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Brrrr

Shiver me timbers, is anyone else cold? No? Just me? I’m seriously thinking of investing in a space heater for my office or at least breaking down my absent office mate’s desk and building a fire on top of the photocopier. I can use my Lean Cuisine packaging for kindling. I want to ward off any emigrating penguins or polar bears before it’s too late. I hear the polar ice caps are melting and it won’t be long before they try taking over our fast food restaurant freezers and unheated office spaces.

I was convinced that I was cold because either:

1) I work in a converted warehouse that has self-washing floors, because the fact that water leaks between the window frames during thunderstorms must be a new age design scheme and not a sign of rust and decay and poor insulation from the elements.

2) My boss is actually an alien from a planet of lava man so he has the natural body temperature of boiling soup. Actually, his blood *is* boiling soup! The real question is, is it chicken noodle or egg drop?

3) Sitting at a computer all day with your right hand on a mouse away from the rest of your body heat is inevitably going to lead to fingers that feel like they’ve been dipped in ice water.

To prove to myself that I wasn’t crazy and I was in fact working in Lil’ Antartica, I bought an indoor-outdoor thermometer and brought it into the office. Then I said some naughty words and stopped at the drug store the next day to buy one AAA battery. I hate you AAA batteries, only a little bit less so than 9 volt batteries, and neither of you will ever compare to my favorite battery, the AA, which I always seem to have on hand.

So, I popped that sucker in the thermometer and waited to see how horrible my working conditions have been. Sweatshop laborers in India who have to lubricate their looms with condoms have nothing on me! Know what it said? 72.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Which is about 22.5 degrees Celsius for you foreigners. Um, yeah. Maybe my boss isn’t a lava man, but I’m adopted from the planet of ice people instead. Gotta go check my birth certificate.

How can I be wearing a light-weight sweater, a blazer and still feel chilly at 72.6 degrees? That’s insane. I read on the 3 Fat Chicks forum that I’m not the only person that’s lost a lot of weight and felt like they’ve been locked in a freezer. My only solace is that several people posted in that thread that it eventually got better after a couple years. I couldn’t dig up any actually medical research on this phenomena, but that’s probably because I was too lazy to go past page 2 of the Google search results. I guess it’s sweaters and leggings until spring! I’m sure the acrylic and wool industries will be pleased. At least I don’t have to worry about flocks of invading penguins anymore.

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28 Comments

Vickie • October 18, 2006 at 1:41 pm

In the hunting section, at the large super stores, they have feet warmers that stick on the bottom of your socks – they are activated by air (when you open them) and last for over 6 hours. I keep these on hand and use these on the worst of my chilled days. Good thick socks help too – might not be stylish – but they work. I keep extra pairs around and switch part way through the day (sweaty feet turn into chilled feet) – I remembered that from girl scout camping long ago.

I also went and bought major amounts of long underwear – the traditional kind, the T-shirt kind, the cami kind. I layer in different combinations under my clothes depending on the day.

I also bought very thin sweaters that I can wear over my shirt and under a jacket for an additional layer – all of these have to be REALLY thin layers to work.

I also wonder if there is some type of seat warmer that you might get for your chair. I put one in my car 2-3 years ago (back injury) and that makes a HUGE difference. The combination of heat on my behind and my back, warms my whole core. And if you have any type of back problems (from being at the computer) it really helps.

I have noticed (this fall especially) that if I am lacking sleep and exercise (both) then I have a really cold-feeling day. If I have adequate sleep and get my exercise in early – then I am okay. I don’t know if this is the case for everyone, but it holds true for me.

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Lora • October 18, 2006 at 5:56 pm

I used to share an office with a woman that was boiling hot all the time and she kept the thermostat set at a bone-chilling 60 degrees. I was FREEZING every day within 15 minutes of arriving so I had a space heater under my desk. I used to joke that the cold air coming from her side would hit the warm air on my side and we’d have a thunderstorm in the middle of the office.

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anji • October 18, 2006 at 7:04 pm

Get a spaceheater! Mmmmmmmm, those rock! Make sure you turn it off every night ’cause, if you burn down your office, you’ll feel really bad. Get one with a bit of a fan that will circulate it around your wee cubicle. Otherwise, it’ll just hover close to the floor and your fingers won’t get the benefit. On my really cold days (which ended up being in the summer because of the damn air-conditioning), I put the spaceheater on the desk so my top-half would be warm. I also used it when I had my period and needed the extra heat to keep sane and alive :)

anji

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K • October 18, 2006 at 7:20 pm

3).

I get that too, and I’m otherwise the woman that is boiling hot all the time. (Goodness knows what will happen when I enter menopause. You’ll be able to cook on me.)

I’d second the long-undies suggestion; I don’t like to wear bulky clothes, so I layer longsleeved thermal undershirts under shirts or T-shirts in the winter, and they work (I started doing this when I worked in a bookshop and had to stand still in the draught from the front door for hours at a time).

They’re also good for occasions where you HAVE to be smartly dressed even though you will freeze (such as singing in choirs in very cold cathedrals – I am sure there are other such situations, too…)

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Michelle • October 18, 2006 at 7:46 pm

Ok..I have been reading for some time, and this post I had to comment on simply because I absolutely feel the same and how great it is to know I am not going insane. I was always the Hot person, content with the A/C full blast on an Autumn day. But now? No way…I have lost a bit of weight myself and find myself freezing most of the time. The good side to that? That I think I would actually enjoy Hawaii in the Summer. Woot! Yet another opportunity/reason to enjoy something new!

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christie • October 18, 2006 at 9:28 pm

I am already experiencing this even though I haven’t lost as much as you. I had always been warm when other people weren’t… you know, the fat girl sweating in the room. Ugh. Now, I’m unexplainably cold when everyone else is fine!!! It’s nice to know other people said it gets better after a couple years. I’m at home in a 72 degree house, my mom is freaking HOT, my dad is fine, and I am wearing slipper socks and a sweater and I still think my nose and fingers are getting frostbite.

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alex • October 18, 2006 at 9:33 pm

i feel your pain… freeze… whatever.

i’ve lost over 160lbs, and i am always cold. like winter coat-wearing cold. since i’m still fluffy, people look at me a little weird sometimes, but i’ll get so cold in a 70 degree room that i will actually shiver involuntarily.

the good news? smaller ass, cuter coats.

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Eh... not so much • October 18, 2006 at 10:04 pm

Yep, after I lost the first 40 pounds, I was cold all the time and wouldn’t stop. My doctor said my body set my internal thermostat low or else I’d be super-hot all the time. Now when does my body get the message that I lost 110 pounds?

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Mark • October 18, 2006 at 10:40 pm

I use a heated chair pad (it covers the seat and seat back) and a heated folding panel that fits under the desk in front of and to the sides of my legs. If I put a fleece cover over my knees and a fleece panel hanging from my chair, my legs are completely encased on all sides. But I doubt these heated things are available in the U.S.

Another tip: If you don’t care about your hair getting mussed up, wear a fleece cap. It seem illogical, but if you keep your head warm, the rest of you amazingly gets warmer also.

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bitchwhoblogs • October 18, 2006 at 11:04 pm

So, I have never been the warm person…. and I am on the ole’ weight loss journey and now that I am down 30+ pounds… I am freezing all the time… I wear a sweater – cardigan from neck to ankels, hat, arm warmers and wool socks…. I wonder how cold I will be after the next 30 pounds..

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Lisa • October 18, 2006 at 11:41 pm

I freeze constantly now too. There are fantastic new thermal underwear now that are super thin so they don’t add bulk to your clothes, but they’re really warm. REI has them and I think Gart/Sports Authority.

I have a heater under my desk and I bring a sweater every day. The weird thing is that at some point in the afternoon the tide shifts and I’m suddenly boiling. I’m not looking forward to winter!

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janice Bridge • October 19, 2006 at 12:23 am

YES! I have lost 125 pounds in 9 months. . . on a medically monitored fast – VLCD – Very Low Calorie Diet. Fortunately we were told to anticipate the changes in temperature tolerance. . . for me it meant being cold often at very ‘normal’ temperature range and conversely able to comfortably tolerate high temperatures that ususally took me searching for the AC.

Re cold – Layering is great. I enjoy layering in silks (Wintersilk.com) with wool over, and sometimes a shawl or shrug over that.

In my estimation, it is a small price to pay for living in the new-to-me lower weight body

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Kimisha • October 19, 2006 at 10:23 am

I feel you.I have lost about 80 pounds and I am always cold.Before the weightloss you wouldn’t catch me wearing a winter coat in below zero weather because I was always drenching in sweat.

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Kimisha • October 19, 2006 at 10:23 am

I feel you.I have lost about 80 pounds and I am always cold.Before the weightloss you wouldn’t catch me wearing a winter coat in below zero weather because I was always drenching in sweat.

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aliasaila • October 19, 2006 at 1:56 pm

I’m glad you posted this. It’s been soooo cold at work lately. When body limbs start going numb, there’s a problem! I’ve lost about 80 pounds since Feb. and couldn’t tell if it was the weight loss or just the usual trouble of adjusting to cold weather.

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Mymsie • October 19, 2006 at 3:48 pm

I am always, always, always fa-fa-fa-freezing at work. It’s awful! I know the whole numb-right-hand-on-mouse thing all too well. I bundle up in a fleece shawl every day. It was the same at my last job too. I used to be hot natured but not anymore. I just figured I’m getting old. *shakes cane at unruly kids*

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kathryn • October 19, 2006 at 7:24 pm

Oh I froze this winter in Australia. It’s the downside to not feeling the heat so bad in summer but when you figure you’ve lost a whole heap of insulating fat, it makes sense.

I’d go with the thermal underwear and a heater and anything else you need. Better to over do it than to freeze.

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d • October 19, 2006 at 9:54 pm

You poor thing! I didnt’ know that happened, but I do know it sucks to feel cold. It’s a little like my brother’s wife from South America –she gets so cold here, cause she’s used to being warm (like you)!

just think – shivering burns calories! That’s why anorexics drink ice water! (kidding).

One thing that might help –anyway you can stand at your computer? put monitor, keyboard, mouse on top of some books? Being on your feet pacing might help you stay warmer!

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NicoleW • October 19, 2006 at 10:06 pm

That happened to me last autumn — when it started turning cooler, I was almost unbearably cold. I’d start shivering so hard that I thought I was going to break apart. It hasn’t been so bad this year yet; hopefully my body thermostat has adjusted to my state of reduced padding.

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Kath • October 19, 2006 at 10:42 pm

Wow – so it isn’t just me? I actually wear scarves at work sometimes. I know it looks silly – but I freeze my butt off at work. I’ve lost 55 lbs and I feel the difference.

Darn – I still have 20 years to menopause. Hot flashes sound good to me.

Oh – and fabulous site!

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Greta • October 20, 2006 at 1:50 am

So many people with large weight losses report the same phenomena it seems likely that’s just the way it is, however, if you haven’t had a blood test to see if you are low thyroid recently you might ask your doctor the next time you go, Symptoms of low thyroid (hypothyroid) are: feeling cold when others are not, feeling tired when you shouldn’t be, dry and/or flakey skin, dry, brittle, thinning hair, swollen thyroid gland, possible memory problems, possible depression. If you have a few of those, then the “feeling cold” symptom might be appropriately followed up with a blood test. It’s simple and inexpensive to have done.

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BethK • October 20, 2006 at 11:10 am

Oh yeah, I went from being a person who couldn’t tolerate temperatures over 75 degrees to someone who’s constantly freezing. I actually have a wind-chill problem in my office because of the air blowing down from the vent. You bet I have space heater under my desk. I also have a pair of fingerless fleece gloves, because, yes, my ‘mouse hand’ really does stiffen up from the cold. The 6’8′, 320lb guy who sits next to me thinks I’m crazy. I am sooo going to start calling him Lava Man!

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Jenny • October 20, 2006 at 6:29 pm

Man, this really must be something. I’ve always been the hot one, in terms of “turn the freakin’ AC on now!” sense. Now that I’ve lost weight, I am freezing. And not even normal cold, but unusual, people who are always cold are staring at me like I’m nuts. I’ve been sleeping with mutiple blankets [i used to only sleep witha sheet] and now I wear pants all the time.

Ah, frustrating!

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Sandy R • October 20, 2006 at 7:13 pm

So glad to hear I am not a freak! I have lost 93 pounds now and find myself constantly chilly. Bit weird considering I live in the tropics in Australia, so the only time I am complaining is because everyone has the blooming air conditioners set too cold! They are all sitting there in shorts and t shirt and me, well i have to have a jumper in my 2 offices at all times! I sure hope it settles down soon.

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Cindy • October 21, 2006 at 2:50 am

The space heater idea is more likely to make matters worse – you’ll just get used to requiring *more* heat to feel comfortable. A better idea is to drink a lot of hot tea – the warm mug will warm your hands and you’ll feel warmer from the inside out. If you “tough it out” like that, your internal thermostat is going to return to normal faster than if you baby it.

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Melissa • October 25, 2006 at 9:12 pm

OMG! I lost 62 lbs. since last summer, and now I’m cold all.the.time. This summer has been just awful, because it seems like I freeze every time I go into a building. And our general manager at work has had a heart condition that made her hot, so she’s kept the office just a tad above zero. Not looking forward to winter, but I hope that my body will eventually adjust.

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Katie • February 1, 2007 at 4:46 pm

I’m always complaining about how cold I get at work (especially my hands – writers have the same “hands away from body” all day problem). I’ve been working my way through a case of those air-activated handwarmers for skiing.

Today the mailroom guys brought me a big package. The long-distance boyfriend had sent me a pair of USB-powered heated gloves and a heated keyboard! :)

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sexy milf • March 30, 2007 at 1:30 am

Women are not, are fairly portrayed in the media

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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