I started counting calories a few years after my son was born. I was vegetarian at the time and put on quite a bit of weight during the pregnancy and even more afterwards. When he was about 3 in 2005 I finally put my mind to it and lost 76 pounds, yup, told you I packed it on!! I did this through lots of walking but also by simply counting my calories so I knew exactly how much I was eating and burning off.
Once I reached my goal weight I continued to count the calories as I simply like to know and I actually don't mind doing it, in fact, I enjoy it (not like most people then!) Plus, as someone who cooks and bakes a lot and clearly loves food I can easily eat at a weight gaining level so it helps keep me in check :-)
I easily stayed at around my goal weight for years, while vegetarian and then while vegan but I then had a bad lupus flare up which meant my medication got increased. A medication that can and does cause increased appetite. I then slowly started putting a bit more on and I've spent most of last year losing that, 25 pounds to be precise, as the medication has since been dropped again. I am however always on this medication so again, counting helps me control that.
When I started this blog I was in the middle of wanting to lose the last 5 pounds and that's why the calories at the start of the blog are low. When I'm trying to lose weight I aim for around 1500 calories a day, or 1200 a day if I'm in a rush, lol. If I'm at my goal weight I eat around 1800 - 2000, as that's what I aim for to maintain my weight.
I'm personally much happier at my goal weight and feel I am healthier this way which is of great benefit to my lupus.
I also like to post the calories as I find with vegan eating that when you list everything you've had in a day like I do here it can look like you've had a LOT of food but in fact your calories are very reasonable - one of the many joys and bonuses of being vegan! So I feel it helps put it all into perspective :-)