I just found out about this group and thought I`d add my 2 cents to your situation.
I`ve been into fitness for 5 years or so now and have gone over a few sports, first powerlifting and bodybuilding, and now boxing. I`m only an amateur though.
I do a lot of reading on it and so may have some tips for you.
I have crazy schedules myself and I know how hard it is to get moving after or before a long day, but it honestly helps so much.
It sounds odd at first, but spending energy exercising is very beneficial and leads to better rest in the long run.
It takes time, and a whole lot of dedication for sure, but you`ll start feeling better fast once you start, especially in the early stages.
From what I gather, your main goals are to cut some weight, gain muscle, strengthen your body and eat better.
- Cutting weight:
The battle here is split almost evenly between your eating habits and exercise. There is a reason it`s hard to lose weight, and it`s because it requires discipline in both those aspects. But once you get past that stage, everything else starts to make sense and it does get easier. There`s nothing more satisfying than noticing positive changes in your body. It goes without saying Fast food should be abolished from your diet and that you should cook your own meals, or look for healthier options. Light cardio would be very beneficial to you, although I wouldn't run to start off with, as the impact on your joints from running is important and could get you injured. If you do want to run, go for low-intensity, longer runs. You can also look into different cardio training methods, such as high intensity work outs or even spinning or elliptical machines. I know they look lame, but they work. Just sweat, a lot.
-Strengthen your body and core
As for exercising, to start with you want to look into easier exercises that don`t put too much stress on your joints and back. Your first goal is to make your own body weight tolerable to your joints, and the easiest way to do that is to do body weight exercises; weightless squats, push ups and such. You can also work on machines at the gym that only use one muscle group. For instance the leg-press machine, leg raises, hamstring raises, or any machine that uses pulleys. However you`ll want to work in high volume, and do as many as you can. That way you will build basic strength and fortify your body to ready it for the next stage. Volume before Mass. There are SO many resources online to help you find different work out routines as a beginner.
I highly recommend you look into cooking your own meals, even if you know only a few recipes at first, anything you make yourself is healthier than processed foods. Don`t be scared of poisoning yourself, only a few foods when undercooked can do that, and it`s far easier to overcook, which poses no threat to you, than undercook meats.
Your budget shouldn't be affected as cooking for yourself is actually much cheaper than buying food, although healthy meal services can cost more. Look for some recipes online that contain lots of fiber, protein and fewer fats and carbs. Of course everyone reacts differently to food but the general consensus is that carbs and fat should be less present in your diet. Few examples of swaps you can do in your diet: Switch white bread for brown bread, which has way higher fiber content, try to look for leaner cuts of meat at the supermarket. Chicken is easy to cook and used in many recipes, and is quite lean. You can`t drink soft drinks, they`re the absolute worst of all as people who drink a lot of em sub water for soda, and that`s horrible. SUGAR IS YOUR NUMBER 1 ENEMY. Sugar slows down your system and makes your digestion harder to the point the fat you ingest is processed differently and stored in your body rather than being digested and evacuated. Drink lots and lots of water, it cleanses your body and keeps you hydrated, which will be important as you start working out.
It's OKAY to indulge in some snacks and sweeter foods sometimes, but make it an exception, not a habit.
You`re going to gain muscle regardless as you start working out, but don`t expect to look jacked in the first few months. You first need to cut fat and fix your eating habits. You can eat a lot without it being bad for you. Once you feel you've progressed and are noticing positive changes in your body, you can start working on adding weight to your workout and gaining strength and muscle mass. At that stage, you`re going to want to start on lower VOLUME and higher MASS. Meaning if you were previously, say, squatting your 100 pds 15 times, for 3 sets, you could now squat with 130 pds , for 8 times, for 4 sets or higher. From there you strength will increase and you can gradually add more weight as your strength increases.
That's my 2..3..10 cents?
If you need some more advice or need some resourceful websites, lemme know.