Pacing is so important. I am sure you have heard trainers advising people to start out slow when beginning a new exercise. This simple suggestion is so wise and yet hardly anyone follows it. We all get caught up in the glory of the moment. But pacing is key to my slow and steady, small and sneaky approach to health. The brain does not like change. At least not the oldest part of the brain. Its job is to maintain the status quo. So you have to do things with a little more finesse and subtlety if you want the old croc brain to abide. And we do.
When I exercise, it's always a fine line between exertion with some good tension and exertion with bad tension, ie too much. Pushing just a little makes it fun and improves stamina. Pushing a little too much and you start to trigger mechanisms in the brain that say "hold up, no longer fun, danger!" For most people setting off this alarm will undermine long term commitment to the activity.
It's the same with food. Start with a little more veggies, a little less processed food. Continue with a little more fresh fruit and a little less dessert, candy and processed carbs. Check in with yourself. Feeling pissed off? Obsessively thinking about food? Back off the changes. Going slow with respect for where you are at is the name of the game here. And it's not a competition because the only winner is you. And if you don't show respect for the mechanisms that keep you sane and healthy, you have a losing battle on your hands. Remember, the whole point is to NOT fight your own body. So...slow and steady, small and sneaky.