So here are my tips...
Stop putting it off. There is never going to be a convenient time to start. There are always going to be vacations, family gatherings, holidays, birthday parties, anniversaries, and date nights. You have to stop seeing all of those things as reasons to postpone the changes you want to make, because they are never going to stop popping up on the calendar. The world is not going to stop so you can go on a diet. You just have to make up your mind and start!
Push through the first two weeks! In those first two weeks, you will still feel "fat" and your body will still be craving junk and caffeine. It's early in the game, so it is easier to talk yourself into quitting, and starting again another day. Don't do it! After about two weeks, your clothes will fit better, your body will feel stronger, and you will look and feel better overall. Push through!
Jump start your weight loss with a juice fast. When I began my weight loss journey, I started with the 10 Day Master Cleanse. It is pretty hard core, but it is great for cleansing your system, jump starting your weight loss, and sealing the deal that this weight loss thing has really begun. I know that once I have put all of the work and sacrifice into a juice fast, I am less likely to do the whole "I'll just splurge today, and start strict again on Monday" thing. If 10 days is a little much for you, try a 3-day juice fast.
Set goals other than weight loss. If your only goal is to see lower numbers on the scale or to fit into your skinny jeans, then as soon as you reach your goal, it is likely you will revert back to your old ways and start putting your weight back on. For example, I really want to run a marathon in 2013. So even though I am only about 15lbs away from my goal weight, I am going to continue running and training. I also want to fuel my body with clean, less toxic foods for health and wellness, so that will be a continuous motivation to me after I reach my weight loss goals.
Change the way you think about food. You have to start seeing food as fuel for your body. If you put junk into your body, you are going to look and feel like junk. You have to put good food into your body to nourish it and make it healthy and strong. Many fad diets are made up of low-calorie, low-fat, low-carb, sugar-free processed foods. It's still junk! To truly transform your body, you need to start eating real food. Fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and if you choose, lean meats and low-fat dairy. Stop worrying about quantity (reducing fat, calories, carbs, and sugars), and start thinking about quality. I am personally eating raw/vegan. If you don't want to give up meat, the Paleo style of eating is another whole foods based approach that is very popular. My friend Faith has a great summary of Paleo over on her blog. Also, Vintage Remedies has a free e-book called 8 Weeks to Real Food. Of course, if you want to see real transformation, I wouldn't recommend stretching your changes out over 8 weeks, but the Vintage Remedies plan is very educational on what it means to eat real food. There are also some educational food documentaries on Netflix: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Food Matters, Forks Over Knives, Engine 2 Diet, Food Inc. are all great to watch.
Get moving! If you really want to change your body, you have to exercise. You need to do both cardio and toning. Toning to firm and shape your muscles, and cardio to burn the layer of fat covering those muscles up. I recommend you do cardio at least 30 minutes a day, 3-6 days a week. Things that can count as cardio are walking, running, biking, aerobics, Zumba, etc. Something that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat. You also need to do toning exercises about 30 minutes a day, 3-6 days a week. You just don't want to exhaust the same muscle groups two days in a row. So if you do pretty intense training, you will want to alternate upper body and lower body workouts.
As a mom of young kids, it can be really hard to find the time to work out. I find it much easier to workout at home that trying to drive to a gym everyday. I personally get up before my kids and husband are awake to go running around my neighborhood Monday - Friday. Then I do circuit training that works my entire body on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons while the kids are playing or watching a show on Netflix. And I do pretty intense yoga on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday nights after the kids go to bed. Tomorrow I will share my favorite fitness apps and DVD's for working out at home.
Don't be too hard on yourself! If you haven't worked out for a while, you aren't going to be able to run 3 miles, do 50 lunges, and hold crazy yoga poses that first week. I started walking the neighborhood a few times a week, and doing light yoga. I kept adding and increasing to get where I am now, and I will continue to push and challenge myself to get to where I want to be. I still struggle with things like push ups, mountain climbers, burpees, and froggers, but I am doing them a lot better than I was 2 weeks ago. Also, don't get too caught up wanting to weigh what your friend weighs or trying to be the perfect Hollywood size 0/2. We all have different body types and if you have had children, your body is going to be different than it was when you were in high school. Just strive to be a leaner, stronger, and healthier you!
Source: get-thinspiration.tumblr.com via Chrystal on Pinterest
So there you have it. No gimmick's, no fad's. Just simply make up your mind to start, and start living like a healthy, active person and soon your body will catch up.