I've decided that if I'm within 100 calories of my net calorie goal, than I'm doing OK. I was hungry at 2 times during the day---4-6 pm before dinner, and 10pm right before bed. I did have an afternoon snack of some fruit, but I think I need more fruit. In the winter I used to eat ginormous apples and oranges, and now I'm eating little berries and peaches, which are much less filling. I had a 9pm snack of cereal and milk which helped a lot. I could've eaten another bowl but didn't.
The best thing about tracking calories is that I am mindful about snacking. I measured out my cereal and milk instead of heaping up a huge bowl (and then refilling). It also immediately changed my view of my nightly wine/beer from a necessity to a treat. I did have a glass of wine with dinner, but did NOT have another glass later in the evening. I was hungry and decided the cereal would be way more satisfying for the same amount of calories. Of course, in the past, I would've had both. I think drinking may be a contributor to a lot of 30-something women's mild weight gain. We think we are doing well by avoiding ice cream and candy bars, but a beer in the evening (any beer worth drinking anyways) or a couple of glasses of wine is setting us back at least 200 calories.
Some of the comments here and on other blogs are making me consider my motivation for doing this. It really is NOT vanity. That ship sailed 2.5 years ago when my ab muscles separated irreparably and while it took me some time (2 years), I have gotten over the fact that my body will never look the way I want it to look again. I could lose 20 pounds (and be technically underweight) and I would still have the poochy, wrinkly stomach. I will never be a size 2 again, my hip bones are wider then they were pre-babies, as is my ribcage (also my feet, I've gained a full shoe size).
My weight right now is technically healthy, but its 10 pounds up from where it was before. And I gain my weight exclusively in my abdomen, which is neither healthy nor attractive. If I gained it all over, I'd actually be ecstatic, I'd love to not have chicken arms and legs and to have plumper cheeks/cleavage/butt. I know I'll look and feel better at a slightly lower weight and I also know that eating better/less is good for my long-term health and my energy levels.
So, yeah, these ten pounds may look like "vanity pounds" to some, but I don't want to wait until those ten turn to twenty or more and become "health risk pounds".