I have hiked all my life because I've always lived minutes from the AT, but only over the past few years have I become serious about backpacking. Now that I've gotten all my gear I continue to find lighter weight items to reduce my pack weight. On a section hike this summer I was sitting on the side of US 58 at Summit Cut waiting for my ride to come after injuring my foot and I began to think about what exactly I was doing out here. I thought real hard over the 8 hours I was sitting on the side of the road. I thought to myself, why in the world am I trying to reduce my pack weight and fret over ounces when I could loose several pounds my losing weight. After recovering enough from my injury I began attempting to loose weight.
I have always enjoyed running and working out. My weight often fluctuates depending on my current life situations. Mainly due to bouts with depression, causing over eating, I have gained 70 pounds over the past 6 or so years. After reaching 240 pounds this summer I am fed up with it. I am on a mission to loose weight, improve my lifestyle and health as well as make things in life more enjoyable such as hiking. On August 14th I began to try and loose weight. I had to start my walking every day. Then I slowly increased how much I ran, now I am up to running for 20 minutes straight(about 2 miles). I have lost about 13 pounds and the difference is amazing. As a teacher I used to be exhausted in the afternoon and struggled through my last few classes, but now I get through the day without becoming tired. I am dieting, eating low calorie foods and eating better sized portions of food. I can't wait to get out next summer and hopefully do a long section hike after losing weight. This time I am driven and determined to continue and not fall back and gain more weight. I will not accept defeat after getting a whiff of the possibilities.
I know the winter months are around the corner but I want to encourage anyone out there with extra pounds to accept my challenge to lose some pounds on our bodies instead of fretting over ounces in our packs. There are many things we can do to lose weight and better our lives and our hiking and I hope others out there will join me on my quest to shed some pounds. Anyone can do it, it only takes the drive and desire to want to do it. Take things slow, and be patient and you will be rewarded for your work.