So let's get started, the very first thing to focus on is deciding you want to make a change. This may seem silly and you might be thinking "of course I want to change! I'm sick of feeling (insert negative emotion here). I've been thinking about my change for years now, I've wanted it and thought about what I could do to get there. The problem was that I never really focused myself enough to get it done, mostly because I didn't have a goal in mind. Your brain is the most powerful resource you have. Whenever your body is tired and you feel like giving up, its your mind that has to overcome the pain and keep pushing you to your limits. Truly the hardest struggle is the one that happens inside your head, you will convince yourself of all the reasons and excuses to not workout, justify eating something you shouldn't or trick yourself into thinking that you don't have what it takes to make it to your goal. Get your mind in the right place and everything else will follow, that positive attitude will take you farther than you expect.
Now that you've got your head in the right place it's time to get the rest of the body rallied up to take on those pesky pounds. Next up on the list is your stomach. Contrary to what you may believe, your stomach is actually pretty small and it doesn't take much to fill it up. Try slowing down when you eat to make sure you're stopping when you're actually full. I don't count calories so my best advice as far as diet is concerned is try to balance your meal in a way that you're eating mostly vegetables, a good sized portion of lean protein and then a smaller portion of a whole wheat grain or other complex carb. I also limit my fruit to just mornings/mid afternoon so that I don't have too much sugar late in the day. If you're not a huge veggie fan, try mixing them into a smoothie so you still get the benefits without the taste. Another important thing to mention is the "cheat meal". I'm a big fan of rewarding yourself with a cheat meal, it keeps me sane. The rules I follow when indulging in a cheat meal: 1. limit how much of it you consume, remember you don't need to eat it all, 2. ENJOY IT!!! You've earned it so enjoy the heck out of that cheat meal. Don't punish yourself or feel guilty, that defeats the purpose.
The final stop is the rest of your body. You may hate your body now but you need to learn to love it. Yes, your current body. The skin your in is what will get you to where you want to be. As much as you might want to be that coveted size or weight, this body is the one who will do all the work and should get all the glory. Blood, sweat and tears? It will all be from the person you are now. Keep that in mind along your journey, it's good to remember where you started and how far you've come. Just as much as you may hate your body and the way it looks, when you start pushing it to get through workouts it will hate you just as much. You'll hurt, you'll want to give up, you might cry or collapse, but as long as you keep going it will get easier. The moment you are able to quiet that little voice of doubt and replace it with the persistent voice of determination you will notice the difference. Personally I like to vary my workouts to always keep my body guessing. I don't want it to get complacent or lazy so I keep throwing new things at it. Weights, cardio, obstacle courses, triathlons, distance runs, plyometrics, anything to get my heart rate going. Eventually you'll learn to love the burn. It's like the badge of honor you wear from getting through a killer workout so don't be ashamed of walking with a limp or waddle after leg day, OWN that because you EARNED it.
In case you sort of skimmed through everything and ended up here at the end (I apologize for the long winded post) the MOST important thing you can do is focus on your mental state and staying positive. Stress and negative energy make your body think that there is some kind of disaster and it needs to be prepared. The way it prepares is by storing fat and not burning through it. Love yourself, just as you are, because you are the only one who can get you to where you want to be.