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Unpacking 100 pounds

Today is a weekend work day and I am feeling the pressure of trying to get everything done to start anew with clients and staff demands on Monday. That said, I am putting myself first and marking a very important milestone with this blog.

On March 27, 2011, I hit the -100 lb mark!

Those of you following this blog, know the importance of reaching that goal. You also know that putting myself in the equation has not been easy and deserves to be marked in a significant way. And so, I write in an attempt to unpack what -100 really means to me.


  • Physical Changes: At -100, I am a stronger, sexier, and healthier person physically. (The one hit wonder: “I’m too sexy for my …” comes to mind! – lol.)
  • I now love to walk and no longer consider it a chore. I can’t wait to hike Oberg Mountain in the spring and summer and look forward to hiking in general. While I don’t LOVE working out in the gym on machines, I don’t dread it as much as I used to and know it is key to my overall success. I see the direct benefits on a daily/weekly basis and can’t imagine NOT doing it (I hear Leif’s voice: Reach Your Potential!).
  • Airplane seats are more comfortable and seat belts fit! There is room to spare when I sit in the back seat of a small car…
  • Five clothing sizes smaller than where I started and going through sizes faster than imagined. I am even trying on dresses – yes, I said dresses. And I bought a new swimsuit – yep, swimsuit!
  • I can’t wait for summer so I can walk Como, hike the Superior Hiking Trail on the North Shore and the beaches on my various ocean trips. And yes, I am on a quest to find the next mountain to climb.
  • Emotional Changes: These are the most profound and the most welcome. They were also the most difficult and immediate. I am giddy just writing about the personal transformation I’ve experienced on the inside.
  • First and foremost, I now know that I can do anything I set my mind to. That means physically, like I did in Fitness North where we pushed ourselves past what we thought were physical limits. In the gym every day, and in all other areas of life.
  • I am happier all around, better in relationships, more creative and flexible at work, and more fun and playful (the “old” Lori is back) in my personal life. Everything is better! It’s crazy how taking care of yourself affects everyone and everything else in an indirect way. O’Neal Hampton told me this, but until you experience it for yourself, you don’t fully appreciate the magnitude of the change.
  • My inner strength and resolve is strong, solid, and focused. I know this because it was tested this past month when I hit a physical plateau and the inner voices came back (along with the external client demands/crises, and the personal relationship demands…). I started to doubt myself. I had to fight through it and dig deep to get back on track and reach -100 lbs. And I did it! So I know I can do it again.
  • Support of Others: One of the absolute greatest gifts has been the extent to which people have come through to support me. It is unbelievable how people have stepped up to offer their support and enthusiasm. I now fully understand and appreciate how critical this is to my ongoing success.
  • It starts with the lions in my den who have been there since day one of this journey in an active way — My Fitness North family, Twin Cities trainers, inner circle of close friends and family, women’s groups from Women’s Leadership Community & the Group of 7, the amazing Marketing that Matters team, as well as clients, former colleagues and acquaintances.
  • Not only was the support offered during my FN journey incredible, but when the Star Tribune article ran I received more than 150 personal calls, emails, and Facebook messages of support! Some, came from unlikely sources, including lobbyists and people I worked with at the state capitol and in politics 10 or 15 years ago. It was overwhelming, heartwarming, and so motivating.
  • I have learned to surround myself with people of high integrity with whom I can trust both personally and professionally. Most importantly, I am finally learning to let go of people that I care about, but who have not acted with integrity and respect for me or earned the precious gift of my trust. This has perhaps been one of the toughest steps along the way, but I am finding my way and so much happier for it. Letting go and being true to my values. The rest takes care of itself.
  • Paying it Forward: In recent months, I have heard from Fitness North participants and prospects, as well as others in my life who struggle with their weight. And now I am able to help by paying it forward. This keeps my focus on working the program and, for someone of my personality type who is at least in part filled up by giving to others, it truly helps me to know I am making a difference.
  • For me, that jumpstart came when I met O’Neal Hampton for the first time and he looked me in the eye and said, “We can do this. We can do this!” O’Neal is the KING of paying it forward and his integrity and passion for helping others are an inspiration. It also happened when I walked that first two miles with Sheryl and thought I was going to collapse on the pavement. I was certain I would die and I hated the out of control feeling. Sheryl helped me push through pain and a lot of “I cants” to get to the finish. Now, I want to be that person…that inspiration for many, many others.

THANK YOU:I owe an incredibly big THANK YOU to each of you who has supported me on this journey.

  • Starting with Leif Anderson, O’Neal Hampton, Sheryl Babbitt, and Jay Grove from Fitness North, AND Shari, Carrie, Sue, Phil and the rest of my FN 2 family, as well as the pioneers of FN #1.
  • My sister Kristine, Mom, and my entire family.
  • Dennis & Jolita from Bluefin Bay, Sally and Jim from the Cook County Visitors Bureau, Jodi , Charlie and the rest of the Marketing that Matters team, and all of the other clients and colleagues who supported me by providing encouragement and allowing me to be away from the business to take care of myself.
  • To my TC trainers – Julie and Sandra at Balance for Life – who continue to push, support and cheer me and let Leif of Fitness North steer the ship.
  • Anne who has offered her executive coaching expertise to help me find a way to build my dream business and make money doing it, while being the star of my life — and Kate, Marcia, MaryBeth and all of the other amazing women friends/groups that continue to support me in that goal.
  • My closest inner circle of friends and sisters (you now who you are) whom I knew would come through and who have continued to roar loudly and cheerfully when I need them!
  • The many, many friends, clients, colleagues and former colleagues who follow this blog and my facebook posts and continually surprise me with your support and encouragement.


  • I am on a quest these next 6 weeks to enter and win a contest at Balance for Life – for the most percentage of weight loss.
  • Thanks to my incredible friend and mentor, Anne Knapp, I am headed to Maine (in late May or June) to take stock and celebrate this -100 lb milestone AND, as part of that trip,I have a goal to climb a “real” mountain at Acadia National Park.
  • By mid summer I expect to be wearing the same size clothes I wore my senior year in high school – that will be six sizes down from where I started.
  • Paying it forward. A big part of my progress is helping others who share these struggles with weight and/or putting themselves in the equation and living life to the fullest. If you are in that camp, please call or email me and let’s talk. It will be the best thing you could possibly do to change your life. And you CAN do it.

So stay tuned and thank you all again for your incredible support of my journey to climb and see! Hugs.


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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Karen J #

    Lori ~ YOU are an inspiration and bring tears to my eyes. I am so very happy for you and will continue to ROAR as loudly as I can. Go get em sister!

    April 4, 2011
  2. Jean #

    FABULOUS!!!! This message is so inspiring and I am so incredibly happy for you. You deserve every happy moment and wish you have inside of you and I am so glad to have been a small part of your journey!! I will continue to support you in any way I can. I am really looking forward to some updated photography – we'll have a blast!

    April 4, 2011
  3. Ginny B-C #

    Lori – you are truly amazing and I can't tell you how happy I am to hear about your transformation on so many levels. You just keep going, girl, and inspiring all of us around you. I am especially heartened to see that powerful creative force in service of self-care – its at the heart of all other caring.

    April 4, 2011
  4. Anonymous #

    Lori ~ I am so proud of you! Your drive and determination is impressive and inspriring. Roar on my lion! -Betsy

    April 5, 2011
  5. Cindy G. #

    You go Schaef. So proud of you and your determination. Congratulations – ROAR!!

    April 6, 2011
  6. Thanks team for the wonderful comments. I treasure you all.

    April 9, 2011

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