Nice to meet you! You've made an excellent choice with the Zone. Say good bye to your cravings. They'll quickly become a thing of the past.
I'll begin by answering your last question. Yes, Zone foods can be combined with any Zone method you choose. One of the many pluses of Zone Foods is that they are virtually free of Omega 6 fat, meaning they are excellent for lowering inflammation, better than most any Classic Zone meal. The more successful you are at lowering inflammation, the better your weight loss result will be. Over the past 2 years Zone foods have become the basis of most of my meals and snacks each day, and I continue to enjoy excellent results.
If you're not doing Zone fast 1-2-3, I highly recommend the plate dividing method of the Classic Zone (see "Zone at a Glance" here: http://www.zonediet.com/tools/zone-classic).
It works great. I lost 100 pounds with that method about 17 years ago and have maintained it ever since. You see regardless of which method you choose and whether or not you'll need to adjust for hunger, in the end you'll be eating basically same amounts of P, C and F anyway so why not do it the easier way.
After a 100 pound loss I definitely changed shape (an understatement, ha ha). As for those areas where a person tends to gain first, in my own experience those areas are the last place I lost the final excess stored fat once I got close to my ideal weight. I've heard from many others with this same experience.
The Zone has changed by life for the better and the weight loss is just the tip of the icerberg.
Summer, feel free to ask questions. I'll be happy to share!