The reason I am presenting the information here in “steps” is that I honestly feel that a lot of people fail at making a lifestyle shift/change because they set themselves up for failure. It's like trying to pull a U-turn on a one-way street when you try to go from one way of living to something that may be completely different.
Looking back at when I personally had about 30lbs to lose, I realize that taking small steps was exactly what I did. And I built from there. I realize that I took steps that were manageable and when I got those down to where they were things I did without thinking about them- choices I made instinctively- I added on from there.
People always say to me “oh, you eat so healthy” or something to that effect. I know that I do- but it's not something I do thinking to myself every single day “I am going to eat healthfully today,” – I just eat what I know is good for me, what my body wants and needs. And I know how eating something that my body does not want will make me feel. There are always exceptions to the rule (read as: pizza, candy, etc…) but when you fuel yourself 90-95% of the time with the good stuff, your body can handle the “bad stuff” easily- process it and move on.
We don't expect to be born and be ready for college do we? We go through school, learn, build on what we learn and then are prepared for what we will face. Realizing that changes to create a healthy lifestyle are just like that is a KEY point, in my mind.
Long story short…don't freak out and think about ALL of the things you're doing wrong- focus on doing one thing right. Making one right choice at a time. Changing one thing about the way you eat and choose things to eat at a time. When you have “mastered” making that choice, move on to the next one and add to your knowledge.
Knowledge is power. Once you know what you should be choosing to eat (or not eat) and why, you can't pretend like you don't know.