Skinny Daily Post

Invincible.

Iím an avid skier and I grew up in New England, so I know from cold. And Iím no fan of chilly temps. In fact one of the best things about skiing here in California is that we get lots of snow while at the same time it almost never gets down to the frigid conditions so typical of my youth.

While a number of things happened to me physically when I reached a slender weight after losing 50 pounds, one of the things that stands out is how cold I began to feel. In the beginning, I thought it might be a medical condition (there are lots of them that make you feel cold) but my very thorough physician checked me for every possible thing and came up empty-handed.

So apparently, when you strip away a large layer of fat from your exterior, its like pulling off the blanket from your bed on a cold winterís night. Youíve become so adjusted to that level of warmth that the sudden change seems exacerbated.

The ironic thing for me is that the solution was to buy heavier, bulkier clothes in order to stay warm. After all that work to lose weight and look good, it was a hard pill to swallow. Underneath all of that clothing, I questioned if there would be any validation of the journey I had been on.

On the other hand, for the first time in my life, the idea of wearing a wool sweater or a turtle neck didnít fill me with a dread of claustrophic over-heating. Suddenly, the number of sweaters in my closet went from two to about twenty. I also have a wide variety of clothes that are intended for skiers and athletes, which release moisture and trap heat. Additionally, I started enjoying the sauna and the steam room at the gym. At my heaviest weight, I found them unbearably stifling and uncomfortable.

Weíre having a bit of a cold snap in San Francisco at the moment, and Iíve had to start pulling out clothes with the best thermal properties. Since my condo doesnít have central heating, I need to add extra layers when Iím at home. I donít find this an enjoyable prospect, per se.

But its comforting to know that this particular type of external layer is one of my own choosing, can be changed with frequency, and Ėmost importantlyócan be shed at a momentís notice. Cold comfort, indeed!

6 thoughts on “Cold Comfort

  1. Ali says:

    I know just how you feel! I’m a native New Englander, and go skiing in Maine and New Hampshire all the time. I’ve also lost 40 pounds in the last year. I used to never feel cold when skiing, and maybe even felt a little superior to those I saw using chemical handwarmers in their mittens and boots. Even while doing field work in the sub-Arctic, I never needed to go too crazy with layers. Little did I realize just how much my bodyfat was insulating me!

    Not so since I’ve lost the weight. This year, my husband has had to deal with my constant fussing about being too cold while skiing. I’ve bitten the bullet and started sticking chemical handwarmers anywhere they’ll fit – hey, 10 degrees is pretty damn cold!

    It’s really weird to have something you take for granted as static – your internal body thermoregulation – suddenly change. I know how you feel about disliking putting on extra layers, in effect hiding all your hard work! But isn’t it lovely to have that freedom to dress to exactly the temperature you require? When I had that thick layer of fat on me, I was generally too warm, ALL of the time. And not only couldn’t I remove the layer of fat, but I felt too self-conscious to wear lightweight clothes, because they were too revealing.

    It’s funny, the things that change when you lose weight.

  2. Lisa says:

    I am dealing with this new situation, too.

    As of this past weekend, I am now at 199lbs – a loss of 66 pounds compared to my weight at this time last year.

    And I REALLY feel it. I bought and actually wear a good warm coat (ski coat by columbia), and boot, gloves, scarves, hats – you name it.

    I am really looking forward to the change I will feel in warm weather though – it will be nice to spend a summer NOT sweating too death.

    ~Lisa

  3. stretchy says:

    Jonathan,

    I had a sort of opposite problem– I am a cold weather person, and as I gained weight I became uncomfortable with winter sports and being outdoors… I got cold fast, didn’t move as much I guess. My teeth would start chattering and I thought I was getting some weird illness. I would wear the warmest gloves and still have popsicles for hands. For some reason, my fat layer let me down.

    Once I shed the fat layer, I never go that cold. I guess I was somehow out of balance somewhere (?!) when heavier. All of my medical tests show I am now in good health. Everything improved when I got into nutrition and fitness. The hot humid summers here are also not as bad for me. I have been far more active all year round since the weight is gone.

  4. Sheri says:

    I definitely notice it too, and I only lost 30 pounds. I really had to smile reading about you being able to change how you dress, Jonathan, because I was always a “sweater-avoider” too! I couldn’t imagine how people could stand to dress so warmly! I still can’t bear a turtleneck because I’m built with a VERY short neck, but I have definitely invested in many more sweaters and warm clothes since I lost weight.

    I was even so freezing in my office this year that I put a space heater on my wish list for Christmas and got it! So now I have a heater under my desk. Wow. And I was always the one complaining about it being too hot before! hehe

  5. Mercury says:

    This might work better for girls, but you can always get thinly knit layers made of extremely warm fabrics. When I was skinny (sigh), I had two distinct clothing layer categories – tight and loose. I loved being able to wear three layers and still look skinny.

  6. mary jean says:

    I am sitting here in my wonderful new handknit alpaca sweater, something I would have been sweating in at my highest weight, 135# heavier. I used to wear t-shirts year round here in Montana but not any more!! I love being able to wear all these cozy winter clothes and love not roasting to death in the summer!!

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