What Do You Notice? What Do You Wonder?



  • speyerj
    speyerj Posts: 1,369 Member
    @lisaharrington01 - what a wonderfully insightful post. I bet you are a wonderful teacher. (And you have my sympathy and support for the challenges of trying to teach Kindergarten during a pandemic.) This is great advice for anyone starting out - log your food, review your results, check, adjust. Repeat as often as necessary.
  • speyerj
    speyerj Posts: 1,369 Member
    Diatonic12 wrote: »
    What do you notice?

    I wonder how old you really have to be before you realize you should've done this years ago and why didn't anyone tell you how much better life can be.

    In my case, people definitely did. I just wasn't' ready to hear it at the time.

  • lisaharrington01
    Love this reply! “Slim chance/fat chance” 😂
  • SageAndFreedom
    SageAndFreedom Posts: 6 Member
    I'm just starting...again. Thank you for the encouraging post! You have given me some things to think about!
  • MyEvolvingJourney
    MyEvolvingJourney Posts: 369 Member
    I really like your suggestion to make observations! Question and observe. I'm going to give it a try! I've started and stopped and paused so many times. It might just help to notice and wonder!
  • corinasue1143
    corinasue1143 Posts: 7,464 Member
    Great post!
    I thought you meant “What did I notice?” About you
    And “What do I wonder?” About you.

    I noticed you gained dimples!

    And I wondered what it would be like to have a partner who supported you.

  • elisa123gal
    elisa123gal Posts: 4,306 Member

    What Do You Notice? What Do You Wonder?

    Before I explain how I took off seventy plus pounds, I want to reminisce about the pictures above. In the photo on the top, weighing around 210 pounds, I wanted to look nice for my daughter’s college senior orchestra recital. I squeezed myself into two pairs of spandex so I could wear my “slimming” size 16W pants instead of my usual size 18W. I felt uncomfortable walking around campus, uncomfortable sitting in the seemingly small auditorium chairs and extremely uncomfortable having my picture taken! Fast forward two and a half years later to the photo on the bottom. On this day, I enjoyed walking around my daughter’s graduate school campus feeling younger than I had in years! Instead of focusing on how uncomfortable I felt, I was able to focus on the people around me. There were no concerns about what to wear, getting my photo taken or feeling awkward and embarrassed.

    I couldn’t even count how many failed attempts I had using the MyFitnessPal App. Each failed attempt started with the same goals: 1. Log my food. 2. Keep my calories under a certain number. 3. Lose a certain amount of weight by a specified date. I became discouraged each time I went over my calorie goal, disheartened when I didn’t lose weight and frustrated with constant feelings of starvation. When I would fail with one of those three goals, I felt like a failure and quit.

    I hit a turning point at the beginning of 2018 when I created a New Year’s resolution: Log into MyFitnessPal daily. One simple goal. Just honestly record what I eat. I would not try to keep my calories at a certain number. I would not change my eating habits. I would not set weight loss goals. I would instead take a serious look at my eating habits with the purpose of learning about myself. As I began this habit I found myself asking two simple questions: 1. What do I notice? 2. What do I wonder?

    As a kindergarten teacher I know (as most other teachers do) that children learn best when they make their very own discoveries. You could tell them
    what would happen if a pumpkin was left in a garden for months (It would decompose, the seeds would reproduce, etc..) or you could give them a big pot of soil and some pumpkins and let them make observations. In the latter they become their own scientists. They become the experts in the topic and own the learning. The learning will stick and will be meaningful.

    Why not apply this concept to weight loss? I could become my own expert! As I logged what I ate each day, I considered my food diary to be important data. Examining the data, I asked: What do I notice? What do I wonder? Let me give you an example. I noticed that when I ate my usual bowl of cereal each morning, I became very hungry around 10am and craved more carbohydrates. This lead to overeating at lunchtime. This made me wonder: What would happen if I ate a high protein food like eggs for breakfast instead. I tested my hypothesis for two weeks by eating eggs for breakfast everyday. I discovered many things from this inquiry: I like eggs better than cereal. I ate less calories with eggs and didn’t feel hungry until lunch. When I eat a high protein breakfast I don’t crave carbohydrates. My brain feels clearer when I eat eggs for breakfast and I believe my menopause symptoms were lessened. Whoa! I have heard experts talk about the benefits of protein, but until I became my own scientist I couldn’t commit myself to a new habit!

    The “Eggs of Breakfast” was just one of MANY inquires gathered from my data collection using MyFitnessPal:

    What did I notice?
    I have more self control in the morning than in the evening.
    Those teeny-tiny fun sized candy bars add more calories to my day than I thought.
    When I drink diet soda I crave sugar.
    I can’t sleep when I am hungry.
    When I exercise I gain weight or lose it slower.
    When I am stressed I eat more.
    I miss cookies and cake.
    When I restrict too many calories, I am more likely to become frustrated and quit.
    Food tastes better when I am truly hungry.
    Maintaining my weight is harder for me than losing weight. Since trying to maintain, I am gradually gaining pounds.

    What did I wonder?
    What if I ate more of my calories in the evening than in the morning?
    Do mini candy bars really make me happy?
    Would adding lemon to my water help me to drink more water and less diet soda?
    What foods could I eat before bedtime to help me to sleep? Crackers, Nuts? Yogurt?
    Why do I gain weight when I exercise? I wonder if eating extra calories on my exercise days is causing this weight gain?
    What could I do instead of eating to manage my stress?
    What if I eat cookies and cake on occasion? Would it destroy my progress with weight loss?
    Would I still lose weight if I only reduce my calories by a few hundred?
    Does intermittent fasting work? Would I lose weight if I only ate between 10am and 6pm?
    How should I adjust my eating habits now that I am trying to maintain my weight?

    These are just a sampling of my observations and wonderings which led to many wonderful discoveries! I uncovered the joys of oatmeal, leafy salads and how amazing ice cream tastes when it is an occasional treat. My biggest realization was understanding how to listen to my body when it told me I was hungry and full. Sure, someone could have easily told me those things, but I needed the freedom and the time to make these kinds of aha moments on my own!

    My advice to those who want to give this a try:
    Log into MyFitnessPal daily.
    Be completely honest about what you eat. (even those little bits here and there.)
    Be sure to complete your entries each day.
    Weigh yourself on a regular schedule.
    Ask yourself, “What do I notice? What do I wonder?”
    Try out your inquiries for about two weeks and determine if it works for you.

    As you can see from the picture above, my husband also lost weight. He also uses the MyFitnessPal App. He, too. made some discoveries about how to eat, but many of his discoveries differed from mine. (ex. He does better when he eats more calories in the morning while I excel when I eat more calories in the evening.) This makes me believe that there is not a one plan that fits all when it comes to weight loss. Becoming your own expert will help you to devise a plan that meets your individual needs.

    I can imagine what a wonderful teacher you were/are. I appreciate all the information in your post.. and mostly love how you found self discovery is the key. So many people think weight loss is just counting calories. Well.. for many of us..no it isn't.

    The questions you asked; What makes you hungry? What makes you full? Observing patterns that work and patterns that don't. Brilliant. I'm so happy for you.. and you look amazing and happy.

  • getitamb
    getitamb Posts: 2,019 Member
    What I notice: losing weight didn’t make me feel more confident. Picking healthy habits and having a healthy lifestyle did.

    What I wonder: if I can maintain being a vegetarian.
  • PepeLPew
    PepeLPew Posts: 92 Member
    edited May 2021
    Great post.

    When I sleep poorly, my motivation tanks, I'm constantly hungry, I generally feel like garbage and the day is a write-off. When I sleep well, I'm ready to crush it.

    A HUGE ONE for me - When I am up early, like 5am, my motivation is sky-high and I am ready to conquer the day. If I sleep in until 6:30, it's gone.

    The longer I am awake at night, past my bedtime, the risk of me eating is exponentially higher.

    The more I exercise, the more I see food differently - as fuel.

    The greater I exercise per day, the stronger my mind feels.

    Eating good, wholesome food that's unprocessed and made from scratchmakes me feel amazing afterwards.

    Exercise for me reduces bloating.

    Hunger for me is almost always 50% unrelated to actual hunger. An awful sleep schedule, general depravity towards food, lack of portion control, etc have all skewed my reality around when I am actually hungry.

    Being in lockdown is stressful for couples. HIIT is a great way of digging deep and releasing that pent-up stress, anger, etc.

    NOTHING beats the soreness you feel after a good exercise. The soreness is a reminder for me that I am pushing my body to do something it isn't used to.

  • Sand_TIger
    Sand_TIger Posts: 1,078 Member
    I love this post and the wonderful sense of inquiry it inspires. I need more of this in my life!
  • debbiebyf
    debbiebyf Posts: 9 Member
    This is great I shall give it a go and see what I notice about our eating habits at home. Thanks for the inspiration and well done on losing all the weight, you both look great :)
  • mollypw1994
    mollypw1994 Posts: 356 Member
    I really enjoyed reading this… and just noticed it’s from back in 2020! I wonder how you’re doing now (the original poster)!
    I love your writing style , and your post has given me lots to think about.
    Thank you for sharing!
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