What size/weight should I start off with for my equipment?
I would suggest you go to a sports equipment store and try to do some reps with different weights to get a feel for what seems right to you. I started out with a pair of 3s and a pair of 5s (I'm female, btw), but I almost never use the 3-lb weights. I am by no means super strong, but the 3lb weights are *so* light that they're rarely useful. I use them sometimes for more toning-focused exercises, but I almost always turn to the 5s and soon might want something a bit bigger. I also have a 7-lb kettlebell that I almost always pass over in favor of my 15-lb kettlebell. Hope this helps!
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