I think we can all relate to the following:
This is, by no means, an original concept. I believe this is one of the things taught in a clinical program (Optifast, I believe).
Lapse: an episode of going off program for one time (meal). Most of the time this will not effect your loss, but it could lead you to a relapse.
Relapse: more than one episode but less than a week of going off program. You may see a temporary effect on your loss, but can do damage control when you break out of the relapse.
Collapse: when you eat off program longer than a week. Most of the time this leads to deep feelings of guilt and despair, which leads to more binges, which leads to....you get the idea.
Luckily for me, these days there are more isolated lapses, and not re-lapses or collapses. It is hard work, but I feel proud that I have control, at least for this moment.
What drives us to relapses and collapses? I have no clue. But I know we all have the power to pull ourselves out of the deepest hole--even more so when we have good friends and family who love us to lend a hand.
Just some food for thought....