It's been a year now since I hit my original weight loss goal and I am thrilled more than you can imagine that I've been maintaining that success. In fact, I'm actually about 13 pounds under that original goal now, depending on what end of the normal fluctuation I'm seeing on a given day.
I still feel kind of half crazy about food and eating. And yet, it's only half crazy, which feels OK. It's not a hidden craziness any more if that makes any sense; when my brain starts trying to trick me into the old ways, I'm almost always able to call bullshit on myself before the food gets forked into my mouth.
Some things I've learned or that I'm starting to notice now:
1. It's not a great idea for me to get too hungry. I get crabby and I start feeling desperate even though intellectually I know starvation is NOT right around the corner.
2. I still love food and eating pretty much more than anything else. I think only half of that is related to the physical setup of being hardwired to enjoy taking in nutrients.
3. I'm comfortable enough in my ability to choose what I eat during any given day that I can start playing with my percentages - fat, protein, carbs - to see what works better and makes me feel stronger.
4. I still have a distinct and strong preference for eating until I have a full feeling. I haven't even come close to breaking this habit, I have to say I'm not really trying. I just use vegetables to get to the full place. I don't stuff any more even though there's the occasional impulse to just keep eating. I do sometimes find myself feeling a little sad when a meal is done and it's time to stop eating. I combat this by remembering how amazingly wonderful everything just was and reminding myself that in a little while there will be more.
5. I don't find sweets compelling any more. This is a huge relief. I still like the occasional treat and when I decide to have one I make sure to savor. I like to have some dark chocolate once or twice a week, but if someone brings something to work or there's just some run of the mill candy around, I'm indifferent to it. I never though I would ever be able to say anything like that, seriously. Indifferent.
6. I love my exercise now. I love the challenge of seeing if I can work just a tiny bit harder today and then succeeding.
7. Learning to cope with the emotional aspects of eating has helped me to cope with the emotions of the rest of my life, not that it ever was separate really. It's just that not using food to soothe or damp down the emotional upset of the day forces me to look at my life differently. Not that it's all perfect or anything, it's just more in the open.