welcome to the forums and congrats on dropping all that weight. I also dropped from around 350 down to now I'm 240, I was much lighter but work and bad diet put back on a few of those pounds! In any case I currently ride a Ride Decade 165w which I love. It's a little bit stiff for the true beginner but if your up for the task then the board will last you for years to come. I also wear a size 13 boot so the wide is necessary. Most companies these days have at least 1 or 2 wide or mid-wide boards for you to take a look at. Talk to your local shop, and make sure you buy the boots that you find most comfortable as that is the most important thing in terms of riding enjoyment. The wrong boots and you'll never want to go again. I also second the crash shorts idea as I bought a pair a long time ago and still wear them just out of habbit and the fact that it gives me piece of mind when I'm pushing myself a bit. Good luck with everything and enjoy the sport!