This will probably get buried in your inbox.
Those guys that are checking you out, they are looking at your progress, deep inside they’re cheering you on, everytime they see you back at the gym in their heads “fuck yeah he’s still around” - they just are not showing it cause everyone thinks it’s best to keep to themselves at the gym.
Everyone remembers where they started, skinny, fat, skinny fat (me). Don’t forget we all started somewhere.
Keep going my dude.
And for technical advice, do more weights and build muscle my dude, helps keep the weight down a LOT works as a buffer for your coping mechanism - i have the same tendencies, cardio is good but it does get demotivating (i used to run 5k daily and yet had a beer belly for years).