I don't know how you work, but I can tell you what successfully got me started, and that was not paying any attention to losing weight at all!
I don't do "goals", I'm more in to "demotivational" than "motivational", and telling me what to do inspires more rebellion than cooperation.... and yet, I'm losing weight at a slow and steady pace without the least desire to "cheat".
My intention has always been to get healthier. I am a serious food snob, so I had to actually learn to cook myself in order to have healthy choices that taste incredibly good. I sat myself down and figured out what are my "needs" and "wants" for my lifestyle, and came up with the following:
I need to meet the RDA every day for iron, folate, calcium, and sodium (yeah, I'm one of the odd ones who has a hard time getting enough sodium).
I need at least 35-45g of fibre every day for my body to be happy.
I need to be eating at least 6 or 7 times each day to feel my best.
I'm okay with a limited repertoire of breakfasts / lunches / snacks, but need to have a lot of variety in my dinners to satisfy that "food snob" thing.
I want to use fresh, whole ingredients as much as possible because that has serious impact on the flavours.
I need to have fun with this, or I will have no interest in continuing with it.
I want to pre-plan the majority of each day at least the night before, as I find that to be more relaxing than figuring out things at the last minute. It gives me time to make sure I have everything on hand that I need, and allows me to tailor what I'm doing to how much time I will have that day...BUT, I need to be comfortable in changing things up at the last minute because, well, life...
I need to have my partner enjoying this as much as I do.
I want to have something sweet every day, and I need to have an evening "ritual" that works for me (cocoa right before bed).
I started planning and tracking everything in December simply so that I would know what nutrients I was actually eating. I paid no attention to the calorie levels at all, as losing weight wasn't something that I was worrying about. According to the reports, my average intake at the time was around 2000 or so calories per day.
As time went on, I found that I was adding more and more veggies to each day in order to meet my nutrient requirements. I found myself playing around with flavourful sauces in order to add additional iron. I found that I needed and wanted less carbs, and more protein and fats. I found that my average intake was naturally dropping, because I simply was satisfied with less quantity of higher quality. This has been a very gradual thing, but my average daily intake now is around 1500 calories.
Focusing on nutrition, flavour, and fun has made this really easy for me. It hasn't given me any desire to "cheat" (who wants to "cheat" with stuff that doesn't taste as good?), and I'm really comfortable with the fact that all of the changes are ones that are now a natural fit in to the rest of my life.
I had my Mom and brother staying here for 5 days, and we all ate the way that I now normally do --- there were lots of "this is delicious" and "what's the recipe", and certainly no "oh, you're on a diet" comments. There was easily room for ice-cream cake and other treats for my Mom's birthday, with no guilt or worry since my nutrition was already complete.
You might find that changing your focus this way is what your brain needs in order to both want and seek the changes. Looking at the "flavour" and "fun" aspects are also ways that make it really easy to get your husband and kids on board with changing with you.
Sorry for being so wordy, but I hope that this gives you some ideas on other ways to approach things. Kudos for seeking a healthier lifestyle, and good luck on finding the best ways to make that work for you!
Start weight: 240 lbs
Goal weight: 155 lbs (reached March 7, 2014)
Afraid of a colonoscopy? Believe me - they are much less frightening than surgery and chemotherapy.
Colonoscopies allow polyps to be removed before they can become cancer, or let cancers be found before they are too widespread. If you are 50 or older, or have any symptoms, please don't let fear stop you from covering your butt.
| current weight: -1.6 under