It is incredibly overwhelming to jump in with both feet into a completely new, healthier lifestyle. I'm ready to admit my weight issues can partially be attributed to a lazy attitude coupled with a love for food that wasn't all good for me. Since this business with a healthy lifestyle is two-pronged - diet and exercise - it can be a fairly drastic change to make.
I found it easier to take it in steps and take on the diet aspect first. I'm a complete foody so this is a daily challenge for me still, but since having started the whole healthy eating business I've found it's not that hard to keep up with.
The first step I took was to measure my BMI and my basal caloric requirements based on daily activities. Then I researched what caloric content of various foods to see what my healthiest options were. It was really good to see how many different and options there were and how many of them I was already incorporating into my diet.
Actually, I guess the first step is to recognize that the word 'diet' doesn't mean a drastic alteration in your food consumption where you're limiting yourself to certain foods or cutting something out 100%. Diet just refers to the types and amounts of food you consume. I'm not at all into diets that say I can only eat cabbage or have to cut out all carbs from my life. Med School has taught me enough to recognize that every food group is essential for the human body, it's just that the intake amount of each thing varies for every person.
It took a few days to get into the habit of getting healthier. It only took a week for my body to get used to consuming fewer simple carbs and limiting my intake of complex carbs to what my body needs. Now, when I deviate, my body gets very uncomfortable. I'm not going to lecture you on what to eat and what not to eat. That's something you have to do some research on and figure out for yourself because every body's requirements are different. Remember, it only takes 3 weeks (21 days) to develop a habit and get comfortable with it.
Once you get a handle on your eating habits, it becomes easier to jump into an exercise routine. Your body should start feeling healthier from the change in diet. As you pick up an exercise routine, you can adjust your dietary needs more easily.
Bottom line. Don't overwhelm yourself with a complete regime change. It's perfectly alright to go at it one thing at a time. Heck, I recommend it.