Tunes for Tuesday: Walking on Sunshine, by Katrina and the Waves
Tunes for Tuesday: Shots, by Imagine Dragons

Weight Watchers Wednesday: My plan is working

"My goodness, do I feel good!"

I actually said that out loud in the shower after I got back from the gym today. And it was true -- my stomach had stopped giving me fits, my hot flashes had all but disappeared and my left achilles had stopped acting up. I still have some tightness with my right IT band but it's getting better.

Now, would I have said the same thing if I hadn't lost 2.4 pounds this week?

I sometimes feel that so much is tied to how I did on the scale.

But I knew it was going to be good news on the scale because I PLANNED FOR IT TO HAPPEN.

Menu planning
On Sunday morning I printed out a weekly meal planner and filled it all in -- breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. That way instead of just winging it I'd look at my planner and grab the right food.

So what did I fill in those squares with? I call it the Dr. "Phoz" plan.

I've been reading and listening to the audiobook of Dr. Phil McGraw's "20/20 Diet." No, it's not another "miracle diet" with goofy rules and lots of restrictions. Instead the eating plan focuses on specific foods that have been proven to increase satiety, thermogenesis and reduce cravings. For example, cod is one of the foods encouraged because a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that cod has the ability to keep you fuller longer than, for example, beef. Other power foods in the plan include almonds, apples, Greek yogurt and prunes.

The meal plans were designed by Cynthia Sass, a registered dietitian I really respect.

Another thing I like about the book is Dr. Phil's tough love approach. He's not afraid to call people out on their nonsense. Take this passage:

"Until you acknowledge that not all 'hunger' means you must stuff something in your mouth immediately or risk passing out and dying from starvation, you can't have successful weight loss."

I've been listening to the audiobook on my walks, and while I wish it were Dr. Phil's actual voice talking to me, the narrator does a good job getting his folksy approach across. And if you get the audiobook version, there are printouts of the meals, recipes, shopping lists and exercise plans.

Another thing I've been doing is spreading out my meals and snacks longer than I've done in ages. I was one of those people who ascribed to the "eat every couple hours" rule but often that would end up being grazing through the day and night. This week I took Dr. Phil's words to heart and, guess, what, I didn't die of starvation! As long as my meals were a decent size, I could go 4 hours between meals. I used to think that was sooo loooong, but really, it's not. 

There are a bunch of suggested meals in the book, and the plan is broken up into three phases. Right now I'm focusing on the first phase and tossing in a couple meals from phase 2, which introduces more power foods, like avocados and oatmeal.

But at the same time I was digging into Dr. Phil's book, I happened to catch the Dr. Oz Show the day he introduced the Total Choice Plan for weight loss, which was developed by the Cleveland Clinic and the Dr. Oz Show. Cleveland Clinic Florida is where all my doctor peeps work so I checked out the plan and really liked the meals, which were designed to assuage any cravings you might have.

I know how the Cleveland Clinic eating plans work because a few years ago I went though its nonsurgical weight-loss plan and had a custom eating plan designed for me, which is buried somewhere in my office.

I was torn -- which plan to follow? Then I decided to create "Dr. Phoz" -- one day it's the Dr. Phil plan, the next day it's Dr. Oz's. 

Both plans have a lot of my favorite foods and both plans are designed scientifically to keep you happy, full and not bored, and so far I'm loving both.

On the exercise front, I've gone back to my old routine of strength training at the gym three days a week and walking the other two days. And this sight made me very happy as I left the Weight Watchers meeting this morning:

New planet fitness

The workout machines were being delivered and installed at the Planet Fitness that will be three doors down from my Weight Watchers meeting -- how convenient! It's supposed to open next week and I can't wait. (I can't believe I'm so excited about a gym opening.)

So, to sum up:

  1. Meal planning
  2. Meal spacing
  3. Dr. Oz + Dr. Phil = Dr. Phoz
  4. New gym anticipation!

All of these are adding up to a renewed motivation to keep the scale moving.