I know why I failed all those times before. I lost weight, thought I could then eat "normally", and proceeded to eat myself into the blindness that leads to a rebound gain. I realize now that I have to always eat like I am right now, and I have major issues with highly refined carbohydrate foods with flour (bread, pasta). I stopped eating them, and 3 weeks later, I don't have uncontrollable hunger, and I have had no binges, even though I have had some stressful moments (finals). I think if I manage to lose the weight this time, I will be better prepared to deal with maintenance. I also stopped coming here to this site, and that was a huge mistake. I ate without regard to how much food I was actually consuming, and just kept eating until I was beyond full.
I know it sounds crazy, but I think you almost have to be prepared for the idea of maintenance BEFORE you begin the weight loss. The maintenance is the part that is hard, because it doesn't go away. At that point, you aren't on a diet anymore, you're just living. That's the scary part I was never really ready for.
So this time I made sure that what I am doing is not only going to confer weight loss, but that it's DOABLE. Forever. And I think it is. I plan my meals based around what they have in them, nutrients-wise. I only eat carbs in the form of steel cut oats, quinoa, brown rice, couscous, potatoes (mostly sweet), legumes, some fruit, and dairy. I don't add sugar to anything, I don't drink juices. I eat things as close to how they came as possible, with minimal grinding, milling, refining, reintroducing nutrients, etcetera. I figure I have teeth and digestive enzymes for a reason. I might as well use them. I feel better about how I am eating, but just to be sure I am on point, I weigh and measure and track my foods to be sure. I am not hungry all the time like I used to be, and I have more energy. I also only eat the grains and high carb foods for the first two meals, and my last meal is mostly protein and veggies. I also changed my idea about my fat ratios. I am trying to get more omega 3 to omega 6 than I was before, so I use less traditional vegetable oils now, and I eat more fish, nuts, and flax and chia. I really like coconut oil, and I have always used olive oil.
The point of this really long post is that I have really tried to find what will work for me long term. I have a lifetime of unhealthy relationships with food, some psychological, some things that I believe are biological, but I think that I have found what will work for me. Find what works for you. You can do it, but you have to do it.... always. Are you ready?