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Three years – another cool milestone!

LoriSchaefer-After-BigPantsThree years ago today, I was leaving weight-loss boot camp on the North Shore of Lake Superior to begin my transformation journey at home. My journey yielded a -211 pound weight loss, nearly -50% body fat loss, and sparked a self-acceptance and internal happiness that for so many years I didn’t believe was possible. And, it continues today.

I remember vividly my mindset when I walked out of boot camp. After losing 21 pounds in 12 days and pushing myself past serious physical pain, fear and heart ache — I gained a new perspective that has grounded me to this day. I left boot camp knowing that I could do absolutely anything. Knowing that I was physically capable and strong, internally stubborn, goal oriented and focused, and that nothing could stop me, but me.

Now, three years later, I’ve successfully maintained my weight loss for more a year and a half. I live in the center of my equation and lead a healthy and happy life, and hopefully inspire others to do the same. But most importantly, I live fully knowing I can accomplish absolutely anything. And I am opening myself up emotionally and taking risks in ways that I didn’t before when I was hiding behind all that weight. There is no greater gift.

LoriSchaefer-BeforeandAfter-RedWhen the going gets tough, it is this steadfast belief in myself and my potential that gets me through. When I suffer people disappointments, business setbacks, friends get sick, or things don’t go my way, I always return to the belief that I will get through it and I will shine. That I can do anything I set my mind to, including overcome LoriSchaefer-BeforeandAfteradversity and push myself to new limits. I now know that I will be stronger, better and changed because of it.

In a nutshell, this is what my transformation journey has taught me. And yes, the internal transformation is every bit — if not more significant — as the external/physical one. I now live with intention, conviction and life balance. I go all in, but I know what I am capable of doing while paying close attention to my health and my needs and NOT sacrificing myself like I used to so that I can be loved by others. I love myself and I start there…embracing the world and others from this place.

Opening myself up to love and other things

These past two weeks have been crazy busy. I’ve been thinking about this blog post and how to mark the three -year milestone but I didn’t write anything because I’ve been too busy living and loving!  It occurred to me today that — this (living and loving fully) is indeed how I am actively marking this milestone.

It’s true. For the first time in a very long time, I am letting another person into my life in a special way. I am giving the emotional part of me the time and space this relationship needs. And I’m living wholeheartedly, all-in and in the moment in the process. I’m guessing it’s no secret that I had closed myself off from the possibility of true romantic love and a deep, emotional connection with another person when I weighed 381 pounds and was unhappy and out of my equation. The truth is, inside I didn’t feel I deserved it. I was ashamed of my weight and my body and didn’t feel very loveable. Instead, I filled myself up in other ways — mostly with food. Thus, the impending cycle I practiced much of my adult life.

Until now! Now, it’s a whole new ballgame. I have no idea what the future holds. But it’s a blast to step out of my comfort zone, allow another person in, live in the moment and  love myself wholeheartedly through that process sans the shame. It’s not always easy. And I am not perfect. I’ve been known to have a mini-meltdown or two as I practice opening myself up. 🙂

But I know this, there is absolutely no better way to mark this milestone. And I am exactly where I am supposed to be three years from the time my transformation journey began! Yes, it’s fun…and yes, a little scary.

So today, I celebrate life, love, happiness, being in my equation, transformation, going all in — and the struggles as well as the triumphs. I am living proof that when we really listen to our heart and give ourselves what we need — no matter how afraid we are to do so — well, that’s how we achieve real and lasting change, and real happiness.

Three years after my physical transformation journey began, I am still a work in progress. But I AM progress. And I love that. Thank you for being here and for taking the time to read this. Thank you for supporting me directly or indirectly throughout my journey. What I know and accept today that I didn’t know three years ago is this: the transformation continues. I am not done. And, as long as I am focused, vigilant, open to the possibilities, all in, and in my equation, things will evolve and happen as they should — including the possibility of finding true love.

The past three years have been pretty darn amazing. And yet, perhaps the best of all is yet to come. I could not be happier, more excited or grateful.



Related posts and before and after video:

Lori Before & After

How I got this body: Climbing high and losing weight

Changing the equation

One year sans 200 lbs…my new reality

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