...the diet or the exercise?
It seems like when making a lifestyle change, this is the crossroads we find ourselves at. You can't start both. Honestly. Just how realistic is it to quit eating Doritos and watching American Idol on Sunday and then on Monday begin snacking on broccoli and hitting the gym instead? The reality of making too many changes is that it might last a week or two. Tops.
I've heard it said that "you can't out exercise bad eating habits." But let me put forth this as well - if all you do is eat right - you might loose weight, but your cardiovascular system will not benefit - and trust me - you need that. You need to exercise to turn your body into a calorie burning machine.
Here's a thought. Scrap the broccoli (for now) and concentrate on the removal of the hook from you butt that binds you to your couch. They have TV's at the gym - our YMCA has them on each and every cardio machine. Buy a pair of headphones for $5 and you can keep the excuse that "your show is on." Don't get me started on the wasted lives of Americans due to TV watching...gag.
When you invest in yourself in exercise, a curious thing happens. You bust your butt burning chub and look at mealtime from a slightly different angle. You may not be yet inclined to count calories, or understand that a 1000 calorie supper is to much. But when you reach for that second helping of mashed potatoes (the ones that you aren't really hungry for) you might think twice.
Any accomplishment is valuable for building self esteem. If you've never exercised (or not since High School...close enough!) then being able to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes is a huge victory. Hey, hauling yourself to the gym, period, is a victory! For this reason, exercise can be a helpful thing to start first.
Inspiration for others equals inspiration for yourself. How many people do you know that hit the gym or even go for a walk 3-5 days a week? Everyone needs exercise. Yes, even skinny people. If you begin an exercise program, you will be special. People in your sphere of influence will be encouraged to do the same. I weighed 220lbs when I started my recent adventure and a run/walk program (more walk than run!). I share this, not for accolades, but so that someone may decide that if I can do it, they can too.
Start with walking in place in front of the TV during your favorite show. Grab some cans of food and lift those up and down while you do it. Make sure to reward yourself with something like a new CD or DVD, a manicure, or a new tube of lipstick when you stay with it for a week. Be proud of your accomplishments and inspire others!