Delia, Counting calories and running has brought the most reward for me. I was doing okay early on just counting calories (and losing), but once I added the running, my bottom parts started firming up first and fast. The added benefit is I feel wonderful and can do this for a lifetime
. I will probably always need to "count calories" to a degree including my journaling, but the running and other exercise will keep me accountable and healthy.
Exercise is a MUST for continued weight control and healthy lifestyle, so find something you love, or at least tolerate on bad days.