Taking off 17 lbs since the (disaster-dly) marathon on December 4th is not insurmountable, but 17 lbs added on has made it one of the heaviest points in my life. Making better food choices & reducing calories by 500 per day will take a pound off in a week itself. Combine that with regular training/consistency, that should equal 3-4 lbs a week. Quite an easy task if you stick with it.
I do not believe in diets, in addition, you should have fun eating & making smart choices of common sense "good foods" daily. I certainly do not want to starve myself to lose weight, so I eat more frequently but use smaller and more regular meals. I find this helps my blood sugar levels and sustains my energy better throughout the day. If you are looking to lose weight, start looking at the labels and seeing what it is you are putting in your own body--it may scare you!
After the first week of exercise and smarter food choices, I have already taken off 3.5 lbs. My projected "ramp up time" is around 5 weeks before I am back at fighting weight. All things equal, this will be a great time to establish base miles for the upcoming season, allow the bad weather season move through the calendar, as well as allow me to work on flexibility and strength. By the end of February, it should be GAME ON!
The specifics of the build phase periodization will depend on progress of the transition phase from what many would call "off season" (to which there never really is an off season--just what I call a step back point in the season). It is important to let all systems, mentally, physically and for some spiritually, to step back each year to assess your life and race goals, while moving to a non-regimented schedule. This reduces stress that the focused part of the year brings on and allows for adaptation universally throughout all aspects of that which makes you a "whole person". What are those aspects? They vary from person to person so that is one you'll have to figure out yourself. Either way, this stepping back will bring you a new level at the start of each season and you'll be on meeting the challenges of the year knowing you are on board with whatever it takes to make those goals happen. Good luck & see you on the fitter side of life shortly!