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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

For the love of wine, peanut butter and dessert

winewithaviewWine. Peanut butter. Dessert. What do these three delightful things have in common in my world?

A) I LOVE them all! B) I’ve had a rocky relationship with each of them; C) I’ve learned a lot about myself and my body in exploration of, and with, them over the years; D) At least temporarily, I’ve broken up with each one of them; or E) All of the above.

Well, the answer is E — all of the above.

You might find this surprising, but I lost -211 lbs and 80% of my body fat on a diet program where I was NOT totally and completely deprived of these three loves. After I hit my weight-loss goal, and as I’ve worked to maintain a healthy lifestyle, things have gotten more complicated and, yep, a bit rocky.

I’m sharing my personal story with wine, peanut butter and sugary desserts because I’m guessing many of you can relate. You, too, may have foods (or patterns related to food) that worked for you…for awhile — or at least you thought they did — and as you’ve evolved, changed, or as life happens — your relationship with certain foods may also needs to change.

What do I mean? Read more

Changing from the inside out

ITE_Whole-Life_Quote_sqWhen I share my transformation story with others I’m often asked a provocative question: If I could do it all again — meaning lose 200+ lbs and become a fit, healthy and in-the-equation girl — but only keep ONE of the gifts of transformation, which would I choose?

What they mean is. Would I choose to keep the external, physical transformation of a 200-lb weight loss OR the internal transformation (the mindset and behavior shifts that garnered the happy, healthy and WHOLE life I describe in those speeches)?

For me, it’s a “no brainer.” I would absolutely choose the internal transformation — hands down!

Some are surprised by my answer, but here’s why. It’s because of my internal transformation –– changing my limiting beliefs and self doubts, learning to really love and accept myself, believing I’m enough exactly as I am, embracing my imperfections, having the courage to push past fear, learning to let go of what I cannot control — that I KNOW I could lose the weight again!

It was the limiting thought patterns and beliefs that I learned at a young age and practiced most of my adult life, that had me turning to food as a source of comfort and put me on the path to weighing 381 lbs. It was those very same limiting beliefs and thought patterns that kept me working like a crazy person to prove my self worth, cutting myself off from love and romance, and ultimately limiting my universe to things I thought I could control. Life got small as I got bigger. It certainly wasn’t what I now call a WHOLE life. 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? Because I think many of you share it. Read more

Confession of a healthy and fit girl

lori-readytoroll-firstbikeoutingI have a confession to make. I’m 53 years old, and this week I took my first bike ride in nearly 35 years! (Think bicycle not Harley.)

This is a milestone I have to document. And in doing so, I hope to provide hope and inspiration to others who have given up exercise or personal enjoyment because they are too out of shape or afraid of what others might think. I can’t believe it’s taken me 30 years, four years sans -200 lbs, to get on a bicycle again.

How many things do we give up when we become overweight, sedentary, too busy, too focused on others, too afraid? Or, because we don’t think we deserve them. The answer for me was — A LOT!

Over the years of my adulthood as I became heavier and heavier, I started hiding myself behind that weight and the fear of putting myself out there. Slowly but surely, I limited my life and it became small.

Some examples. I gave up dating and romantic relationships — taking myself “off the market” and “turning the porch light off” because I was deathly afraid of rejection. I never traveled oversees or to places like Hawaii or Alaska, because I didn’t want to be on an airplane so long that I might have to use the restroom — I didn’t fit and flying wasn’t a fun experience. It was uncomfortable and I lived in fear of the seat belt not buckling and the flight attendants discovering that and offering me an extension.

Eventually, I gave up a lot of the outdoor activities I used to enjoy — walks on the beach or in the woods, jogging up hills, playing softball, riding a bike. That last one was a killer because growing up in rural Minnesota, I LOVED to ride bike! Read more

Self care rocks!

A solid week of restart. YES, we can!

lori'sharleyYep, I’m living testament to the fact that when you take care of yourself and your health and well-being, everything else is better.  I’ve tested this theory from both sides, and I KNOW it works!

Over the July 4th holiday weekend, I took a much-needed vacation. I checked out of my day-to-day life and drove off to Madison, WI, to spend the long weekend with a dear friend celebrating her 50th. In four days, we “did” Milwaukee (think Summerfest outdoor concerts, Harley, and craft breweries), Madison’s outdoor concert scene (Steve Miller! and craft beer), and then we had an outdoor concert at Edgewater on the lake and a surprise 50th birthday party (think music and craft beer)!

Why am I telling you this?

Well, let’s just say, I got more than a little OFF my healthy eating at a time when I’ve been really struggling to keep it clean and healthy. So while I was already in a full-on restart after going up on the scale and in a clothing size, I STILL took a time out and partied with my friend to celebrate her 50th and live life. And I don’t regret it.

So now what?

Read more

Get movin’ & get your happy on!

Join the In the Equation Team at the Color Run Twin Cities July 10

Lori-Christine-postcolormerad.jpgHey peeps, Happy TUESDAY! I hope you had a happy, healthy and fun Independence Day weekend. Summer is flying by so fast.

I’m writing today to personally invite you to join our In the Equation Team this Sunday, July 10 in the Twin Cities Color Run 5K at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds! This fun and family friendly 5K is one big dance party promoting healthy, happy and fun — plus it benefits the Minnesota Special Olympics! Come walk (or run) with us and get your groove on.

I started an In the Equation Team for first timers to the Color Run. People who have never done a 5K or any type of competitive race, and especially for those who want to walk at their own pace but need a little encouragement and support to get out and get movin. We’ll walk as a group and celebrate living happy, healthy and in the equation!

The Color Run is the most non-competitive and fun race environment you can imagine to promote healthy lifestyles and it benefits a great cause. There are no winners (well we’re all winners for doing it) and no race times. You walk or run at your own pace and have fun getting your groove on and getting blasted with color along the way.

I did my first Color Run in Madison, WI, years ago and I loved it. Last June 2015, I did a second color 5k with my friend Ellen in the pouring rain and loved 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

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