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I never thought that I would actually look forward to spring…

March 20, 2022, 3:24 PM

Let’s be honest: this winter was brutal for me. This was the first winter in a very long time where I truly felt cold. After going from the upper 300s to the lower 200s in weight, with a goal weight of 185 (we’ll get there!), this winter made the weight loss feel very real. I suppose that this is to be expected when you shed most of your insulation, but expecting it didn’t make me feel any warmer for it. This is even more so when you consider that I work in a job where I spend a decent amount of time out in the elements, and therefore have plenty of exposure to the cold.  I suspect that I understand why they don’t tell you about this part of losing weight when you are going through the pre-work for weight loss surgery, because the prospect of being cold all winter long might scare some folks off. All I know is that I certainly miss the days when I could go out and do some very long photography sessions at night in the dead of winter, and be just fine with a coat, a hat, and a pair of gloves. Nowadays, to go out in winter, I feel like I need eight hundred layers of clothing and heated everything. I remember my efforts at doing some night photography in Atlantic City back in January. Sub-freezing temperatures coupled with wind chilled me to the bone. I lasted long enough to get a few photos of Resorts before tapping out. I was just too cold.

I think that this screencap from when my cousin Mike was on the TV news a few years ago talking about a polar vortex event sums it up quite nicely:

Mike Schumin: Hates the cold.
Mike Schumin: Hates the cold.

Now more than ever, I completely feel this.  I used to love the cold, and winter used to be one of my favorite seasons, but now I’ve come over to the other side.  I am no fan of the cold these days.  Prior to my weight loss surgery and subsequent weight loss, I used to keep the temperature in the house at 70 degrees during the winter, and 75 during the summer.  Then in the summer of 2020 and winter of 2021, I ended up reprogramming the temperatures to be 72 in the winter and 77 during the summer, because I was always cold with the earlier temperatures.  I was cold in the winter with it at 70, and I was cold in the summer with it at 75.  The way I figure, this is where I live, and I have full control over the thermostat.  I will make it where it fits Elyse and me, and if we’re too cold, we need to fix it.  That little two-degree bump made all of the difference, and I really didn’t feel the change in my electric bill all that much.

I used to dislike the summer because it was always hot, but now that I don’t have all of the insulation on me that I used to have, I am pretty good in the heat.  I could spend all day in the summer heat, and I am pretty comfortable.  I barely even break a sweat anymore.  Therefore: no problem.  Funny how that all works out, I suppose.  Though when it comes to looking forward to spring, a number of people that I know were very surprised to hear me say that, because they know that I suffer from springtime allergies.  Thus for me, the longer that we can put off spring, the better, and the faster that it gets over with, the better.  But the cold this winter was just unbearable.  I feel like for the last three months, I was almost continuously cold.  I was constantly raising the thermostat at home to 74 or 75 because I was cold, and I zipped up my work jacket when I left the house, and didn’t unzip it until I got home again.  It stayed zipped the entire day.

My recent trip to Atlantic City was fun, but some of my plans were stymied by the cold and the wind.  Even when fully bundled up, I was freezing.  I am talking chilled to the bone.  I was able to fly the drone from inside the car with the heat on for the most part, but when I was doing conventional photography, such as my night photos of Resorts, I was standing out in the cold.  When I was in my twenties, I could stand out in that all day and just fire off photo after photo after photo.  I used to enjoy doing night photography in the winter.  It gets dark earlier, which means more hours to do that kind of photography work, and because it’s cold, it means that there are fewer people out to get in my way.  So I would just bundle up and go.  I had a thick layer of body fat, and then supplementing that with warm clothes made for a nice, toasty me.  Not so anymore.  I could have easily gone around and photographed all of the various facilities in Atlantic City, but this time, no dice.  I did Resorts, and that was enough.  I still like doing oceanside towns in the off-season because people are generally nicer in the off-season (they’re just glad that you’re spending during their slow period), and I don’t have to worry about parking, but Atlantic City in the dead of winter was too much.  Next time I go to Atlantic City, I’m doing it either in the fall or the early spring, i.e. enough to where it’s not busy, but warm enough that I can actually photograph like I want to.  Then, maybe, I can get nighttime photos of all of the various things that I want to around Atlantic City.

And I suspect that allergy season is going to be a beast this year.  Usually, I consider April 1 to be opening day for allergy season, and I discontinue allergy meds on June 30.  I accidentally ordered my allergy meds through PillPack a month early (i.e. March 1 was opening day this year because I placed the order too early).  I suppose that it’s just as well – I’m already feeling the effects of the springtime because of the warm days that we’ve had in the last couple of weeks.

All in all, it’s interesting how perspectives change as we get older and our situations change.

Categories: Weight loss