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Oh, Phase V, how I love you. Not really. Of course, I don’t really hate you either. I don’t really even think about you that often.

Enough personification of Phase V.

Phase V is “No diet drinks.” Specifically no diet soda. I still put Splenda in my coffee.

I thought that Phase V would be difficult. I dreaded the Monday that Phase V was going to start. It was a non-event. By stepping down gradually over the last couple of months, it wasn’t too bad at all. I don’t know that I would be having the success that I am if I had gone cold turkey.

Phase V is slated for 6 months. After that I’ll re-evaluate and see if I want to allow myself the occasional diet soda. I don’t really have anything against them, I was just abusing them and wanted to totally break myself of the habit.

Do you have a habit in your life that you need break? You can go HERE to read about my five phase approach to quitting diet soda. 

This week, Don and Aaron discuss a variety of topics, all sparked by recent blogposts from 1meal1workout.com! It’s not JUST a place to park a podcast. Click HERE to start listening!

In the news:
Wired.com: More Evidence Supports Barefoot Running

This week’s healthy recipe:
Weight Watchers: Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

So now the question is:

Do I go crazy? Eat whatever I want? Overindulge? Set myself back a week? Eat until I don’t feel good?

What do you think? Is overeating REALLY rewarding myself? I used to think so.

Now…not so much.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about my goals for 2012. Goal #4 was “Quit diet drinks”.

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When I decided to get more fit back in June of 2010, one of the things I did was quit drinking my calories. No more sweet tea. No more Dr. Pepper. It was a big change. Several well-meaning people told me “you know, artificial sweeteners are bad for you”. Others said, “carbonated drinks are bad for your kidneys”.

The debate’s still out about both of those claims, but nobody is arguing about the fact that being 150 lbs overweight is bad for you. Everyone agrees on that. So I decided to switch to diet soda, with plans to worry about the diet soda later.

Now it’s later, and I’m using a five phase approach to quit the diet soda.

Phase I: Drink all the diet drinks that I can.
This was my default mode for the past couple of years. Technically this could have been Phase 0, I guess.

Phase II: Don’t keep diet drinks as work.
I usually kept cans of diet soda in a fridge at work. This meant easy access, and I would drink 2 – 5 EVERY DAY. During Phase II, no more steady supply.

Phase III: No diet drinks during work.
On Phase II, I didn’t KEEP diet drinks at work, but I would still buy them at lunch (or breakfast). Phase III ended that.

Phase IV: No diet drinks during the week.
For me, Phase IV starts tomorrow. The weekend starts at 5:00 PM on Friday, right!

Phase V: No diet drinks.
Pretty self-explanatory. No more diet drinks. This phase starts in two weeks.

After 6 months or so of being totally off the diet sauce, I might allow myself an occasional diet soft drink. But for now, this is the plan!

If you’re trying to make a significant change in your eating (or drinking) habits, and you’re having difficulty doing it, I recommend a gradual tiered approach. Step it down bit by bit. However, you MUST HAVE A PLAN…with dates and everything. Seriously.

This week we’re joined by Lara Field (@LaraField), registered dietitian, celiac disease expert, and pediatric nutrition expert to discuss childhood obesity. She shares suggestions on how to help our children live healthy lives and make better choices.

Click HERE to start listening!

Check out Dr. Lara’s website: www.feedkids.com

One of Lara’s recommendations: www.ChooseMyPlate.gov

In the news:
Today: Why Does Running Make My Nose Run?

This week’s healthy recipe:
Cheryl’s Menu – Black Bean and Corn Salad

I’M NOW EATING HEALTHY! I’LL NEVER HAVE ICE CREAM AGAIN!!

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Come on.  That’s just silly. A sure-fire way to make sure you crave something is to be told you can’t have it. Everyone knows that…just watch half the romantic comedies out there.

If ice cream is your weakness, consider only allowing yourself ice cream on Saturday (or Sunday…the day doesn’t matter). That way, when you are tempted to stop at Baskin Robbin’s, or Braum’s, or Bruster’s (why do they all start with “B”?) and get a scoop, you can honestly say to yourself, “I can have a scoop Saturday”. It seems, at least to me, to make the self-denial more manageable when I can see the end. The “never again”, just seems to make it worse.What’s your “food weakness”? Try this technique. I think you might be surprised.

One more tip. Don’t keep a stock of “your weakness” in your pantry. Again, that’s just silly.

Tonight I was getting a snack (a pickle, of course) and I started thinking about food, eating, why people eat, why I eat, and reasons that I SHOULD eat.

The first thing I did was list reasons I SHOULD eat. I could only really come up with two.

  1. I’m actually hungry – This seems reasonable, right?
  2. I need fuel – I may not “feel” hungry, but if I’m about to head out for a 5 mile run, and I haven’t eaten in 4 hours, I need to eat something.

Then I started about thinking about some of the OTHER reasons I actually do eat.

  1. I’m bored – We’ve all done it. At least, I would expect that we all have.
  2. I’m in a social setting – Often we (I) feel socially obligated to eat. Less so now than before, but it still happens.
  3. It’s time to eat – Breakfast time, lunch time, dinner time. Even if I’m not that hungry, that’s usually reason enough for me to chow down.
  4. The Mt. Everest Syndrome – Because “it’s there”. There’s food, and that food just seems like it needs to be eaten.

It’s pretty simple and obvious. But sometimes, it’s the simple things that we overlook. Take a few minutes, investigate WHY you eat. Are you a bored eater? A social eater? Arm yourself with a little healthy introspection.

My ultimate goal? To eat when I should and why I should.

This week the guys discuss compulsive eating, getting back on track, how to win the “head game” and more. Quite the lively discussion! Oh, and Aaron uses dozens of cliches, too. Click HERE to start listening!

In the news:
ScienceDaily.com:Chew Gum, Lose Weight?

Healthy Recipe Tip:
Baked Flounder – courtesy of AllRecipes.com

 Last week I posted about my extremely bad idea of eating whatever I wanted the entire time during a 10 day vacation. My weight on Saturday night when I returned was horrible (270 lbs), and when I weighed in on Sunday morning, I was at 263.3 lbs. (In case you didn’t go back and read my other post, this is about 30 lbs heavier than I’ve been at my lightest.)

When I got on the scale and saw those numbers, I really only had two options of what to say to myself.

1)  ”I’ve blown it. Oh well, it was nice being fit for a while.”

2)  ”Okay, I’ve proven how bad an idea THAT was. Now it’s time to get back on track.”

I opted for the latter. I re-read some of my own posts for encouragement, started a food diary, did a podcast about my lunacy of eating bad for 10 days, and made sure to get all my ducks in a row to move forward.

I weighed myself this morning (my normal Saturday weigh-in time), and I was at 247.6 lbs. I had lost 15.7 lbs this past week. I’m sure a lot of that has to be water weight, but obviously I was very encouraged.

If you have a bad meal, a bad day, or like me, a bad 10 days, don’t let it stop you. If you eat a bad meal, eat better next time. If you miss a workout, make sure you make the next one. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. You can take back control of your health, one meal at a time, one workout at a time.

We’re just about 2 weeks into the new year…have you got your 2012 goals lined out? Forget resolutions. Set GOALS!

If you’re interested, you can check out our entire podcast we devoted to this subject a couple of weeks back.

I set my own goals for 2012, and for your enjoyment, here they are:

  1. Do 1 chin-up. This is a carry-over from LAST year that I failed to accomplish.
  2. Do 25 GOOD pushups.
  3. Reach my final goal weight.
  4. Quit diet drinks.
  5. Finish paying off ALL of our unsecured debt.

So I had my goals. Now I needed a plan, and that’s what I finalized tonight.

I set monthly dates to ween myself off of diet drinks (#4) in stages. I firmed up my exercise plan. I figured out what days I was going to continue to run (#3), and what days I would be doing upper body stuff (#1 & #2). My debt payments (#5) were already set up. 

I printed out my plan, including target dates, and taped it to my bathroom door with a pencil close at hand. Nothing left to do now…but DO IT!

What’s your goals for this year? Now…what’s your plan to reach them?