Shed Your Clothes

By Vicki Todd

I wear many hats: Mother, Wife, Writer, Cook, and, the latest addition, Scientist. Under my newest hat, I have taken on the responsibility of finding a correlation between clothes and weight gain. I think I may have stumbled upon the cure for obesity: nudity. Yes, nudity! You no longer need to suffer through The Zone, Adkins Diet, metabolic pills, vinegar solutions, Monday Morning Blues, or painful surgery. You just need to bare it all! Well, at least most, and the more, the better.

My study on "Clothes and Their Relation to Weight Gain" started when I was living in Minnesota. I noticed after every winter I would shed my cold-weather garb and somehow, wham!, 20 extra pounds. While my body was being held hostage for months under long underwear, turtlenecks and sweaters, an unexpected layer of fat had been accumulating. Those layers of clothes were causing a multiplication of fat cells! Under the weight of heavy clothing, my body mass increased! This phenomenon took place year after year. To spell it out in scientific terms: a warm, hidden body that cannot be seen by the human eye creates the perfect host environment for the dirty little mutation of fat cells. It becomes a vicious cycle: layering the body for winter, unveiling in the spring. During the unveiling, I would stand naked in front of the mirror, see my body for the first time in months, and scream, "Wow! What went on under there?!" But, as quietly as the weight bulked on, it seemed to melt away with the snow and, of course, the removal of clothing.

When we moved to a warmer climate, I continued my quest to find the relationship between clothing and weight gain. The dynamics of my study was moved into Phase Two. The question was, "Do you gain weight when you don't wear a lot of clothing?" Now that I was living in a climate where the temperature rarely fell below 70 degrees, there was no need for winter clothes. I ran around in shorts, swimsuits, skirts and tee shirts. I tossed out my weight-gaining sweats and sweaters. There was no after-winter unveiling, for there was no winter! Yes, you guessed it: there was also no weight gain! I began avoiding all climates where there was a nightly weather report that people actually had to watch. I knew that even a short time under those layers of clothes could create an extra subcutaneous layer or fat. I shuddered at the thought of ever having to relive the nightmare of seasonal cellular explosion.

Life can be cruel. Dreams end. I'm back to a place where there are seasons. The cellular mutation happened immediately after I gave in and started layering. And this time they grew with a vengeance! Now that I'm older, those extra pounds don't melt away with spring anymore, they just stick around for next year. I'm done with it. Unfortunately, moving back to where the temperature is always a balmy 80 degrees is not an option, so I have had to come up with a plan to stunt the growth of winter fat cells: (Feel free to use it!)

  1. I will carry a heat-a-lator around with me at all times.
  2. I will use the bun warmers in my car.
  3. I will make the gas company even richer by turning up my heat to 80 degrees all winter.
  4. I will avoid heavy clothing and go nude when at all possible. (My husband is all for this.)
  5. I will continue to look for employment for my husband: "no jackets required."
  6. No matter how cold I am, I will resist the urge to put on a warm wooly sweater.
  7. The most important rule of all: I will NEVER, EVER turn around in the mirror.

By next winter I will be a Slim Jane Pretzel (which I have never been, but might become!). And I won't be worrying about the extra 20 pounds that creeps up like bad underwear. I will be rich--I discovered the cure for obesity!

© 2003 Vicki Todd and The Rebel Housewife, LLC.
All Rights Reserved.

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