As we segue into February, I am grateful for my cozy little home. With only one wall exposed to the outside, it's not difficult to stay warm in here.
In fact, with the exception of my childhood home, I've always had the good luck of living in warm apartments. When I shared a basement apartment with my first husband, all the pipes for the radiator system for the whole building ran through our living room. We wore T-shirts indoors year-round.
It all seems very luxurious compared to my first, freezing-cold bedroom. When I did homework at the little white desk in the corner of my room, where two outside walls of the house met, I used to wear two pairs of slippers to keep my toes warm. One day I reached down to pick up a pen I had dropped and I saw that there was actually ice that had formed on the inside of the wall, in that corner. I'm not talking about a little scrim of frost, I'm talking an inch-thick, glacier-like chunk. (Due to the leak that had caused this ice build-up there was also dark mold growing under the ice. It was pretty disturbing.)
It doesn't hurt that I gained around 20 pounds since last winter. I can't tell you how much more comfortable I am now that I have some proper personal insulation. In fact, I've adjusted to the cold so well this year that I have to be careful that I don't overdress. It's easy to overheat once I work up a good walking pace on my way to work. Sometimes I have to take my gloves off or flip my hood back for a few minutes to avoid working up a sweat.
I'm thinking that some of that 20 pounds must be brown fat. Never heard of it? Brown fat burns calories to produce heat. It's pretty awesome stuff. And considering how I'm indulging my omnomvorous nature (in the past 24 hours alone: quiche, muffins, pizza, a Clif bar, French pastries, and dates, as well as fruits and veggies) my brown fat must be working hard or I'd be up another 20 pounds in the last week alone, for sure.
Are you keeping warm this winter?