My January 4th Resolution – Minus 10 Pounds Before I Leave for the AT
I am an admitted gram weenie but not the most extreme type of ultralight backpacker. These examples can give you some idea of where I fit into the world of lightweight backpacking. I don’t drill holes in my toothbrush handle. I do carry a stove, although it is a very light stove. I do own enough dyneema fiber things to bankroll a small island nation for a few months, and I only carry one set of day clothes and one set of night clothes. My base weight is between 10 and 11 pounds. There are far more extreme people than I am, but, at 61, I want and need to balance comfort with weight.
So let’s talk about weight. I currently weigh in at 177 pounds which is 8 pounds over the “normal” BMI weight for my height. I am not in the obese BMI category but fall in the middle of the overweight category. I realize that 8 pounds is not a lot over, but it is over. Plus I am a Type 2 diabetic, so better weight equals better diabetic control.
I see so many people discussing ways to cut weight, and I see manufacturers making lighter and lighter gear, often to the point of discomfort in my view and experience. However, I rarely see people talk about how to drop your ultimate combined weight (my term for base weight + things worn + consumables + body weight) by dropping some excess body weight. In reality, you are going to be carrying all of that, step-by-step for an entire thru-hike and many thru hikers drop weight over time, especially men (sorry, women tend to drop less weight and some even gain weight – nature is cruel), but not much in the first weeks or even the first month or two on the trail. To get that starved thru-hiker look, you need to be pushing into New England for most people.
My Plan for the Next Two Months
So here is my plan. I want to drop 10 pounds between now and March 4th, so 2 months from today. That is around 1.25 pounds/week which is considered a very health and safe rate of weight loss. At my age, I understand that weight loss is accomplished only with both diet and exercise. I will cut sugar, flour, junk food, and fatty food while upping fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, and nonfat dairy. I am not doing anything that seems crazy in my view like cutting out who categories of food or going into ketosis. I am going to up my hiking and bicycling. I am also using my free trial of Apple Fitness + which I started today. It isn’t bad. In reality, how many of you can look at your current gear list and find 10 pounds to eliminate? If you obsess about gear like I do, there is little room for weight savings.
Anyone want to join me? If so, post your weight loss goal in the comments and then update everyone when I post my updates. T
I will report my success periodically, about once a week, between now and March 4th.
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