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Success is changing the inside to sustain the outside

Meet the amazing Lori Martin, Transformation success story #4 in my series titled, “Success. It’s personal. And that’s a good thing.”

Success - Lori MartinDetermination. Focus. Heart. Passion. Courage. Stubbornness. Self-awareness. The ability to go all in and then some. A sense of humor. Learning to embrace the process, as well as the end result.

These are are all qualities I had to muster in abundance during my transformation journey. And each serves me well today as I embrace my new healthy way of living.

They are also the very qualities that my friend, Lori Martin, shares in abundance. It’s why she is one of my favorite transformation success stories, and I’m delighted to share her story with you today as the last in my series – “Success. It’s personal. And that’s a good thing.”

Lori’s Martin measures success differently than you might imagine. While she has lost and maintained 109 lbs — and wants to lose another 100+ — she doesn’t measure success in terms of weight loss. At least not totally. Lori is focused on her WHOLE self, transforming inside and out. We’ve shared this “wholeness” goal since the very beginning and I feel privileged to support her through the ups and the downs. Read more

My In the Equation morning ritual

Cardio with a twist!

Como Lake Light on DucksThis summer I’ve adopted a new morning ritual and this morning I realized it and deemed it as such. It’s my “in the equation” start to every day and it totally works for me.

For almost three months, I’ve evolved my morning routine to include this 45 min ritual. It combines my preferred form of cardio — power walking in a beautiful place, preferably around or near water — with a couple of simple mental practices that help me throughout my day.

Also, because I’m on the move and living part-time in Minnesota and part-time in Maine, it allows me to have a daily practice that is consistent and helps me focus mind, body and spirit before the day ensues — no matter where I am. It helps ground me. Read more

Cardio in the rain

Good for the soul – therapeutic, cleansing, metaphorical

the pathI made a pact with myself this week that I was going 120+% all in, no matter what. Focus, focus, focus. In part, to help with my head game. In part, to stay on track with me in the equation during some challenging and stressful days.

So up at 5:30 a.m. and outside for cardio in the steady rain before my training session I went. And, just like the lawns and plants in Minnesota — this was a much needed drenching. Read more

From lost hope to #beyondgrateful

Filled with gratitude for the ability to go from small life to WHOLE life!

LoriandBud-smallI woke up Saturday morning, after a week and half of struggle to get back into my MN routine, beyond grateful.

As I entered my day, I was overwhelmed with thoughts about where I am today compared to where I was just four or five years ago. This contrast was just what I needed. The ability to see the big picture from 35,000 feet of all I’ve accomplished and to feel my wildest dreams now coming true.

For those of you that don’t know my story, this November will mark the four-year anniversary of the major turning point in my life. My decision to put myself in the equation of my own life, get healthy and follow my dreams. This is when my transformation journey began. Read more

Friendship, frittata and fun

And a recipe for a healthy Chicken Broccoli Frittata. Yum!

10_13_11 Sisters Journey, Maine 113I’m a lucky girl to have such amazing friends in my life! Topping the list, is my group of eight college friends/sorority sisters — we’ve been friends since the 80′s and have seen each other through triumph and heartache, loss of every kind, joy of just about every kind, and lots of celebration.

This was the group of women that traveled from Minnesota to Maine with me almost three years ago to climb a mountain in Acadia National Park and toast my -150 pound weight loss milestone.

We’re all now entering (what I guess you call) middle age, and we all live in Minnesota so we’re able to see each other often. Lately, we’ve embarked on an attempt to get together weekly at my friend Kathy’s house. She hosts weekly “supper club” and whomever can come, comes. One of us makes dinner, and the nights are always filled with deep-in-your-belly, full-on laughter. The kind that makes your cheeks hurt and spirit soar. Read more

Inspire and be inspired

inspireWhen the universe knows just what you need and it shows up!

You know me to be a straight shooter. So here goes.

I’ve been struggling again emotionally, battling the ongoing urge to cope with stress and unsettledness by using food. Admittedly, my weight is up out of my comfort zone and that is of concern. But of greater concern, is that my attempts at restart are on day three and so far have been unsuccessful.

So again today, I vowed, this is the day. Restart. Refocus. And, for better or worse, for me that means “go public.” The cool thing is that today is the day the restart will be successful. I know this because inspiration is showing up everywhere. And I am so grateful.

First, as I walked into the fitness studio this morning for my first training appointment back in the Twin Cities in over three weeks, I was greeted by someone working hard on the elliptical with a very enthusiastic smile, and a “Hey, hi, wow, you look great!…”

At first, I was a bit taken back and mustered a smile (although privately I wasn’t in a great place and barefly made it to the studio for training today). As I got closer and this friendly face hopped off the elliptical to hug me, I realized it was a former neighbor, friend and colleague I haven’t seen in years — well, probably since I lost the weight. Read more

Kudos to biggest loser Rachel

And anyone who has lost massive weight and kept it off!

rachel-frederickson-mainFinding¬† the delicate balance between healthy living for life (weight maintenance) after massive weight loss and not going too extreme in the other direction is NOT easy. For many of us who have been obese for most of our adult lives, it requires intense self-awareness, focus, diligence, and learning to live and cope in new ways — without using food as a “go to” source of comfort.

On the one hand, it would be so easy to let things slide back into a slippery slope of using food as a crutch to meet emotional needs. Often, that is the addictive personality at work in us. We fear letting things slip to the point of resuming old eating patterns and putting the weight back on. And on the other hand, for many of us, it would be just as easy to become obsessed with watching our weight, working out to extremes, dieting for life, and not finding the new healthy that works for us — both for our bodies and our minds.

There are two extremes that many of us fear. It’s not as simple as losing the weight and going about your business. And if you think it will be, you will likely fall into one of these categories.

So when I see success stories of people who have not only lost massive weight but maintained it, and who are willing to share how difficult this process is, it makes me smile.  And I want my blog readers to know this side of the story as well. Read more

Success is finding your authentic self

Meet Dean. Transformation success story #3 in my series titled, “Success. It’s personal. And that’s a good thing.”

Dean Packingham

Dean Packingham (upper right) participating in his first competitive race, 2012.

Have you ever had a situation in your life where you felt like the timing was perfect…meant to be? That’s how I felt when Dean Packingham reached out to me via this blog.

He told me that I had inspired him and that he was about to embark on his own personal transformation journey. He admitted being afraid, fearing failure, but also expressed hope and determination. What struck me about Dean was that he had the courage to leap and go after something he desperately wanted, despite his fear. He asked for help. And that was the beginning of his success story.

We corresponded that night for quite awhile. My response was: “Dean, we’ve totally got this! There is no question that you can do it.” This was the same response that my mentor, O’Neal Hampton, gave me. A message of hope that arrived just when I was ready to receive it. Then, I was able to pay it forward by helping Dean.

What’s cool about this pay it forward story, is that last month, I hooked Dean up with a delightful young lady who also asked for help. She admitted she was terrified to take the leap, and that she was not in the equation of her life. And, guess what Dean said to her about two years after he reached out to me? Yep. He said, “We’ve totally got this!” Read more

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