Having read your description at the top of this page it amazes me how so often in life people without the right information always insist on trying to give you advice.
I personally am now approaching the halfway point of a 180lbs loss. I haven't got all the answers - far from it - all I can offer is drawn from my own experiences and what I have learnt from others.
I am going to take the liberty of adding you as friend as I believe you are making the positive decisions needed to progress on this somewhat long and sometimes daunting journey. In short - I believe you to be a winner.
You are of course very welcome to add my friendship too.