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[pct-l] Lose Weight on the Greg Child Plan!!

My buddy Brad was interviewing Aussie Alpinist Greg Child before another
Everest attempt. Child looked to be a bit pudgy before such a grand
undertaking, and Brad questioned the very experienced mountaineer about this.
In typical Child fashion, he replied, "[Forget] that, if you can't get in
shape in the first three weeks [of Everest], you're not gonna get in shape." 

I agree with Child and disagree with y'all. For me (!), the only physical
training I performed before thru-hikes of the AT and PCT was *putting on
weight*. Before both hikes, I weighed in at 190, much heavier than I'd ever
been before (I bottomed out at 150-155 on the AT). I planned on taking it
relatively easy in the early weeks of both hikes (the ONLY thing that gets you
in shape for backpacking--IMHO--is backpacking). The extra fat on me was also
extra food. You can carry your food in the pack, or distributed on your body
(we humans, like many mammals, store fat for emergency use). I like the
latter. I didn't have any problem losing the weight, but my killer appetite
didn't kick in until a month or so into the hike. That helped, I thought
(unfortunately, said appetite on the PCT kicked in in the middle of the
Sierras, and I found myself quite short of food, but that's another story). It
prob'ly helps to be in pretty good shape, and a good grasp of backpacking
definitely helps (blisters can be reduced by wearing good boots that fit), but
worrying about being too fat for a 4-6 month backpacking odyssey seems a
smidge foolish. There are plenty of other things to worry about, I think. 

Now. This plan worked well for me. It may not work as well for others. It may
not work as well for women (myself not being a woman, now or ever). So you may
wish to take what I've e-mailed with as much a salt as you like. But that's
what did it for me. 

Getting "in shape" for another long walk,
Former Attorney General Ed Meese

In a message dated 98-12-16 09:09:49 EST, you write:

<< I wish that in '97 instead of being satisfied with being heavy at the start
 of our hike I had lost weight instead.  Each of your comments about weight 
 hit the mark.  Being lighter weight to begin will certainly help not getting 
 as many blisters and sore muscles.  Since your comments are so relevant and 
 important I am listing them again:  
 >I would feel better starting my thruhike in April.(I feel lighter,it is 
 easier on the joints and tendons, I take the heat better, and proportion -
 ately get more oxygen to my muscles without having to carry and feed extra 
 fat ).  I am trying to be scrupulous about every ounce I put into my pack, 
 it seems to be counterproductive to start out carrying an extra 10 pounds on 
 my body.>   This is so very important and will help to insure a better 
 beginning to your hike and make it a more successful one because you are 
 avoiding problems at the start of your hike so they don't haunt you 
 throughout the adventure and make is more enjoyable!!!
 >What are the women's experiences?>  I didn't start losing any noticable 
 weight for 4-5 weeks, eventhough I wasn't hungry!  My summation is that I 
 was losing fat and building muscle.  In the desert areas the heat dulled my 
 appetite and I was always so tired my stomach rebelled at food, 
 >If there is a large weight lose, how much was it and when on the thru hike 
 did it peak;(at Sonora Pass I had lost 15 - 18 lbs) when did the weight lose 
 start to taper off? I still lost weight even after I got off the trail 
 (another 5-6 lbs -- but not for long!!  Bad thing was I was in that "Feeding 
 Frenzy" mode for at least a month and would find myself coming out of a 
 store eating those wonderful 3-6 candy bars, a monstrus coke, ice cream -- 
 you name it, I ate it. I don't even remember picking it up, buying it  -- 
 much less eating it sooo --I gained 20 pounds in less than 3 months and was 
 almost back to my BEFORE hike weight!!!.
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