THIS. Try not to disconnect from your body. Feeling connected and aligned will make you more likely to do more healthy things for yourself than any diet rules ever could. Your body wants to move, your body wants vitamins and vegetables, and your body wants to be smoking hot — so don’t stress! The stress you’re describing actually makes it harder to lose weight because your body goes into survival mode and holds onto fat in case you need it to get through a tough time. Eating loads of sugar, caffeine, and starchy or processed foods can also increase stress. So, fill your life and your body with things that feel healthy and positive, keep your body moving, and distract yourself with dancing and dates instead of TV and tuna melts. After all, you’re not even halfway to cougar town so don’t let a few extra pounds keep you from living your life.
Definitely avoid being overly critical of yourself. I think it’s great that you don’t want your age to dictate how you feel or look, so don’t take the easy way out and give up! Instead of a resolution to never try again, resolve to never quit again. It’s all a matter of perspective. If you want to be a little bit healthier, make a promise that you’ll do what it takes and not take any short cuts to get there. If it’s important to you, you’ll do it the right way: Move more, eat less, drink tons of water, and be patient. Be hungry for change and you’ll get it.