What Is That Smell??

Throughout my weight loss journey, I have experienced a number of changes.

Changes in the way I feel.

Changes in the way I look.

Changes in the way I eat.

Changes in the way I think.

Changes in the way I live.

For the most part, the changes I’ve witnessed so far are totally on par with what a person who is trying to lose weight should expect to see. However, nothing could have prepared me for the weirdest change yet. 😳

Everything smells downright awful!

Okay, so maybe not everything, but many things.

It all started about a month ago when some meat I’d bought started to smell weird. I mean, like, really strong and really weird. Even though it seemed pretty unlikely, I started believing that I could actually smell the weirdness as it emanated through the plastic meat tray in the refrigerator.

At first, I thought I was just plain losing it. After all, the meat had just been purchased; it was perfectly fresh. Even so, I could still smell it. It smelled… unnatural.

As time went on, my sense of smell began to get better and better. Like a super hero with a very unfortunate (and fairly useless) super power, I started honing in on a wide range of scents. Before long, it became common to catch me timidly sniffing every single edible I came across, either giving it a thumbs up or a repulsed scowl.

No matter what I’m doing or where I am, there is always some scent or odor (usually gravely offensive) for me to notice. It’s so peculiar because these are the very same foods, drinks, and environments I have been exposed to for forever; nothing has changed. All the same, my nose has suddenly become extra keen, allowing me to smell things I apparently never noticed before.

Unfortunately, no one else is able to smell the things I’m smelling. 👃

Over and over again, I have shoved various items beneath the noses of my most trusted acquaintances in hopes that they too would catch a whiff of something odd. Unable to confirm my suspicions, they’d always say that the food smelled as it was “supposed to”. Meat smelled like meat. Sauce smelled like sauce. Juice smelled like juice.

Meanwhile, I’d have to be the one to break the news to them like:

In fact, the strangest part about my spontaneously improved sense of smell is how I perceive the scent of things. It goes so much further than simply saying, “This smells gross.” Instead, I’ve started being able to precisely explain what the unpleasant odor actually smells like.

In some instances, there were foods that smelled rotten. In many other cases, I could smell a very strong and tinny essence of metal.

Perhaps most worrisome of all is when I’ve come across foods that reeked of chemicals (think bleach, ammonia, petrol, etc). Of course, this makes perfect sense, considering how most processed foods are chock full of nasty chemicals we can’t spell or pronounce. This is not to mention the way in which our “food” is manufactured these days.

I mean, I’m still traumatized from learning where chicken nuggets truly come from:

And no, I do not want fries with that. 🤮

For me, it was always one thing to know that there were strange additives in the food, but to actually smell them made it so much more real and in my face–literally.

There have been so many times over the past few weeks that I have smelled a food, sensed that it wasn’t good for human consumption, and elected not to eat it. I’m starting to feel like some animal out in the wild that sniffs their food to check for edibility and freshness. 🦝 😂 But as peculiar as it may be, I have decided to simply roll with it.

Instead of being disturbed by the ability to smell food and determine whether it’s “good” or “bad”, I have decided to embrace it, as it may be a valuable tool. After all, I have eaten far less due to the smells being so unappetizing; I tend to lose my appetite after smelling a food that has an odd scent coming off of it.

A few years ago, I did some research on the link between satiety and our sense of smell. Researchers determined that hindering obese individuals’ sense of smell could help them lose weight. Since then, I have also read about people satisfying their cravings for unhealthy food by merely smelling the item they desire prior to eating a healthy meal (ie. sniffing a burger before eating a spinach salad).

In an effort to investigate why my sense of taste and smell has drastically improved after losing a few inches, I ran into article after article discussing these topics. However, I have not yet been able to find anyone who has reported an improvement in their sense of smell, so I am still unable to explain what I’ve been experiencing lately.

It may be beneficial for me to look into changes in taste being a strange side effect of weight loss because I have experienced this as well.

Many things that once tasted delicious are now too bitter, too sweet, too sour, too salty, or too artificial tasting. Not a single week has gone by without me giving something I was eating the side eye, thanks to it having a “funny” taste. You know, there’s nothing like tasting something reminiscent of a solution you’d find in a laboratory to make you realize you probably weren’t that hungry in the first place.

So there you have it: one of the weirdest things I’ve experienced while trying to lose weight. I don’t know how common this phenomenon is– if at all. However, if anyone has gone through something similar to this before or knows something about the olfactory system that may help explain what’s going on, please feel free to comment down below.

I would really like to understand what the link between weight loss and our sense of smell is. If I ever find out, I will certainly be back to share my findings! But for now, I’ve got to go– today’s workout is calling my name!

Today was Day 58.

Never trust a food that smells like something you’d clean with. 🙅🏽‍♀️


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