(Reposted from a message board post, and edited for blog entry)
I once had 40 pounds to lose. Now I have 10. If you have a lot to lose, this is just your starting point. Every end has a beginning. Start today, and just keep improving. Focus on trends, not daily 'success' or 'failures'. If you are doing something better each week, you are improving.
Get rid of the idea of the scale being your measure of success. Are you eating more veggies and fruit? Are you being more consistent with exercise? Did you lift more weights this week than last? You're improving. You're winning. Weight loss starts in your mind long before you can make it happen in your body.
Don't try to be perfect, just work on improving. Eventually, with all those improvements, you will be a completely different person in both mind and body.
It was so hard at the beginning. I would try to do things, and my body was so out of shape it refused. What my mind wanted to do my body couldn't do. Walking around was so hard. Trying to ride my bike up a hill was impossible. I wanted to quit so many times. But I kept getting back on the bike, whether it was hard or not. Whether I 'wanted to' or not.
The day I rode up that hill without stopping, there was no such thing as impossible anymore.
Now, the things that I thought were 'impossible' are too easy. Now that I know I can do 'impossible' things, I can do anything.
Kayaking? Scuba diving? Skiing? I wanted to do it, and I did it. My body obeys my mind.
Once you break through the mental barriers, there is no 'impossible'. There's no limit.