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What losing 200+ lbs has taught me

LoriSchaefer-IntheEquation-TheBiggestLoser-Jan2015What if you knew in the deepest part of your gut that you could do ANYTHING you set your mind to? That you have within you the power and the potential to make your biggest, hairiest, most audacious goal come true?!

One year ago today, I had the distinct privilege to share my at-home transformation story on NBC TV’s The Biggest Loser Season 16 live finale. It was an incredible experience — thrilling, scary, enlightening, empowering, totally awesome! I’ve blogged about it here, and you can watch the video clip here.

Today, as I reflect on that amazing night one year ago, I am struck by what I have learned throughout this personal transformation journey that continues to serve me today. What I share with the contestants on The Biggest Loser — and likely with anyone who has achieved great things that are really, really, really hard. I’m reflecting on the greatest lesson/gift: I will  continue to grow and win in my life every day because I now know that deep inside of me is an unstoppable force. I can do anything I set my mind to.

Peeps, that is the secret!

ITE_Harper_quote_instaLosing 200+ lbs was incredible, but it was just the tip of the iceberg. It was the outside win — although reversing my risk of early death from obesity related disease was an inside win, too. A big one.

But the truth is, on the inside I am so much more… I am so much happier, healthier, stronger, smarter, more resilient, more creative, more passionate…literally unstoppable…

Why? How? Because I was able to put myself in the center of the equation of my own life and do something big for myself that was really, really hard. And in the process, I gained a self-respect, self-love and self-care focus that serves me today on the toughest days. And, yes, peeps, there are tough days.

NBC TV’s The Biggest Loser Trainer and now talented host, Bob Harper, said it best on Season 16 last year. His quote is on my office bulletin board: “When life kicks you in the teeth and knocks you down to the ground. Are you able to stand up and keep fighting?! That’s what it’s all about.”

This is absolutely true. And when I met the other contestants on The Biggest Loser last year, I realized that is what we all have in common. But to me, it is even greater than the determination, courage and strength to keep fighting that is embodied in Bob’s quote. It is also about — perhaps most importantly about — believing in the deepest part of your soul that you deserve it. That you can do it.

The very first blog I wrote this year: 2016: The Year of YOU in the equation, shares the definition of what I mean by putting yourself in the center of your own life, and prioritizing your needs, your health. It also includes tips for how. The very first and most important tip: You must shift your thinking and begin to believe that you deserve it. You are worth it.

This season as I watch Season 17 of The Biggest Loser unfold, I am struck by how many conversations about self-worth, self-love and self-acceptance have made the show. I am so pleased. Because to me, that is truly where it all starts. Inside of you and inside of me. It’s connecting your head with your heart — as my mentor O’Neal Hampton said to me. Believing that you not only deserve it. You can do it! And, it is not an option NOT to take care of you.

I hope that by reflecting on this personal lesson today, I can help more people take that leap. PLEASE, reach out to me or others for help when you are ready, but know in your gut that you can do this. It is within you, I promise. And when you do — WOW – is it incredible!

Yes I struggle…& this lesson that gets me through

Truth: I am struggling right now. With big career decisions that require me to take risks, believe in myself and my ability to defy the odds every day. To know that though I might fall a million times, I will always get back up and keep going. To know that I am meant to do this work and I am unstoppable force when I set my mind to something. I struggle to put myself back out there in the arena of love and romance and risk my heart after being hurt. And on some days, I still battle the internal demons that say — it’s too hard, it’s too scary, why bother? And, then I remember and shout — because I deserve it. I owe it to myself. I can do this. I am unstoppable!

Yep, this incredibly simple but profound lesson continues to serve me, even and especially on the toughest days. It’s what helps me to rise strong (thank you Brene Brown, again). And it is the one for which I may never be able to fully express the depth of my gratitude. This is the gift of transformation that I want each and every one of you reading this to experience in your own lives.

So, today, I say thank you to The Biggest Loser for the opportunity to be on the show and reach more people. Thank you for reminding me of this lesson today as I reminisce about my own journey. And a BIG thank you to the amazing O’Neal Hampton, Leif Anderson, Sandra Swami, all my boot camp peeps, and those of you who have loved, encouraged and supported me throughout this incredible journey that continues to be awe inspiring EVERY single day.

This is how I live now – check out my short video I lived! I did it all! And I am just getting started. 😉 How about you?



Read my blogs about The Biggest Loser Experience here:

My Biggest Loser Experience. Wow! (Jan. 2015)

Video clip Lori Schaefer, In the Equation, on The Biggest Loser Glory Days (Jan. 2015)

How I lost 200+lbs & Re-ignited my life (Feb. 2015)

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