Don't be afraid of strength training.
The risks associated with strength training are far smaller than the risks associated with not strength training.
There's no shame in not achieving your goals immediately. In fact, the "slower" your progress, the more likely it will produce long-terms results. I'm not where I want to be, but I'm 30 pounds lighter than I was a year ago and have more energy today than I did 15 years ago.
The world desperately needs people who strive to show others what they're capable of and inspire them to try. Be one of them.