You found me (not that I've been hiding) and, yes, I realize this page was built in Blogger, but I'm really not using it as a blog. Occasionally, I'll post a note in the space below, but not too often.

However, I do blog regularly and invite you to check it out. If you're looking for me, I'm probably logged in to Facebook right now. I also tweet a lot.

Twitter is where I make most of my noise...

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Frightening Realization

I came to a startling realization this week. More on that later. First, the backstory.

Earlier this year, I committed to getting back into shape. I completed the entire P90X program and, while I didn't really follow a strict diet, I became a bit more mindful of what I was eating. I cut down on some portions and made a conscious effort to avoid unnecessary fats and sugars.

Slowly, a pound or two at a time, the weight came off and between February and the end of July, I had lost 18 pounds. Not bad.

Determined to trim a bit more body fat, I decided to cut out sweetened drinks for the entire month of August. Since I had already cut out regular soft drinks and rarely drink sweetened iced tea, that really meant eliminating artificially-sweetened diet drinks.You know, the zero-calorie stuff.

That sounds a bit unproductive, so I imagine you're asking yourself, "why?"  Well... I had read that diet drinks might not be any better than the sugar-laden stuff and cutting them out might actually help lose weight.  I'm not sure why, but one theory is that the combined sweet taste but lack of sugar confuses your body, makes it crave carbs and triggers fat storage. Another is that the chemical sweeteners are actually irritating, and your body responds by inflaming... essentially growing fat cells to protect the rest.

I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist, so I don't know. I'm not sure they do, either. Regardless, I figured I'd give it a try. Couldn't hurt.

Fast forward to last week. I weighed in at 189, a 3 pound drop from July 27. Impressive, but the surprise came this week.. I was down another 4 pounds, my steepest one-week drop all year. Keep in mind, I hadn't changed anything else. In fact, if anything, I've been a bit lax on the workouts lately.

OK, so the weight loss part worked. Still not sure why, but it did. I also found that I have more energy during the day and generally feel great.

But that's still not the mindblowing part...

This week, I realized that since I've rid my system of diet drinks, I'm more mentally focused than I can recall being in a very long time. I'm thinking clearer than I have pretty much since high school. I'm solving problems faster... sometimes without giving them much thought at all.

In hindsight, that's actually utterly terrifying.

Needless to say, I think I'm permanently done with artificial sweeteners. My gray matter agrees. 

Hops & Hickory