I Hate Winter But I Love Sleeves
Everyone is doing this #10yearchallenge and I have not participated. Why, you might ask? Well, I look the same. And also I did not want to. But back to the photos. The main difference I could see was that I was less thin. As anyone who has known me 10 years or more, you know I was skeletal for most of my life until I turned 30. I wrote many blogs about it including one regarding leaving New York and a job where I walked 11 miles a day to live in Vermont where I drove everywhere and sat at a desk. While I am more confident now, happier in general and back to a walking city, I realized I love summer but hate summer clothes and hate winter but love winter clothes. I ask myself why and the answer was: sleeves.I truly dislike winter. I am not a fan of the cold. In winter, my body revolts: my skin basically quits being skin and turns to tissue paper, my hair acts like it was electrocuted no matter what I do and I can't seem to regulate my temperature when I walk indoors. It's dark, dreary, and while I have started celebrating it as a time of restoration and comfort, I still don't enjoy the wind attacking my face with tiny little ice knives.I love sleeves though. And pants. God, I love pants. And you know why? Because I hate my arms and legs. I hated them when I was skinnier and I hate them now. You know when people for some reason ask you what parts of your body you dislike? Okay, first, WHY do we do this? That's such a ridiculous question and I've been asked it so many times as a woman and I bet you money men don't ask each other that. I digress.If and when I am asked that question, I say my arms and legs. Have I been trying to get them in better shape? Of course I am going to say yes but really I try and give up and try and give up as any former skeletal girl who never exercised and constantly struggles to get into the habit. I am getting better at it, though, and I have high hopes to have my arms toned and legs following suit before I have to shed the layers.I have always been more comfortable with wearing jeans instead of shorts. In fact, my entire adolescence, I wore jeans in the summer. That is impossible in the New York City summer. I was thrown brutally back into humidity you can cut with a knife and my thighs rubbing against each other in such a manner I assume they are trying to join as one. So shorts and dresses it is. That usually means sleeves are out of the question and the way my natural deodorant was cutting it this past summer, t-shirts were not a favorite outfit of the day. I was back to wearing as little clothing as possible because that is the way you have to survive. Don't get me wrong, I love summer for that reason. I love having sun-kissed shoulders and bare feet. For a long while growing up as any insecure individual does, I thought people were staring at me, judging me, looking at my legs and arms and hating on them as much as I was. As I've gotten older, I realize that no one is looking at me. This is a me problem. No one cares what my legs or arms look like. Everyone is just trying to keep their own sweat out of their eyes and thinking about their second or third shower of the day. Sitting in the park in a bikini top and cut off shorts with friends is an internal battle with myself and no one else. It is me that keeps crossing my legs to hide them or has my arms behind me. Just me. Winter I am free. Spring and fall too. Sleeves and pants hide my least favorite body parts and I view myself as a fashion icon. I have so many outfit options! In the summer, I look at the weather and see the temps rising and take far longer to decide on an outfit with the humidity but also my bare limbs to consider. In the cooler months, I grab and go. Everything looks great to me because those hideous stems are covered. The longer the sleeve, the better. Give me 90s sweater sleeves with thumb holes any day.This is not healthy. This is not progress. I shouldn't hate any part of my body because my body has been good to me. It has led me through trauma and depression. It rides out anxiety attacks with me and returns to normal quickly. It yells at me when I drink too much but recovers just the same. I was insecure when I was skinny and I am insecure now. I have moments of seeing the light and I love my new curves. I have the darkness too where it all plummets and I cry in the dressing room at Target because I can't find a pair of jeans to save my life.I wrote a blog about being skinny and the trials that come with it. I wrote a blog about gaining weight and getting what I wished for in being more of a human sized woman. I am now writing a blog about the journey I am taking to love myself and my body as it is now. Winter helps. Winter gives me a little more confidence as I continue to adjust. Moving back to the city and walking and laughing more is helping. Meal prepping and eating healthy foods I actually love is helping. Working from home for the next three months and setting aside time to exercise in the morning is helping and I don't hate it as much. I had set goals last summer to tone my arms and legs and lost them along the way as I transitioned back to the city. That's okay, though. Goals get lost sometimes and I try not to think of it as a failure. I was attempting to do everything all at once.I don't hate every picture of myself now. I take a lot more, in fact. And while I hate winter, I am trying to see it as a time to cocoon myself and return to those toning goals. Maybe I'll fail again, who knows? The point is, I can be a beautiful butterfly who wears sleeveless dresses with confidence and doesn't take 20 minutes to decide on what hot weather outfit to wear because my body is my body and it's all I've got. I can just grab and go because I have grown to love my arms and legs (fingers crossed on this one) and they need some sunshine after their long stay in sleeves.