Hi - It's good that you are coming here for help rather than trying to go it alone - often a lot of mistakes can be avoided, this way.
Below are some links that you may find helpful: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_artic
You have indicated that you want to lose weight quickly. I seriously hope that you change that thought around to "I want to lose weight the healthy way!" Quick weight loss is definitely not recommended for a number of reasons:
* It is unhealthy and puts too much strain on the body.
* People generally fall off the wagon with this because it tends to be too restrictive and/or boring.
* Even if people last the course and reach their goal, as soon as they have gotten there, they put it all back on and often more, because they haven't really learned a healthy lifestyle - just how to loose weight quickly.
You mention wanting to eat a 'lower carb' diet. That is fine, just so long as you don't go TOO low. Your body still needs carbs. Make sure that you still eat wholegrains - there are some very important nutrients in there, and they really do help to fuel the body properly. A lot of people may find that wheat is a problem for them, but often it is with unhealthy, heavily processed goods - cakes, certain breads, doughnuts, etc. There is a big difference between limiting them and cutting out an important food group. Bread can actually be your friend. I have one which is high in fibre and protein, but low sodium and saturated/trans fats. It is quite filling, and around 100 calories per slice.
As far as your calorie range is concerned, let SP determine your range, but remember, 1200 calories is for a woman of average weight who is very sedentary. Someone with a little more weight, and/or exercising, needs more. In actual fact, a lot of people tend to UNDEReat, and/or skip a meal, and that can hinder weight-loss, and also sometimes deprive people of needed nutrients. I suggest that you weigh all of your food for increased accuracy, and enter it into the tracker. This is what kept me motivated, and also gave me the power to tweak my intake as and when necessary. As a result I lost 50lb in 16 months (slow, but truly the best way) and then happily sat there for a year before deciding to move on down again. I am now at my goal, and have been for over 2 years. I STILL weigh all of my food and use the tracker every day to ensure that I stay there!
My Dietitian told me that cardio is better for weight-loss but weights etc. are better for developing and toning muscles. A mix of the both is advised, and I am pleased to see that you are planning that.
Whatever you do, please start with baby steps. That means just change one or two things to start with, and allow your mind/body to get used to the changes before yo add something else to the mix. You mention the 30 day squat challenge, and planning to on 50 one day and 100 the next. I am not going to try to dissuade you from the challenge, but I DO suggest that you GRADUALLY build up to it. You can do a lot of physical damage by rushing in without preparing your body properly with those baby steps in fitness.
Finally, please don't judge success by the scale! This isn't really how it works. The scales are but a number, and only a small part of this journey. Even if the scales don't budge, I would guarantee to you that you will still be doing your body a heap of good. One thing that you may notice before any weight-loss is that your clothes may start to fit better or get too loose. Others may start to comment on your looking really good - you may have a 'glow' to you.... a sparkle in your eye that wasn't there before :-)
I wish you well for your journey and hope that you have a successful result :-D
I went to have a peek at your SparkPage, but notice that you don't have one. If you would like to create one and have it open so that other members can drop by, you will find that you will get even more benefit from this site because they will be able to leave encouraging little messages, and the occasional goodie :-)