I could go on and on about all of the big & small changes that I made, you can read a bit more about that here if you are interested. However, it wasn't one simple answer, but lots of little ones. But in addition to the giving up pop, taking up running and making every calorie count, I think it boils down to three simple things: Attitude, Effort and Focus. I'll elaborate.
Attitude: I think this is *the* most important key. It's all about your attitude and how you are approaching the changes you want to make! It should be all positivity and how you are talking to yourself. First off, if you have decided you want to get healthier, whether it's to eat healthier or to lose weight or both, it's a good thing, something to be proud of and excited about. Period. Don't talk yourself out of it by saying you'll never get there or that your belly is ugly when you look in the mirror. Focus on the positive! You should love your body and want to treat it well. As they say, it's the only one you have.
What kind of attitude do you have when you go into something? Are you ready to take on the challenge and devote yourself? Are you able to speak kindly to yourself, even if you are having a bad day? Are you able to stay positive even if friends or family do not understand the changes you are trying to make? Get excited, be happy, love yourself and think positive! If you don't think you can do it, or that you deserve it, you will not succeed. So get your attitude straight.
Effort: This is extremely important as well. Because this will directly effect your level of success. You can't decide to eat well only 3 days a week, you need to commit. You can't workout 3 days and veg out the rest and expect to see big results. The effort needs to be there *every day*. It takes a lot of effort to rock that workout. Every push up counts. If you do one extra each day, that is 7 a week, or if you workout 5 extra minutes each day, that's 35 extra minutes a week! You need to give it your all, unfortunately no one can do it for you. This includes all of the effort it takes each day to prep healthy snacks or find new healthy recipes. It includes when you go out to eat with friends and they order a burger and you need to order a salad. You have to put in 100% effort yourself. It's not going to be easy, but if you put in a strong effort, I have no doubt you will see success.
Focus: Last but not least, you must have laser focus on your goals. Making a life style change is not something you focus on for a few weeks then let slip by the way-side and expect to see changes stay. Even though I lost my 35 lbs almost 5 years ago, I still have to work at it and stay focused. I continue to try new workouts and new challenges like the recent marathon I ran. I still workout 5-6 days a week, and vacations are no longer excuses to take a week off. I still fit in activity like a run, hike, swim etc and I pack healthy food for some snacks and meals. Sure I splurge, but I am also always conscious of what I am putting in my mouth each day. Am I feeding my health and fighting disease or feeding it? Even my blogging with Metro Detroit Mommy and my Inspired Health & Fitness page keep me focused, I have people watching me. Stay focused on your goals and your health, every day. It's worth it, believe me!