There’s a side effect of my weight loss that I never would have thought about 161 pounds ago. It’s that now, I’m always cold.
I never used to be cold. Growing up an overweight kid, I remember wearing shorts or t-shirts on days in the spring and autumn when other kids were wearing long pants and jackets. I remember one neighborhood friend, Mike, asking me at the bus stop, “How come you’re not wearing more clothes? It’s XX degrees out!” Mike always seemed to know the temperature, which is something I never paid attention to, and still don’t. “The temperature is just a number,” I’d reply, “It just doesn’t seem cold to me.”
At one of my old jobs, I used to share a big office with a few other people, and there were countless days where they’d complain about how cold it was. “How come this office is so freezing?” my friend Kelly would ask, as she wrapped a blanket around her shoulders. “Am I the only one that’s cold?” I was hardly ever cold. And, my desk was directly underneath a vent that pumped the overly-air-conditioned air into the room!
There’s something that all walruses, seals, whales, and other blubber-filled creatures know, that I’m just starting to realize: fat is insulating. And I now have 161 less pounds of insulation than I used to have. And I can feel it. I’m cold all the time. I’m cold in restaurants and stores. I’m cold in the car, and constantly fidget with the temperature controls. I’m cold in my condo – although my thermostat is broken and won’t hold a temperature, which doesn’t help, but even if it could, I don’t know what temperature I’d set it at. I’m cold right now.
I’ve begun to think, every time I get dressed, about how many layers I should wear. I haven’t done it yet, but it’s occurred to me that it might be smart to always keep a sweater in the trunk of my car. Am I gonna have to start wrapping myself in shawls and afghans everywhere I go?
Look, I’m not complaining. Yes, I’m uncomfortable at times, but it’s not the end of the world. I think I’ve been noticing it a lot lately because Los Angeles has been in a cold snap. It actually snowed a few miles from my house, for just a few minutes, a few days ago (for only the third time in recorded history). If I can just wait it out for a few months, until the summer, when 90 degree days at the norm and 100+ degree days are common, then I’m sure my tune will change and I’ll be looking for ways to cool off.
In the meantime, I know I can attribute this change in temperature sensitivity to the incredible way my body has changed. And I’ll admit that each and every time I starting thinking about how cold I am, a little part of me is proud. Very very proud.
Now where’s my afghan?
Keep it up, David!