I've thought about this as well and I wonder if sometimes Aikido doesn't get some undeserved credit. There's a tendency to attribute results to something outside of yourself such as Aikido or far more commonly god (not equating the two, just the context).
I wonder how many people who gave up some sort of vice attribute their results to an outside entity? I don't hear many people say, "I gave up smoking through will-power and hard work. I did all the right things, I quit smoking and while I'm grateful for the help I got from X, I still did all the work." It's almost never presented that way, rather it goes something like "I quit because of X. It saved my life."
I'm not directly answering your question, but then I'm not sure whether I changed myself or Aikido changed me.
Ian, what sort of environment were you in where you got 0.00 philosophy? Maybe I could set up an exchange program? I've heard so much philosophy in the last few months that I'd like to will some of it in that direction. Trust me, I've got tons to spare. This would allow me to spend a little bit of time with my recently rediscovered nemisis Mr. Sankyo.