Hey all.

I’m new to the world of blogging, well besides the MySpace or random LiveJournal post back in the day. I’m looking to use this site as a way to track my weight loss goals and accomplishments, as well as random fun facts and happenings about me in my daily life.

I wish I had found this site or thought of it when I started my lifestyle change back on September 1, but I’ll just have to play catch up.  I’ve had weight issues (that’s putting it mildly!) since I was a very young child. In my late teens and early twenties, I was very morbidly obese to the point I had gastric bypass surgery in 2001. I had amazing results and within two years I was down to the lowest weight I could ever remember being. I stayed at this weight for about 4 to 5 years, eating pretty much whatever I wanted without doing any exercise. It was wonderful! Unfortunately, my honeymoon phase ended when I discovered my new BFF, vodka. Drinking lots combined with my awful diet and lack of exercise (I have a desk job…) started slowly putting the pounds on. In 2006 and 2007, I noticed the tightness in my pants and would diet for a month or two and get back down to my comfy weight and everything was okay. (Note: My “comfy weight” is not what I want to be, by any means, it’s just what I had grown used to being for all those years.)  Then in 2008, the weight was back, plus a little more. After 3 months of “The Biggest Loser” game at work it was all gone plus an extra six pounds, making me at my NEW lowest weight. I was even wearing medium shirts and a lower pants size…I was in heaven.

That’s where I found myself in 2009. The weight I lost was back, this time with an extra 25 pounds. How did this happen? My new medium shirts were in the back of the closet, too tight to wear. My normal clothes were also too tight to wear. Jeans fitting? Not anymore. My work pants cut me in half. The culprit was me, along with my friends Little Debbie, Soft Batch, Krispie Kreme, and Cherry Vodka. It was August of 2009 and I was at my highest weight I’ve been since 2002, when I was shedding pounds so rapidly after my surgery. I was very much on the way to being my old weight. Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but a year or two more of the way I was going and it could have happened. I refused to buy new clothes and give up. I knew I had to change, yet again. Take eight.

On September 1, 2009, I changed my outlook. The weekends of drinking Fridays (and Saturdays too, usually) had to end. The excess eating out had to stop. I had to take control and get off the couch. The first week I lost eight pounds. I know my routine. I always lose big on the first week. Then the second week happened and I lost ONE HALF of a pound. Keep in mind I was more dedicated than ever, keeping a food journal and working out everyday. I was crushed and wanted to quit. Then I discovered www.caloriecount.about.com and found a new outlook. For years, when I dieted, I was counting fat grams…allowing myself between 28-35 a day. I had success each time but this site had a different view: to count calories. I figured I would give it a try. I started using the calorie counting tool, going by what the site said I could have each day based on my activity level, and the weight started to come off: slowly but surely.

This past Tuesday was my tenth week on my lifestyle change and I finally hit the twenty pound loss mark! I’m very proud to see the pounds gone. I will do a different entry with my weekly losses. As far as how I feel: My clothes still don’t fit right, but I’m looking at it this way: It took almost a year to put on the weight, it’s gonna take some time to get it back off. I’ve had some rough weeks where I had little to no loss (I had to go through a birthday celebration week *and* a Halloween party, both of which were major stumbling blocks!) but I’ve kept going. Like I’ve said, I’m looking at this as a lifestyle change and not a diet. Yes, I exercise and yes, I am counting calories. I write down everything I eat. At the same time, I’m not eating salads each day (mostly because I don’t like salad!) so I’m trying to find alternative ways to cut calories and measure portions so that I’m eating foods that satisfy me, yet stay in my caloric range so that when I do get back down to my “comfy weight”, I can stay there.

I have already learned so much in the past ten weeks. I read labels at the store on everything. It’s amazing how many calories I was taking in before. I used the calorie counting tool and would input random sample days from earlier this year and was shocked at the totals. No wonder I put on the pounds so fast.

I’m hoping this site can find me some buddies to help motivate each other. Please feel free to leave a comment or message me. I have a twitter account at http://twitter.com/craigversion2  I would love you to follow me. I’m seeing a new trend of people posting their food choices and tracking calories that way and am wanting to try it. I’ll follow you if you follow me! 🙂

In closing, my weight this past Tuesday was 214.1 pounds. My goal is to be 200 by New Year’s Day. The old me would think this was easy, because I’m used to losing weight so quickly, but this time around things are going more slowly. I don’t know why, but I’m still trying to find the right number of calories to eat to keep the scale moving. Sometimes I think I undereat, or maybe I don’t exercise long enough or hard enough. Our Biggest Loser game ends in two weeks at work, but I plan on going for at least, well…the rest of my life.  That sounds like a long time because it is. Unfortunately, weight issues is something I’m always going to have to deal with because of genetics and the fact that, quite frankly, I love to eat! I would love to one day be 175 pounds. The lowest I’ve been is 189 pounds, after last year’s successful BL game at work. I felt so great then…I hope I can feel that way again very soon. I’ve learned that setting up small, reachable goals really works for me.  Thanks for reading!