I've been letting myself go for a few years now, in terms of not really being careful with what I eat and not being diligent about being active ... and this coupled with some major metabolism slowdowns in my 30s has led to a gain of quite a bit since law school. But I needed to tie the idea of getting back into shape with something big, in order for me to give it the gravity it deserves. So, I figured, my 40th year will be the year I get myself into the shape I want to be in for the rest of my life.
The diet part isn't as challenging as I thought. I mean it kinda sucks, but I'm managing it pretty well. On a typical day I can hold myself to about 1800 calories, or about 1300 net when exercise is figured in. For my age and weight, 1800 a day results in a 7000 calorie deficit over a week, which means two pounds gone, per week, from dieting alone (not counting the 2000-2500 calories per week worked off at the gym). The only real difficulty, besides restraint, is figuring calorie counts for when we go out to eat; in these cases I try to overestimate.
The exercise is more challenging, but as I work it into an expected part of a regular routine, I look forward to it more and more. After five weeks of nothing beyond moderate cardio, I'm working weights in now. With the heart rate monitor, I've already noticed a considerable increase in exertion while maintaining a target heart rate, and of course I'm feeling a lot better besides, more physically relaxed.
I don't know if I have a target weight ... more like a target condition, and definitely the discipline and drive to maintain it once I get there. I'm really looking forward to this. Now if I can just be patient.