I started my fitness journey at 216lbs back in 2010. At 5'9", that put me in an uncomfortable where I was really not happy with my health or my appearance. It was one of many sources of depression so I decided to start working out and eating better. I've went through many trials and tried just about everything to test for myself which would work best. I've tried something like the South Beach diet, vegetarian diet, organic only diet, balanced diet, low cal diet, intermittent fasting, etc... I've tried workout videos, running, weight training, martial arts and so on. I actually started out running. I remember getting on that treadmill and only being able to run for an 1/8 of a mile before my body seemed to die of exhaustion and my lungs bursting for air. At the start, a quarter of a mile seemed like a mountain. I stuck with it though and was able to build up to running 6 miles pretty regularly at a 8 minute mile. My longest run was 12.9 miles just to see what I could do. That was done at a 10 minute mile.
As I continued that journey, I noticed my knees started aching quite a bit and I really thinned out. I got down to 159lbs and lost a lot of fat and muscle mass in the process. I liked being lean, but not weak. I started to feel the wear and tear on my body and the consequences to a one-dimensional fitness. Sure, my cardio was good but add resistance to that and I was done for too quickly. Additionally, I wasn't really doing anything to maintain a good agility and flexibility.
So after trying a lot of extremes I have determined that for me the best approach is a program. Not just a program that deals with the fitness or a program that just deals with the diet but one that deals with both. The solution I found was the beach body programs. Particularly P90X. Prior to jumping into P90x I was doing the most challenging Jillian Michael's and Bob Harper workouts but because they were not varied enough I really felt the wear and tear on my body (I am aware they both have programs out now but they just didn't looking challenging enough).
P90x has really hit the spot for me. It trains everything: Strength, endurance, agility, flexibility. It's simply the right fit for me. I am more athletic than I have ever been and I have to say that P90x gets the credit. I had considered Insanity but after reading that it's mostly cardio, I was not interested. I love cardio but I love a balanced and holistic fitness even more.
Anyways, the point is not that you should jump into P90x. The point is that you should find a program that deals with a well-rounded fitness, that you can stay on track with, and gives you a balanced nutrition plan while being safe. I think for the average joe this is a must. There are of course those freaks out there that can easily customize a plan for themselves while continuing to progress and not overtrain themselves but I'd say those people are rare. Most of us simply lack the expertise, time and energy to put together something that will continually challenge, sustain, and keep you safe.
There are others out there that have already done the work. Why not reap from their hard work?
Lastly, pure cardio sucks and you should quit it
. Pick up some weights. Go buy yourself a yoga mat. Add some plyo. Life will improve