This is a great thread!!!
I will say that one of the things that has influenced my way of eating is the way I feel when I eat off plan/don't exercise/both. When I eat a meal full of carbs/sugar, I get EXTREMELY tired afterward and that afternoon nap becomes a necessity. I like sleeping, but I like living life better. And there's nothing like waking up after a four hour nap and feeling like I've slept the afternoon away, not being productive, because of the fried calorie laden high carb lunch I had.
There are other changes that I've noticed that I think are changes that I've made for life, including:
* Eating burgers without buns (if it's a good quality burger, I don't miss the bun)
* Keeping healthy snacks in the house instead of cookies/chips/etc
* Eating a salad with my meal, instead of fries/baked potatoes/mashed potatoes
* Ordering a salad as an entree (that was a HUGE change for me. In the past I never understood why someone would want a salad and that's IT).
And most importantly, going back to phase I after any sort of major "life event" (i.e. vacations, etc.).
Do I slip up? You bet - especially when "life" throws things at me that are beyond my control, like when your boss decides you have to go to a dinner meeting and chooses a restaurant that might not have anything totally on plan, or that wedding you have to attend that was very last minute. I try and let my "slip ups" only be one item at a meal, instead of the whole day, whole week, etc. I've also noticed that when I "slip up", I don't blow it anywhere near as bad as I used to. I remember when people would say "I just had one sliver of cake, and then I walked away"...and thinking to myself "I've never been able to do that". Now I can. I just don't do it often, because if I do overindulge in sugar habitually, the "sugar addiction" kicks back in, and I'm right back at square one.
And I do believe that sugar addiction is real.
ETA: The Walgreens story reminds me of a pic that I posted that was taken at Walgreen's (it's a funny, yet ironic picture): Weight Loss Fail