Overweight Outdoorsman – About To Go Canoe Tripping

When I first stated this series of posts I was weighing myself every week and reporting the results here.  I did weigh in this past Friday on May 11th and an happy to report I got down to 280lbs.

So far I have lost 45 pounds over the past four to five months.  When I started posting about my weight I wanted to lose 40 lbs before my spring BWCA trip.  I’ve managed to do that and a little more.  You can read more about me and see me at my largest here.

Motivation For The Overweight Wanting To Get Outdoors

Next week I am heading for the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area for a solo canoe trip.  I’ll be in the wilderness area all alone for 4 or 5 nights.  Camping, canoeing, fishing for lake trout, processing my own wood for my campfire, cooking over open flames, fresh air, solitude, surrounded by nature… seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting… soaking it all in.

Do you want to get into the outdoors but are overweight and feel like you can’t, or at least wouldn’t enjoy it?

Do something about it!  Start now.  Not tomorrow, not next week, not on the first of the new month.  Do it now.  You can get started by making up your mind with firm resolve to just do it.

I'm getting healthy and loosing weight so I can enjoy sights like this more often and have an easier time doing so.
I’m getting healthy and loosing weight so I can enjoy sights like this more often and have an easier time doing so.

Disclaimer:  You should always check with your doctor before starting any weight loss or fitness regimen.  I am not a doctor and I don’t know what your physical and mental health status is… so go get checked out before making any serious changes in your life.

What Has Worked For Me

I like fast food and it was the number one thing in my life that made me overweight.  I would leave work every day for lunch and go get fast food.  Not far from my office there are several easy selections for that kind of stuff.

It was easy to buy and convenient.  I didn’t mind eating it, and liked how some of the food tasted and even craved it, looking forward to my next meal and planning it ahead of time.  Because it was easy and convenient was one of the main reasons why I consumed so much of it.

When I decided to lose weight I stopped eating that kind of food.  Just up and quit, and that right there was enough for me to start loosing weight quickly.

I still eat fast food once a week sometimes to treat a grandkid or for a quick lunch with a friend or family member.  But when I do I order a chicken Cesar wrap from McDonalds, or a turkey wrap from Arby’s, or a salad.  Most of those fast food restaurants have some ‘healthier’ choices over their usual fare to choose from.

I also stopped drinking soda for the most part.  From time to time if I do have a Coke Zero or diet coke, but 99% of the time I drink water.  In fact my water intake is probably about 50 to 64 ounces per day.  Sometimes more if I am more active.

I have also tried to focus on eating like a caveman.  The Paleo Diet.  It breaks down like this:  If a caveman didn’t eat it, neither should you!  Now, I am not 100% on this diet.  But I do try and follow it.  Meat in smaller quantities, fruits, veggies, nuts (within limits), eggs, etc…  Check out the link above in this paragraph for more details if you are curious.

Breaking It Down So Far

This is what has worked for me:

  • Cut out fast food.  If I do end up having to go to those places to eat because of friends or family, I always order a wrap or a salad from the menu.
  • Stopped drinking soda.  If I do drink a soda it is always diet or Coke Zero.  Mostly I drink a lot of water.
  • I try to eat like a cavemen and follow the paleo diet.  If a caveman didn’t eat then I should’t either.  Mostly it means not eating processed foods and foods with lots of additives.  This is a great diet to follow because you don’t really need to count calories.  Just eat 4-5 smaller meals per day at smaller sized portions.  You feel full all day long, and have good energy.  Want to learn more, check out this link.
  • Get up and go for a walk.  I started walking around my neighborhood to get some extra exercise.  I eventually started going to some local State Parks to walk on the hiking trails and enjoy nature.  Twenty minutes a couple days a week is going to show you some results.  More often is better and will result in more weight loss.  With time go longer and more often.  Have fun and get outdoors!

The weight is slowly coming off in a healthy way.  I’m not pushing myself that hard to do it, just changed a few habits that were bad.

I’m Feeling Pretty Good!

I recently packed up a couple SealLine Boundary Packs for my upcoming canoe trip.  Both weigh between 30 and 45 pounds.  The larger of the two has some heft to it… and it amazes me to think when I lift that pack that I am lifting the weight I have lost.

Since loosing just 45 pounds I am feeling really good.  I have more spring to my step at my current 280 pounds.  On top of that I don’t feel lethargic like I did months ago.  I want to get up and go do stuff outside, be it a walk at a local city park, state park, or in the woods around my cabin.

This past weekend I spent a day with cousins and an uncle at my off grid cabin in the woods of Northwest Wisconsin splitting fire wood for later this year when winter approaches.  We have two years worth of firewood cut and stacked.  Took four of us about three hours of heavy lifting of logs, splitting, stacking, bending, twisting…  two days later I am slightly stiff, but not nearly as bad as I had been during the past few years.

It’s Going To Keep Getting Better!

The past few weeks I have only been losing about a pound, maybe a little more per week.  The weight is not coming off as fast as it did, but it’s still coming off and in a healthy way.

Like I mentioned above I am not pushing myself hard.  I didn’t join a gym and am not working out every day.  Of course if I did those things I would probably lose more weight at an accelerated pace.  But to be honest I am okay with doing it slow like this.  People are noticing the weight loss, and it feels good to hear people make remarks about it.

The hard part was just changing my eating and drinking habits.  It took a few weeks, maybe a month to really get past my old ways of eating and get past the cravings.  But these days I don’t even think of those foods that I used to eat.  I have a new routine and it doesn’t even occur to me to eat bad or order those kind of foods when I do end up going to a fast food restaurant.

I don’t want to revert and go back to feeling sluggish and have less energy than I do now… so I avoid those foods and high sugar drinks.

What Will Motivate You?

If you are reading this post you likely did a search online about being overweight and getting outdoors.  If you did such a search then you have a desire to feel better, lose weight, and get outside.

Perhaps you want to go camping or hiking, but are worried your body is not up to it because you are large.  Perhaps you just want to go fishing from shore along a lake but are worried about being too large and setting up a portable camp chair to relax on.  To big for a canoe perhaps?  Maybe you watch Youtube and love seeing all those people out making videos while camping, canoeing, hiking, fishing… and you want to do that too!

Start today.  Make up your mind to lose weight and get outside.  Go drink a glass of water.  Put the soda down, dump it out right now and drink water.  That’s a start!  Maybe go outside and walk around your block… that’s another start!  At McDonalds, don’t get that double cheeseburger get a Grilled Chicken Cesar Snack Wrap and a cup of water.

You have start NOW.  If you don’t start now, it will never happen.  Change your habits and get outside more often.  Enjoy the outdoors as you begin your journey losing weight.

Right now…  start.  And maybe I’ll see you in the BWCA or on a local hiking trail, or maybe fly fishing in a trout stream.



TD is the owner and publisher of TD All Outdoors. He has been enjoying the outdoors since since he was a child. Over the years he has spent as much time as he can solo wilderness canoe tripping, overlanding, hiking, fishing, bushcrafting, hunting, hammock camping, and more. Aside from this blog, he also own his own coffee brand, www.folklore-coffee.com.

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