I didn't reach at this wisdom in one day. It took me years of motivation, dedication and a conscious decision to change my lifestyle (not just my body). I know people have fancy ways of describing 'eating-habits' (which are probably true, but sound scary to me) like - stress eating, emotional eating, boredom eating, etc. I would hate to see myself categorized into any of these categories. I think I just ate because I had no self-control and no real knowledge of what I was doing to my body.
If there was a plate of cookies in front of me; it was the purpose of my existence (on this planet) to finish them or else I wouldn't survive. It was somehow engraved in my brain that if it's on the table then it's there to be eaten and should not go back to our (or anyone else's) kitchen! Oh, my poor Super-mom would try to stop me from eating (scold me with her eyes) but once I knew that she had that power over me, I stopped making any eye contact with her at all (Wasn't I smart?:P). But now I know better - Food is there to satisfy hunger and make me feel healthy & energetic. It's not there to make me feel happy for a while, and then eventually gross and stuffed!
When I initially started working-out (with the aim to lose weight) I only lived on vegetables (less-to-none oil), fruits (low in fat content), and salads. Veggie Delite from Subway was my best friend (I mean salad with NO dressing, not sub!). I also had oats with non-fat milk (or Soy Milk) and whole grains but NO sweets (EVER), NO alcohol, and NO Cheat Days either. I had clear goals and I was willing to do anything to get there. I never starved though, I just ate what was right. My Dad (a.k.a. Super-dad) could never understand that. He thought I was torturing myself (and of course he thought I looked perfect as I was) but I had to fight all these loving people because I knew what I was doing was right and healthy.
I think with food, I mostly had to fight temptations and people sweet-talking me into tasting various foods (which of course they thought I was missing out on). It's very hard to keep saying no to everyone without eventually being rude. So I started skipping dinners where I didn't know the hosts (to ask for a salad). When I went for friends' birthdays I simply held an apple juice and pretended it was a drink, so that I am not asked over and over again to have "just one drink" (200 calories).
Ah! But at last when I did reach my goal I started eating EVERYTHING again (Happy Times) in small portions. Now the focus had turned to staying there rather than getting there. Well, that's all together, another ball game. Let me just say - It never gets easy but it's worth all the effort and all the calories you say NO to! It pays to be a NO! Man! [or Woman :o)]