1 Year Blog Anniversary

365 days ago I started this blog.

I never intended on sharing my story with the world. I never intended on ever having a blog (in fact I didn’t even know what a blog was until last year).

I stumbled upon the fitblog world accidentally last January when I did a Google search for running. I was starting to get serious about my Hood to Coast training and wasn’t sure how to even start a training program. A search brought me to Monica‘s website. I lurked around her site for a few weeks in January and then she started a series called “Weight Loss Wednesdays.” She asked for weight loss success stories to share on her blog. I thought, “Hmm I have a story to share I guess.” So I emailed her and she emailed me some interview questions.

The interview made me really stop and think about how far I had come from 250 pounds. I honestly hadn’t thought much about it for awhile because I was comfortably maintaining and my new life felt like the “norm.” It wasn’t until I read her interview questions that I realized I DID have a good story to share.

Thus began 110 Pounds and Counting.

Shortly after that she published my story on her website. Suddenly I had readers! People interested in what I had to say!

I wasn’t planning on continuing the blog. I figured I didn’t have that much to say beyond my background and how I lost the weight.

Post #1 – My First Blog Post

Post #2 – The Old Me

Post #3 – How I Ate to Lose

Once the floodgates were open though, I found that I did have more to say. The creative juices were flowing and I remembered lots of old stories, remembered tips I wanted to share with people, and of course the encouragement of readers inspired me to continue. The number one reason I continued writing here was the positive feedback I received from readers, friends and family. I loved getting emails from people who shared personal stories and struggles with me. They told me that I inspired them to keep trying to lose weight. That made me happy.

It’s a riot going back and reading old posts. Clearly I’ve come a long way. I found my voice in this past year of blogging. I found a strength I knew I had but was probably too shy to utilize. Seeing how short my original posts are makes me laugh. I really didn’t know what I was doing yet. And I think I still had that voice in the back of my head saying, “Is anyone actually reading this? Probably not, so be short and to the point!”

I started out at Blogger. I quickly grew out of that and realized it wasn’t the right space for me. I moved over to WordPress. Over the summer of 2010 I realized that I wanted to have my own website. With the help of my lovely boyfriend Michael and his super smart computer friend Jeremy I found my new home here.

The meaning behind the name of my blog: 110 pounds is how much weight I lost on my own. No crazy diets, no surgery, no nutritionist, no medication, no starvation–just freakin’ hard work. The “And Counting” part came to me for two reasons: 1) I lost my weight by counting calories and I still count my calories and 2) I wasn’t finished yet – I was still counting.

The Evolution

When my site started it was simply a place I could tell my story, then it evolved into other things (some of them short-lived). While I was training for Reach the Beach and Hood to Coast my blog became all about training. How I was training, the food I was eating, the progress I was making, the set-backs and injuries.

Then it became more of a place for me to share some of the fun activities I do. Hiking, camping, bike rides, swimming, vacations, snowshoeing…I am clearly a very active person and I’m glad I’ve found a soul-mate who enjoys those things too.

A lot of good things have come out of having a blog. The best is by far the friends I’ve made. Some I’ve met in real life, others I haven’t met yet but would love to. To name a few: Beth, AJ (so we can have a healthy debate about Veganism) , Emmie, I want to workout with Lori, run with Monica, and Kate (maybe do some yoga)!

Having a blog also gave me the opportunity to be featured in a magazine! I was even on the cover!

The photo shoot was so much fun and definitely an interesting experience. My weight loss story also got picked up by Woman’s Day and Yahoo Health!

It’s been a great year for me. Where do I go from here? I still love blogging and hope that I can continue to inspire people to lose weight and maintain a healthy balance in life. I’d also like to write a book about my story of weight loss.

Thank you all my loyal readers who have read my tales for the last year!

Repost: The Photo Shoot and Magazine Debut

(This is reposted from last year for new readers of my blog. If you are a new reader, I was featured on the cover of FIRST Magazine for Women back in October! I hope this post inspires any of you New Year’s Resolutioners who may be losing steam mid-January!)

I didn’t want to say anything until I knew FOR SURE it was happening…but First Health Magazine for Women is doing a story about my weight loss!

Originally, the article scope was going to be about fiber and lethargy but the woman writing the article changed the scope of it after hearing my story. I did an email interview with her about a month ago, sent before and after photos, and then it was a waiting game. She contacted me a few weeks ago saying that her editors loved my story and they wanted to do an article about how I lost 100 pounds doing my own program. It sounds like the scope of the article is now about how I was pre-diabetic and that’s what motivated me to lose the weight.

Well last week I did a phone interview with her. She was really nice and seemed impressed with my story. She had a lot of really good, interesting questions! I’m excited to actually see it in print. Of course, part of me is trying not to get too excited because anything can happen between now and October when my story is supposed to come out.

Saturday was my photo shoot for the magazine article. They sent a freelance Hair and Makeup girl (Amy) to my house and she spent almost two hours getting me ready! It turned out that my hair was the biggest challenge. It took forever to dry and then re-curl. I have naturally curly hair–which can be a challenge. 🙂

Of course Fat Kitty was in the middle of everything supervising my Hair and Makeup experience. 😛

It was weird sitting still for so long and letting someone do all sorts of things to your hair and face–that you cannot see! I trusted Amy though. She seemed really professional and her own makeup looked great.

Michael would poke his head into the living room and occasionally take photos. Then my parents arrived from Seattle. I was glad they arrived early enough to be part of it.

After the hair and makeup was done, we went down to the park for the shoot. Ty, the photographer was REALLY nice and it was a great experience. It felt really weird at first. I was awkward and wasn’t sure what to do with my hands.

My mom tried to be stealthy and take some photos with my camera. 🙂 Ty didn’t mind so that was cool. Amy was there to puff up my hair in between shots. Once outside for awhile, the hair started to flatten a little.

They wanted me to have two different tops so I wore the purple shirt first and then half way through the photo shoot I changed to the pink shirt.

It was strange posing in a park and having strangers walk by or drive by and stare. I tried not to notice.

It was a really fun experience. I can’t wait to see the professional photos!

The Magazine Debut!

When Michael first saw my magazine cover he said, “Now Lisa, from now on I’ll start speaking very slowly and use small words so you can understand them. You know, since you’re a cover girl model now.” Hahaha very funny! 😉

He then went on to say that when he bought two magazines at the store the checkout girl said, “You know you have two copies of the same magazine, right?” Michael got to brag a little and explained that it was his girlfriend was on the cover. I guess the checkout girl wasn’t impressed (or thought he was delusion) because she didn’t say anything. Too funny!

Monday night Michael and I got dressed up and went out to dinner to celebrate FIRST coming out. We had reservations at Mint/820.

It’s a trendy martini bar and restaurant. It’s a brick building in North Portland, dimly lit by candles, with trance music playing. It was very romantic.  For my drink I splurged and got a Pineapple Drop.

Dinner took a long time. We enjoyed every relaxing minute of it and then headed to the grocery store to see my magazine on the stand!

There it was! Next to the Runner’s magazine and at the check-stand.

It was very strange to see my face on the cover of the magazine where anyone can see it.

I bought my copy. It was a very, very special night for me. I am happy I got to share my story with the world and even more excited that they chose me for the cover!

Thank you for all my readers that bought a copy of the magazine. It means a lot!

Thanks for reading! It means a lot that I can inspire other people. 🙂