes to stress levels and self-care. The expectations and the pressures are high. I encourage to just become aware of where you fit in the equation of your life and think about what you are practicing. Are you practicing self-care? And what one thing might you do for yourself this holiday season to ensure that you are taking care of yourself.

Let me know where you are on this topic and how you practicing self-care, or not. Where do you need help? How can I inspire and support you?

Let me know what you think…

If you care to post a comment on the Speak Your Mind blog about our show on self-care and stress reduction, please click here. I would love your feedback and/or questions.


P.S. I am a huge fan of the Human Development Center and their work on mental health issues. If you are interested in learning more about work, please check them out here. You can also support them by providing a donation. Special thanks to Speak Your Mind host Dr. Carolyn Phelps, Ph.D, LP and Kim Matteen, Foundation Director. And finally, thanks to Jeanne Carpenter and Sue Bott who helped me prepare for my first ever live TV appearance. You ladies rock! ๐Ÿ™‚





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