Regarding the article "Enough is enough," USDA guidelines are just that -- guides. Exercise should never be intimidating but too often is made to sound more scientific than is necessary. Add to the mix the recent onslaught of "professional" trainers, and most of us think that if someone isn't showing us the way, then exercise is impossible, or at least impractible!
The problem (if that is how we view activity and eating) has a very simple solution:
Think of your body as a fuel tank. You need to fuel up daily, but if you take in too much fuel it must be stored. Men tend to store the fuel in different areas than women. When it is stored, it's very difficult to get out of storage. Take in (eat) less energy than you require, and the storage compartments will be activated. If you keep topping off the fuel tank (eating too much), storage capacity is maintained, and we lug around vast quantities of potential fuel (energy) that doesn't get used. Our body is a wonderfully created and complicated system of checks and balances. If we eat less and exercise more, we'll feel better about ourselves and our lives.
There is no quick fix -- no matter what anyone tells you. As a former college and professional football player (310 pounds), I have spent the past 14 years activating and using my storage compartments with some measure of success. At 230 pounds, I feel much better and make activity and exercise a part of my daily routine.
Don't fall for the gimmicks and those who would have you think that only the "professionals" can show you how to exercise and diet correctly and successfully. Do what I did. Find good rolemodels of fitness, do some of what they do, find activity that you enjoy and, most importantly, practice "pushaways" (push yourself away from the table and eat less than you usually would), and lastly, think of all that you could accomplish if you gave the television a little less of your attention and spent some quality time with yourself and family doing some activity.
Add some life to your years and don't worry so much about adding years to your life (we don't have much say in that matter).
(a recovering storage container)