Nutrition Tips · The Science

Part 1 – a glimpse of a change; from skinny-fat to aware.

I am by definition ‘skinny’. I wear size 2 pants, on average an XS dress size, and Im too light to donate blood without having drastic side effects. My whole life I have done exercise but by no stretch of the definition am I athletic. I am a food blogger so naturally I love the taste of fat. Pork Belly is like my version of chocolate cake. And with a few fluctuating pounds here and there which I like to call water weight, I am skinny. In my teens I was vegetarian for 6 years and learned about amino acids found in meat substitutes, and how to obtain all the nutrients through fruits, vegetables and grains/pulses. But… I have always struggled to have definition in my body. Dont get me wrong, I have a butt and big boobs so Ive got me some curves, but you’d be hard pressed to find my abs or biceps. Over time I just kinda accepted that my genetics prevented me from having that type of body.

So the there’s what doctors would call TOFI (Thin on the Outside; Fat on the Inside), then there is skinny-fat where thin people actually have fatty organs,… and then there is me. Somewhere between skinny fat and skinny. Not medically red flagged but still unhealthy.

Last year I made a huge move in my life and relocated from the ever freezing Ottawa Canada to sunny Los Angeles California. No more hibernating in winters, no more woolen sweaters to hide behind, no more excuses not to run outdoors every day. So I did it. I made the pact to myself that I would pay more attention to my body and keep moving.

me when i loved here
Me when I arrived in LA. Skinny but no definition.

While the transition was absolutely amazing,  I started to struggle with adult acne. WTF!?! Maybe it was the heat. Maybe it was the sun. Maybe it was all the sweat causing clogged pores. I tried using organic makeup, acne preventing face wash, doing more facials, … you name it. I was doing everything I could because who wants to have adult acne at 32? Not me. I used to get a few pimples on my chin before getting my period, but this was full on devastating chin zits. I was trying so hard not to let it get to me. I even consulted my physician and asked if there was a birth control pill that could help prevent the acne. (note: I have struggled with endometriosis for half my life and have been on birth control to help with the pain, so no way around that).

And then I had my AHAA moment. My girlfriend and I had gone out to do some errands and had picked up an extra large diet coke on the way home. My favourite. In fact, this was one of those diet cokes with the Raspberry flavor shot in it. This was normal for us. I buy super sized diet coke and it lasts me all day long, sipping as I work. coke is always in my refrigerator. But I would NEVER buy regular coke. Its just not tasty. And, aspartame is way healthier than regular sugar. So there’s that. Well let me tell you, thank goodness for that diet coke because later that night I went out for some drinks… maybe one too many… and nothing cures a hangover like a diet coke. Its got something magical in it. And if you have a few slurps and then go back to bed, you wake up cured. Except the diet coke had been sitting out all day yesterday and it was flat. It was like caramel. It was absolutely positively disgusting. So, how come a flat diet coke is so much worse than a bubbly cold diet coke. I didnt know, and I didnt really care, but what I did know is I was actually addicted to the bubbles.When I sat back to think about it, its carbonation that I seek out. I rang my girlfriend and asked if she has a diet coke but all she had was a seltzer (club soda). AHA… the bubbles! So if the bubbles are what I like, screw the other ingredients I dont know how to pronounce. AND I dont even have a sweet tooth so I dont need whatever magic is in the diet coke to make it so sweet.

It wasnt like I was trying to be healthier, I just realized I could get the carbonation from a less conspicuous drink. So, I skipped the diet coke and bought a case of regular seltzer from the store that afternoon once I had recovered. Here’s what happened.

Within 24 hours, I was exhausted. So exhausted I could literally sleep all day. I had a headache the first day but after a loooooong nap I was good to go again. Day 2 was a little better. And by day 3 the headache was going away and I was able to get through the day without a power nap. Day 4 was incredible. I felt more focused than I have in a long time. And when presented with a diet coke on day 4 I was repulsed. I couldnt even think of putting that back into my body. On day 5, I went for a run and (though I have been running for years!) it was the first run where I felt the muscles working, my stomach flexed, my joints loose, and everything was functioning. I felt light, focused, and … healthy? I felt for the first time like I was burning parts of me, and not parts of left over gunk.

A few weeks later I was expected to have PMS> and for me this usually means mood swings and a lot of bloating. Like, totally uncomfortable, watermelon belly bloating. I started the countdown to my period. I have endometriosis so the countdown is a pretty normal routine for me every month. 5 days to go… no bloating. 4 days to go,.. oh I can feel some of those mood swings…. 3 days… 2 days… NO BLOATING! By cutting out aspartame, and by nature all other artificial sweeteners from my body I was functioning like a healthy human. My period was terrible but nothing new there. Post period, I started to get a firmer body. Not skinnier, just, firmer. I didnt go down in waist size I just looked trimmer. I dont know how to explain it, I just felt human. I felt light and focused and firmer and hotter and better.

WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO ME? AND HOW COULD I MAKE MORE OF THIS HAPPEN?

…to be continued.

Part 2: Eliminating Artificial Sweeteners

Part 3: Juicing

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