As boring as it may be, I don’t really have a trick or secret! I think that having something to be really motivated for has helped (I am in two bridal parties early 2013, and want to look great on the day and in the photos…).
Even of just as a starting point, I recommend counting calories. There are a tonne of online calculators that help you figure out how much you should be eating in order to lose weight, and even if you just reduce your intake without making any exercise changes, you WILL notice a difference. I no longer count calories per se, but I do take notice of how many calories are in what I’m eating, and if I know I’m going to be having a ‘treat’, then I make sure that my eating for the rest of the day allows for that.
A lot of the battle truly is psychological, and unlearning all sorts of habits that we’ve picked up as we’ve journeyed through life, ie. finish your plate, go back for seconds if there’s more, etc. Unless what I’m eating is particularly delicious (or I’m really hungry), I try to leave a bite or so on my plate at the end of a meal (mostly dinner). This has been great for me, because it’s shown me that I don’t have to eat everything in front of me, and more often than not I find that I am still satisifed with the smaller portion that I’ve eaten. Same goes for ordering small meals at take-out, small coffees, etc.
For exercise, I started by just lifting weights, because it’s something that I’m good at, and I get enjoyment out of. I’ve recently started jogging as well (DO check out Couch to 5K), and most days I scatter squats and calf raises throughout my daily activity. I also make a conscious effort to walk where I’d normally drive, etc.
I hope some of this is useful information! Feel free to enquire about anything you think I may have missed…