I have finally learned moderation. I eat what I want, but smarter now. I've been looking at the bigger picture, and planning in my favorite things instead of avoiding them. Pancakes aren't as big of a problem as they used to be if I stick to two and use fruit instead of syrup on top. I can do the whole fast food thing if I know the nutritional value before ordering and plan my day accordingly around my filet-o-fish and small fries (660 cals, and thats with BBQ sauce to dip the fries in). And I share my fries.
Its pretty amazing, because I don't feel deprived and 1,500 calories doesn't seem so small anymore. I said "I want pancakes BAD" to a friend on Saturday and she responded "Those DEFINITELY aren't on your diet..." and I didn't know how to tell her that I'm not on a diet without sounding smug.
I just weigh the worth of the foods I eat now. I'll load up on fiber one cereal, veggies, fruits and lots of water so that when the opportunities arise to indulge I have some wiggle room to enjoy my palate. That is probably the biggest factor in my almost 40 lb weight loss. Sure I could probably drop it faster if I stuck to a diet, and didn't have a Frosty when the mood strikes but it wouldn't be a promise I could keep. (a small one is 330 Calories- one of the lowest calorie milkshakes- Starbucks Mocha Light Frapuccino is a better bet.)
I can promise myself, however, that I'll fuel myself adequately using a nutritional tracker and still enjoy a few treats in between the carb, protein, fat and calorie counting.