One quick point on pedometers... spending a few extra dollars on a good quality device is worth it. We have tried at least 10 model and most of them where cheapies. The one that is working the best is the Omron GoSmart . It works great and is very durable. They are also sold under the LifeFitness brand. We bought ours at CVS, but they are available in a lot of outlets including the internet. Do a yahoo search on "Omron GoSmart".
As far as calorie tracking, I use MyGraphite.com . It's the only site I am aware of that lets you easily manage calorie intake (meal tracking) and expenditure (exercise tracking). WebMD has some excellent tools too, but I'm not sure about if they track meals. The WebMD Fitness Planner tool is excellent.View Thread
"Exercise Machine" sounds kind of ominous! What kind or exercise machine are you using? Louise and Vickkimotherof2 have offered great suggestions. One additional thing I would mention is monitoring. Use an online tool to track your meals, exercise and weight. This is especially important if you're trying to kick off a new plan. It will raise your awareness to a whole new level and keep you motivated because you will can visualize progress.
In my personal training practice, most of my clients are women between the ages of 35 and 60. (I'm 48). Speaking from personal and professional experience, too many people simply do not move enough. For weight loss, you need to target about an hour day. Walking or biking at a moderate pace work just fine. You don't need to do an hour all at once. You can do 30 minutes in the morning and 30 in the afternoon. Walking/biking with a friend or hubby really helps too!
I'm also experimenting with pedometers. I have two clients that started 10,000 step plans on July 1st. The results so far have been outstanding! One client is an office worker and the other is a housewife. To get to 10,000 steps a day, both are "intentionally" walking 30 - 60 minutes a day an both have lost more than 2 lbs a week for 3 weeks in a row. Great results so far.
I wish you the best with your upcoming surgery. I think it's great that you are already thinking ahead about your weight loss and fitness program.