Hi Paul and welcome to our forum.
Congratulations on giving up smoking. That is not an easy thing to do. That shows that you do have determination and strength that you will be able to apply to your weightloss
I quit about 6 years ago and I put on quite a few kilos because I found myself shoving biscuits and sweetie treats into my mouth instead of smoking!
You've already gotten some really good advice here. The trick is, and well, it's not really a trick, is to keep it simple, or at least to start simple.
Make some small changes each week to your lifestyle. Don't even think about 'going on a diet'. You're going to make some changes to your eating habits and lifestyle that you'll stick with forever. It's not about food denial, it's about moderation and being realistic with yourself about what is a moderate amount of X. If you go all out too soon, there's a greater chance that you will fall off the wagon and you'll feel like a failure if you do so.
There's a guy on this forum called Donk who has lost heaps of weight and is almost at his goal weight. You can check out his photo thread for some inspiration. If I remember correctly, he started his weightloss journey by simply walking everyday, gradually increasing the amount of kms he does. He's now running 5-8km frequently, too! Great stuff.
At this point in time, walking would be a great start for you and as Chelle said, see if you can incorporate your family into it - get down to the park with them and most importantly, just get moving. Don't start out expecting to walk 30 mins a day - try a 10 minute walk around the block first. You'll be surprised how quickly that 10 minute walk grows to 20 minutes and up to 30 minutes. You don't want to start out doing too much because you'll risk injury and you'll probably not enjoy it. Park your car further from the station, get off the bus/train/tram early and walk that extra bit to work. Find ways to include more incidental exercise into your day.
What kind of sports did you enjoy doing/playing when you were younger? I found that I love doing martial arts and if I enjoy something, I'm out the door and on my way there without having to go through that internal dialogue - but I'm too tired, it's too cold, my uniform is still damp, my ankle hurts etc. If you can find a sport or form of exercise you enjoy, you'll stick with it and even look forward to it
The next thing to do is start drinking 2 litres of water every day. There are lots of tips and advice on here about how to get more water into you.
If you're drinking lots of soft drinks, substitute them with water and diet soft drinks - although the diet softies have all kinds of nasty chemicals in them that aren't good for you in the long term, but as a way of weaning you off coke etc. it's a good start. I myself am a Pepsi Max addict.
Then, as Kate suggest, check out the Calorie King website for information on serving sizes and what you should be eating etc. I was amazed to discover what a real portion is! No wonder I was having trouble shifting some weight. I thought I was eating healthily and I was, but just too much of it!
And finally, if you have any underlying issues as to why you are overweight, you need to get those sorted out otherwise you will stay on the weightloss/weight gain rollercoaster. So if you need to, see a professional counsellor.
I wish you well for your journey ahead. Any questions, just sing out
Just keep moving! And don't be lazy...
SW: 74.3kg - 1/1/09
CW: 71.1kg - 3/5/09