I just wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying reading your journal. Your insight about "What if I were forced to eat crap all the time" was so true! I would really miss my whole foods and veggies, probably more than I ever missed the junk (and I can remember missing it a lot, in the beginning).
You are doing great in your journey so far. Some people manage to adopt this lifestyle and never look back, and obviously that is the ideal way to do it, but there are a lot of us who have worked through slips and mess-ups and still got to a good place eventually. I know that for me, it was really crucial that I kept persisting with the program even when I got off track. As a McDougaller who sometimes messed up, I was still eating a lot healthier than everyone else who wasn't McDougalling. That thought helped keep me going, and over time my mess-ups got fewer and further between as this way of eating became more and more ingrained. It's true what they say about the force of habit being a strong predictor of behavior. The other day I was waiting in line at a home improvement store and was standing next to the racks of candy bars that they put there. I was bored and started looking at the different kinds they had, and there were some I didn't even recognize. Then it occurred to me that my thought processes have changed so much over the last several years, to the point where it wouldn't even occur to me to pick up a candy bar in the checkout line. That stuff has become almost invisible to me. And that's mostly because of habit -- we are most likely to do today, the same things we did yesterday and the day before. The longer you stick with it, the easier it gets.
I hope you do feel safe in posting about your ups and downs. I lurked and did not join this forum for years -- despite reading it regularly -- because it seemed a little scary here. For sure the culture is different from most support boards. The advice is excellent and I have benefited so much from it, but sometimes I've been glad I wasn't the direct 'recipient'.
Congratulations on doing your meal planning in advance and having healthy food all ready to eat....it makes a HUGE difference. I plan out my dinners each week and shop for the ingredients, so I always know what I am going to make, plus I have an arsenal of quick & easy standybys that I can make if I am tired or have no time (they use pantry/freezer items so it is just a matter of opening some cans, mixing and heating). You are right about planning being important to success.
Have a great day and enjoy your delicious healthy foods!