I hate being cold. I mean, I really, really, hate being cold. And it is really cold in my apartment. And definitely in the handsome fella’s house. Old houses are notoriously not well-insulated. And mine is no exception. Add to that the historic windows the historic district commission won’t allow us to update, and, well, it’s cold AND windy in my apartment. At the moment, there are fleece blankets covering the windows to keep the worst of the drafts out. Unfortunately, every time the wind blows the fleece blankets blow into the middle of the room. Which can be a hazard. But I haven’t had the time or the inclination yet to put that stupid plastic sheeting stuff over the windows (that stuff is outrageously expensive for just being glorified plastic wrap), and so I sleep with four quilts, a comforter, and the two cats for warmth.
I was thinking, as I was lying in bed this morning trying to steel myself for the cold, that people had to be a lot better about this cold thing before there were well insulated houses with functional windows. I mean, people used to have to go outside to pee. Some people still go outside to pee. So, how did they keep warm? Cause let me tell you, I’m wearing an awful lot of clothing these days. Current count: five layers. I could put on a few more, if I needed to. But there must be something to it beyond layers of clothing.
Every fall, as winter approaches, I typically gain at least five pounds. Sometimes it’s a little more or less. I used to get upset about this, being a girl raised in America, but eventually I decided it’s just normal- my body is trying to bulk up for cold weather. For most of the fall, I crave fatty foods like you wouldn’t believe (unless this also happens to you). For a few weeks just before it really got cold, I ate ice cream. Lots and lots and lots of ice cream. And even now all I can think about eating is cheese, or cream, or steaks with lots of fat, or bacon, or cheese, or some kind of soup with cheese. Or homemade mac and cheese…
I restrain myself, however. I am too much a product of this culture to, at this point at least, just let myself eat whatever I want. I think I’m afraid that if I eat nothing but fatty foods, I’ll gain the weight for winter and then not lose it again in the spring. Plus, I will admit I’m just afraid of looking fat. I already get freaked out about looking pregnant whenever I have a big meal. I know this is silly. I know I am not an unhealthy weight. I mean, maybe I could lose a couple extra pounds around the hips, but whatever. Extra padding for when I run into things (which I always do. Huge klutz). And in the summer, no problem, I’m usually below the standard weight for my height.
But can you imagine a normally fairly average to small sized girl suddenly putting on like 15 or more pounds for the winter? How people would react to that? I did put on that much extra weight once, during my last semester of college (when I lived on pizza), and I thought I looked horrible. My face looked puffy all the time. Given, that was weight gained from pizza, and not from healthful fats like those in meats, but still.
I don’t actually know the first thing about this subject, which is why I’m so curious. Did people used to gain a lot of weight in the winter? I can’t imagine how they could, when winter was the time of the least available food, and is also the time you burn a lot of extra calories trying to stay warm. So how did people stay warm? Were they just used to it? Was their blood thicker? Or their skin thicker? What is the secret, dear internet? A very cold girl wants to know.
In the meantime, I am going to be eating a lot of really creamy soups, and lots of things cooked in bacon fat…