As a 42 year old man myself, I can relate. One thing about getting older is that you have to manage your recovery better, and be more strict on how you address your exercise and nutrition regimen. You need to start by figuring out what the first thing you want to address is:
- Start with what your desire is--lose fat, get "fit"
- Decide how to measure your current fitness
- Set short term realistic goals to help you improve the measurements.
For example, losing 5 lbs of fat is a good short term goal if you have a way of measuring body fat. If not, go by total body weight.
I have found that as I got older and heavier, high impact activities like running/jogging are really not going to work for me. Some tips from Alex Viada for guys over 185 lbs include:
- Forget barefoot running and minimalist shoes. Body weight alone requires well cushioned soles.
- If you want to run, get outfitted with proper running shoes.
- Run on pavement or grass, not sidewalks
- Biking can work, but build it up a little at a time.
For myself, I found that strength training allows me to improve all my health markers, is remarkably low impact, and helps increase my work capacity. I started strength training at around 39.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I get the impression that you have some unrealistic expectations of what you can do right now--particularly on a severe Calorie deficit. You're 3 years away from your former endurance exercise self (arguably with a much younger body). You are going to have to rebuild a little at a time. Don't try to rush back to where you were. You may or may not be able to get back to your former athletic abilities, but it's definitely not going to be overnight.
- Figure out how much a 215 lb man at your height needs to eat for exercising 3 days a week. NOTE: you are going for lightly active to start with. There's several Calorie calculators out there, just pick one to get started with.
- Take 500 calories off of that number (aim to average 1 lb a week)
- Eat the same amount every day no matter how much you exercise.
- Keep your protein up at .82 g per pound
- Keep fat at 20-30% of your overall food
- All the rest of your calories go to carbs (preferably with a decent amount of fiber)
- Readjust every 10 lbs you lose.
This is going to be a lot more sensible than going all the way down to 1500 calories. By a rough guestimate using 5'10" (average for the US) as your height I came up with 2608 calories to maintain, and 2108 Calories to lose a pound a week. Using that you would see a dietary plan that looks like this:
- 2100 Calories a day
- 175g of protein a day
- 50g of fat a day
- 235g of carbs a day
That will help fuel your exercise better. Carbs are pretty important to keep your energy up so you aren't digging a deeper fatigue hole than you need to.
Next, choose your activities. I highly recommend doing some strength training and some cardiovascular work. Done intelligently, they can help each other out.
- The first week, keep the cardio down at 5 minutes at a work pace. Use a form that is fairly low impact at first, or get the proper shoes.
- Each week, add 5 minutes until you get to 20-30.
- 3x a week do strength work. Focus on one major compound exercise, and 2 assistance exercises. Each week just try to add 5 lbs until you get to a satisfactory level of strength.
A reasonable goal for someone who just wants to be fit is to be able to squat and bench press their body weight, and deadlift 1.5x their body weight. More than this isn't going to make you better at running or whatever other exercise you want to emphasize.
Notice, how we start off very light, and build on it from there. The older you get, the more sensitive your joints are going to be to impact. That means you're going to have to be a lot more conservative in building up your activity levels.