I was in day four of a pass/fail performance exam for an important 18 month long certification program. There was no way to prepare for the 5 full-days of live evaluations. A person had embodied the material on every level or they hadn’t. The tension in the room was so thick it compressed everyone’s ability to breath. Evaluators judged each student’s performance for three situations per day while every other student silently witnessed the unfolding. That day someone brought in a platter of hot cookies from the bakery across the street – chocolate chip and peanut butter. The moment the aroma took hold of the room, the thick tension was instantly broken and replaced with smiles and the anticipation of enjoying one, or two. My whole body was overtaken by the divine smell, but I knew eating one would fiercely trigger my auto-immune conditions in serious ways. Some years earlier I realized I had a choice. I could wallow in self-pity and deprivation, or I could make the most of what my body and I could relish safely – the aroma. So, I closed my eyes and let the decadent aroma take me to a dreamy place. When the eating frenzy died down I reluctantly drifted back to the room and opened my eyes. As I looked around the room I realized I had missed out on the cookie eating bonding experience, but I noticed that my dreamy state in the aroma had clearly left me more satisfied than those who had eaten them.
Aromas hypnotize people straight into zombie states of desire and food consumption, like that day I saw everyone throw themselves on the cookie platter as if it was the last floating lifeboat. Aromas go straight to your brain’s instinctual and unconscious pleasure zones. They trigger impulse and addiction type responses. Left unharnessed, aromas are in the driver’s seat of your body, emotions, behaviors and choices, and may be working against you and your efforts.
Aromas are POWERFUL influencers
Aromas take you places, so use them deliberately
✧ A factory space infused with natural lemon scent improved factory production and efficiency. Vanilla slowed it down.
✧ Diffused natural oil scents in a room reveal their traces in your bloodstream in the same way that smoking cigarettes and marijuana will.
✧ Spending considerable time in a true winery cellar, with fermenting wine, will leave a person feeling drunk. Even if they haven’t consumed a drop a wine.
✧ Aromas are bridges between emotions and experiences, both good and bad. As wonderful as hot chocolate is, if a child’s first exposure to it happens at what that child experiences as traumatic, then that child is likely to grow into an adult who has an aversion to it.
✧ A certain aroma will carry a person back to a random point in time. Hot spiced cider takes me straight back to my first camping trip as a Brownie, where I also learned to recognize the presence of a skunk by its smell.
✧ Do you ever call up an emotional state through an aroma memory? Mulled wine puts a big grin on my face as it takes me back a ridiculous laughing fest my friends and I had from playing a heated game of UNO at a winter mountain refuge in France.
✧ Have you wired an aroma to a belief? A friend of mine only feels satisfied that her house is truly clean when it has the same pine scent her mom used. When she figured out why she was so attached to that cleaning product, whose chemical fragrance was disturbing her son’s allergies, she swapped it out for one with natural pine essence.
Aroma is to eating what foreplay is to sex
And as you already know, sometimes foreplay is better than the sex!
Professional wine connoisseurs start with the aroma of a wine. Never rush to taste it before they are fully finished savoring the aroma. They note the bold obvious and then reach deeper into it to discover the finer qualities in the background. As they are making sense of the aroma they swirl the wine in the glass to see its visual distinctions and to possibly reveal more of its aroma. Then and only then do they sip (or slurp), let it rest in their mouth (some even swish) to experience big flavors while hunting down the finer hidden accents. When they have the big picture of the taste concretized they may or may not swallow the wine, depending on how much they prefer to keep their wits about them. And the complete sensory experience doesn’t stop there! With the wine no longer in the mouth there are still experiences to be had such as the feel quality or unexpected savors remaining in the mouth. Then comes the personal analysis: Did the aroma match the taste? Was the appearance telling of its aroma? What was unique? All these facets and sensations from a small amount of wine that was or wasn’t even swallowed.
Not investing in aromas is like never partaking in the dance of foreplay
Get wrapped up in aromas, but make sure they are the real deal. Fresh bakery bread is DIVINE. Packaged bread is merely a convenience. Hot, melting, oven baking chocolate envelops you whether you want it to or not. Cold chocolate out of a wrapper is begging to be eaten before it delivers any pleasure. Harnessing the power of aromas does for eating, what the dance of foreplay with your preferred playmate, does for sex. You end up full and satisfied. Powerless aromas leave you unfulfilled, weaker and grasping for some sort of fulfillment that you may never find.
Are you able to harness the climactic pleasure of aromas…?
Or do aromas hook and reel you in for consumption
and then overconsumption?
Weight loss is not about condemning your love for food – it is about learning to experience it more completely. Making aromas a pleasurable and playful part of eating engages more of your senses and intrigue. You end up with a more complete food experience that leaves you more satisfied with less so you can eat the foods you really enjoy.
Remember: Savoring Aromas does for eating….
what a good dance of foreplay does for sex
Stop, Smell, Savor. Fly on the wings of aromas and let them take you to new places. Is your nose sharp enough to locate the source? What are you smelling? What are the background subtleties? Is it homemade or take out? What spices were used? Barbecues have that same quality, but can you figure out what is on the grill? Do you smell something you have never smelled before? Find out what it is. Get curious. Be like kids who want to discover novelties.
The more time I spent savoring aromas, the less time I spent feasting and the more I invested and appreciated good home cooked food. But it didn’t happen overnight. Your aroma pleasure center is both a muscle and a skill. The more it is cultivated, honed, refined and played with, the more it works for you.
Weight loss can be a discovery process and an adventure, but like all things that are worth moving towards you will encounter obstacles. If you find yourself in front of a barrier you can’t see then call me and we will locate the gem needed to get you past it.
P.S. While this is a stand-alone article it does go hand in hand with my first article in this weight loss series “Don’t just Eat – Food Taste!”. Here’s the link: