Week 6: Day 1 (On Smells)

Something I’ve noticed over the past few weeks is that my sense of smell is significantly more sensitive than it had been pre-Optifast.

I can now smell the Chinese restaurant on my way home a good 5 blocks before I used to be able to. If someone is grilling anywhere in the vicinity of my house, I can smell it. Microwaved lunches at school are now easy to pick out while still in my basement classroom. The chopped onions from the chili bar at the staff dinner yesterday? Yeah, I could smell those about 10 classrooms away from the room where dinner was served.

It’s not always food though. Scent is one of the most powerful things for recalling memories…

For those of you who don’t know, my dad passed away almost 3 years ago from pancreatic cancer. He was a natural healer, and his house in Oregon towards the end smelled nearly consistently of burning sage, incense, and a variety of essential oils. A trip to a “hippie” store brings me back to those days.

But a dad walking down the hall at school yesterday, wearing a fresh spritz of cologne that smelled vaguely of vetiver threw me back to days in my childhood home, eagerly getting ready for a dinner out with my family, and going into the bathroom after my dad had gotten himself ready. HIs cologne was vetiver, and that one whiff yesterday made me 9 years old again, standing on a stool in my bathroom, wiping the steam off the mirror and carefully putting on my piña scolada Bonne Bell lip smackers.

This morning, a mom walked into a conference with damp hair and the unmistakeable scent of Paul Mitchell mousse filled the air. Suddenly it was summer, and we were home after a hot day at the beach, and we’d all showered off the sand, and my mom had applied her mousse to create her signature perfect mane of spiral curls.

It’s really remarkable all the things I notice now that my mind isn’t constantly preoccupied with “what am I going to eat next?”

As promised to myself, I treated myself to a haircut at the fancy salon as a reward for having lost 25 pounds. I’m THRILLED with the results! I feel more put-together, and my stylist couldn’t stop raving about how great I looked. It was a phenomenal pick-me-up



  1. Looking good! I’m regards to smell, essential oils are an awesome way to stimulate your senses, reduce stress, elevate mood, boost immune function, help digestion – the list goes on. I love using them for aromatherapy & i plan on using them a lot during my fast.


  2. First of all I love the hair cut! And you’re doing and looking great my dear!

    And I hear you about the smells that bring back memories. Every time someone has just washed their hair with head and shoulders it reminds me of my dad, or pantene pro v hair spray reminds me of my mom. My grandma used to use a certain perfume that i don’t know the name of and whenever i smell it, it reminds me of all the days when we would sit at her make up counter and play with makeup when I was a kid! Ah, the memories!


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