Just weighed in at 198. I am 5'10" and 36. I reached my highest weight just over 2 years ago at 320. It feels great. I am sure I was risking diabetes and a lot of other bad effects and socially it is a nice thing to lose weight.
The hardest part was patience. It is just so damm important to be patient. It is terribly hard because your only going to lose weight gradually (if your smart) but you just have to be happy you are moving in the right direction.
Also, I don't want to be preachy, and I can only talk from my own experience but just doing the common tried and true stuff, even though its not sexy, or fast, or in a 30 dollar book or on Oprah is, in my mind, the only way to do it. Exercise, healthy food choices (I can post mine if anyone cares), lots of water, eating slow, eating small portions WILL WORK. The other stuff more or less (and mostly more) will NOT work. And diet in the sense of changing your eating for a time period where you are 'on a diet' will not work either. Diet in the sense of all the choices you make about food day in day out, is however, fundmental to the weight loss process. People would ask are you on a diet? And I would say, quite honestly, no but I am making better food choices. I am relating better to eating, I am more concious of my eating, but I was never on a diet. I am not going back to what I did before. I am quite satisfied food wise, perhaps more satisifed from food then I was before...now.
So I know its just semantics the word 'diet'. But I just wanted to point out 'dieting' in the narrow sense never, ever works. New food habits does work, IT WILL WORK. You just have to be patient and find the right combination of changes that works for you. I would just suggest you start from a doctor or the USDA not from any trendy book. The water/exercise/eat slow blah blah stuff is boring, I know, but it is the best advice you will ever get if you want to lose weight.
BTW i didn't see this section and I posted to the WW 100s by mistake and can't delete it, oh well, I am not on WW btw, just the common sense stuff we all hear worked for me. Honestly I did try mu huang stuff for like 3 weeks, felt ok, was only taking one or two a day (not the 6! they said to take) then said forget it, its not worth it. So basically just doing the tried and true stuff for these past 2 years worked for me.