May 22, 2007 at 1:40 pm #1223338
@jfdiberianLocale: Columbia River Gorge
I'll bet there are several members who could lighten themselves of about 20lbs., after all, aren't we (almost) all carrying around more fat than we actually need?May 22, 2007 at 1:47 pm #1389923
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Sure, there are. I am sure I could like many stand to lose 20 lbs. But…..and a big but, what the heck-o-la does that have to do with food? Be it that you are skinny, normal or hefty, you HAVE to eat. Trail time is no time for a diet!May 22, 2007 at 2:04 pm #1389930
@cbertLocale: N. California
to keep me humbleJun 10, 2007 at 6:50 pm #1391868
@jfdiberianLocale: Columbia River Gorge
I meant that we shouldn't bring that extra weight with us, not try and loose it on the trail…Jun 10, 2007 at 9:25 pm #1391883
@bjamesdLocale: South Coast of BC
From 2004-6 I lost 20+lbs from my pack.
Over the last 6 months, I lost 20lbs from myself.
Without question, losing bodyweight was the more advantageous by far. If I had to add 20lbs to either my pack or my body, I would put a cannonball in my pack in a heartbeat.
Granted, I was about 30lbs over my "doctor's office" ideal weight. The life impacts of carrying unneeded pounds around cannot be overstated; I seriously had a way lower quality of life. I had lower lung capacity, I slept poorly, I trained less frequently, I sweated and wheezed on the trail. It took me 3 weeks to gain the fitness that I can now gain in a week. My knees hurt, my confidence was lower, and I was seriously drained by the time I got to camp a lot of times. (It actually got dangerous on me when I was solo in the snow last winter; I was too drained to keep myself warm.)
The insidious part is that all of these effects came on so gradually that I didn't even know about them. It was like boiling a frog; I moved in with my gf and stopped my bachelor diet and everything went to pot so to speak.
*That said*, the other time your body doesn't work right is when you're undernourishing yourself — i.e. dieting. I probably wasn't doing it the way a nutritionist would have advised, but I suspect that a lot of people don't. I skipped meals, I ate lightly, and I used coffee as a breakfast/lunch substitute a lot. During this time, I also had a lack of energy and a hard time building real fitness or endurance. (Of course.)
So I've learned to eat! I get plenty of delicious carbs every day which keeps my (naturally high) energy level high. Then I go out and *use* that energy — on the trail, even just walking along the seawall by my house for 6 or 8 miles. That keeps me reasonably low-fat (If I was milk I guess I'd be 2% right now; no homo jokes please) while keeping my muscles well supplied with nutrients and fuel!
That's my layman's metaphor-laced rant about weight loss. Highly recommended if your life can tolerate it.Jun 25, 2007 at 9:29 am #1393337
This realization holds a lot of truth. I'm a cyclist as well as a backpacker. I've noticed some similarities between the mentality of cyclists and of backpackers. The group that I ride with has a fair number of overweight people with ultralight bikes. They are constantly spending big bucks to shave GRAMS off their bike weights. If they spent as much energy hunting for a 20g lighter seat as they did actually riding their bikes and eating well, they could shave between 10 and 30 pounds off their riding weight. I started biking as a way to lose weight and it worked because I used a heavy bike and concentrated on training. My point is that I was able to go 10mph faster aftr losing 30lbs and not changing a single component on my bike.
As backpackers, many of us with expendable incomes (not me, unfortunately), we fall into the convenience of dropping $80 on a lighter stove because it is easier than putting the sweat into improving our fitness levels. I've found that my most enjoyble hikes happen when I've physically prepared myself ahead of time with the right diet, plenty of day-hikes, and plenty of sleep. It's amazing what happens when we use our bodies the way they were made to be used.
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