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  1. #1

    Default Lightening my "load", who's in?

    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.
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    I placed all my trust at the foot of this hill.
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  2. #2
    I plan, therefore I am Strategic's Avatar
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    Excellent advice Redeye!

    Losing weight was one of the things that gave me a much better trail experience. I dropped a bit over 40 lbs. a couple of years ago (and have kept it off, too.) That's about three times my basic pack weight, so it certainly helped to put more spring in my step.
    Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
    Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

  3. #3
    LT '79; AT from Springer-Rangeley in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Even for people who aren't overweight, there is always room to improve your fitness level. They key is to start and never, ever stop.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2015?

  4. #4
    AT 2010, FHT 2010-11, BMT '11, Bartram'11, LT'12, Pinhoti '13, Sheltowee, '13' 10-K's Avatar
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    Congrats! That's huge.

    Losing body weight is the only way that you can actually spend LESS money (by buying less food) to lighten your load.

    Like Strategic, I lost 50 lbs about 10 years ago and have kept it off too. It's the best thing I've ever done. Well, besides getting sober.

  5. #5
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    Great topic Redeye & good luck to you. Its amazing what one step after another after another etc. can do for the mind, body & soul. Even the days we dont feel like hiking, running or working out as soon as we start doing it, it makes the rest of the day so much better. A cleaner body makes a cleaner mind. Im with you bro.

  6. #6
    IrishBASTARD IrishBASTARD's Avatar
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    Two years ago I was near three hundred pounds...a few below it. My weight has sky rocketed and dropped to earth too much. Fat child etc etc the usual. I had to loose or as my Dr. Put it "You know you'll be the youngest heart attack victim of mine if you keep this weight". That was my final out it took a threat and fear of dying...yes heart attacks kill everyday. To finally pick myself up and say you make me sick. I became a vegan to help my diet and walking many miles a day. I am now two hundred pounds and keeping it off...which is the hardest to do. So I am glad redeye you took your own advice before you had to face an MD. All the luck to everyone and yes we should keep exercising...we would all be healthier and happier for it.

  7. #7

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    I have spoken with a doctor Irish, I have high blood pressure and a high family risk of cancer and heart problems.
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    I placed all my trust at the foot of this hill.
    And now I am sure my heart can never be still.

  8. #8

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    WAY TO GO TOPSHELF! doing the same myself. got to lose 50 lbs. im 5 10 and 232 lbs. trying to get to 180 before i take on the AT. eating less & better foods & walking more. i drive a truck from southeast to northwest so i sit alot ALOT!!! and thats killing me. i have to find ways of exercising but time for that is short. after 700 miles a day all you want to do is rest. guess i need a better job. but anyway, just wanted to great going and keep it up.
    Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!

  9. #9

    Default

    UPDATE: After my last post it has been a roller coaster of a ride. I had dropped about 17 pounds total and everything was going great. I was running 4 miles 4 days a week and cross training 2 other days. AND THEN...I went through 2.5 months of nothing but illness. Constant sinus infections, colds, flu. Even with eating healthy my body put on a lot of fat. I was unable to train the entire time, any bit of physical exercise caused an immediate relapse and worsened my illnesses. Finally after the New Year the sinus infections and cold went away. I started January 7th at 235 pounds. I just weighed myself and I came in at 218.7 pounds. That's 21.3 pounds from around the beginning of October with 2.5 months off.

    What I'm interested in seeing is how this translates to time on the trail. I wonder what losing 21 pounds really means associated with pack weight. I'm guessing that it would translate to about 30 pounds of pack weight loss. Just because of my bodies higher ability to get oxygen to the muscles. Anybody got any experience or thoughts on this?
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    I placed all my trust at the foot of this hill.
    And now I am sure my heart can never be still.

  10. #10
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    I think there are arguments both ways, that extra body weight is easier because its distrubuted, and extra pack weight is easier because you are healthier. I think its more or less equal in terms of effort, but I think there is more to be said for the second argument, that anything healthier should be eaiser all else being equal.

    Example:
    200 pound body weight plus 20 pounds gear hikes 10 miles plus 2500 feet cummulative gain.
    Energy expended roughly 2000 calories plus 220 x (10 + 2500/500) = 2000+3300 = 5300 calories.

    But if you lose 20 pounds, 10%, you might be able to expend 5% more energy. Maybe.
    180 pound body weight plus 20 pounds gear hikes 12 miles plus 3000 feet cummulative gain.
    Energy expended roughly 1800 calories plus 200 x (12 + 3000/500) = 1800+3600 = 5400 calories.

    Anyhoo, I'm not so sure basal metabolism goes down that much with fat loss, but I do think you should be able to put more energy into hiking, and that combined with less effort should mean more time and distance on the trail.

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