The Cellulite Chronicles

reflecting on my semester as a blogger...

In the Beginning
Since the first post, and even before that, I knew this blog was going to tap into very personal motivations and purposes. Months earlier, I had flirted with ideas of how to change my life by means of diet and exercise and complete devotion to a new lifestyle regimen. I had always thought about keeping a blog. In fact, I had even started one through Blogger. It went nowhere quickly. Looking back now, it wasn't that I had an assignment to keep me going that kept me blogging this time 'round, but I had finally reached a point where I was ready to maintain my diet and choices, and that resulted in reasons/material to blog about.

Re-reading my proposal, I can still identify the eagerness and intention in my words. I think I made good on many of my goals and I know I could have performed better on a few of my goals.

Goals I had laid out for myself included:
In the Thick of It
And so I began. The first thing I successfully changed was finding a stable and regular schedule. I was able to go to bed at a decent time and get up at a regular, decent time. (You college kids know how epic that can be to achieve!) In doing so - I was able to begin eating breakfast regularly (another victory for this college student!). Eating three meals a day was the tip of my weight loss and diet iceberg. One of the first things I realized - was how easy it would be to be blogging while eating or between events of the day: before class, between classes, as I sat watching TV, as I came back after working out.

It was an easy and considerable success that I banked on dieting and surges of hunger consuming so much of my day - that I wouldn't be struggling for material to blog on - nor would I 'search' for time or reasons to blog. And to my contentment - it worked. I blogged on everything from what we did in our weight loss meetings to how often I thought about food. I blogged about how I think my weight and lifestyle got out of control and I blogged about long term and short term goals. It was incredibly revealing, not only to readers, but to myself. It was therapeutic and releasing to share feelings and struggles - and to have so many people respond positively; to respond at all.

I developed my Blog Roll - including all classmate blogs. I had hoped to see more favors returned; few if any classmates linked back to my blog - though it was a discussed and recommended courtesy. I am not sure why that didn't happen. I changed the picture on my layout - I really like the picture that I used. It was just a Googled image. My personal flair was the quotes in the top right corner of the blog. Besides being applicable to someone who may be struggling with their diet and maintaining hard work, I have always been a quote enthusiast. I will change the quotes now and again - and they will always be applicable to my blog and to sticking with one's goals.

Measures of Success
I became a complete believer in the discussed and read about means of getting more traffic to your blog. With combinations of consistent and numerous blogs, I saw my hits steadily increase. When I put even a little effort into linking, my traffic continued to grow and when I dove into better links and popular links - the results were positive and encouraging. My most popular day came on the day of my most popular/viewed post. I wrote a post about a friend and her choice to pursue weight-loss surgery. Turns out - everyone is talking/thinking/debating about Lap Band Surgery or any other form of weight-loss surgery. It was the most commented on and it had over 100 views, becoming by far the most popular post I've had to date.

Over the course of two months, my blog had over 1,400 hits. I feel extremely proud of that number - even if it was superpassed by some of my classmates. I'm proud of that number only because of how personal the blog is - it tells me that in some way - people are connecting or finding interest in my story - and that's a good feeling.

An interesting thing that I added to my blog was the SiteMeter application. After logging into my SiteMeter account, I am able to see more details about my visitors - including their city and state location. I can tell when people from the Bemidji State network view my site and when my family members view my site. There are many details that I am not quite clear about, in reference to my viewers, but I really only use the SiteMeter application to see where my viewers are coming from. I have had many from all over the world, including Australia and England, and I've also had viewers from all over the country, including Alaska and Maine and Florida and Arizona. It's one of my favorite blog components and I recommend it to any other blogger or Wiki creator.

I have made good on my intent to blog about all aspects of my day and diet. I have included nearly a dozen links to inspirational links and stories. I have outlines my personal plan on The Rules page - explaining my food rules and work out rules. In total, I have 6 blog pages - although admittedly, my Picturespage needs to be developed as does my Tips and Information page. With my intent to maintain and update the blog this entire summer (and beyond), I see no reason why I couldn't develop these pages and their purpose.

In the (not really) End
I'm not calling this the end - because I am not done with this blog. However, for purposes of analyzing my progress thus far, I'd have to say I am happy with my blog. Being happy with my personal results, however, is another analysis. Over the course of the 2 months of rules and blogging, I lost 10 pounds. I honestly do associate much of my success with the upkeep of the blog. Keeping others posted kept me accountable and on top of my diet and exercise. Since slacking on blogging and subsequently slacking in my diet, things have been less than stellar. But I digress.

Overall, I believe I achieved my personal and proposal goals. I have big hopes and plans for this blog - including my own diet and health goals. I hope people continue to check in but mostly, I hope to keep having material to blog about; meaning I hope to have continued and future success with my diet to give people reasons to continue checking in.

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