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[pct-l] Weight ups and downs
- Subject: [pct-l] Weight ups and downs
- From: "William M. Stenzel" <email@example.com>
- Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 11:44:06 -0800
Wow, what a lot of responses for the topic: weight loss.
You know how you feel after a hard core ten day backpacking trip? When
your eyes are clear, your legs feel strong, and your body seems to have
sucked up some of the excess urban weight? I tried the PCT 'cause I
thought it would be a whole summer of the same process. For the first
three weeks or so, I got skinnier, and skinnier, and finally was just a
stick on legs (six foot two and a hundred and fifty pounds). My partner
went through a similar process; she lost maybe fifteen pounds and
started getting cold all the time from lack of body fat.
Then something weird happens, a little like what Jardine talks about in
his "food" section: our bodies said, "Oh, you mean this isn't just a
temporary thing, all this hiking? I'd better start stocking up some
reserves!" Our energy went way low, and we both started gaining weight
in odd places (butt, back). This happens with a lot of hikers, too. It's
scary to turn from a fit human to a stereotypical long distance hiker
(big legs, atrophied arms, bad posture, small gut, farmer tan), but it happens.
Later in the hike, I picked up some hiking poles. These did wonders for
the hike and became my favorite item of gear. It also made my arms
really strong and improved my posture immensely.
SERMON: You can't approach the PCT, Everest attack, or other such
activity with fitness goals in mind. It's an adventure, not an aerobics
class. If you want a hot bod, spend time in the gym. When I first
started backbacking, I pushed myself as hard as I would do running or
working out and this put me in some dangerous survival situations.
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