Falling in love again

March 19, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Life | Leave a comment
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No, this isn’t about me and Dan. This is about  me and Chicago. You see, for the past four or so months, I’ve been kind of mad at Chicago. Okay, really mad. So mad I was thinking about divorcing this city and hooking up with a new one – a warmer one. (This is just about the most-ironic post you will ever read, because while I detest the winters here, I hope to someday live in Iceland. Wrap your head around that.)

Winter in Chicago pretty much sucks. At first it’s not so bad. The city blanketed in a layer of fresh snow is pretty beautiful. Sipping hot mulled wine at the Christkindlemarkt in the glow of Christmas lights while snow falls gently from above is pretty romantic. Then reality sets in. It’s freaking cold out there! So cold that being outside without the proper gear for more than three minutes will result in hypothermia. So cold that freezing (as in 32 degrees) actually sounds warm. So cold that you don’t want to leave the house because it’s painful to be outside.

And so I don’t leave the house. I don’t go to the gym. Instead I sit on the couch under layers of blankets. I eat heavy carb-laden meals. I wear warm sweatpants and I don’t notice live in denial about the amount of weight I’m gaining. And that, my friends, is how I have arrived at my heaviest weight in five years. (Ugh, just typing that makes me shudder. The embarrassment of sharing that fact is only offset by the hope that at least people will think “well, at least she isn’t always this fat”).

And just when I was at my snapping point, when I was looking at apartments in other cities and seriously considering telling Dan that we had to move, spring arrived. Yesterday it was over 60 degrees. I met Dan for sushi and as I walked down the street in a jean skirt and boots, a t-shirt and a cardigan, the sun shined down on me and I was so happy, I forgot all about breaking up with Chicago.

As much as the city sucks in the winter, it rocks in the summer. The city just comes alive when the weather turns nice. Beers gardens and sidewalk patios are everywhere, and walks that I would not even consider in winter (like last night’s 40-minute trek to the sushi restaurant) are undertaken happily. I go outside, I go to the gym, I walk, I run, I eat less, and by the end of summer, I no longer hate myself for being overweight.

Of course, then January rolls around and I become a Chicago-hating, weight-gaining shut-in once more. But I won’t think about that now. Right now, the sun is shining, it’s warm outside, and I’ve fallen back in love with the city.

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