Personally I find people who try to get fit for an occasion dont really do very well. And those that do lose weight always put it straight back on after. I always advise on training to get fit and that will result in weight loss if you are overweight or at least change your body shape.
Perhaps you could look to see if there are any fun runs to take part in? You could probably aim to train for a 5 or 10k run mix in some weights with that and you'll notice a huge difference in 12 months. Training for something can help you focus on your distance/times on your running or monitor how much you are lifting rather than looking at how much weight you are loosing.
Pre IT I was a gym instructor,
Best idea for your weights bench is doing 4 sets of 15 reps (this will tone you and will cut fat), you can find alsorts of excerises online for using your weights bench. Lower the weights so you can carry out these reps! (big weights does not mean big results) its all about PMA if you want to do it you will
search super 7's arm work out for your arms, these will rip the arms up in weeks! ABS again 4 sets of how ever many you can do.... sets its the key to toning up make sure your doing 4 sets.
CUT BREAD OUT, you'll see results straight away!
There are so many days to do this. It depends a lot on the individual. The most common way would be to eat health + exercise. Go for running / jogging & swimming - start doing lot's of different AB work crunches, sit ups, heel push crunch, the plank and more.
THEN with your weights... If you want to slim / tone then go for more reps less weight. To get bigger more weight less reps.
A common thing is for people who want to lose weight going to the gym, doing weights, gaining muscle then when they are getting heavier due to muscle weighing more then fat quitting the gym! You might put on in the first instance, don't let that put you off!!