Lately, I've felt like I've been in a (productive) holding pattern. I eat on or close to target every day, get in a sufficient amount of exercise and wait for appreciable results. I think less about the struggle because I struggle less, though sometimes I feel like I had better focus and resistance to eating earlier in the process.
Sometimes I find myself slipping into emotional eating or compulsive eating without thinking too much and landing a bit higher than I'd like in calories or eating unhealthy food. I wonder if the success I've had to this point has brought on some mental complacency. It's as if I feel less vigilant because I now require less food policing.
This type of complacency is, I'm certain, the youthful sprouts of backsliding. I can see how not nipping this type of mindlessness about food in the bud could lead to regaining in the future when I let my guard down even more. I'm also guessing this is one of the many reasons why it is common for many people, particularly women, to do well initially on their diets and then halt their losses for awhile, or even gain back much of what they lost.
I have an acute sense of my food compass needing to be forcibly held in position such that it points at careful eating at all times. If I become inattentive to its position, it will gradual start making its way back toward less mindful, less healthy, and less portion-controlled eating. It can't be left to its own devices for long at all. I reckon that people who have never had an eating disorder don't give a second thought to their compasses for most of their lives, and are able to point them in the right direction without fear that they'll drift out of place the minute they turn their backs.
I'm hoping that I can snap my attention back when I first start perceiving this drift, but I do get tired of thinking about what I eat, measuring it, and writing it all down all of the time. The tediousness of tracking food, preparing it so carefully, and controlling my desires is immense. In fact, I'm realizing that getting healthy and staying there is unlikely to ever be something which won't drain my time and energy, and it's yet another thing I'm going to have to get comfortable with and accept.