I guess I’d have to ask why you think lifting weights and losing body fat are mutually exclusive. My advice would be to “hit the gym” while focusing on improving your diet. Yes, you should probably lose weight. But that does not mean only doing bodyweight exercises. Out of curiosity, where did that idea come from?
So to answer your main question: you should lift weights, do some cardio, eat really well, and lose some (or a lot of) fat.
As for Starting Strength, I don’t feel like that is an ideal program for you given your goals and starting point. I’m always shocked that people on forums seem to forget who the program was written for: underweight high school athletes looking to quickly add mass and strength while continuing to do hours of cardiovascular work (i.e. practices) each week. While it probably has applications outside of that population, I tend to think that the less similar to that “avatar” you are, the less likely you are to be successful on the program.
All that said, if Starting Strength is what really gets you excited to hit the gym, then so be it. There are certainly worse options out there. I’d look around on this site and pick ANY program that gets you excited, and follow it exactly as written for the next 3 months. If that program happens to be Starting Strength, then so be it. [/quote]
Starting Strength was recommended to me by a friend who was in a similar situation: beginner lifter, background mostly in cardio, who used that program to put on a lot of muscle and dropped weight. So I got the book, started reading, noticed that Rip scoffs at the notion of dropping weight while getting stronger. Did a little digging online, and found a blog by a guy who said that “skinny-fat” guys shouldn’t do SS as a beginner, as it would make them gain a lot of weight in the beginning, and that you should focus on getting lean first if you were mostly working out for vanity’s sake (I’m doing this so I could go shirtless onstage, not start setting powerlifting PRs).
The blog I found that notion on (I linked to it in my original post, inadvertently breaking a forum rule, my bad) recommended going lean and focusing on bodyweight exercises before starting on a program like SS. While I am, in fact, doing this for vanity’s sake, I want to become stronger in a healthy and balanced way, so the practical nature of SS appeals to me. However, I am a complete noob at lifting, so the appeal of SS may just be that it’s the first program I’ve seriously looked into. I’m totally open to suggestion as to other programs that may get me to my goals faster. I’m not looking for shortcuts, just the most efficient means to my ends.