I know exactly where you are...and how you feel. My heighest weight was 211 pounds...and I am now down to 164.4 a little over 2 years later. It has come off slowly...but healthfully, and I am not gaining it back. That is the key...you can drop some weight quick on a fad diet-but it is muscle and water mostly...and how long do you keep it off? If you can't stick with it for life...then what's the point?
Weight loss has to be a lifelong event. It takes a while to lose it, and it takes the rest of your life to do what it takes to keep it off. I am hoping to lose some more over the next year or so and reach my goal weight.
I think the first thing that you need to realize and accept first is that you DO have control over how much you weigh and what you eat. That is the first mindset that needs changing. You are in control. It's kinda like how in AA meetings you have to go up and say "Hi, I'm Bob...and I'm an alcaholic." You have to accept the responsibility for yourself FIRST.
Over the past couple years I have really turned into a health nut and exercise fiend...but I had to start out SLOWLY. Very slowly. I started out only exercising 10 minutes a day...I had a new baby, I was very out of shape...and it was all I could muster. I stuck with it and my fitness level improved over time, and slowly I was able to do more and more. It can happen for you.
I think that changing your eating habits and views of food FOR LIFE, and getting in the regular habit of exercising are the two keys to lifelong weight loss. I am an emotional overeater...and I have had to find ways to avoid the "binge monster" and stop eating when I am not hungry. That has been my biggest challenge...to stop myself and say "Am I hungry...or am I upset/bored/lonely/just want to "taste" something?"
I really do believe that the diet/exercise go hand in hand. If you only worry about exercise...you can get stronger and more endurance...but you won't lose weight if you are still eating too many calories than your body uses. On the other hand, if you only worry about your diet...you can lose some weight...but you will end up "flabby" without much muscle tone and still a higher percentage of body fat...and your metabolism will not be as high-along with a zillion other benefits of exercise. So...you can be smaller...but you won't have a shapely, firm body.
I invite you to join us here in General Diet Plans at the Doin' It The Old Fashioned Way thread. We are a group of women who are losing weight or maintaining their weight loss by eating healthier choices and exercising. No crash diets, no diet pills. Some of us are calorie counters...others are doing Body For Life...and others are in Weight Watchers. These plans are similar in the fact that we all eat REAL food...(unlike Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem where you have to eat their pre-packaged meals) and we all incorporate exercise into our routine.
My stance is that when you first start out...make changes that you can live with. I don't recommend someone who never exercises to start out doing an hour each and every day...because most likely after a week or two they will stop. I recommend 15-20 minutes a day at first. If after a couple weeks you are sticking with that faithfully...then either go up in the difficulty of the workout or go for a few minutes longer.
When I was a teen...I would get all gung ho and burn myself out...exercising 2 hours a day for a couple weeks-then I would just quit. When I started slowly and made it a lifelong habit...10-15 minutes a day at first-over two years later I am still doing it. (Now averaging 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours a day depending on what day of the week it is of my workout schedule.)
You will need to change your eating habits as well...but start with a few small changes at first...and as you successfully stick with them make a few more. I don't drink empty calories...that is one of the first big changes I made. No sugary sodas, Snapples, Kool-Aid...none of that. I drink water, unsweetened tea (iced, hot, or hot green tea), black coffee in the morning, and about 2x a week I will have a diet soda if we are out somewhere for dinner, etc. The only calories I drink are in certain 100% juices and soymilk...and those calories count.
I also never drink (or buy my kids for that matter) juice "drinks" like Hi-C or Capri-Sun-because they are like 5% juice and the rest sugar water. Any juice that passes their lips is 100% juice-because I try to teach them good eating habits so they will not be in my position later in life!
There are numerous small changes you can start out with...and I am sure if you look around-that you can find things on the campus menus and buffet that are better choices-it just takes a little scoping out. Amidst all the crap there has got to be a lonely apple or banana SOMEWHERE.
There are also a lot of healthier portable foods that are college friendly as well. I used to live on a college campus with a college friend when I was a manager of a nearby salon and I am well aware of the surroundings-you can find better choices-you just need to make it a priority to do so. Sometimes it takes a little more time and effort to do something better for yourself.
I hope that you will think some of this over...and I hope to hear from you soon on the boards.