am i hot or not?
At this writing, NYC and the entire Northeast of the USA is in the midst of a severe heat wave--temps are in the upper 90's to low 100's, humidity is high, the sun is bright, clouds are few. The City Health Department has issued a "Severe Heat Emergency" action plan, cooling centers are open, and people are dropping like flies everywhere due to over-heating. The transit systems are faltering. Power systems, refrigerators and air conditioner are failing everywhere. It's bad.
When I survived similar periods last year, I'd be in the midst of what I knew as "4-headband days." That is, to get through the day, I would need to carry three extra bandannas with me to use as headbands to keep perspiration out of my eyes and off my face. It is not that one head-band would get soaked and then I would need a dry one, it's that at three times during the day I would have to abandon one head-band that I had been wringing-out repeatedly because it had become so repeatedly saturated with perspiration that continuing to wear it would cause a heat-rash.
This year I'm not even wearing a head-band. During the worst part of my exposure to the worst part of the day I may have a little sheen of perspiration on my head, chest and arms, but my clothes are dry. I am barely perspiring at all. I can feel the heat, I appreciate it's extremity, but I don't find it distressing.
In other words, it's hot, but I'm not hot. This is an entirely novel experience for me. I can tell it is hot, but the heat doesn't bother me, in fact, I sort of enjoy it.
This fits with my experience during the winter. After the surgery I suddenly found cold temperatures difficult to tolerate. This wasn't the consequence of the loss of layers of insulating fat tissue, I was immediately significantly intolerant of cold temperatures, before I had lost very much weight at all.
Pre-surgically I was always the last person to get uncomfortably cold, I could go outside in short-sleeves when the temperatures were as low as 50 degrees and be very comfortable. I wore light jackets when others wore parkas, I wore fleece hoodies in heavy snow. I did not use blankets to sleep unless sleeping outdoors or in another unheated environment.
Pre-surgically, in the warm months I would begin my period of perspiration for the day while I was still in the shower and it would literally not end all day. I just used a magnesium salt deodorant, using an antiperspirant was a joke, and I just became accustomed to being some degree of wet all day. Profuse perspiration was just a part of life--I dressed for it. I owned 30+ bandanas, and only when in the most formal of social settings would I not be wearing one tied around my head as a sweat-band.
Now, I don't even carry one, even on these record-setting scorcher days.
So, while in some measure this is attributable to my decreased body mass, particularly the insulating fat tissue, that's not the whole story. I strongly suspect there's something going on here from a neuroendocrine standpoint as well. This change is too dramatic, too much a quantum transformation.
I suppose one could assume my basal metabolic rate is lower. The laws of thermodynamics being what they are, lower rates means lower heat production, but that still doesn't seem to be enough to account for the difference. I think something else is going on, some internal regulatory system in my body has been tweaked.
It's weird, another disorientingly novel experience in my body. It is as if I am having to re-learn what it is like to be me. It's 100 degrees outside and I'm not "hot." I know that sounds ridiculous, particularly for me, since once the temp got over 78 degrees pre-surgically I began to get uncomfortable, but that's what is happening.
next - -100 lbs