Hi Cinda, welcome to the boards.
Let me start off by telling you it's not skinny you want to be, but you want to feel more confident about the way you look.
Here are a few guidelines I try to live by as much as possible, maybe they're helpful
* Try replacing your meat as much by chicken as you can, as chicken is much leaner and less fat. Besides that, it has a lot of protein (eggwhite) in it which helps feeding the muscles.
* Try to cut down on sugar as much as possible. You love coffee or tea but can't stand the taste without some sweetness? Try sweetener instead of sugar. Besides that, sweetener is available in liquid form as well, so you can use that in salads for instance or other recipes.
* Eat when you're hungry, not just because you love the taste of it so much. It's important that you don't overfeed your body.
* Stay hydrated. Make sure you drink about 1.5 to 2 liters of water (not tea, not coffee... water!) a day. You can obviously drink a few cups of coffee or tea a day, but the base should be water. Just a heads up: Coffee dehydrates the body, so 8 cups of coffee a day instead of 1 liter of water isn't smart.
* Feeling hungry for a snack? Make sure you have your favorite fruit handy. Eating an apple is always better than eating a bag of potato chips. You and I both know that when you get your hand in the bag of chips, it's hard to stop until it's empty.
Besides changing your eating and drinking pattern for the long term (because you don't want to gain back on that fat when it is finally gone) you might want to take on a sport.
Your body needs muscular stimulation as well as good nutrition, so sports are highly advised. While playing sports endorfins are produced, the same 'stuff' that makes you fell so awesome when having censored. Now I'm not telling you to have censored all the time, that would just be wrong
But your body needs the workout, and your brain needs the endorfins. So take on a sport. I've heard that both Zumba and Beatkicking are pretty hot these days and those seem to be a great workout, as well as an awesome fat burner.
Don't have the time to take on a sport? My advice is: Bike commuting. I started bike commuting around 2 years ago and I've been feeling better and better about myself. While I was wearing an XXL jersey when I started, I'm down to an XL now. Besides a great workout and the endorfins that get you all psyched about riding, you will simply get addicted to bike commuting. And while others are in their cars in high traffic, standing still half the time, you get to think about all sorts of stuff, riding your bike through the traffic jams.
So basically, it's not just a what SHOULD I eat story. It's about what you should NOT eat as well. And sports are just as healthy as good food. Remember: More muscular volume means more fat burning.
Hope to have helped you with this