, and welcome. First I want to congratulate you on your desire to eat better. We can all learn from your example. Next, when people say talk to a doctor they are right in my opinion. Any change in eating habits or increase in exercise can put a strain on your system, so it is best to make sure you are healthy enough to diet. I know, it sounds funny, but it's common sense.
Personally, I've had results with what I called All Things in Moderation. When I started to lose weight it was January of 1998 and I didn't want to be the Big Mama at my kids' high school graduations in summer of 1999. Yup, I planned that far ahead since it's best to take weight off slowly but surely. 1-3 pounds a week is recommended. I didn't even really watch my meals that closely for the first five months - I just started to walk each and every day. If I was at the local mall (I worked there) I would "lap" it each day - about a mile if I walked both floors. If I was at home I would walk our block, which was about 1 1/4 miles. If the weather was bad I walked a treadmill for a mile - in the beginning it would take me at least half an hour to walk that mile. When I really started to watch my food I never really did completely deny myself any foods I liked - I just watched like crazy that I ate a small portion and not too often. If it was ice cream I had a 1/4 cup of the real stuff. But maybe only once or twice a month. The prettier the bowl, the better it tasted.
By the end of the roughly 1 1/2 years of diet and exercise (which it really didn't seem like) it had lost nearly 40 pounds.
Unfortunately, when we moved from our lifelong home to MA I was sad. Depression eating is a bear. Apparently those 40 pounds were waiting for me here! So...time for me, too, to get busy walking and eating less.
Good luck to you! Wishing you much success in your efforts.