four winters of me

I am experiencing my fourth Sydney winter since my arrival here in August 2006 and I am getting hit by the cold very badly this time.

Winter 2006:
I didn't need much layering and the most I did was carry around a cardigan I occasionally threw round my shoulders. My everyday attire then consisted of my Birkenstock sandals, a simple tee and either jeans or three quarter pants (see left photo below). I could even bare my back and shoulders in elegant evening wear for formal functions (see right photo below). And I never fell sick once the whole time. Oh and by the way, see how skinny I was then? I have always averaged about 49-50kgs up until shortly after then.

Winter 2007:
I remember going on a road trip to Hunter Valley with a couple of friends in the deep of winter. All of them were fully wrapped up in North Face ski jackets, covered shoes or boots, and there was a girl who had beanies on. I was in my standard tee, jeans and Birkies attire throughout and got a lot of envious looks from my road trip mates (see left photo below). I earned the title of being 'cold blooded' right around that time.

That winter, I was fortunate enough to go on a ski trip complimentary of the company. Whilst most others had thermals and multi layers beneath the ski gear, just a ski jacket over a normal tee sufficed for me (see right photo below). Having gone through three weeks of harsh Canadian winter in the Whistler mountains where I barely survived getting caught in a blizzard mid-mountain at -30 degrees celsius (thinking back, I don't know how I managed to ski my way back to safety in the almost zero visibility weather and with the cold whipping me to near complete numbness.), I found Australian winters extremely mild. I did two full days of intensive skiing in the Australian Snowy Mountains without feeling like my bones were going to break. Now I wouldn't dream of accomplishing a black run without breaking a few ribs. On the weight, notice how my arms look bigger below than in the pics taken in Winter 2006? I reckon I must have weighed about 52kgs here, but hey, there was still no sign of the double chin yet and I could still fit into my pair of Levi's jeans bought way back in 1999.

Winter 2008:
I started doing a bit of dressing up for winter in order not to get mocked for not possessing chic winter style like most of the Aussie chicks here do (see left photo below), but those were mainly for reasons to do with my own vanity, not that I needed the extra layers for warmth. Look at the photo on the right and you see me in a thinly clothed, above knee length vintage dress playing on a desserted beach (cos it was too cold for most to play on a beach then!) in the winter cold. You may not be able to see from the two photos but in this period, I had developed a slight double chin that stubbornly refused to go away. And hey those dark jeans I have on in the left pic were newly bought cos I couldn't fit into my faithful old Levi's from 1999. Average weight in that period was about 54-55kgs, I think.

Winter 2009:
This winter has been a really miserable one for me. I have been sick every other day. Just this past weekend, I had been nursing a fever and flu from Friday right through to Monday (today). My body can't adjust to the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors such that I have to wrap myself up from top to toe when out (as I shiver from the cold once outside) and take everything off except for the basic layers for decency when indoors (I start perspiring the moment I step out of the outdoor cold). This is a very strange phenomenon for me indeed, seeing how I had no such problem for so many winters and in worse ones than this current season. And boy, am I disgusted to announce that the weight now stands at 58-59kgs (a vast 9kgs difference from that in 2006! kill me please.)

I guess this is nature's way of telling me I am no longer 18 but soon approaching the big THREE. Just how much harsher can the ageing process get? Increasing of age and decreasing of metabolism aside, another major contributing factor for my case is the significantly increased work responsibilities - with accountability comes added stress and anxiety - resulting in less time for relaxation and exercise, and less healthy diet ranging from one extreme of not eating at all in a day to the other of binging on junks like chocolates or chips.

With the coming of the new financial year (and the turning of 29) in July, I think it's timely to do some personal wellbeing planning on top of the budgeting and business modelling we have to do on the work front.


o8ight said...


not trying to rub it in, but you were so skinny!!!
its like 10 years ago or stg... you know those secondary school era kind, when we weren't fully developed yet...

E(ileen) said...

You look great, in my opinion, and it is more important to be healthy and happy. If you think you need to lose weight in order to be healthier then do it... but don't lose weight to look skinnier because then those goal posts always move.

I hope you are well, please take care of your health!

fav tudi said...

frankly tudi thinks shifu is now more yummilicious than ever coz u've got a bit more curves...!!

monkeycrab said...

HAH: i was skinny because i was super active in a lot of sports. i was a long distance runner right through from pri to uni too and had a lot of medals wor. *blush* so it was the healthy kind of skinny due to high metabolism not the anorexic kind.

Eileen: agree with u. i am more thinking of getting back into a regular exercise routine for health reasons (am falling sick too often!) than for losing weight, although i really dont mind shedding a kilo or two! i just saw a doc and started on a course of antibiotics, so see how it goes later in the week.

Tudi: the guys say so too! but that's cos they (and you) dont see the well hidden flabs. i also find it increasingly difficult buying clothes that fit these days.

monkeycrab said...

oh and tudi, we look alright under all the winter layers now but come summer, we wont b able to do those semi-nekkid sunbathing stints... n dats quite sianz for us.