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Join the “In Your Equation” 2014 Challenge

An invitation to make a commitment to yourself & achieve your goal(s)

LoriSchaefer-After-BigPantsI’m excited to announce our 30-day “In the Equation 2014 Challenge” and to invite each of you to participate. The “In Your Equation Challenge” provides an opportunity for you to set a personal goal — defined by YOU — and make a commitment contract with yourself and others to help support you and hold you accountable.

Why the Challenge now? I’m struggling more than I have in a long time AND I’ve been talking with many people in my life who are also feeling stuck, unhealthy, or simply out of balance — literally out of their equation. The truth is, we all need help to reach our goals. I’m doing this work to help both myself and others lead happy, healthy and “whole” lives. So let’s do this…together! (And P.S. — there is no perfect time. Now is as good a time as any!)

Why make a public commitment? Research shows — and my personal experience bares out — that going public and making a commitment to yourself and others helps you achieve your goals. Incentives and support from others also help. Thanks to my friend and mentor, Anne Knapp, I’ve discovered and awesome new tool to facilitate this and we want to try it out.

StickK is a website developed by Yale University economists who tested the effectiveness of commitment contracts through extensive field research. According to StickK, years of economic and behavioral research show that people who put stakes — either their money or their reputation — on the table are far more likely to actually achieve a goal they set for themselves.

So here we go. I hope you’ll read more, join StickK for free, and then put yourself first by joining our “In Your Equation Challenge.” Read more

Awareness – step one to real change…

ITE_Awareness_Quote…and greater happiness!

The deeper I get into this journey of wholeness, and my personal transformation, the more important I realize one factor is: Awareness.

In my keynote speech, Put Yourself in the Equation & Transform Your Life, I talk about how once I became aware of what I was practicing in my life that wasn’t working for me, it got uncomfortable. And then almost impossible to ignore. That’s when I decided I had to do something about it.

When the unconscious became conscious — that’s really when my transformation began. Why? Because it opened me up to the possibilities and opportunities for change when they presented themselves. Before that, I wasn’t looking. I wasn’t open. And I had lost hope for a different life. I was just going through the motions of my day and my life giving everything to everyone else and believing I wasn’t deserving or capable of something better. I had convinced myself that this wasn’t so bad and maybe this was to be my life path.

It was only when I stopped long enough and was brave enough to ask and answer big questions that I became aware of the truth and was willing to face it. I realized that I wasn’t even in the equation of my own life. And, that continuing on the path I had carved for myself — working 12 to 18 hours days, 7 days a week in my start up marketing business, not sleeping, and living on a diet of fast and processed food — doomed me to a small and unfulfilling life. An unhealthy life that had cut me off from true romantic love and — worse — was likely to be cut short by stroke, diabetes, or heart disease because all three run in my family. I knew then that only I could change it. And I had to do something. Read more

Step forward toward your goals

From the unknown, to familiar, to conquered, to what’s next?!

My Bud

Bud, my walking partner ready to roll!

As I was walking the Blue Hill Loop last week with my beloved, Bud, it occurred to me that the first time I walked this 2-2.5 mile loop, it felt far more difficult and I wasn’t certain I’d make it. It was new and unfamiliar territory and surprisingly up hill. Randy was walking at an incredibly fast clip and there were times I was struggling to keep up. (And, I was the one who was supposed to be in shape!).

I remember asking several times how much farther we had to go. I didn’t know where I was, how far into the journey, or how to get home. The uncertainty was nagging at me.

When my Mom visited in July, we walked the Loop and she reacted the same way that I did that first time. It felt challenging and she kept asking how much farther and if there was a short cut. (To my Mom’s credit, she is in her 70’s and was brave enough to tackle the walk!)

I can’t help wonder if sometimes the fear of the unknown stops us short of taking on new things…of really going for our big, hairy audacious goals — or even doing little things because they are unfamiliar, they might be difficult, and/or the outcome is uncertain. Read more

A butt-kicking boost at the Blue Hill YMCA

A great workout. A great asset to the community.

1234016_599214096768301_528006466_nI just finished a butt-kicking workout at The Blue Hill YMCA. The one-hour class was called “Fall Fitness Mixup” and included a 15-min warm up, followed by a high-energy cardio circuit training and a cool down stretch. It was my first class at the local YMCA in Maine and it was GREAT!

Sometimes we don’t realize how lucky we are to have opportunities all around us for achieving our health and fitness goals — especially when we’re feeling unmotivated or stuck. The fact is, we all feel this way at times. It’s what we do during those “stuck” times that matters most.

I first discovered The Blue Hill YMCA this early summer upon the referral of a new friend who took the time to introduce me to the lead trainers and managers. I was welcomed immediately. I got a personal tour of the workout space and a meeting with co-managers Annie Grindal and Joy Bragdon. It’s then that I learned the story of how this awesome little YMCA has grown to a full six-day schedule — year round — in a small community that values health and fitness.

I was instantly hooked. Read more

Good, healthy eats for Fall. Yum!

fall-foods-superfruit-400x400I absolutely LOVE Fall! Love it. It’s my all-time favorite season because it not only yields gorgeous leaves and great hiking and play- outside weather, but some fantastic locally grown food.

In fact, one of my favorite things about Fall is the fresh, healthy food — apples, squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, pears, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and more! Not to mention all of the fun and “healthy” recipe blogs making their way into cyberspace. Yum!

I try to eat seasonal, fresh and local when I can. And since I spend my time in both Minnesota and Maine, I get lots of amazing seafood and produce this time of year. This Fall, I’ve vowed to tackle some new healthy recipes.

So, today, in celebration of Fall, I’m sharing some of the new healthy and seasonal recipes that are on my go-to list. I invite you to share your favorite fall food recipes, here, too. The more the merrier! Read more

Hormones and weight loss. A formula for success?!

Women, I just learned something critical and want to share it. There is science and hope!

Photo shoot - Fall 2013

Photo shoot – Fall 2013

There are a few key sources I use as a go-to references for my ongoing transformation, and as a result, I’m always learning and evolving my thinking around total health and wellness. I’m grateful for that.

One of those key sources is Jade Teta and the Metabolic Effect. Metabolic Effect describes itself as a formula for optimal health, fitness and body transformation. It is similar in approach to the fat loss plan that I followed to lose  -200 lbs and nearly 50% of my body fat. And, it’s basic premise is how I’m continuing to keep the weight off.

The Metabolic Effect program is built around a basic hormonal protocol vs. calorie counting. So you’re burning stored fat and building muscle, not just dropping calories. It’s both science- and experience-based, plus it helps you learn about your unique body and needs. You can learn more about Metabolic Effect here.

Lately, I’ve been struggling with peri-menopausal issues. Me —  and most of my girlfriends my age. Just the other night, we were talking about the “joys” of peri-menopause and how we all noticing that our bodies are changing. The same diet and exercise approaches that we used when we were younger no longer work. The weight is settling right around the middle. Plus, to keep it interesting, we’re battling a host of other challenges — trouble sleeping, stress, mood swings, hot flashes and/or night sweats, and erratic periods. Fun stuff, both for us and the men in our lives! Read more

Sugar smarts

Great blog on 10 sneaky sugar sources that sabotage weight loss

prod_img-1135593I ate a piece of homemade chocolate peanut butter pie last week at a family event, and then craved sugar for days. Yep, that one piece of dessert almost instantly made it harder for me to avoid sugar/sweets, and I’m still struggling almost a week later.

I’ve learned — and finally admitted to myself — that I have a sugar addiction. This was not easy to believe/accept. But I did and it’s how I’ve maintained my -200 lb weight loss for more than 2.5 years. (I’ve written about some of the research that helped me understand this here and here.)

Whether you have a full-on sugar addiction or you’re just having trouble dropping those last few pounds, it’s important to know what processed sugar can do to your body, how to recognize it on food labels, and in what foods it’s hiding. Read more

The 2.5 mile Blue Hill loop

Morning cardio that’s good for the soul

my walking partnerMy preferred time to work out is first thing in the morning. And my preferred method of cardiovascular exercise is fast/power walking — preferably somewhere scenic.

I’ve learned that fasted-state cardio — a cardio workout before I eat breakfast — serves me best throughout the day. The added benefit is that I’m burning stored fat, while at the same time waking up mind, body and soul, and ensuring that I start the day “in my equation.”

These past three weeks, I’ve been blessed with the very best walking partner one could ask for — my Bud. And, the most scenic, soul- energizing route I could imagine in beautiful Blue Hill, Maine. Read more

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