In a culture where every woman feels pressured to be on a weight-loss diet, I find myself somewhat unintentionally going against the grain.
For about a week (before we got busy with the move), I was walking everywhere carrying a 25 to 35-pound backpack. I took a couple seven- or eight-mile walks this way, but mostly I was just going about my routines, walking a couple miles each day. On my first day I weighed myself to figure out how heavy my pack was. Three days later I weighed myself again to check my pack weight, and discovered that I had lost a solid five or six pounds.
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pairing with dehydrated potato meals.
Most women, with this revelation, would be jumping for joy. I was just unnerved. If I could lose five pounds and three days simply from walking a couple miles with a backpack and eating as usual, how much weight will I lose when I’m on the PCT? Even if we consume as many calories as we can carry (olive oil shots, anyone?), how will I keep from wasting away? I’m not the skinniest lady in the world, but I only have about 30 spare pounds of fat before my body will start eating my muscles.
Since that day, I have been wolfing down food without reservation, and even tempted to eat more junk food in hopes of packing on a few pounds of easily-burnable fat before we hit the trail. This is probably a bad strategy— and, who knows, I might be one of the rare people who gains or maintains weight on the trail— but in the meantime, I’m finding an odd kind of happiness in trying to keep weight on my body. I’ll be lean and skinny and have muscly legs in a couple months. Until then, I can just focus on eating healthy, and eating a lot.