Cinchspiration

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post about my weight loss, so I wanted to publish a quick update. The Shaklee 180 program in which I was participating is officially over and a new blogger program has started, but that doesn’t mean I’ve quit or reversed course. The opposite is true, in fact.

By the end of the 6-month program, I had lost a total of 44 lbs. — an average of a little less than 8 pounds every single month. Today, a little more than 8 months in, I have reached 53 lbs. lost! What does that look like? Here you go:

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After losing a little more than 7 lbs. a month while on the program, my weight loss admittedly slowed down for a couple of reasons:

1. Like a lot of people, I was kind of bad about my eating over the holidays and I was lazy about exercising, and it took a while for me to get back on track. I fluctuated in a 2 lb. range for most of January and it was tough to get off that plateau.

2. As my weight has decreased, I’ve also had to decrease my calorie intake so I can continue to lose, and it took some tweaking for me to get it right. At my current calorie level, I should lose 1-1.5 lbs. per week, where I was aiming for 2 lbs. a week while on the program.

3. I’m happy with my current size. Really. All I really want to do now is tone everything up and convert any remaining fat to muscle, particularly around my belly, back and arms. So I need to start doing less cardio and more strength training. But cardio is FUN for me (Zumba, anyone?) and strength training, for the most part, is not. Boo.

Anywho, here are my current measurements:

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And a before-and-after shot for comparison:

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I’m incredibly happy with my progress and the complete change in my eating habits. I drink water 99% of the time, so much that my husband actually encourages me to “treat myself sometimes” with juice or a smoothie. When I want a snack, I reach for fruit, and cinnamon Cheerios are my idea of a “treat”. And even better, if I had to eat like this for the rest of my life, I’d be perfectly OK with that. I’ve come to regard sweets like cupcakes, cookies and ice cream as very occasional treats rather than staples of my diet. And that change NEEDED to happen.

So I’ll keep going and I’ll let you know how I’m doing, because sharing keeps me motivated :)

In June 2012, my life changed. I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I started using Shaklee 180 products, that’s what happened. Now, more than 7 months later, I am 49 pounds lighter, 24 inches smaller, and I’m a winner!

You read that right! I was declared the overall winner of the first Shaklee 180 blogger program! I am still in awe, because all the ladies who remained in the program did such an amazing job, and we all supported each other throughout the journey. We all deserved to win, and I’m genuinely thankful for the life-changing opportunity to finally do something I’d convinced myself I’d never be able to do.

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I plan to continue using Shaklee 180 products to lose an additional 30 lbs. or so. Honestly though, I’m not aiming for a “goal weight” so much as how I feel about myself and my health. Right now, I feel absolutely amazing, but I know I could stand to lose some more to reduce health risk down the road, so that’s what I’m trying to do.

On that note, bloggers, you have a chance to participate in the new Shaklee 180™ blogger program to reach your inch, weight and health goals!

shaklee180-bloggerprogramShaklee is looking for 90 new bloggers to take the Shaklee 180™ Healthy Blogger challenge for 6 months. Like the first program, you’ll receive 6 months worth of products to help you take back your health. And if you throw yourself into it like I did, you could win some awesome prizes:

  • The grand prize includes a $2,500 Visa Card, an all-expense paid trip for you and a friend for a weekend trip away, including airfare and travel to Lake Austin Spa and Resort rated as the #1 spa destination in North America, according to Conde’ Nast Traveler Magazine,for a 3 night stay that includes meals, fitness classes, activities, make-over and full-photo shoot for the winner
  • An opportunity to be chosen for a Shaklee 180™ video promotion and a trip to Shaklee HQ in California.
  • For selected bloggers who participate monthly incentives, including paid Facebook advertising for your blog, workout gear, shoes, equipment, and more.

Seriously, it is more than worth it to fill out an application and try. I never thought I’d be selected, but I was. I never thought I was really ready to lose the weight I’d be wanting to lose for years,  but I was. I never thought I would win, but I did. And now you have a chance to do the same. In fact, all of the ladies who participated the first time are eligible to apply again, and I’m seriously considering doing just that. I LOVED having the support of so many other bloggers who shared a common goal, and I’d love to do it again!

So if you’re a blogger with a few — or a lot — of extra pounds to lose,  learn about Shaklee 180, then go ahead and fill out the Shaklee 180™ Healthy Blogger application. You have nothing to lose but the weight.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by the Shaklee Corporation. I have been compensated but my opinions are my own. Results and experiences from the Shaklee 180 Program are unique for each person, so results may vary. People following the weight loss portion of the Shaklee 180 program can expect to lose 1-2 pounds a week.

Six months ago, I started my weight loss journey with Cinchspiration with high hopes, but not really sure if I could believe the hype. Six months later, I feel like a new person inside and out, 45 pounds lighter, but more importantly, with a much stronger spirit and self-confidence through the roof! Take a look at my video update for more:

And just because I always share, here are my official final measurements, happily, a pound less than I weighed 10 days ago:

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I started at a snug size 20/22, and I’m now between a 14 and a 16 (14 fits, but not with as much room as I’d like, and 16 is a little too big). Still though, I have clothes in my closet in size 12 and 10 that I’ve bought recently as motivation to keep going. And I’ll get there. I have to. Because there’s no going back!

I’m hoping to be chosen as next year’s Cinch Blogger Spokesperson, ready to step in and motivate a new group of women to push themselves past the challenges and their self-imposed limitations, so wish me luck!

Disclosure: I was chosen by Shaklee to be a #Cinchspiration blogger. As a result, I received a 6-month supply of Cinch products along with online support and incentives as I documented my journey. This is my final post for the  program. As usual, all opinions are authentic and mine. Results and experiences are unique for each person, so results may vary. People following the weight loss portion of Shaklee 180 can expect to lose 1-2 pounds a week.

Life sucks when you’ve given up. But I thought I’d be addicted to sugar and fast food for the rest of my life, and I’d resolved myself to being obese. I thought I just didn’t have the energy to eat healthier foods or exercise regularly. So I decided that I’d wrap my body, 80 pounds overweight, in clothes that made me feel good and that I’d learn to love myself just as I was.

But then something amazing happened. I threw my name in the hat for a chance to be one of 50 bloggers who’d get to use the Shaklee 180 program for 6 months. And I was selected. And 6 months later, everything is different. See for yourself:

Please forgive the fact that these after pics are so pixellated. Unfortunately, today is a dark, gloomy day, so the room was a lot darker than usual. But there’s another special photo I can’t wait to share:

You read that right. I’ve lost a total of 44 pounds on the Shaklee 180 program in a little less than 6 months! If you want to know how I did it, feel free to scroll through all my Cinchspiration posts to see the transformation. My goal for the 6-month period was 40 pounds, and I still have more than a week left before it’s officially over, so I’m pretty darn proud of myself! Here are my current measurements:

My inch loss is the same as last time, but I’m completely cool with that. I still feel like a million bucks, and then some! Not just because of the weight loss either. I feel like a completely different person on the outside, but more importantly, on the inside, too.

Six months ago, I was defeated. Today, I’m shopping for clothes in smaller sizes than I currently wear because I KNOW I’ll get there as long as I keep pushing. Six months ago, I skipped breakfast nearly every day, and when I did eat, I typically ate crap loaded with sugar, simple carbs, fat and failure. Today, I’ll pass on cookies to have an apple instead, drink water instead of calorie-loaded juice, and I couldn’t eat a huge plate of food if I tried.

I’ve learned to control my portions and make better choices, even when I’m busy and have to grab food on the run. The Shaklee 180 smoothees and meal bars are convenient, but the thing about the plan that helped me more than anything else was having to choose my own, healthy, dinner. After doing that for the first few months and waiting for my body to get used to the reduced calorie intake, I learned which foods to choose, so that even on days when I’m away from home and not able to grab a Cinch meal, I can still choose healthier options.

I’ve learned that I can make dishes at home that not only taste better than the restaurant version, but that are lower in calories, sugar and fat, too. I’ve learned that I don’t have to starve or deprive myself to lose weight, and I’ve finally. Finally! Learned the meaning of the word “moderation.”

I’ve broken habits that I’ve complained about on this blog since I started it in 2009. And I have Shaklee, team leader Sommer Poquette and the 49 other ladies who began this journey, and the 30+ who have completed it. I especially want to thank women like Maribel, Brooke, Maggie, Mandee and a couple of others who were particularly supportive and always trying to motivate all of us to do our best. They’ve all taught me how to push people to their limits without making them hate you, and I’ve been able to do the same for friends — online and in real life — who have seen my transformation and asked what I’m doing and how they can do it too.

I’m sincerely emotional, because in addition to the new friendships, this program has helped me fully rediscover some things that I thought had been lost to me forever: Self-love and confidence.

So though I still have nearly 40 pounds more to lose before I reach my goal weight and a healthier BMI, I still feel like a winner. I went from a woman who almost never allowed anyone to take full body photos (the one shown above is one of only a handful) to one who proudly, excitedly posts outfit of the day photos each week. In a few short months, I have transformed from a woman who was faking confidence to one who actually is confident.

I’d say I’ve done pretty well, and I’m more proud of myself about this than I’ve been about anything in a long, long time. Shaklee 180, thank you. My 30th birthday is in four days (gasp!), and my health is the best birthday present I could ever receive. This program gets my unequivocal stamp of approval.

Disclosure: I was chosen by Shaklee to be a #Cinchspiration blogger. As a result, I have received a 6-month supply of Shaklee 180 products along with online support and incentives as I document my journey. As usual, all opinions are authentic and mine. Results and experiences are unique for each person, so results may vary. People following the weight loss portion of Shaklee 180 can expect to lose 1-2 pounds a week.

I am in my absolute glee this week, not because the holidays are coming (though I am looking forward to some family time), but because I’ve reached 2 major milestones in my Shaklee 180 weight loss journey!

Check them out in my video update:

I feel like a few million bucks right now! I started this journey just hoping that, for once, I’d be able to stick with a weight loss program. That I’d actually be able to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Well, I feel like I’m well on my way. Here are my measurements this week:

This is just the beginning! Even when my 6-month stint with Shaklee 180 is over, I’m going to continue working to reach my goal weight and optimal health, so I feel like I’ve won already.

Disclosure: I was chosen by Shaklee to be a #Cinchspiration blogger. As a result, I have received a 6-month supply of Cinch products along with online support and incentives as I document my journey. As usual, all opinions are authentic and mine. Results and experiences are unique for each person, so results may vary. People following the weight loss portion of Shaklee 180 can expect to lose 1-2 pounds a week.

For most people, my headline would be a bad thing. Because who wants to weigh 200 pounds, right? Well, for me, 200 pounds would be awesome, because that’s a number I haven’t seen since before I had my daughter 7 years ago. And that’s a really tough thing to admit.

The scale has been inching down a lot more slowly in the last month that it had been when I first started Shaklee 180, and I think that’s probably to be expected. The shock to my system when I went from eating crap all the time to eating much healthier foods and from being basically sedentary to exercising for 45-90 minutes 4-5 days a week was bound to make me some lose some weight in a hurry at first.

Now, I’m just trying to keep the loss going, and I’m pretty pleased with how I’ve managed to do that thus far. Without further adieu, my progress pics:

You’ll notice I’m wearing different pants this time. No big conspiracy. I just couldn’t find the longer black leggings :)

Here are my current measurements:

I also have some great news. I’ve gotten my hubby on the healthy living bandwagon with me! Though he doesn’t have much weight to lose at all, he wants to get back into the excellent shape he was in when he was in the military.  He’s been tracking his calorie intake, exercising daily and overall making better, healthier choices. All of this makes me want to do better, so we’re motivating each other. I love it! So hopefully when I return next month with my “final” Shaklee 180 photos (though I plan to keep you abreast of my weight loss even when I’m done with Shaklee 180), I’ll have a huge loss to report with a weight that starts with a 1 instead of a 2! I’m so close, I can feel it!

Disclosure: I was chosen by Shaklee to be a #Cinchspiration blogger. As a result, I have received a 6-month supply of Shaklee 180 products along with online support and incentives as I document my journey. As usual, all opinions are authentic and mine. Results and experiences are unique for each person, so results may vary. People following the weight loss portion of Shaklee 180 can expect to lose 1-2 pounds a week.

I know things have been quiet around here this week. Life has gotten crazy busy all of a sudden, but I wanted to share how I’m doing on my Shaklee 180 journey to this point. Check out this video:

I also owe you some measurements. They haven’t moved nearly as much as I’d like, but progress is progress, right?

I also sucked it up and invested in a FitBit activity tracker. The FitBit is tiny and discreet, and it will track my steps, how many flights of stairs I climb (which will be interesting to see, since I live in a third-floor walkup), how many calories I burn throughout the day, and even how well I sleep. From what I’ve read, FitBit isn’t perfect, but it does a good job of letting wearers know how active they are overall, and I think having a way to track my activity level will really help me keep pushing to do better. I’m really hoping it works well. I’ll let you know once I get it. (aff)

Plus, when I went to a doctor’s appointment with my daughter this week after not having been there in about 2 months, the nurses — who all know my family really well — were all gushing about how much weight I’d lost. When you have to look at yourself every day, the changes can seem really small and disappointing. But my encounter with the nurses reminded me of how far I’ve come and that I should be proud of that. I feel better about myself and my progress today than I have in a very long time!

I’m also watching all the other ladies who are participating in this Shaklee 180 challenge blossom into confident, self-assured women, and it is amazing to witness! They sincerely motivate me to continue even on days when I just don’t feel like it, or when I feel like eating lots of pizza or cake. I’ve said this before, but ladies, thank you for being so awesome!

Disclosure: I was chosen by Shaklee to be a #Cinchspiration blogger. As a result, I have received a 6-month supply of Shaklee 180 products along with online support and incentives as I document my journey. As usual, all opinions are authentic and mine. Results and experiences are unique for each person, so results may vary. People following the weight loss portion of Shaklee 180 can expect to lose 1-2 pounds a week.

This week, I genuinely feel like a million bucks. In spite of the fact that I have failed to exercise as much as I should, it looks like sticking strictly within my daily calorie limits is paying off, because I’ve reached a milestone. As of today, I have a lost more than 30 lbs! I know I usually don’t share how much I’ve lost until later in my update, but I’m too excited about this one to hold it in.

I’m not going to lie though. I hasn’t been easy. Now that school is back in session and as a family we have so much to do, there are a lot of nights when we eat takeout. And there are a lot of mornings when I don’t feel like drinking a shake. The peanut butter chocolate chip bars are still my favorites though :)

However, I’ve been trucking along, pushing myself to eat when I don’t feel like it, and keeping my calories within my set limits, and reminding myself of where I want to be at the end of all this. Because that’s the point right? To wind up in a better place than where I began?

So far, I’d say I’m doing a pretty good job of that. So I’m going to pat myself on the back for a bit, then get back on the horse, better and stronger than before. And work out. A lot. Because I’ve still got some problem areas to work on and quite a bit more weight to lose.

So here’s where I am, in picture form:

And my measurements:

I’m getting there, one pound and inch at a time.

Disclosure: I was chosen by Shaklee to be a #Cinchspiration blogger. As a result, I will receive a 6-month supply of Shaklee 180 products along with online support and incentives as I document my journey. As usual, all opinions are authentic and mine. Results and experiences are unique for each person, so results may vary. People following the weight loss portion of Shaklee 180 can expect to lose 1-2 pounds a week.