"The only source of knowledge is experience." --Albert Einstein
When a London taxi driver starts out, s/he is required to learn every street, lane, alley, byway - in short, every paved surface where cars travel. Next, s/he builds on that baseline, learning where the busiest stops are: train stations, government buildings, historic landmarks, and so on.
They say learning all the ins and outs takes a good two years or more. The process is called 'Doing the knowledge,' and only after that will the newbie earn the status accorded a full-fledged London cabbie.
We talk about our diets and exercise regimens as 'journeys,' to lose weight and to get in shape. In other words, we are doing the knowledge in order to reach that ultimate goal - good health.
How, then, can we acquire that knowledge?
Just as the taxi driver starts with learning the streets and roads of the city, we need to learn the basics. To become healthier, that knowledge means learning about sound nutrition, proper exercise, and some of the other rudiments (how much sleep each night? how many glasses of water per day?) that will get us started.
Talk to your family doctor, comb the internet, visit your local library - you don't need to spend a fortune on subscription plans or books to learn about good nutrition. Right here on Spark are many articles covering everything from the preliminaries (carbohydrates / protein / fats) to tailored meal plans.
While you're learning about a proper diet, gather information about fitness. Again, you don't need to join an expensive gym or invest in fancy equipment. Your personal trainer is as close as your computer - there are videos and detailed instructions on how to do all kinds of exercises.
For the next step, do what schools do when they teach chemistry or physics - do experiments. In this case, however, your laboratories are your kitchen and gym ('gym' being whatever you do for exercise). Your guinea pig is - YOU.
Try some new foods and track what you like, what you don't, and whether they agree with you. Learn some coping strategies that you can do if you eat out; practice them and see which you work for you. Find out what balance of nutrients best satisfies you and keeps you feeling good.
Experiment with various exercises - yoga, aerobics, resistance bands. Is there something you particularly enjoy? Build on it and make it part of your personal routine. Find an exercise you loath and never want to do again? Then take it off your list - and find another you can try.
This self-knowledge is the most invaluable part of what you need to know to reach your goals. Any book, or website, or doctor's office, has lots of information about what to do and how to do it. But you are the only one who can discover what will work for you, what you'll stick with, and what can become part of an enjoyable healthy lifestyle.
"Know thyself." - ancient Greek maxim