My Past Two Months & #Cinchspiration Update

I’d love to say my journey so far has been effortless, without a speed bump or detour, but  that’s not true. The very first few days I over thought the details of the program and watched EVERYTHING I ate, exercised too much, and I got incredibly weak.  I realized that I only ate 300 calories one day.  I had the meal bar, the shake, a sip of the tea, a snack bar and a very light salad.  300 calories!  No wonder I was exhausted and grumpy.  I realized that this was unhealthy so I added in more fruit and healthy snacks and ate a more sensible (and sometimes down right unhealthy) dinner.  Finding balance in all areas of life is a struggle for me and I’m sure it will be to the day I die.  I want to give everything 110% and time wise that’s not possible and not always a good idea.


Hospital pic



During my journey with Shaklee I also ended up in the hospital {not because of the program!!} and had to have my appendix removed.  Then it wasn’t anytime before my doctor thought I might have Crohn’s Disease and sent me for a colonoscopy.  The tests came back negative, by the way!  You think I would have lost weight with these but nope, I gained 6 pounds after my colonoscopy.  That was discouraging but I was sure it was just fluid from the IVs they were pumping me with.


Reviewer's Retreat


Four days after my appendectomy I attended the Reviewer’s Retreat which was amazing!  I MUST take the time and write out the details and share more pictures.  It was a great conference and it was so nice to meet “online friends” in person!  In the picture you may recognize Becky from, Jaime from and Laura from  It was fun to be able to talk to bloggers who started about the same time as me and I’ve been reading ever since.  I also had the privilege of meeting Ted Rubin, who is a social media/marketing genius!  Anyway, stay tuned for more details later.

First Birthday


Fast forward a few weeks and I have a little girl’s 1 year birthday party to plan.  {Pictures and all the details will be coming soon, I promise!!} My good friend also asked me to make a birthday cake for her sister for the day before my little girl’s party. Chaos!  Then I had a VBS backdrop to paint and supplies to buy and volunteers to gather.  Not to mention, a lesson to learn, props to buy, and a classroom to decorate.  Somewhere in there my 14 year old cousin came down to stay with us for the week.  I’ll have to post pictures of that week too!  We had so much fun shopping, baking, and crafting.  During this time of chaos we never stopped inviting people over for dinner, accepting invitations out, and I never stopped sitting with the sweetest lady who has Alzheimer a few nights a week.  Let’s see…I’m a little scatterbrained at the moment and I’m sure I’m forgetting 5 or 6 other things.  Sufficient to say, life. has. been. hectic.  The Cinch program was nice because I could quickly eat without giving thought to what I’m going to eat or taking time to slow down and prepare a meal.  I’ll admit that sometimes I didn’t take time to get the blender out and make the shake so I would eat a half peanut butter sandwich, fruit, or even the snack bar for a meal.  That’s better than skipping a meal like I would do before!


Birthday party



We also visited family up in WV to have another birthday party for our baby girl.  That was foiled by a power outage due to the crazy storms that were going on.  It was in the 90’s!!  We were staying at our in-laws the night before the big party and we were actually celebrating the birthday of our niece.  My husband and I ran out quickly to the grocery store to pick up some baby food.  On our way out of the grocery parking lot the storm came.  It felt like we were in a movie {Twister to be exact}!  A HUGE tree fell right in front of us on our way home so we backed up, turned around and tried an alternate route home but there was a tree blocking the road, then we tried another, and another.  We tried a total of six different ways home before we found one that was clear!  It’s a good thing my husband grew up there and knew his way around.  If I was by myself I probably would have sat in the grocery store parking lot and cried.  Everyone was safe and we ended up having a pretty fun party in the dark.  {Notice the picture above.}  We normally slept upstairs at their house but without air conditioning it was just too hot.  The men set up a pretty amazing bed for her downstairs with a table blocking one side of the mattress, the couch the other, etc. but she didn’t like it one bit.  She cried, fussed, and then just laid there whimpering.  I sat outside the door a nervous wreck not having a good solution.  I made my way to the couch and tried to sleep there but I wasn’t too successful.  After a few hours and what had seemed like an eternity later, my husband suggested that we go upstairs to sleep, thinking that maybe it had cooled off enough with the nighttime breeze.  We went up and checked it out and sure enough, it was tolerable.  As soon as we confirmed the next day that we had power down here in NC we made a beeline home.


Grandmother's Memorial Service Rainbow


Boy, this part is hard to write.  Earlier this month my grandmother went home to be with her Lord.  I know it’s a fact but it still doesn’t seem real.  My husband and I drove up to Cleveland Clinic after we dropped our sweet girl and dog off at my in-laws.  The rest of my family were there waiting for us before they took her off the ventilator.  As we were pulling in the garage ready to meet my dad in the lobby we got a call from him saying that she was fading quickly and he was headed up stairs.  This girl ran and ran and quickly found out just how out of shape she was!  Thankfully, thankfully, I was able to spend time with her and say goodbye.  She even opened her eyes to look at me once!!  Helping my family with the obituary and memorial service details we stayed in town a few more days.  It. was. tough.  I was an emotional wreck.  Even though I ate a few of the snack bars that I brought with me I didn’t hesitate to get ice cream every chance I got.  Ice cream is my go-to comfort food.  Oh and on the way home from the funeral, near the beginning of our 4.5 hour drive, our air conditioner went out!  You can bet I got ice cream at every gas station we stopped at.  {The picture above is of a lovely rainbow that was outside the church after my grandmother’s memorial service. It was perfect!}


Best Friend's Wedding


The next weekend I was on the road again to travel to go to my best friend’s wedding.  It was such a joy to meet up with some of my closest friends from college!  That was all fun and I didn’t encounter any problems going, there, or coming back!!!


Now that I’m back home with a relatively calm schedule I’ve been doing pretty good.  I haven’t been exercising like a maniac or anything but I’ve been going for a morning walk/speed walk with my little girl and dog several days out of the week.  I’m probably not the poster child for this program but I want to give you information about Cinch from a real person’s perspective.  Real people don’t stick to every detail of the plan every day.  We don’t, right?  Life happens.  We don’t go to the gym for a few hours every day.  Nobody else does this, do they?  I think the great thing about Cinch is that you can make it fit your life and not the other way around.  It’s not a dictator of your life but it’s a tool to help you lose unwanted inches.


If you’ve read this far you deserve an applause!  Thank you for caring and reading about my story.  Please, if you’re reading this leave me a comment.  It’s unbelievably encouraging to get feedback from you!  After you leave a comment : ), feel free to check out my video on #Cinchspiration Update on YouTube or view it below.

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About Ashley

Ashley is very happily married and the mother to a beautiful little girl, and she is the main voice behind Embracing Beauty.


  1. Brett Martin says

    holy moly what a summer you have had, girl! i think its pretty fantastic you have tried to stick with it with all that has gone on.

    i’m sorry about your gram, but it warmed my heart you got to see her before she passed on. i hope your fall is um…boring. and without power outages.

  2. Dawn Kropp says

    What a busy lady you have been!! I can’t wait to see more pictures 🙂 I enjoyed reading this post about your summer and your cinchspiration journey!

  3. Beeb Ashcroft says

    Oh sweetheart! I’m so sorry for your loss. I really can relate to many of the things you said. Between the loss of loved ones and absolutely chaotic work schedule, my life has mimicked similar patterns in terms of how I eat. A 10 pound weight loss is fantastic! Good for you in addressing the root of the problem by changing how you take care of yourself. You’re doing great!

  4. Tammy Berbells says

    Good job on the weightloss girl! You have been busy. I have taken a week break from my system this week and a few pounds have crept back on. It is a lifestyle change! Good job girlie!

  5. Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says

    When dealing with a loss, I understand how you fell into the arms of ice cream, but I’m glad that over time you’ve found a balance that works for you. It’s not good to cut calories too low like that anyhow. And wasn’t Reviewer’s Retreat fun?

  6. Shell Fruscione says

    What a CRAZY couple of months! I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother, I know how hard that is. Two days ago was the four year anniversary of my grandmother’s passing and I still get the urge to pick up the phone & call her sometimes. <3

  7. The Rebel Chick Jenn says

    WOW you have had a crazy busy summer! I am so glad that you don’t have Chrons disease. Also, your baby is BEAUTIFUL!! I want to pinch her little cheeks!

  8. I am sorry about your grandmother. Today would have been my grandma’s 84th birthday. I miss her so much and it has been 14 years since we lost her. As for your journey, you have had a hectic summer it sounds like. However, you have lost 10lbs, you go girl! Congratulations!

  9. WOW you lost 20 inches!? that is amazing!! I should tell my mom about this program!! Good job mama!! Keep it up – and hopefully your busy busy BUSY life will slow down! 🙂

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