The first time I seriously tried to lose weight, I never really kicked the sauce. I continued to binge-eat brownies, cookies, ice cream, cupcakes, candy, etc., that I bought on the sly at the grocery store. I also never fully kicked microwaveable meals out of my rotation; I toted Lean Cuisines, Lean Pockets, and other purportedly “healthy” frozen meals to work for lunches or ate them at home for dinner when I felt too lazy to cook. I was working just as hard at the gym as I am now — well, that’s arguable — but I was blowing it all up in the kitchen. It’s not surprising, then, that I used to go to bed at night and REGULARLY dream about stuffing my face with the “forbidden” stuff. It’s hilarious to admit it now, but I would routinely dream of gorging myself on endless banquet tables of cookies, and wake up feeling physically and mentally sick, but also relieved that it didn’t really happen! I just couldn’t seem to give up my sugar.
I don’t have a sweet tooth. I have a mouth full of ’em.
Or so I thought.
Something weird has happened over the past few months: I am suddenly less drawn to the dessert table. The few times that I do venture over there, I find I’m not as satisfied as I expected to be by what I consume. As recently as last week, I found myself completely uninterested in the wedding cake at the reception I went to. I just… didn’t eat any. (I’m pretty sure it’s a crime not to eat cake at a wedding, so the bride can never know I rebuffed her celebratory sweets!)
I DID partake in four other desserts while away:
-Peanut butter-chocolate rolled oats bar (it was basically a no-bake cookie in bar form)
-3 mini cookie sundaes (“pizookies,” if you’re curious), split 50/50 with my friend
-A blizzard from Dairy Queen
The lab results were mixed:
-The chocolates were unsatisfying.
-The cookie bar was love in my mouth.
-The pizookies were heaven on earth.
-The blizzard was a disappointment.
It made me remember other surprising discoveries along these lines:
-My mom’s brownies suddenly tasted WAY TOO SWEET. I used to think that was only possible with port wines.
-My former TV companion, chocolate-peanut butter Häagen Dazs ice cream, also suddenly tastes a little too sweet.
-Tonight, I tasted a serving of goodies from my latest Nature Box order, and I can only describe them as funky-ass, crunchy cough syrup pellets. That’s not what I expected from whole-wheat chocolate chip cookies.
This made me wonder: Do tastes change with weight loss?
My infinitesimal internet research seems to imply that they do. Certainly, this is pronouncedly the case with people who had gastric bypass surgery. As someone who has not had that procedure, I’m not entirely sure how or why I might be experiencing this, but it does seem clear to me that there’s a correlation.
My completely unfounded, untested, and unresearched theory is that this is a byproduct of the initial detox period. Maybe what I was eating never really tasted good, and it was all chemical reactions happening in my brain’s pleasure center rather than a true enjoyment of food. Now that I know what actual food tastes like, the sugar-loaded stuff tastes all wrong to me. Or, maybe it tastes right, like what it actually is: mounds of sugar and unnatural compounds.
Regardless of the explanation — which I will continue to investigate — I am cool with it. I no longer feel like I’m missing out because I didn’t taste EVERY SINGLE CONFECTION in a given bakery. I don’t feel compelled to eat the cookies some courteous bastard brought to my meeting at work. I pay no mind to the cupcake place right next door to my office, the donut shop directly outside of my metro entrance, or the bag of white-chocolate-pumpkin-spice-covered pretzels sitting in a bag on my kitchen counter right now. My tastes changed, and so did my mentality.
Oh, and I’ve been sleeping like a baby.
I’d call that a win.