I have diligently been working on shedding weight off my obese body over the past year and I’m happy to announce that I’ve made some fantastic strides towards improving my health and fitness. Naturally there have been some ups and downs getting used to the new healthy way of life, but even with the difficult moments, the process has been one that has opened my eyes.I’m ecstatic that I’ve shed over 35 pounds along with a 12.1% drop in body fat! That is a huge success in my book, especially since I’ve had no luck whatsoever over the past 10 years trying to lose weight and get into shape.Here are 5 of the key findings that I had to realize over this past year in order to make real progress turning my life around.1) Be ready to face nutritional curveballs.When a person is seriously overweight like I was, changing eating habits is one of the most difficult things to truly handle on a consistent basis. You may have one good day of healthy eating, but then the next lose focus and have a completely opposite episode if you are not careful with the choices you make. Eating healthy is something that takes daily planning along with strong willpower to resist the usual temptations.2) Don’t buy junk food.Changing the types of food an overweight person eats is difficult, even more so when you are surrounded by foods and drinks that are not healthy. Re-stock your kitchen with only items that are healthy which means no potato chips, cookies, crackers, and sugary drinks like soda and energy beverages. You really don’t need that stuff anyways. Believe me, I used to be the king of soda pop and potato chips. Now that I don’t buy those items and have developed healthy eating and snacking habits, I don’t even miss that junk at all.3) Portion size is extremely important.It is critical to be mindful of the amount of food eaten at each meal/sitting so that an excess does not enter the body. Even if you prepare a healthy meal, it is still possible to eat too much and gain weight. To use as a guide, the food on your plate should take up about the same amount of space as your hand balled up into a fist (give or take a bit). Don’t forget to take into consideration the drinks you consume at meals too! One glass of soda at each meal would be about 600 extra calories per day. Why put all those wasted calories into your body when water has a grand total of 0 calories per serving?4) Always have healthy snacks and water at hand.Take the time to designate a shelf or plastic container in your refrigeratorwhere you can keep all your healthy snacks. Make it easy to grab snacks when you’re in a rush so it’s simple to stay adhered to your healthy eating plan. You’ll find that when you don’t make a healthy lunch and snacks, most likely you’ll purchase an unhealthy meal from a fast food restaurant or buy a few items from the vending machines at work. Generally not the healthiest of choices when you’re focused on improving your nutrition.5) Try never to go more than three days without working out.As you get used to this new healthy manner of eating, it’s imperative you find an exercise routine you can stick with week in and week out. Once you find an exercise or sport you can do on a regular basis 3-5 times a week and tie in healthy eating habits for the majority of the week, you are well on your way to getting into the shape that you have been wanting to get in.Just remember this is a process. You won’t lose 50 pounds in a week or even a month. However if you focus on your nutrition, cut out the unhealthy stuff, monitor your portion sizes so you don’t overeat, and get a regular form of exercise, you will drop those 50 pounds in a healthy manner within 6-8 months.