Minnie, did you make up your own plan? What was it like? Glad to hear it worked for you. The earlier experience sounds really painful.
Britchick, just a little point about scales. You weigh your least first thing in the morning because you've got less water in your system left after sleep and morning pee. Its also the most consistent so when you can, get yourself a set of scales. And learn how not to be upset by them.
Someone else around here had a very good strategy of weighing daily and taking the average for the week. This is probably an accurate way to determine your true loss or gain for the week.