Aw shucks, thanks everyone for saying such nice things! To answer the questions of how I've done it, well the second picture is a big clue! I discovered a long distance runner buried deep under layers of fat, and finding an athletic activity that I truly enjoy has been so instrumental to bringing me to where I am today. Even though I know that what I eat has a larger overall calorie impact than exercise, there's been something about running that has really changed my entire mindset toward my body. And it's been unbelievably empowering to find that I can run for long distances - I have 16 miler on tap for tomorrow, a year ago, I could barely make it down the block!
As to the eating part, well, I've approached that by calorie counting. I started logging everything I eat in Fitday, and just that act of writing it all down was a huge eye opener to me.
So, net-net, for me it all has boiled down to eating less and moving more. That plus time has brought me to this place on my journey.
Thanks again to all of you for your nice words of encouragement and support - the 3FC community has been wonderful, and I've learned so much and been inspired so much by the folks who post here. I can only hope to give a little of that back.