Hi Julie! I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my father to heart disease, as well as an aunt. One of the big impetuses for my weight loss was preventative health, too. So, good for you!
And, I love your attitude of being good to yourself. I need to absorb more of that mindset.
I, too, found it hard to maintain over the winter months. I had every intention of getting the couple of pounds I gained over Christmas off quickly in January, and it just didn't happen. I didn't go WAY out of control, but enough that I can feel the difference. Funny how 10 lbs gained is so noticeable, now, when 100+ lbs went ignored for so long! ha!
With spring, I'm renewing my commitment, too. And, it's working slowly, but surely! Glad to have you participating with us, now. Keep posting about your progress!