Yukoners, it seems, sure do like to blame a lot on the cold, wintery weather.
Don’t get me wrong. In many cases it is fair to fill Mother Nature’s suggestion box come this time of year.
I for one do not enjoy waking up to minus 40 temperatures and then, after spending 45 minutes getting dressed in my winter attire (think Randy from Christmas Story) just for the walk to my car, realizing that I forgot to plug in the block heater the night before.
Then from there dealing with the anxiety, pain and embarrassment that comes from spilling a hot Americano in my lap because I lazily only scraped half my windshield because I left my real scraper inside and was forced to use an old bank card (thank you Pacific Coast Savings) and never expected that person to jump out onto the crosswalk.
And from there complaining to the mechanic because you can’t believe that you really could have damaged your fan belt and your alternator just from driving a vehicle that was not properly warmed up on a minus 40 morning!
No, I am not talking about that. For that, my fellow Yukoners, we can complain.
What I am referring to is the “Whitehorse Winter Weight”.
It seems frostbite and faulty fan belts aren’t all we can blame on Old Man Winter.
The other night, for example, as I was enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving spread, the topic of weight gain came up, as it naturally does across the Nation at around 8:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Monday.
There’s something about candied yams, fresh cranberries, hot stuffing, turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie that will do that.
Not a common occurrence after a good feed, but even I was feeling a little guilty about my 2010 Thanksgiving indulgence.
Thinking the feeling would pass, I packed away a slice of pumpkin pie cheesecake in a Tupperware container for the road.
The guilt was still there.
With the shame for my gluttonous ways clearly displayed on my face as I tried in vain to tuck in my shirt, one of the guests quickly intervened.
“Its winter!” she quipped. “We’re supposed to gain weight.”
The comment percolated with me for the next 48 hours.
“Is it really the winter way, to gain weight without worry?”
Should I not feel regret for the fact that I now use a new hole on my belt, prefer sweatpants over jeans and like whipped cream on my mocha?
My questions were put to ease a few nights later.
My friend was combing her dog when she noticed there was bit more dog there than usual.
Ten pounds more, in fact.
“Charlie’s getting fat!”
Not oblivious to what was being said about her, the dog, similar to me a few nights before, hung its head in shame.
There was an awkward moment of silence before the other owner of the house and dog chimed in.
“Its winter!” he said in defence. “We’re supposed to gain weight.”
The exact same words I thought.
Since then I’ve opened my ears to do a little more eavesdropping – investigative reporting, if you will. Sure enough, it seems there is a clear consensus that when it comes to winter the weight gain is okay and in many cases encouraged.
The gym, coffee shop and on-the-street the talk is of worriless weight gain.
I’m not condoning pop tarts for breakfast every morning and Double Big Macs for dinner.
No. That is just unhealthy.
But I do know that here in the Yukon it seems as the temperature drops it is alright if the weight rises.
Even for the dogs!