Cinchspiration

It’s hard to believe that I got started on the Shaklee 180 program more than 3 months ago! The time has come and gone so quickly, and I’m happy to say that I’m still losing pounds and inches. Of course, like any journey toward better health, it has not been without its hurdles. Check out this video about where I am today:

What are you doing to get healthier? Are you on a weight loss journey as well? Have you incorporated more fruit and veggies in your diet or more exercise in your routine? Share your tips for healthy living in the comments below!

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.

Remember a few weeks ago, when I talked about how easy it was to stick the Shaklee 180 program because the shakes and meal bars were so quick and simple? Well, apparently, I got a little too comfortable with this routine. So comfortable, in fact, that I screwed it up. In the two weeks since my last weight loss update, I hadn’t been doing my best.

  • I got busy and let my eating schedule go completely out of whack, skipping meals a couple of times
  • In subsequent days, I was so ravenously hungry that I ate a lot of crap I shouldn’t have (ie. french fries, tortilla chips, etc.)
  • I wasn’t drinking nearly enough water, and I became dehydrated
  • Of course, all of this left me not wanting to exercise, so I didn’t

The combination of these things left me feeling completely out of sorts, cranky and just generally crappy. Some days, even getting out of bed was a challenge. It’s amazing how quickly your body adapts to drinking water and healthier eating. As soon as I fell back into old habits, my body revolted.

The good news? I figured out what I was doing wrong and I’m back on the horse. I’m now eating regularly and drinking as much water as I can stand. I have started exercising again, and I feel so good afterward that its hard to remember why I stopped. And these photos gave me a new dose of inspiration:

This is the first set of before and afters that really made me say “Whoa!” The difference is really, really starting to show. Even my afro is smaller! Lol! These images reminded me of how far I’ve come and how far I still have left to go, and I can’t wait to reach my goal!

Though I messed up the last couple of weeks, they weren’t a complete disaster. I still managed to lose a little. Here are my current measurements:

The pounds and inches are slowly melting away, and now that I’m back on track, I feel amazing again. If nothing else, this little episode was a stark reminder of what not to do. Simply put, I have to do the work to get the results I want. And what I want is to be my best, healthiest self, without losing my curves πŸ™‚

I know I can do it, and I will be forever grateful to Shaklee for the opportunity to prove it to myself.

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.

I have tried a lot of things to lose weight over the years. Honestly, I’d never been able to stick with anything for longer than a few weeks. Apparently my flakiness was obvious, because my husband actually congratulated me over the weekend. When I asked what for, he said “for sticking with Shaklee 180 and losing so much weight.”

I was flattered, but also intrigued. I’ve completed 10 weeks of the program and I’m now in week 11. What is so different about Shaklee 180 that I was able to stick with it when I had failed so many times before? Well, the first factor, in my opinion, is that I have to think so little about breakfast and lunch. The shakes and meal bars are easy, so I rarely skip meals like I used to before β€” mostly out of laziness or just getting so busy that I’d not even think to eat.

But the most important factor, I believe, is the 40+ other women who are taking this journey with me. Honestly, it has been a real gift to be able to do this with others who understand precisely the challenges of trying to lose weight, and with whom you can celebrate the victories.

We’ve even been challenging each other to daily workouts so we can stay motivated:

It’s awesome to have such a fun, good-natured system of accountability. Knowing everyone else is working out makes me want to work out too.

Because of this shared experience, though I only knew of maybe one or two of these ladies before we started, I now feel like they some of them are my sisters in spirit — here’s looking at you Maribel πŸ™‚ Having that built-in support system this time has made a ton of difference. So if you’re struggling to lose weight, ask a friend or significant other to join you. You’ll be able build each other up, encourage each other on “off” days, and remind each other that the world won’t end if you slip up sometimes. If you don’t have anyone to do this with, try to find a group of people in your area with the same goals. Maybe go to a Zumba class and make some friends.

It’s really worth it to have others to cheer you on.

Now for this week’s weigh in:

Though I was 2 lbs. shy of my goal after week 8, I somehow managed to lose 6 pounds in two weeks to reach my 10-week goal of 20 total pounds! I’m literally giddy about that!

So here’s to 14 more weeks of success! My 6 month goal is actually 40 lbs, but since I’m already halfway there, I’m going to go all out and hope for 48, which means I need to lose 2 lbs. a week the rest of the way! I can do it!

Giveaway on deck!

Want to join me on this journey to better health? Well, I’m giving away a 2-week Shaklee 180 starter kit, so head on over and enter! You can get up to 5 chances to win, so don’t miss it! You have until Sept. 3 to enter!

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.

If you read last week’s Cinchspiration update, you know that I’ve been doing pretty well, and I’d lost a total of 14 lbs. in 8 weeks. Well, I have good news! I’ve lost more weight since then! Check out my video update to learn how much:

And as you heard in the video, the great folks at Shaklee have a great offer for all of you. I’m giving away a Cinch starter kit !

The starter kit is a two-week supply with a retail value of $228, and it includes:

  • Vanilla shake mix canister (15 servings)
  • Assorted Cinch shake packets (14 packets)
  • 3-in-1 boostβ„’(42 count)
  • Assortment pack snack bars (10 count)
  • Energy tea mix (28 sticks)
  • Daily journals (2)
  • Cinch program guide
  • Cinch logo shaker cup
  • Cinch pedometer
  • Cinch tape measure

I need one of those pedometers myself!

Seriously though, if you’ve been looking for a way to lose weight and inches, but don’t know where to begin, you’ll want to enter. I was there 9 weeks ago. If it weren’t for Cinch, I can almost guarantee you I would be eating the same crappy way I had been for years. And even though I’d learned to love myself theΒ  This was the push I needed to start moving in the right direction. And now, instead of craving sugar and stuff that’s not good for me, I crave seeing the scale go down β€” not because I took a shortcut β€” but because I worked hard to get there. It’s an incredibly satisfying feeling.

Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. If you’re reading this via email, you’ll need to visit the site to see the Rafflecopter widget. Just follow the instructions and get you some Cinch!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was chosen by Shaklee to be a #Cinchspiration blogger. As a result, I will receive 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.

I am just starting the ninth week of the Shaklee 180 program, and I’d be a liar if I said it was always easy. It’s not. But then again, few things worth doing are easy all the time, right?

The week of my daughter’s birthday, I failed. I promised in my last post that I would have only one cupcake on my daughter’s birthday. I did pretty well there. We didn’t buy cupcakes, but rather a 1/4 sheet cake, and I had only one small piece. No problem there. However, my husband promised my daughter that we’d take her out to dinner for her birthday. Her choice? Red Lobster. Oh, boy.

My main meal choice was pretty decent: Salmon, steamed broccoli and rice pilaf. And I didn’t even eat the rice.

The problem was the other stuff. We have a saying in the Virgin Islands: “My eyes were bigger than my stomach.” I had one cheddar bay biscuit, which wasn’t terrible by itself, but I followed it with a side of shrimp scampi and a super sweet virgin daiquiri that had to contain at least 400 calories by itself. I couldn’t even drink the whole thing because it was so sweet! It was at that moment that I realized how much my palate has changed in these 8 weeks. In years past, there was no such thing as “too sweet.”

Even though I stopped short of eating everything in front of me, for the first time since I started Shaklee 180, I went over my calorie count. And not by a few. It was more like 200-300 calories over. I beat myself up for a minute, but then my fellow Shaklee 180 blogger buddies reminded me that every day is a new day and we all mess up sometimes.

I picked myself up. I thought. But then the rest of that week got away from me. I kept rationalizing that I could eat cake (we still had a lot left) if I only ate one small piece a day and stayed inside my calorie count. No biggie right? Maybe, but we also had takeout for dinner one night and pizza another. And the day we had pizza, my meal schedule was all out of whack.

The good news? I didn’t gain any weight. The bad news? I didn’t lose any either. For a whole week and a half. So while staying within my calorie allotment for those remaining days helped me at least stay stagnant, obviously, the crappy calories I was eating weren’t helpful. Drinking the shakes and eating the meal bars weren’t the problem, but my other choices were.

But last week, I got back on the saddle, and I did better and ate healthier. And what do you know? As of this morning, I’d lost another 2.5 lbs! So here’s this month’s before and after pics, along with my weigh in and measurements:

Can you see the difference? I can, finally!


I’ve lost a total of 14 lbs. and 14 inches. Woo hoo! I was hoping for 16 pounds by this point, but you know what? I’ll take it!

And even better, I went shopping with my family this weekend. I bought a pair of size 16 skinny jeans thinking they’d be my goal pants. But lo and behold, I took them home and they actually fit! They’re a tiny bit snug, but still, they fit! I haven’t worn a size 16 in years!


So that’s my cinchspiration this month. Those jeans. I’ve gotta beat them and get in a size 14 πŸ™‚ So I’m going to push even harder this time to meet my goal of 24 pounds in 12 weeks. Either way, my goal for the 6 months of the program is 40 pounds lost. We’re 1/3 of the way there, and I’ve lost 14, so I’m actually on track to lose a little more than that. Let’s hope it stays that way!

My girl Akilah of Execumama posted something today that really resonated with me. She reminded all of us to dream small sometimes. When the big goal (in my case, 80 lbs.) seems insurmountable, focus on a smaller goal. Eat ONE healthy meal. Aim for ONE workout. She also reminded me that I was already practicing this technique, even without realizing it. I swear, that woman lives in my head sometimes! Check out her ridiculously empowering words.

So instead of beating myself up about the things I didn’t accomplish this month, I’ll be happy about the things I did, and look forward to next month.

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.

I’m in my seventh week of following the Shaklee 180 weight loss program, and I’m feeling pretty good. The pounds are going away, slowly, but surely, and I’m feeling more confident in myself than I have in a long time. Need proof? I felt like a rock star for my anniversary when I spent a night out with my hubby:

I have to admit, though, there is one thing in particular that I’m struggling with.

I’ve fallen back into my old habit of not eating in the morning β€” at least not for several hours. I generally wake up about 7:30 or 8 a.m. to feed my dog and take him outside. Given that I live on the third floor of my apartment building, this generally means that I’m wide awake by the time I get back upstairs. In other words, this would be the perfect time to eat breakfast. But do I? Sadly, rarely. Instead, I start doing other stuff and it’s sometime between 9:30 and 11 when I finally get around to “breakfast.” Not good. I’ve read that we should eat within an hour of waking up, and no more than 12 hours after eating the night before to jump-start our metabolism for the day. So I’m failing miserably in that regard.

I also tend to eat dinner pretty late because I like to work out in the evening rather than the morning. I’m working on design and blogging projects until about 5 or 6 p.m., so after I work out for an hour and cook dinner, it’s often after 8 p.m., or sometimes even 9, by the time I eat. Again, not good. To compensate, I try to stay up a bit later so I’m not going to bed immediately after eating. Which just perpetuates the cycle of eating late in the morning instead of immediately upon waking up.

Over the next several weeks, I really need to set, and stick to, an eating schedule. I’ve been doing really well about staying within my daily calorie goal, but I know that eating at regular intervals will help my body lose faster.

To be fair though, in all this, I’ve still managed to lose some weight πŸ™‚ Here are my current weight and measurements for your viewing pleasure:

At the end of the 6-week mark, I had lost a total of 11.5 lbs., which put me just a half-pound shy of my 12-pound goal for that period. I’m feeling pretty good about that! I’m still determined to lose 16 lbs. by the end of 8 weeks, so I’m really going to have to work on that eating schedule. And that 11.75-inch total loss? Icing on the cake!

Speaking of cake, tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday. She wants cake, of course. I’ve been really good about avoiding the sweets I used to binge on, like chocolate chip cookies, ice cream and cupcakes. So having cake β€” cupcakes, at that β€” paraded in front of me will be a challenge. However, the one thing I’ve learned throughout this journey is that I can really eat pretty much anything in moderation. What’s hilarious about that realization is that it makes me want to make healthier choices. I thought for sure that the idea of “eating anything I want” would make me want to indulge in a little bit of everything (including junk food, fast food and the like). But why eat a 500+ calorie hamburger from McDonald’s when I can make a 200-calorie turkey sandwich at home and know exactly what’s in it? Why eat ice cream when I can make a thick, fruity shake that I’m actually supposed to have? Right?

But I’ve decided that for of my daughter’s birthday, I’ve decided to indulge this once. I will eat one cupcake. ONE. Not 2-3 like I normally might have. And I will work out that day, even if I don’t feel like it. And I will stay under my calorie goal for the day. Period.

And if I’m lucky, and I work out the kinks in my routine, I hope to be down 14 pounds total come next Wednesday. Cross your fingers and wish me luck!

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.

As promised, I’m back again this week to let you know how I’ve been doing on my journey to a healthier, happier me. It’s been four weeks since I started using the Shaklee 180 weight loss program, and I’m doing pretty well. There are days when I’m sick of shakes and meal bars, and there are days when I’m thankful for the convenience of not having to think about breakfast and lunch too much. There are days when I wake up planning how I’ll exercise for the day, and there are other days when I wish I didn’t have to exercise at all. Which is probably true for anyone else who is trying to lose weight.

Speaking of exercise, before I show you my measurements for the week, I want to share this painfully embarrassing video of me dancing exercising. I’ll look away so you can watch:

Honestly though, the only way I’ll force myself to exercise is if I make it fun. It doesn’t hurt that dancing β€” vigorous dancing, anyway β€” burns a ton of calories. I move with the music and forget that I’m working out, and that’s the best kind of workout there is.

I also want to share a couple of before & after pics and my measurements:

No Earth-shattering changes yet, but I’m making progress.Β  I’ve lost 6.5 pounds and 9 inches so far (1 pound & 1 inch of that since last week).Β  I’m honestly very proud of myself for sticking with it for a whole month, and I really can’t wait see to the comparison photos at the end of month 6!

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.

It’s been three weeks since I started my Shaklee 180 weight loss journey, and I just wanted to let you all know how it’s been going. My plan is to check in with my weight and measurements every 2 weeks, but I’ve been so busy, I just haven’t had time to check in. Even though this one is late, I’ll still let you know how I’m doing at the 4-week mark next week.

What I’m Eating

The last time I wrote, I was getting ready to begin my journey. Now, I feel like an old pro. Each day, I replace breakfast and lunch with either a Shaklee 180 meal bar or shake. Some days I have two shakes. This was a huge challenge for me during the first week because of one simple fact: I hate milk. Hate may seem like a strong word, but for me, it’s not quite strong enough. This includes cow’s milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk β€” ANY milk. So why the heck did I sign up for a program that requires me to drink milk shakes, right? I was asking myself that very question the first day.

To be honest, when I first tried these protein rich shakes, all I could taste was chalk. The combination of hated milk β€” albeit light vanilla soy milk β€”Β and much more protein than I’m used to was a shock to my taste buds and my body. And while some of the meal and snack bars are awesome (peanut butter chocolate or chocolate decadence, anyone?), some of them initially had that chalkiness that I wasn’t happy with in the shakes.

But in spite of the fact that the taste made me balk, I persisted, telling myself that it would get better. And you know what? It did! I’ve learned to add a variety of fruit and even peanut butter to my shakes to boost the taste, and there are a couple of combinations that I really like:

Pina colada

Vanilla shake with light vanilla soy milk, fresh pineapple chunks, and frozen, shredded coconut OR 1 tbsp. cream of coconut.

Vanilla with frozen mixed berries

Seriously, once I found some good combinations, I started looking forward to the shakes. They’re crazy simple to make, so I really don’t have to think about what to have for lunch.

For dinner, we are tasked with preparing our own healthy meals. I’ve been doing pretty good, I think. Some of my meals:

Whole wheat penne pasta with sauteed garlic shrimp and grape tomatoes with a raw spinach salad.

Green leaf lettuce with roasted salmon, ONE small serving of yellow rice and steamed broccoli.

And you know what else? I’ve rarely craved sugar. And when I do, I can grab a sweet Shaklee 180 snack bar to satiate my sweet tooth. Have I cheated ever? Yes, but I didn’t go crazy. Instead of sitting in front of the TV late at night with a bag of sugar- and calorie-laden chocolate chip cookies, I opted to eat a single serving of Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies β€” 120 calories and 5g of sugar. Just enough to let me feel indulgent without stuffing myself. And I do this maybe once a week, and ONLY on days when I have calories to spare.

Bumps in the road

Speaking of calories, it took a while for me to find the right number. I started off eating just 1300 calories a day (net, after exercise). I quickly learned that this wasn’t enough. Instead of dropping pounds, my body went into starvation mode and held on to everything. But once I boosted my calorie intake to 1800 net, I started losing weight. Not terribly quickly, but I was losing nonetheless. The higher calorie count also meant that I had to spread my calories throughout the day. So I eat a little something with breakfast and lunch and eat healthy snacks in between, like nuts, fruit and the occasional handful of low-fat popcorn.

So where am I today? Here are my current stats:

5.5 lbs. and 8 inches lost! My goal for 3 weeks was 6 pounds, so I’m pretty close, and therefore, very proud of myself. Especially since I got off to a slow start with a much-too-low calorie count.

Here’s hoping that next week, when I check in, I’ll be reporting 8 pounds lost total. Cross your fingers and cheer me on! If nothing else, I FEEL different. I exercise for at least an hour almost pretty much every day, and I’ve found that I have more energy and I’m starting to actually look forward to the exercise. What?! Yep.

You see this face? That’s me, happy about where I’m going. I feel and see a change not just in my body, but in my outlook on health, and that’s better than I could’ve asked for.

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.