I don’t know how many readers of this blog have ever dieted, but I suspect a fair percentage of you all have tried, at some point, to lose weight. Some of you may have even lost weight. I sure have, a number of times. One unifying characteristic of myself during these times of dieting “success,” besides being hungry and food obsessed, was that I was cold. I mean C-O-L-D cold. Between dropping body-insulating fat and constantly drinking water, I could barely function in the summer in the US south due to overzealous air conditioning, or in the winter, due to cold. Cold cold cold cold cold.

When we first moved to Chicago in August of 2004, the city was in the middle of a freakish cold snap with overcast days and temperatures barely into the 60s. Although being “cold natured” (read: uninsulated), I had lived in the south for five years and therefore had a southerner’s wardrobe, and was convinced that I would end my time on earth by October, probably looking something like this:

Frozen Jack Torrence

As I’ve said here before, I’m done dieting. As a result, I am fat. I’m working on being okay with this, but it’s not always easy. But I’ll tell you what, when the forecast highs for the week barely crack the 30 degree mark, and I’m looking at a looooong* morning walk to the train through a Real Feel** temperature of eight, I am not only okay with my fat, but I love it. I want to hug it, take it to the movies, and buy it some of that insanely rich and delicious hot chocolate from Starbucks*** so that it will stick around and keep on keeping me warm. I mean, I work at a desk next to two poorly-insulated windows and I haven’t even had to bust out the $1.99 Walgreens gloves with the fingers cut out of them! I felt the cold wind on my face this morning and I probably wouldn’t have wanted to stand around outside for more than five or ten minutes, but I was reasonably comfortable and I am only wearing one each of the following garments: socks, pants, shirt, and sweater.**** Three years ago, leaving the house with any less than four shirts (I am not exaggerating), two pairs of socks, and long underwear under my pants would have been unheard of.

So, in the spirit of Good With Cheese and her admonitions to not just tolerate but actually enjoy and appreciate our bodies, I’d like to say to my body: Thanks, fat. Thanks for keeping me warm. Good job.

*Not really that long at all. It just feels like it when it’s cold and windy out.

**WTF is Real Feel anyway? Isn’t how we experience temperature too damn subjective to make how the weather actually feels part of a supposedly objective and scientific forecast? I mean, come on! At least with the “wind chill” you’re factoring in measurable variables insted of like, people’s opinions.

***I’ve actually never had this delicious hot chocolate due to always being on a God damn diet, and after a web search to find out what it was actually called I learned two things. One, it’s called Chantico and two, Starbucks isn’t making it anymore and so the life lesson learned here is this: Get the stupid hot chocolate while you can. Duh.

****The shirt is really a soft warm fuzzy short-sleeved turtleneck and the sweater is also of the soft warm fuzzy variety because I’m fat, but I’m not a total idiot. It’s twenty-one objective degrees out there!

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