Almost Over the Hill Hikers
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    #94231 - 04/13/08 04:21 AM TAKING MY LIFE BACK

    Fot the past 10 years I've had to put my outdoor activities and other hobbies on hold for work and family issues. With light at the end of the tunnel I'm once again able to enjoy what was once a big part of my life.

    The problem I have is that durring my off time I've gained between 80 and 100 pounds and have to get back in shape asap. Being 57 years old isn't a help either but it's a hurdle I have to clear.

    I am particularlly fond of the mountains of WV and from here in eastern Ohio it's an easy 3 hour drive into the best outdoor expeience area I think on the Eastern US.

    Nice to be back

    Tom <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

    #94232 - 04/13/08 06:04 AM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: ]
    Pika Offline

    Registered: 12/08/05
    Posts: 1754
    Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
    Welcome back! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
    May I walk in beauty.

    #94233 - 04/13/08 06:56 AM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: ]
    Paddy_Crow Offline

    Registered: 11/08/04
    Posts: 2285
    Loc: Michigan
    Your knees will really appreciate it when you shed those pounds, I would suggest starting out with a daily walk of a couple miles. Also watch the snacks and dump the sugary sodas and such, just drink water. Good luck, and hope to see you on the trail. Let us know what you find in WV...

    #94234 - 04/13/08 09:45 AM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: ]
    Hector Offline

    Registered: 12/20/04
    Posts: 325
    Loc: LA/ARK/TX corner
    Eat less and exercise more (I know, just call me Captain Obvious). Walking's great exercise at our age, and just happens to be good for getting ready to backpack, too. Walk to work or walk at lunch or whenever you can get a couple of miles in. Walk up and down a flight of stairs at work until people think you're nuts (that's my method, but I suspect they already thought I was nuts).

    #94235 - 04/13/08 11:34 AM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: ]
    aimless Online   content

    Registered: 02/05/03
    Posts: 2941
    Loc: Portland, OR
    You are lucky in that you have your love of the outdoors and the mountains to keep in front of you as motivation. I am sure that love is strong enough to propel you to your goal, if you keep it planted firmly in mind. Good luck and happy hiking!

    #94236 - 04/13/08 12:53 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: ]
    Jimshaw Offline

    Registered: 10/22/03
    Posts: 3938
    Loc: Bend, Oregon
    Build a house. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> By the time you dig the holes, pour the concrete, carry the lumber, saw it, nail it together, <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> carry the sheet rock and plaster and paint <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> and then get on the roof. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> You will be 100 pounds lighter <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> and be the hard man you want to be. You will have shoulders that let you join the Scottish log throwing games. Smaller men will step aside for you.... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> Waiters will call you "big guy" <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
    Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
    These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

    #94237 - 04/13/08 03:25 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: ]
    Glenn Offline

    Registered: 03/08/06
    Posts: 2617
    Loc: Ohio
    I know what you mean. I'm only about 20 pounds heavier than I'd like, but even that much causes problems. I also have the competing pressures from jobs and family obligations.

    One thing I've found that helps lose weight: drink iced tea instead of soda with that lunchtime burger (my job means that I frequently end up at the local McWendyKing for lunch), order a single burger instead of the double burger, and skip the fries (or limit them to once or twice a week.) Try to eat their salads (though the sizes and dressings often mean they have as many calories as the combo meal they replace.) And remember: there are no perks to belonging to the clean-plate club. Just because the restaurant's smallest meal has mega-helpings doesn't mean you have to eat it all. (It would go bad before they could deliver it to those kids in India your mother told you would love to have it.) These things won't substitute for sound diet and exercise, but they help a little - and every little bit helps.

    Also, as I recently learned, don't try to plan trips you'll keep cancelling. It's better to get out for one or two nights at the boring local park than to cancel a string of three-nighters at a really neat place. Getting out is the key - Colin Fletcher always said that the only good conditioning for backpacking was, well, backpacking. Harry Roberts said backpacking exists everywhere and is good everywhere - the spot just needs to be public and accessible. You're lucky - in southeast Ohio, you've got a lot of such places: Zaleski, Tar Hollow, and Shawnee leap to mind.

    Good luck. I forgot these lessons over the last few years, and paid a price for it on a recent trip that I wasn't physically prepared for.

    #94238 - 04/14/08 07:04 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: ]
    nimby Offline

    Registered: 08/30/02
    Posts: 216
    Loc: intermountain west
    Beware the ASAP attitude. Just make those many obvious small changes that will be sustainable, and make you more efficient in many ways. Drive less (even the edge of a parking lot rather than the closest possible to the store entrance), walk or bike more (saves $ for trips!). Why pay some kid to drop a paper at your front door when you can walk somewhere to get it if you really want one? Pack your own lunches-eat better for less. etc, etc, etc...Whatever works for your situation. And do take care of your joints so you can enjoy progressively longer trips.

    #94239 - 04/14/08 07:28 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: nimby]
    phat Offline

    Registered: 06/24/07
    Posts: 4107
    Loc: Alberta, Canada
    Well from a fellow fat guy, just don't wait to get out until you are thin.. just get out and enjoy it, at whatever speed you can manage. I spent too much time not going out for dumb reasons like that, and as long as I go at my own speed the only one that gets hurt is some skinny fit 22 year old who gets to poke their eyes out seeing me taking a bath out of an AGG pot in a meadow <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> (... Sorry, not the kind of bear you came to see?....)
    Any fool can be uncomfortable...
    My 3 season gear list
    Winter list.
    Browse my pictures

    #94240 - 04/14/08 09:23 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: ]
    mockturtle Offline

    Registered: 06/06/07
    Posts: 251
    Loc: WA
    Good for you! We 'old folks' need to root each other on! I have eight pounds of winter 'excess' to shed---it's been a long winter! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Keep us posted!

    #94241 - 04/16/08 10:54 AM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: ]
    oswego Offline

    Registered: 04/16/08
    Posts: 4
    Thats great news. I am in the same boat as you. I have decided to get my butt back out in the woods. I am overweight,but can still get around OK,but much slower. Have been using the weight issue as an excuse for being lazy I guess. No more,I am heading out Monday for a couple nights at my favorite lake in The Adirondacks. It is not a long hike,maybe 3 miles in. Its a start,I have not overnighted there since 1977. I hike in every year,but just w/ a daypack w/ lunch.


    #94242 - 04/29/08 09:52 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: ]
    lv2fsh Offline

    Registered: 04/27/08
    Posts: 111
    Loc: socal
    Years ago I started my own business and was working six and a half days a week all while getting used to being a single father of three kids. I would sit and worry if work slowed down and complain if I had too much. I've always hunted and fished as well as camped. I noticed that I wasn't doing as much of it as I had been. Then I started going fishing if I didn't have work on a given day. Before I knew it I was taking hikes and camping more. The more I did the less stress in my life and the happier I was. I met my wife and on our first date I took her for a picnic along a little creek. We have been hiking ever since. We took our horses and camped on our honeymoon in the Sierra. At the young age of 42, I decided that since my children were grown, I would do what I wanted. I joined the Sheriff's Department and went to the academy with a bunch of 20 something kids. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> Well the job does have a four day work week and five and a half weeks of vacation a year. I had backpacked in my youth but mostly car camped untill my wife had heart surgery 11 years ago. After the surgery we took the camper up to the Sierra and took a day hike. After years of smoking (we had both quit by now) we were surprised that we could do as well as we did. We decided to try backpacking. Now it's a big part of our outdoor experience. By lightening the load and adjusting our goals we have been able to continue. Bottom line, don't put it off or you'll regret it.

    #94243 - 05/01/08 02:19 AM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: lv2fsh]
    midnightsun03 Offline

    Registered: 08/06/03
    Posts: 2936
    Loc: Alaska

    Thanks for posting this... I've lost my perspective over this last year (it has been a particularly eventful one, but one that has kept me away from the outdoors), and I appreciate reading your story. I aspire again to getting my life back in balance, and I'm hoping once I find that place I'll be able to find other things to add to my Zen space.

    YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

    #94244 - 05/01/08 08:36 AM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: midnightsun03]
    lv2fsh Offline

    Registered: 04/27/08
    Posts: 111
    Loc: socal
    Just start small. When I make my plans too big, I find it easier to put them off. Good luck..........steve

    #94245 - 05/01/08 01:18 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: lv2fsh]
    midnightsun03 Offline

    Registered: 08/06/03
    Posts: 2936
    Loc: Alaska

    Good advice. I've recently realized that when I'm presented with a big challenge, if I overthink what I need to do to achieve it I become paralyzed and unable to accomplish anything at all. My son is the same way, which is how I came to recognize this in myself. My new mantra for him is "don't think, do." Maybe I should do the same thing. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

    YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

    #94246 - 05/05/08 08:28 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: ]
    billstephenson Offline

    Registered: 02/07/07
    Posts: 3915
    Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
    Good for you!

    I met a guy like you a few years ago when I was backpacking on a trail near the Buffalo River. He was doing a day hike. He said he had drove down to Arkansas from Wisconsin to hike around for a week or two and his goal was to hike the entire Buffalo River Trail, a little at a time.

    He was there by himself, said his wife didn't care to go with him, but didn't mind that he took off for a week here and there, and then he said just about exactly the same things you've said in your post (except he was 60). He told me he had already hiked about 30 miles of the trail over the course of a year, and I can't remember how much weight he'd lost, or how much he wanted yet to lose, but he hiked with me for about a mile and kept on going after I got to my car.

    It was cold and windy and cloudy that day and as I watched him hike away I had to believe he'd taken back his life because he was as happy as any man I've ever met on the trails I've hiked.

    My dad used to tell me, "The only thing stopping you is the fear in your heart and the lead in your a##". That still motivates me <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


    #94247 - 05/08/08 01:11 AM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: billstephenson]
    OregonMouse Offline

    Registered: 02/03/06
    Posts: 6490
    Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
    I put on too much weight this last winter myself (a particularly bad winter, with persistent snow at unusually low elevations for Oregon). So I'm having to work extra hard to get in shape for summer. Just don't overdo the exercise to the point of injury, and don't cut the calories too low, or your body will think it's famine time and reduce its basic metabolic rate. Get lots of exercise (but work up gradually) and, as much as possible, avoid fast food and anything with high saturated fat, high sodium and high-fructose corn syrup. Lots of big mixed vegetable salads fill you up with fewer calories and are really good for you. Just be sure to use moderate amounts of dressing. Oil and vinegar, with lots of herbs, make the best salad dressing. Foods high in fiber like whole-wheat bread and brown rice are a lot better than white bread and white rice, which are basically empty calories. Once you get used to the flavor of whole grains, you'll never want to go back to the bland white stuff! Try to imitate the Mediterranean diet--lots of veggies, less butter, more olive oil. And, of course, keep hiking!
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

    #94248 - 05/12/08 04:50 AM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: ]
    12Step Offline

    Registered: 03/04/08
    Posts: 89
    Loc: Southwest Ohio
    I was an active alcoholic for years. I was slowly killing myself and was spiritually and physically sick. Now in recovery I am able to do things I used to do many years ago. If you wanna drop the weight then hiking is the perfect remedy. When I quit drinking, I started walking, then hiking again and dropped 15 pounds in 6 months. (The halted beer consumption had something to do with

    It's never too late.

    "Let's not miss the beauty of the forest by the ugliness of some of its trees." Bill W.

    #94249 - 05/13/08 09:44 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: 12Step]
    kevonionia Offline

    Registered: 04/17/06
    Posts: 1322
    Loc: Dallas, TX

    Keep it up. I've read every word you've written here and back you on every step of that trail.
    - kevon

    (avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)

    #94250 - 11/18/08 04:30 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: ]
    rppp01a Offline

    Registered: 11/05/08
    Posts: 2
    Loc: Arizona
    When I first moved to Arizona as a 13 yr old, I hooked up with a scout troop. We spent years hiking, camping, and so forth. All over the state. I loved it. When I married, that stopped. I moved away from the state. Upon returning, I injured my back in an accident (2 bulging discs).

    I am not old (36 next week). I returned to hiking in the last 2 years and have been hiking more and more. I miss backpacking and using what is around me to survive (we used to build lean-tos up in the Rim country and in the Superstitions among other things). A decade of a back injury has left me nervous and anxious about taking up backpacking, but I sorely miss the outdoors- and being away from everything. I am not heavy and have swam a lot to keep in shape. I just worry about how my lower back will hold up.

    Good for you. I long to get back out there for longer than 3 or 5 hours of hiking and really get into the meat of this desert I call home.

    As for weight loss- it can be a gradual process. Fitday ( can help you manage what you eat. I use the freebie they offer and have for years. If you can cut sugar and simple carbs (white bread, white rice, etc) that would be a good start. Carbonation is equally bad for the body in great quantities. If you aren't into water, use crystal light. That stuff is great! No calories. Tastes awesome.

    As for exercise, walking and stretching are good starts. Eventually you will want to try something like a stationary bike. Or swimming. I lost 20 pounds in the pool (and will never go looking for it). <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

    Buena suerte! (good luck!)
    Para todo mal..mescal..para todo bien...también.

    #94251 - 11/19/08 04:35 AM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: rppp01a]
    scottyb Offline

    Registered: 05/28/08
    Posts: 278
    Loc: Texas Hill Country
    I sympathize with your back troubles. I have been on that roller coaster for the last 20 years and I am currently going through another episode. The thing that has helped me the most is the knowledge gained by going through physical therapy over the years. If I begin the manipulations learned, immediately at the onset of an episode, the impact is minimal. It is best used as maintainence and incorporated into your daily routine. BTW, I never injured my back carrying a pack. It usually happens doing something stupid or routine like folding laundry.

    I also agree with Glenn's assessment about dropping the fries and not allowing them to convince you to "Supersize". It is very difficult to eat healthy during the day for many people, and just by eliminating the worst part (fries, sodas, sweets) you can keep it manageable. I have had some success using Cliff bars or even a Pro Bar to substitute a whole meal 1 or 2 times a week.

    No matter which means you choose to lose weight, it has to be sustainable and a wholehearted lifestyle change. The one thing that is guaranteed is that, if after you lose some weight, if you return to your old habits, the weight will come back with a vengence. That's why most of the fad diets are not successful because they are not sustainable.
    Just because you don't take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.... Pericles (430 B.C)

    #110313 - 01/29/09 12:31 AM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: lv2fsh]
    BrianLe Offline

    Registered: 02/26/07
    Posts: 1149
    Loc: Washington State, King County
    Alternatively --- think big! smile
    I don't mean to undercut Steve's message --- different approaches are right for different people in different situations. I'm 52 and I thru-hiked the PCT this past year. 2600+ miles of hiking is a great weight loss program.
    Caveat: it's not a *sustainable* weight loss program, and in fact I got used to eating as much as I wanted and then some (and still losing weight at the time). I'm back to somewhat overweight now, so I agree with much of what's being said here.

    Still --- sometimes going for a big goal can work well.
    Brian Lewis

    #112264 - 03/04/09 07:09 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: ]
    Windwalker55 Offline

    Registered: 03/04/09
    Posts: 4
    Loc: Missouri
    Just do it. I lost 30 pounds a year ago and spent a great summer in Colorado hiking and camping. I also climbed a couple of 14,000 foot peaks which I don't think I would have attempted with the extra weight. I won't say it is easy, but it can be done. You will feel so much better when you do it.
    My philosophy on dieting is that if it tastes good spit it out cause it is fattening. Just keep that in mind and keep your goal in mind and you can make it.

    #114726 - 04/20/09 02:08 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: ]
    walkstoslow Offline

    Registered: 03/25/09
    Posts: 4
    Loc: colorado
    congratulations Tom for taking control of your life, I weighed nearly 400 pounds 6-7 years ago, I was on the "atkins induction" diet, for about 14 months, lost 180 pounds, I have since gained maybe 20 pounds back, and bought all new equipment, 3-4 days w/o food and water, less than 20 pounds! enjoy!!
    I am stronger and older than I have ever been, I am also 57.


    #114889 - 04/23/09 08:37 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: walkstoslow]
    sabre11004 Offline

    Registered: 05/05/07
    Posts: 513
    Loc: Tennessee
    Yeah, kudos from me too. I have had the same type of problem myself and I know where you are coming from. I once weighed in at around 255lbs. and after a year and a half of working very diligently on it, I am down do a high school weight of 175lbs. and I feel like a new man. I was just about to go into a 42 pants and now I am down to a 34 and it feels great. Well worth all the punishment that I put myself through. I have been trailin' it the entire time but it is a whole lot more fun to me now that I am back in reasonably good shape. I am 57 and have a heart rate of 65 and I think that is pretty good considering. Keep up the good work and you will get to where ever you want to go from now on...sabre11004... goodjob
    The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

    #133694 - 05/13/10 10:26 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: sabre11004]
    gonegonzo Offline

    Registered: 04/19/10
    Posts: 6

    I originally started this post . I had problems with my registration but have it woprked out now .

    I haven't reached my goal dropping weight yet . I'm on my way however . I've set a plan where I'm hiking and bicycling every other outting . Of course there are days where I can't make it but I try 5 out of 7 days of training per week.

    I'd still like to see some input on this post as to how others are doing .

    Thx Tom aka Gonzo

    #133766 - 05/14/10 09:48 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: gonegonzo]
    Kent W Offline

    Registered: 10/15/09
    Posts: 607
    Loc: IL.
    Well before i started packing agin I was around 215 and 5 feet 11 Not huge but miserable, Heaviest in my life. I started walking in prep for my smokies trip" First Backpacing trip in over 30 years" I walk 3 days a week about 2.5 miles very fast. I am at 185 now , and had no real problems on my Smokies trip. I only hiked about seven miles a day with begin pack rate at 36 pound water and all! I cant wait to go again I am motivated!

    #133875 - 05/17/10 11:48 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: gonegonzo]
    hikerduane Offline

    Registered: 02/23/03
    Posts: 2124
    Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
    I've always been active, so I havn't had to take anything back. I am to the point a little of not caring about things as much as I should. Stay up late on weekends, pig out on snacks at night too, lost some motivation, tired of working, but still have another 10 years almost to go. At a Health Fair at work last Fall, one test showed my cholesterol was only out of whack by 10%. Switching to sorbet or sherbert from ice cream should help a little. I have only gone up one pant size in the last 30 years and that has been in the last four years, so I'm not wasting away too badly. I do notice that I can hit the trail hard my first day out for a long bp trip, but some of the other days I am not too motivated.

    #133887 - 05/18/10 06:59 AM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: hikerduane]
    Glenn Offline

    Registered: 03/08/06
    Posts: 2617
    Loc: Ohio
    So, exactly how old are your teenage kids? grin

    I remember mine had a similar effect on me - fortunately, we all eventually outgrew it, and I now get to enjoy them as adults. I've got to admit, though, that there were a few times I thought about making one of them an only child; what saved them both was that I couldn't figure out which one...

    #144045 - 12/27/10 09:14 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: Anonymous]
    stonemark Offline

    Registered: 12/07/10
    Posts: 82
    Loc: China
    yeah, welcome back, I'm new here, maybe you can teach me sth about hiking, and go outside will not only losen your weight, but also add more life funny~
    adventure in China~my site

    #145252 - 01/21/11 03:57 PM Re: TAKING MY LIFE BACK [Re: Anonymous]
    ALLEN Offline

    Registered: 12/09/10
    Posts: 35
    Loc: Ohio
    Tom, I was born and raised in WV and now live in eastern Ohio. Appalachian (sp?) trails will wear off some of that weight. I do conditioning hikes in Wayne NF in Ohio as often as I can. I'm 63 and have weight troubles as well. I do Atkin's Diet most of the time and when I stick with it, loose weight. Problem is, I get cravings for Ho-Ho's, Entemans chocolate glazed donuts, a plate of spaghetti, the list goes on. Anyway, Jan to Feb I stick to Atkin's and get some of the weight off for spring hiking and camping. Then I'll hit the trails and the exercise works wonders. Usually by Oct I'm in pretty good shape... for 63. Then I fall off the wagon and load up on carbs and ruin everything. Its an endless cycle for me. In my case the extra weight in the spring causes knee problems more than anything. Shake off what you can with diet and hit the trails. Send me a PM and we'll hook up for a trip.

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