Sunday, May 13, 2012

The skinny on winter

The other night, while I was lying on my couch in a carb-induced coma after having feasted on hot chip sandwiches (yes, you read that correctly - it was essentially a meal of deep-fried, starchy carbs stuffed inside fluffy, white starchy carbs and covered in tomato sauce), I started to wonder if maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal to put on a little weight given that it was coming into winter and I would be able to cover up more. You know, just cover my pasty blubber in layers of jumpers and baggy jeans - or even tracky pants! Maybe use a scarf to cover any double chins that come along with the extra pudge...

But then I remembered what my winter wardrobe is actually like. And it doesn't exactly involve massive layers or baggy trousers. Also, I have just added my new rubber-coated leggings - which, while super comfy and stretchy enough to accommodate a little Buddha-belly, are not exactly the most forgiving item of clothing.

Warm? Definitely. Able to camouflage excess winter weight? Not so much.

And let's face it - it does NOT get that cold in Sydney. I can't really justify an extra layer of fat as being essential to my survival. Apart from maybe first thing in the morning, a Sydney-sider can get away with only a few layers of clothes pretty much right through winter. In fact, the Sydney style-set seem to be in denial that it is getting cold at all. For example, this chick:

This was taken during the Australian Mercedes Benz Fashion Week which was just last week and I am telling you that it was FRICKING FREEZING. Sure ,it is only May so still technically autumn - but you need to be wearing more than a t-shirt and strappy heels!!! What the hell, girl?

(Mind you, I have seen so many pictures of this girl in this outfit so - mission accomplished, whoever you are.)

Girls in Sydney also like to keep their tans all year round so their legs turn this odd shade of orangey-blue once it gets to July/August. It is pretty funny.

But I digress. Back to my main point, chunking up in winter is not an option!

Also, there is nothing worse than peeling off the layers at the end of winter and realising that you are going to have to spend the next month eating nothing but cabbage soup and running 10kms a day if you are ever going to fit back into your denim cutoffs again.

So, here is what I have got planned to keep the extra kgs at bay this winter:

  1. Soup!!! I make a mean chunky vegetable and lentil soup and there is nothing better to eat when it starts to get cold. There isn't really any magic to it - I just cut up bunches of different veges and throw them in a huge pot with the lentils, vege stock and lots of herbs - et voila! I make massive batches of it on the weekend and then I have easy, filling dinners sorted for the rest of the week. Also, I like getting soup from Iku Wholefood in the city for lunch during the week - super-yummy, vegan and organic. And, of course, vege soup is incredibly nutritious and low in calories. So much more satisfying than hot chip sandwiches! (Or at least that is what I try to tell myself...)
  2. Yoga. I do yoga all year round but it feels extra good to warm up your body with a vigorous, energising vinyasa class in winter. And even better still if it is in a heated room! Yoga has many amazing benefits and these are not limited to physical benefits - but the fact that it keeps you looking lean and strong is, admittedly, an awesome side-effect. Also, it keeps you connected to your body so your are less likely to just 'let it all go' simply because it is cold outside.
  3. Herbal teas. I love going into a T2 teas store and buying a bunch of new teas at the start of winter to keep me going. They make a great substitute for a snack when you find yourself searching around the kitchen for some comfort food. And just holding a hot cup of tea makes you feel all nice and snuggly - it is so much easier to feel comfortable in the cold if your hands are warm. I recommend T2's Turkish Apple Chunky and also the Indian Spice. Warming, fragrant and zero calories. Yay!
  4. Running. It has been over a year since I have really been into my running. I used to do it religiously but it started to feel like something I would do to torture myself rather than the nice, calming exercise that it had once been. So I took a break - but recently I have started feeling like I am ready to start up again. I am just jogging on the treadmill at the moment but even that has been great for elevating my heart-rate and my mood. And I love the flushed feeling that you get in your cheeks afterwards when you walk out into the cold. 
  5. Wearing skinny jeans. Sure leggings are great, but because they stretch so much, it can be hard to tell if you are putting a bit of weight on if you wear them all the time. This can be an issue if, like me, you don't have scales to weigh yourself on. Instead, I let my skinny jeans tell me if I need to ease up on the takeout and hot chocolates. If I can't do them up, I'll get back to the soup and maybe schedule an extra couple of runs for the next few of weeks. It kind of keeps me in check so that extra weight can't creep up on me. My current faves are my black Nudie Tight Long John jeans. And they are so tight that I was actually worried when I bought them that I would never be able to wear them and eat a full meal - so they definitely let me know when I have been a little too indulgent!
Hopefully, that will be enough to get me through it. Otherwise, when it comes to spring, I will be doing a post on how to get back into shape for summer. Which I do not want to do. At all.