Dear Me in 2008:
I know you're not going to believe any of this, but please listen.
You are overweight. You are in love and about to get married and you are overweight. And only you can change this. No one else can force you or make you change. I promise you, if you take the steps to change they will involve struggle and tears and frustration. They will also produce wonderful changes both inside and out.
Firstly, stop drinking soda. At some point in the next couple of years soda will be the last thing on your mind. You will crave water on a daily basis and drink about 120 ounces a day. You will try soda, but realize that it takes too chemically and pretty gross. Yes, even Diet Dr Pepper will taste awful. And carbonation? After stopping it, you realize how full and bloated it made you to drink. You'll no longer crave it and in fact, you'll avoid it all together.
Next, stop with the crappy food. Really. You don't need chips and sweet donuts and crap. One day you'll realize that your body craves fresh fruits and veggies. You'll realize that ground beef has a much different taste & texture than ground turkey and you actually like the turkey better. You'll wonder why you ate some of the things you eat and realize they did you no favors. Boxed mac and cheese will no longer taste good. Canned food no longer tastes good. Realize that your body is made for real food, not processed stuff.
Portion sizes. Just because it's on your plate doesn't mean you have to eat it. And just because you dished it up, doesn't mean you have to eat it. Use that salad plate as your dinner plate. It's more than enough to hold a meal's worth of food. Lower your portion sizes and half the battle is won.
Work hard at the gym as much as you can. Understand that this will be a battle that will continue the rest of your life. Exercise isn't bad and you can make it fun. Find exercise that you like and have fun with and the hour will fly by. Lift weights in addition to cardio so that you build muscle to burn more fat. Listen to your body and how happy it is after exercising.
Dear self, you can do this.
You can do this.