I am new here also, and I went through a similar realisation about my weight gain last week when I saw a photo (the terrible one that is my avatar) and I saw how much my body had changed. I wish I could say it happened overnight, but it didn't. I still am at a loss to explain I could not notice how much weight I was carrying; maybe because we see ourselves every day we get used to seeing as little bit more weight at time - sneaky hey!
I don't have the answer on how to lose the weight for you - I am still working that one out for myself, but I can say that no matter what you choose to do to help yourself I think you will find the support you are after here. You are not alone. I suspect that others will also be able to help you with more practical advice on how to go about losing the weight.
Oh and it's not a soppy story, I dare say that it's the same story that so many of us here have ourselves.