...then finally, about a year and a half ago, things seemed to fall into place for me, and I was able to push myself to get serious. With the help of the world's greatest personal trainer and friend, I changed my mindset, my approach to life and my whole way of living— all for the better. I set personal weight loss goals for myself. I kept a daily journal of everything I ate. I even started my own daily blog, where I could track my meals, the exercises I was doing and my weight loss week by week. Most importantly, it gave me a place to express myself and talk about everything I was going through. All in all, it was a huge success and I ended up losing close to 120 pounds. That's part of the grand total of approximately 180 pounds from back when Meghan was first born. I really feel like I learned a lot throughout the whole experience too. As my trainer told me on our very first day together, I learned that anyone can change him or herself with a little dedication and a lot of hard work. I learned that when you think you have reached your limit you actually can dig down and find just a little more. I learned that I still possessed the ability to surprise myself, even at nearly 40 years old. I learned that with creativity, you can always find time for a workout, no matter how busy your day seems.

I also learned that even after learning all of these life lessons, spending all of the hours in the gym, eating all of the healthier foods and enduring everything I went through in general that I am still human like everyone else. What I mean by that is that no matter how much work I have done or how much more knowledge I have nowadays, I am still going to go through rough patches. My original goal was to get under the 200-pound mark by my 40th birthday. I think the last time I saw the number “1” in front of my weight on a scale I was around 11 or 12 years old. It's scary to say. Embarrassing but true too. So getting down to 199 is a big deal to me. A few days before the big 4-0, I weighed in at 218.2 pounds. This morning, a few weeks after my 40th birthday, I am back up to 225 pounds. That is what happens when you stop being careful for a little while. Well it's what happens to me anyway. And it happens fast. I am sure there are many people out there who can relate. For me, that is a signal that it is time to get back to basics.

That is partially where this blog comes in. As much as I hope people enjoy reading it, I also hope that it becomes an important tool for me to maintain my health. Over the next few months, I plan to update it the blog daily. I will limit myself to no more than 2,000 calories a day, which I have been told is all the body needs for someone of my stature and fitness level, keep a daily log of everything I am eating and get in some form of exercise every day. And of course, I will be sharing all of my experiences with anyone who might be reading.

It is crucial for me to get to a healthy place. I'm doing this not just for me, but so I can give Meghan a role model she can be proud of and do everything I can to make sure she doesn't have to struggle with the same issues growing up that I did. Thank you for checking in with me. I am excited about the journey I am going to embark on over the coming days, weeks and months. I wouldn't mind trying a few new things along the way to get me to my goals too. Let me know if you have suggestions. Hopefully you'll decide to come along for the ride.

Starting Weight - 225 pounds

Goal Weight - 199 pounds

Projected Date to Hit Goal Weight - September 19th, 2011