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The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

Confessions of a Fat Pilgrim

Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#1
Hi, my name's Robo and I'm fat !

According to all the guides I should be about 20 kg lighter!

I've been reading lots of interesting posts and threads recently about topics such as:

  1. How to train for the Camino.
  2. How much weight will I lose on the Camino
  3. I'm trying to lose weight before I go
  4. etc etc
I'd just like to address the Elephant in the Room here :eek:

I planned to lose weight before my first Camino. And didn't lose much.
I planned to do lots of training, and didn't do much.
Because I was overweight, the training caused injury.......

I have walked the CF from St Jean twice and Sarria (plus a bit) once.

And here are some observations from a 'fatty' :)

Thinking I could train on the Camino, by starting slowly. I was kidding myself. It hurt, all the way........ all 3 times.
It started hurting a bit less after a week as my legs got stronger.
And in the last week it hurt a lot......as my legs and joints found it hard to cope.

Training overweight, caused damage before I even started.

Walking three times overweight has caused permanent damage.

If you are significantly overweight, as I am. (BMI 32) You probably eat and/or drink too much and have a poor diet.
If you think you are somehow going to eat less on the Camino, think again.
The walking will make you hungry, and the plentiful supply of yummy, cheap, and hi carb/fat food ain't going to help you much.

On 3 Caminos, whilst I got fitter and stronger, I hardly lost any weight. Maybe 2-3 kg. (starting at 94)

So fool yourself as much as you like ;)

But for my next Camino, I'll be:

Losing weight before I go. By eating less! (Yes, it's about energy balance. Not rocket science)
I will loose at least 10 kg before I start any serious training.
I will aim for a BMI of about 25-26 if I can, before starting my next Camino.
Still bordering on overweight but a lot lighter than I am now.

I know that if I walk again with a BMI of 32 that.
I might not make it through injury.
And if I do make it, it going to be really painful..........again.

I've come across a few Pilgrims my size or bigger, and..........
90% of them had terrible foot and blister problems.
No wonder really is it ? :oops:

So if you are a fatty like me.
Do yourself a big favour.
And use your upcoming Camino as a really good reason to lose some serious weight, before you go.

Your Camino will be easier.
Less painful.
And far less damaging in the long term.

P.S. I find it really hard to stick to diets.
But the one that seems to work is the 5-2, or a variation of it.
Basically 2 days a week I don't eat much at all.
When I do this, I can lose 1-2 kgs a week easily.

Then Pat cooks a great meal, I get a bottle of wine to go with it.
And I start all over again :(
But you get the point.
I know what I need to do prior to my next Camino.......
And I've found a diet that will work when I need it.
 
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andywild

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
april '2018'
#2
How about a different form of exercise for training? Swimming shouldn't cause too many injuries (unless you bump your head on the side of the pool)..
I've just realised that I've never properly exercised in my life and therefore have no qualifications to be answering on this thread...
On the plus side I found that spending 44 years eating two kebabs and a pizza each day means I can reduce my intake to only one kebab and a pizza and technically be eating healthier.. it got me through two Caminos this year 🙂
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to SDC 2013/14
SJPP to SDC 2016
Porto to SDC 2017
VdlP Sevilla/Salamanca 2018
#4
Hi Robo,

I think the hardest part of losing weight is to cross the mental Rubicon that allows you to get into a place where you know you will see your weight loss project through. After that I think your diet is secondary. Just eat a balanced diet every day, eat good food, exercise a little and let nature do the rest. But if your mentality is not where it needs to be, it is sooooo easy to fall back into bad habits. IMO your state of mind will control your ability to lose weight!!!! I sure hope you can mentally and physically get what you desire.

Finally I hope you succeed and that your next Camino is the best of all and Pain Free!!!!

Aidan
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#5
Andy, I feel your pain, literally. Both of my knees are near-blown out from being morbidly obese for some 25 years. I sort of have a handle on it now. I got my BMI down to 29 - 30. But the damage was done.

I am resolved that I will forever be a BIG man. At least I have avoided cardiovascular and diabetic complications until now. But lugging extra weight still poses issues when on Camino.

My daily routine on Camino involves lots of sports rub pain cream. Luxoben Forte is my favorite, followed by Fisio-Creme, and then Voltaren. I apply it at night after showering and in the morning before booting up. I also take arthritis strength Tylenol (paracetamol) before starting in the morning as I know the pain is coming. Finally, I wear long, elastic braces on both knees.

Losing weight BEFORE you head out is the best way. We all obsess about carried weight in a rucksack. But, carried weight on your person is equally heavy, and likely more consequential.

You are doing the right thing. Every pound / kilo you can reduce before Camino wil help acculturate you to the activity and reduce the chance of injury during the first week or so.

Best of luck...
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2015 & 2018) San Salvador (2018)
#8
Hi Robo! The camino keeps teaching us, doesn't it. I have come to the same conclusion as you - getting the weight off has to be done before going on the camino.

I think my first camino in 2012 made me realize that just being in shape was not enough. (I always joked that I was an athlete but I was hiding it well under layers of fat) Walking the camino showed me that I needed to lose weight in order to climb mountains. I couldn't believe how hard it was with all the extra weight I was carrying.

When I decided to walk again in 2015 I dropped about 15 pounds in the months before going and the camino was so much easier. (No weight loss while on the camino)

When I decided to walk the Camino Salvador in 2018 I began dieting a full year before I went. I lost about 30 pounds before I left and again found the climbing so much easier. This time I have decided to continue dieting now that I am home so that I can be ready to go on another camino at any time.

So my advice to you is start watching your food intake now. It takes longer to lose weight than the tv commercials and diet gurus would have you believe! And if you hit your goal earlier than you were planning - I think you would see that as a win! ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#9
@Robo
I only lose weight when I am on camino, and I know I had a weight gain this past year, to be clarified at my annual check-up shortly. I didn't go on camino this year and my second excursion in the mountains was cut short, not by my choice. My younger brother, who a year ago had both knees replaced, agrees with me that he can only control his weight through exercise. Fortunately for him, he likes and is disciplined about exercise. And he now has the knees to be able to. I am a vegetarian, with a fairly healthy diet, but it is still not easy to control weight. And walking with elderly knees can hurt, maybe too much. For those of you who are able to, I agree with @andywild that swimming, or an in-pool exercise routine, offers a way out. It is exercise, and it will not hurt your joints. I used to do this and I don't any more. If possible, I may put it back into my budget and my schedule. Good luck to you in finding a way that works for you.
 

Oravasaari

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJpdP to Fistera, 2016 Leon to Fistera, 2017 CF-Salvadore-Primitivo, 2018 CF run/walk
#10
Great post! I always lose at least 2kg on a camino even while overdoing it on the vino (...more of drink problem I fear...ahem.) I walk 25-45km sweating like a firehose, I eat and drink anything to hand and love it! The camino is not a weight loss programme though, but it helps. Expending 2000 cals walking and also calorie restricting for weight loss would be miserable however! But having said that, the way to lose weight in normal life is calorie control AND moderate exercise. I run a lot, so I eat a lot. A 21km half marathon jogged run for me = 1350 cals = 7-8 pints of beer, but in terms of effort it'd be easier calorie restricting by 600-700 cals for couple of days. Eat less, exercise a bit more, easy to say, hard to stick to...
 

William Garza

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
#11
Bmi 38.7
Lets just say....38
Ime not fat..ime fluffy
I am a valued commodity..in winter
I make my own shade....

I dont look like it though...especially in baggy clothes!
Santiago it seems...has plans for me...had a bad tooth...only solids i could eat was tuna from a can...so i have been eating 4 cans a nite...my lunch at 7 cst or so is 2 cans w lemon pepper and some dried cranberries
Din din at midnite is the same with a wet pack oatmeal in a cup.
Water is the drink and for dessert usually an orange.
I have lost about a notch a week on my belt.
It turns out i have a talent for weight loss because of the forced discipline.

I trend taller than wider and walk like a cat because of work...a squatch size lurch gate cat..yeah..thats it

Knee is shot..some loose, some snap,crack pop
So St.Iago sent a toothache.

I plan in trying to get down to 250 lbs or so before camino
And take my chances with a leg brace,rub and lots of luck.
Ime glad you were brave enough to take the Camino on...im not there yet.
Its always been the size of the heart that gets me..not the outershell
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#12
How about a different form of exercise for training? Swimming shouldn't cause too many injuries (unless you bump your head on the side of the pool)..
I've just realised that I've never properly exercised in my life and therefore have no qualifications to be answering on this thread...
On the plus side I found that spending 44 years eating two kebabs and a pizza each day means I can reduce my intake to only one kebab and a pizza and technically be eating healthier.. it got me through two Caminos this year 🙂
I have a static bike Andy on the recommendations of a medical specialist.
It looks great sitting on the verandah as I pass it each day ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#13
Hi Robo,

I think the hardest part of losing weight is to cross the mental Rubicon that allows you to get into a place where you know you will see your weight loss project through. After that I think your diet is secondary. Just eat a balanced diet every day, eat good food, exercise a little and let nature do the rest. But if your mentality is not where it needs to be, it is sooooo easy to fall back into bad habits. IMO your state of mind will control your ability to lose weight!!!! I sure hope you can mentally and physically get what you desire.

Finally I hope you succeed and that your next Camino is the best of all and Pain Free!!!!

Aidan
Yes it's totally a mind game!
When I have a clear purpose and objective, on the 5 2 diet, I lose weight easily. 1kg a week is no problem.
I just love food and wine to much :oops:
About 9 months out from my next Camino I'll get serious about it.
Once on a diet for about 2 weeks it just becomes the new 'normal' and is not that hard.

I have a very busy and stressful job so food and wine becomes my 'comfort' thing. Yes I know. Very bad!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#14
Losing weight BEFORE you head out is the best way. We all obsess about carried weight in a rucksack. But, carried weight on your person is equally heavy, and likely more consequential.
Very true. On My Caminos so far I have basically been carrying a 25 kg pack! Madness.......
Imagine walking without that? :cool:
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#15
Sadly I think many of us who are significantly overweight just fool ourselves.
We come up with all kinds of excuses as to why we are........
Or why it's so hard to lose weight.....

It's not hard. At least in theory. Just eat less, and get used to it. Let that become your new normal.

I was running a business education program the last 2 days, and we fully cater the event.
All the members are lovely people.

At the coffee breaks there are trays of pies and sausage rolls and trays of fruit.
The chubby people eat the pies.........lots of them.... It's like 'crack' for them.
The 'non chubby' body shapes eat the fruit.....
Amazing huh ;)

And those stick like figures that zoom past us on Camino, easily walking 30-35 kms a day, are actually a 'normal' body shape. Nothing special...... :confused:

I think it would be nice to be normal again. It's been a long time sadly. :oops:
And all those clothes in the closest would fit!! :p
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2015 & 2018) San Salvador (2018)
#16
I think you are fooling yourself when you say losing weight is not hard.

If it was easy, we would all be thin.

Change the name of your "static" (non-moving) bike to your "welcome home" riding bike. It might make it easier to hop on it each night - start with a couple of minutes...
 
Camino(s) past & future
El Norte 2016
#17
I am also large and thus careful. 3-4 days from Seville is a hill called Almaden, it is littered with crosses of Peregrinos who have fallen by the wayside, never to walk again. So I bought myself a 4 wheel Rolser shopping trolley from the Ferreteria in Madrid. Cost €60.00 it takes up to 35 kg and I have carted and pushed it along Frances, el Norte and Via de la Plata. Over 1,000km. The trolley is made in Spain and can also be found in el Cortes Ingles.
There is nothing on my back or body other than my own excess weight. I can easily attach a second pack and carry a tent.
When it is hard up a hill, it is hard with the shopping trolley, otherwise it makes life very much simpler. My knees and hips are still in good shape as I carry nothing to strain them. The trolley is also a steadying influence and eliminates the need for the walking poles. It is it’s own walking frame. I am 64 years old and weigh 115 kg, way in excess of a healthy weight, I should be 85 kg. My knees are safe and I can carry far more than a survivor at 10kg on their back.
Inside the shopping trolley is a thermos pack for keeping wine cold, it can be like a magicians hat. I can sometimes pull a party out of the insides. Vino blanco, cheese biscuits and stories from all around the world.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#18
I think you are fooling yourself when you say losing weight is not hard.

If it was easy, we would all be thin.

Change the name of your "static" (non-moving) bike to your "welcome home" riding bike. It might make it easier to hop on it each night - start with a couple of minutes...
You are of course correct.

I should say that knowing what to do is not hard.
Actually doing it. That's the hard bit! :oops:

That just comes down to a desire to do it. Will power. Determination.
I struggle because I enjoy food and wine too much.
Its just a matter of choice.

If I 'chose' to be slim, I could be..... But it would mean a change in mindset and eating habits, which for now I 'choose' not to make.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's (2018)
#19
Hi Robo,

This is something I've struggled with all my life! I completed my first Camino a few weeks ago. I've had a stroke so I went very slowly. Not one blister which I chalk up to wearing Teva closed sandals with my merino wool socks! I used walking poles and my back pack was around 15lbs. I walked 5 Mi day every day for the last 1 1/2 yrs. I couldn't eat much on the Camino as I have IBS so ate a piece of fruit in the am and just dinner after 7-8 hrs of walking. I list 3 lbs🙄 Really?! Walked 500mi ate less than 1000 cal a day and lost 3 lbs... And no I didn't develop muscle!

I'm 56 yrs old I've been told at this age a lot has to do with hormones.... Who knows?! I've decided as long as my cholesterol and BP is good I'm not going to add worry to the mix. I eat a Mediterranean diet mostly fruits veggies and fish. I don't drink alcohol and six months ago stopped all soda. So it is what it is. I think for my size age and disability I did pretty good....I continue to eat sensibly and exercise 4x a week. Some of us are just "fluffy" I guess🇺🤔
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#20
I don't drink alcohol and six months ago stopped all soda.
Well the soda would have been doing it all along. ;)
That stuff practically carries a health warning in Australia :oops:

But who am I to criticise. A bottle of red wine with dinner is quite normal for me a couple of times a week.
It's my 'soda' ;)

I think if we are really serious about losing weight, we can find a way.
A way that works for us.
I reckon it's just finding the right 'reducing calories in' regime that works for us..........

Maybe I'll invent the red wine diet.
A couple of glasses of wine each day and a bit of food twice a week :rolleyes: Pizza!
 
#21
So, my deal is.
If I'm not at my target weight, I don't get to buy a ticket.
No ifs, buts or maybies. I don't get to buy a ticket.
This ensures I'm at my target weight at least a couple of months before I go.
So then there is plenty of time for strength and endurance training.

No ifs, buts or maybies. I don't get to buy a ticket.
It's really horrid when that happens.
Regards
Gerard
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues March 2019
#23
Hi, my name's Robo and I'm fat !

According to all the guides I should be about 20 kg lighter!

I've been reading lots of interesting posts and threads recently about topics such as:

  1. How to train for the Camino.
  2. How much weight will I lose on the Camino
  3. I'm trying to lose weight before I go
  4. etc etc
I'd just like to address the Elephant in the Room here :eek:

I planned to lose weight before my first Camino. And didn't lose much.
I planned to do lots of training, and didn't do much.
Because I was overweight, the training caused injury.......

I have walked the CF from St Jean twice and Sarria (plus a bit) once.

And here are some observations from a 'fatty' :)

Thinking I could train on the Camino, by starting slowly. I was kidding myself. It hurt, all the way........ all 3 times.
It started hurting a bit less after a week as my legs got stronger.
And in the last week it hurt a lot......as my legs and joints found it hard to cope.

Training overweight, caused damage before I even started.

Walking three times overweight has caused permanent damage.

If you are significantly overweight, as I am. (BMI 32) You probably eat and/or drink too much and have a poor diet.
If you think you are somehow going to eat less on the Camino, think again.
The walking will make you hungry, and the plentiful supply of yummy, cheap, and hi carb/fat food ain't going to help you much.

On 3 Caminos, whilst I got fitter and stronger, I hardly lost any weight. Maybe 2-3 kg. (starting at 94)

So fool yourself as much as you like ;)

But for my next Camino, I'll be:

Losing weight before I go. By eating less! (Yes, it's about energy balance. Not rocket science)
I will loose at least 10 kg before I start any serious training.
I will aim for a BMI of about 25-26 if I can, before starting my next Camino.
Still bordering on overweight but a lot lighter than I am now.

I know that if I walk again with a BMI of 32 that.
I might not make it through injury.
And if I do make it, it going to be really painful..........again.

I've come across a few Pilgrims my size or bigger, and..........
90% of them had terrible foot and blister problems.
No wonder really is it ? :oops:

So if you are a fatty like me.
Do yourself a big favour.
And use your upcoming Camino as a really good reason to lose some serious weight, before you go.

Your Camino will be easier.
Less painful.
And far less damaging in the long term.

P.S. I find it really hard to stick to diets.
But the one that seems to work is the 5-2, or a variation of it.
Basically 2 days a week I don't eat much at all.
When I do this, I can lose 1-2 kgs a week easily.

Then Pat cooks a great meal, I get a bottle of wine to go with it.
And I start all over again :(
But you get the point.
I know what I need to do prior to my next Camino.......
And I've found a diet that will work when I need it.
Thankyou for being so honest. But what you said is very true. It hurts when I just look at a very heavy person trying to "jog" it off! It is killing their joints and asking for injury. Best to reduce the caloric intake however you can and do non-weight-bearing activity like swimming or light-bearing like just walking a lot. But it comes down to the volume of food you take in. Good luck! Hope it won't be long before you can get back on the saddle!
 
Camino(s) past & future
July/ Aug (2016): StJPdP to Viana
Apr (2017): Viana to Castrojeriz
Apr (2018): Castrojeriz to Leon
#24
This thread feels like a confessional for the overweight. Many thanks to Robo for starting a conversation I truly feel a part of.
I know when I first started this malarkey the weight I was carrying was the major issue. Agonising over the merits of a super lightweight sleeping bag or some extra layers for the colder April compared to the large spare tyre around my waist is akin to debating the merits of the musical choices of the orchestra on the Titanic's last evening. Thankfully I have opened a new chapter in my life. I hear the point made about "comfort food" in a stressful job. I left/ lost my stressful job in May. My last stage (April 2018) saw me lugging my 10kg pack around whilst carting 103 kg of me. A combination of diet (just less carbs), more exercise (swimming a mile 2 or 3 times a week, plus a 5 - 10 km walk) and simply going to bed earlier has seen a gradual (and I hope sustained) weight drop to 92kg.

I agree with the many posts that say it's mostly down to diet and exercise; but I really do think how we live our lives, especially the stress we put up with, has a massive impact.
I am now revelling in the concept of being down-wardly mobile ... and boy, are my knees thankful.
Hoping to dip to below 90kg before my next stage in April - almost a free pack!!
This is not a call for everyone to leave their employment - it's just to consider the mindset we operate in. Good luck to all bon vivants and imbibers everywhere.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#26
Thankyou for being so honest. But what you said is very true. It hurts when I just look at a very heavy person trying to "jog" it off! It is killing their joints and asking for injury. Best to reduce the caloric intake however you can and do non-weight-bearing activity like swimming or light-bearing like just walking a lot. But it comes down to the volume of food you take in. Good luck! Hope it won't be long before you can get back on the saddle!
I realise I have to lose weight before I can start serious training.
Which of course is a catch 22. Because training will help burn calories.
But if I have a couple of really strict eating days a week, it works.
On those days I might just drink milk and eat 4 or 5 bananas through the day.
Or a couple of boiled eggs for lunch and a tin of tuna at night.
Then the next day eat normally.
It seems to work for me at least......
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#27
This thread feels like a confessional for the overweight. Many thanks to Robo for starting a conversation I truly feel a part of.
I know when I first started this malarkey the weight I was carrying was the major issue. Agonising over the merits of a super lightweight sleeping bag or some extra layers for the colder April compared to the large spare tyre around my waist is akin to debating the merits of the musical choices of the orchestra on the Titanic's last evening. Thankfully I have opened a new chapter in my life. I hear the point made about "comfort food" in a stressful job. I left/ lost my stressful job in May. My last stage (April 2018) saw me lugging my 10kg pack around whilst carting 103 kg of me. A combination of diet (just less carbs), more exercise (swimming a mile 2 or 3 times a week, plus a 5 - 10 km walk) and simply going to bed earlier has seen a gradual (and I hope sustained) weight drop to 92kg.

I agree with the many posts that say it's mostly down to diet and exercise; but I really do think how we live our lives, especially the stress we put up with, has a massive impact.
I am now revelling in the concept of being down-wardly mobile ... and boy, are my knees thankful.
Hoping to dip to below 90kg before my next stage in April - almost a free pack!!
This is not a call for everyone to leave their employment - it's just to consider the mindset we operate in. Good luck to all bon vivants and imbibers everywhere.
Well done @Phil Smith . Great effort! It really is mindset isn't it?

I once listened to a great mindset coach. He was basically saying, that if the pain of staying where you are is not great enough, when weighed against the benefits of change, you won't move! So true.

And so it is with weight loss. IMHO it's a choice.

An extreme example......

If my 4 kids were kidnapped, and I was told that if I did not lose 10 kg within the next month, I would never see them again............. I'd lose the weight. Somehow........ I'd find a way..

I think for many of us who are overweight we have just become too comfortable with that weight.
We cope with it. It's become our 'normal'....... Which is really sad, because it doesn't need to be.
We just need a really good reason to lose the weight, that's all. A great incentive.
Mine is being able to walk the VdlP in 2020.
And.........have my wife look at me and go 'WOW" you look awesome, like when I met you ;)

I've tried the Joost approach, just buying bigger suits. It doesn't work :oops:
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#28
1. When I was walking in September/October a friend in NZ was busy losing 10kg simply by reducing his food intake. We saw him last night - he looks great, and I understand why he refused to eat our Spanish olives, tetilla and membrillo- he NEEDS to stick to no snacking until he reaches his goal.
2. This was my first (of 5) Caminos undertaken after a period of no training (no exercise at all for a year actually). It was hard. So much harder. When we walked the Primitivo the first time we flew along - in the last four years there’s been some serious tectonic activity and mountains have grown under the paths.
So if reducing training causes trouble, increasing it can only be positive. (Oh, and I was 10kg heavier)
3. Thanks @gerardcarey - your philosophy with a slight adjustment might get me back to Spain. “Dear Hubby, what do you think of me getting to do another Camino when I lose these 10kg?” That would be incentive for me. I lost 7 before this Camino and HAD TO in order to fit my hiking pants! But I’ve got 10 more to go. (I never used to count kilos but then I was never overweight - now it is motivating to see the number reduce)
4. On my most recent Camiño (Madrid - Salvador- Primitivo) I ate very well. Most days were a combination of sugar free yoghurt, cheese, salami, salad, nuts and maybe egg. You do NOT need bread and pasta to do a Camino. Especially if you are accustomed to small portions at home. I only lost a couple of kilos in six weeks but I came back looking different and my pants are not tight now.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#29
You do NOT need bread and pasta to do a Camino. Especially if you are accustomed to small portions at home. I only lost a couple of kilos in six weeks but I came back looking different and my pants are not tight now.
For those of us who live on bread and pasta, it's going to be quite an adjustment :eek:

Though I have a cunning plan........

If I can lose enough weight to enable another Camino, the increased exercise of the Camino might allow me to enjoy a few treats along the way without putting all the weight back on ;)
 
#30
I think you are fooling yourself when you say losing weight is not hard.

If it was easy, we would all be thin.

Change the name of your "static" (non-moving) bike to your "welcome home" riding bike. It might make it easier to hop on it each night - start with a couple of minutes...
I am reminded about what Mark Twain once said (or reportedly once said): Quitting smoking is easy. I know, because I’ve done it dozens of times.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#31
Interesting thread! Excess body weight has got to increase injuries walking the Camino... This points out the fallacy of the "rule" that says you should aim for carrying a pack that is 10% your body weight. So if one is already overweight, carrying a heavy pack is likely to cause even more damage and injuries.

Re diets, Robo, I found one to be effective that is the opposite of yours, but also a 5-2. Five days a week I avoid sugar, bread and wine. Then on weekends I can eat anything I like. I feel so much better on the healthy diet during the week, I don't even tend to overdo it on weekends.

The science around weight gain and loss has changed quite a bit over the years. Most people now realize it isn't as easy as reducing calories. The sugar and simple carbs lead to roller coaster blood glucose levels (or something) and the brain will simply not allow you to resist the cravings. There also is a huge genetic component for many. Anyway, I stray from my goals often, but I HAVE found that not eating cake at all is a lot easier than just eating a little cake and then trying to stop.
 

Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
#32
I only have 6kg to go to get that magical 25 BMI or "normal weight" of 70kg for me.
4 years ago, had gained and gained and was up to 84.5kg. Joined Weight Watchers and got down to 70kg for my 1st Camino 3 years ago. It slowly came back and I was back to 81.5kg this past June, so back to WW I went. Am down to 76.5 most days, occasionally have hit 75 as well as 77, but still glad to have lost over 5kg. It doesn't sound like a lot until you go pick up a 5kg bag of potatoes at the store and realize you have been schlepping that around with you.

Walking is a lot easier when you don't have that extra weight, plus the clothes you are carrying are also smaller and weigh less.

I work as a walking tour guide and have a bad habit of rewarding myself with cake, cookies, or pizza after a long day. Figure after 12-15 km. it is deserved. It isn't though. Need a different reward.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#34
Great thread Rob.
Cut down what you eat and pay attention to what kind of things you eat - and/or increase the energy you burn - seems such a simple formula.
Simple, maybe. But it's not easy.
I have struggled with this since puberty. Which seems forever.
And with age, it gets harder.
But it helps to know I am not the only one.
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances from Pamplona and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
#35
Hi Robo -

When I saw the thread heading I thought that 'Joost from Amsterdam' (the sweet overweight pilgrim from 'The Way' as you've mentioned above) had joined the Forum and was doing his first post ...;)

However, as I read your OP and the posts afterwards, I really began to appreciate how useful the discussion of body weight (and how it can affect caminos) is. Thank you for your OP and your candid thoughts about this topic and thanks to all who've contributed so far.

Eggs are the most brilliant food - one boiled egg is 80 calories - sustaining and really useful when needing to cut down on food intake a bit. Keeping a hard-boiled egg in the fridge is a really great and delicious snack and once you eat that, with a little salt and pepper, you won't miss the chocolate biscuit you were thinking about.

Best of luck with your weight loss and training goals -

Best regs to you and Pat -

Jenny
(Pilgrims in Sydney)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#38
Great thread Rob.
Cut down what you eat and pay attention to what kind of things you eat - and/or increase the energy you burn - seems such a simple formula.
Simple, maybe. But it's not easy.
I have struggled with this since puberty. Which seems forever.
And with age, it gets harder.
But it helps to know I am not the only one.
I was drinking coffee as I read lines 5 and 6. I now need to clean my keyboard and screen.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2015 & 2018) San Salvador (2018)
#39
I prefer to think of myself, not as overweight, but undertall...o_O
A few years ago I took a series of "abs" class 3x a week with a personal trainer and I grew 1/2 an inch - in my 50's!

I am now going to a fascia stretch therapist and my legs appear to be getting longer! Maybe there is a way to correct this "undertall" problem we have!
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#40
I wish... With age came the shrinkage of my vertebrae. Spinal stenosis runs in my family. Since my first Camino in 2013, I literally shrank 1 1//2 inches or about 5 cm.

My torso shortened so I could no longer adjust my Osprey Kestrel 48 liter, medium / long torso rucksack, any smaller. So, after my walk from Lisbon in 2017, it got donated at Pilgrim House, Santiago.

As soon as I got home, I ordered a new Osprey Kestrel 38 liter, with the Short / Medium torso frame. However, as the waist belt was also shorter sized, I had to contact Osprey support to request a large waist strap. They sent it along at no charge.

Encounter one problem, adapt, overcome and continue with the mission...
 
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Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#41
Ah, to be tall again... Thin is good, but height balances the BMI out nicely...
 
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Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
#42
I have not read all the threads;

My experience starts with the surgeon telling me 4 months before my hernia operation that I really need to slim - Are you calling me fat? - "No but it is difficult to sew two packets of butter together !!"
Save this thought ..
Aouch...- Started next day , skipped milk, cheese and every trace of sugar and lost 1 kg every week !
- from week 41 in ´09 to week 13 in ´10... got me from 112 kg to 96 kg..

Next hurdle; enter a prostate cancer operation in 07 ´10 that demanded Bicatulamide hormone as after treatment. It is basically blanketing the Testoterone and the surplus decays as Estrogene, thus making me taking on 8 kgs again...

But since then I shaved a lot of kgs off again by a strict regime including training in fitness center and restructuring intake. - Got as far as 84 kgs and BMI 24 !
- This is where I took my first Camino...proud & happy I was, naturally...
But - enter the new knowledge of Leptin, this newfound hormone and what it does to not letting go of all that precious body fat, once you have acquired it, as our Stone Age construction will forever plan for the next drought and hunger period !!
I am now at 90 kgs precise, and at BMI 27, which is good enough for my age of 64...

So my precious, expensively acquired and personal wisdom is, that I will have to train and diet forever if I want to keep my ambition glowing of living till I´m 88
Had two more Caminos...

I bulk up my intake of daily protein to 1,3 grams pr kg body weight and cut down fat, eating only one or two slices of wholegrain rye bread a day, but allowing for feast and Holidays and keeping a mean calory intake by monitoring...Walking to the job, always and year a around,
This and a yearly Camiono makes it 18oo kms every year walking, 4 sets of boots spent.

I was thankful to get through cancer and will not yield an inch to pay it all back by living longer and staying two more years on the job before retiring.
I am having a hell of a time and enjoying every minute of it, and I do not suffer one bit by this stringent regime, not a bit !

Nunquam Redono - don´t ever bloody quit
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#43
Spin bicycle or similar 15-20 minutes a day, yoga stretches, pushups and planks.
No more beer. No more fried foods. No more sweets. No more heavy pastas, excessive red meats, heavy cream, desserts, etc.
Lifestyle instead of steamed veggies, broiled fish and chicken, plain tea and coffee, fresh fruits, raw oats, boiled eggs etc.
No tobacco.
I switched to that after coming to the realization I never want to have an open heart op zipper scar installed, or have a leg hacked of to diabetes or suffer the effects of a stroke.
 
#45
Wow Robo,
You have touched a nerve!! This is the longest thread I’ve read so far.
I’m male and 74. I did my first camino in 2013 with my wife from Leon. What a life changing experience. Since then I’ve don another CF from Burgos and last year with my wife a full CF from SJpp.
I have ALWAYS suffered a 20 lb excess of weight. But the worst part is lack or NO stomach muscles. That gives me more discomfort then the weight.
One post talked about cancer and hormones.
I too had surgery and hormone therapy and my last Camino was near impossible. No testosterone makes the job so much more difficult. My wife was out pacing me by a lot.
No that’s all behind me and we are planning to do the Portuguese center route next April.
Thank you for all the input and inspiration.

I am committing to loose 25 Ibs by next March. The BMI input and the suggestion of
pool exercise ( which I dislike until now) and lowering calorie intake will get the job done!
I too love to cook, eat and taste wine.
I have my work cut out for me.
Please Pray for me.

Thx,

Deboy
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future (2019) Portuguese.
#46
I have lost over 70 pounds (about 5 stone,) most of it since June. I plan to loose another 30 before I leave in the Spring. My weight loss has been constant but what has slipped is my walking training. Sadly this is partly due to a thread here in which I was called out for some of my decisions and planning regarding late arrival (via public transfer if dark out) and transfer of half my luggage despite carrying a 38L pack. It really shocked and saddened me. Knocked me right off center and sent me reeling. I have not posted since then (about 6 - 8 weeks) until today. I have decided to not let that episode (or member) destroy the goodwill I had been feeling here or the positive feelings and support I was getting. I still walk, just not every day. I plan to redouble my efforts now.

As a two time cancer survivor who has "persistent, non aggressive" cancer (IOW it won't go away and is not fast growing) my weight was secondary to other health issues for many years. Then a year ago my MD said to me "if you think you will live long enough for your cancer to kill you you are mistaken" I was almost 350 pounds at the time as well as pre-diabetic and severe HBP. I now have low glucose levels well below diabetic, low cholesterol, no HBP and weigh 267 pounds as of Monday. I was between 190-210 in high school. I have not weighed less than 275 since the 20th century.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
#47
I have lost over 70 pounds (about 5 stone,) most of it since June. I plan to loose another 30 before I leave in the Spring. My weight loss has been constant but what has slipped is my walking training. Sadly this is partly due to a thread here in which I was called out for some of my decisions and planning regarding late arrival (via public transfer if dark out) and transfer of half my luggage despite carrying a 38L pack. It really shocked and saddened me. Knocked me right off center and sent me reeling. I have not posted since then (about 6 - 8 weeks) until today. I have decided to not let that episode (or member) destroy the goodwill I had been feeling here or the positive feelings and support I was getting. I still walk, just not every day. I plan to redouble my efforts now.

As a two time cancer survivor who has "persistent, non aggressive" cancer (IOW it won't go away and is not fast growing) my weight was secondary to other health issues for many years. Then a year ago my MD said to me "if you think you will live long enough for your cancer to kill you you are mistaken" I was almost 350 pounds at the time as well as pre-diabetic and severe HBP. I now have low glucose levels well below diabetic, low cholesterol, no HBP and weigh 267 pounds as of Monday. I was between 190-210 in high school. I have not weighed less than 275 since the 20th century.
Nice to hear that you are a fighting survivor. Amazing head start of 70 pounds.
I think you have a winner in getting your glucose levels in check...
Please keep on walking, herein lies the remedy
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#48
I have lost over 70 pounds (about 5 stone,) most of it since June. I plan to loose another 30 before I leave in the Spring. My weight loss has been constant but what has slipped is my walking training. Sadly this is partly due to a thread here in which I was called out for some of my decisions and planning regarding late arrival (via public transfer if dark out) and transfer of half my luggage despite carrying a 38L pack. It really shocked and saddened me. Knocked me right off center and sent me reeling. I have not posted since then (about 6 - 8 weeks) until today. I have decided to not let that episode (or member) destroy the goodwill I had been feeling here or the positive feelings and support I was getting. I still walk, just not every day. I plan to redouble my efforts now.

As a two time cancer survivor who has "persistent, non aggressive" cancer (IOW it won't go away and is not fast growing) my weight was secondary to other health issues for many years. Then a year ago my MD said to me "if you think you will live long enough for your cancer to kill you you are mistaken" I was almost 350 pounds at the time as well as pre-diabetic and severe HBP. I now have low glucose levels well below diabetic, low cholesterol, no HBP and weigh 267 pounds as of Monday. I was between 190-210 in high school. I have not weighed less than 275 since the 20th century.
@dfunghi
It sounds like you are doing really great in controlling your health issues. It was not clear to me from this post whether this will be your first camino. If you want the compostela, you will have to walk all of the last 100 km of your camino. But you are still a pilgrim, however you choose, or whatever services you need to use, to get to Santiago. If you might arrive late at your accommodation, you will need to book ahead to assure a bed and phone ahead if it is already mid-afternoon. I suppose that, since you are planning on using a pack transferal service, you will book ahead for wherever you plan to stay. Planning is always a good idea, especially for the many of us who have health issues. But booking ahead may commit you to have to go on to a further place if you are tired and there is a bed in the town through which you are walking. Think it all through and make your plans according to what you want and are able to do. Buen camino.
 

Oravasaari

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJpdP to Fistera, 2016 Leon to Fistera, 2017 CF-Salvadore-Primitivo, 2018 CF run/walk
#50
... I couldn't eat much on the Camino as I have IBS so ate a piece of fruit in the am and just dinner after 7-8 hrs of walking. I list 3 lbs🙄 Really?! Walked 500mi ate less than 1000 cal a day and lost 3 lbs... And no I didn't develop muscle!
🇺🤔
That's scientifically impossible I would have to say. Basic physics would demand at least the energy expended in moving from A to B as well as enough to maintain basic metabolic functions. Eating 1000 cal per day and walking say 25km per day would cause about a 2500 cal deficit per day for an 80kg person, i.e. about 2+kg weight loss per week. Your meals and fluids must have been more calorie dense than you thought? Not trying to be picky but physics is physics.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#51
I have not read all the threads;

My experience starts with the surgeon telling me 4 months before my hernia operation that I really need to slim - Are you calling me fat? - "No but it is difficult to sew two packets of butter together !!"
Save this thought ..
Aouch...- Started next day , skipped milk, cheese and every trace of sugar and lost 1 kg every week !
- from week 41 in ´09 to week 13 in ´10... got me from 112 kg to 96 kg..

Next hurdle; enter a prostate cancer operation in 07 ´10 that demanded Bicatulamide hormone as after treatment. It is basically blanketing the Testoterone and the surplus decays as Estrogene, thus making me taking on 8 kgs again...

But since then I shaved a lot of kgs off again by a strict regime including training in fitness center and restructuring intake. - Got as far as 84 kgs and BMI 24 !
- This is where I took my first Camino...proud & happy I was, naturally...
But - enter the new knowledge of Leptin, this newfound hormone and what it does to not letting go of all that precious body fat, once you have acquired it, as our Stone Age construction will forever plan for the next drought and hunger period !!
I am now at 90 kgs precise, and at BMI 27, which is good enough for my age of 64...

So my precious, expensively acquired and personal wisdom is, that I will have to train and diet forever if I want to keep my ambition glowing of living till I´m 88
Had two more Caminos...

I bulk up my intake of daily protein to 1,3 grams pr kg body weight and cut down fat, eating only one or two slices of wholegrain rye bread a day, but allowing for feast and Holidays and keeping a mean calory intake by monitoring...Walking to the job, always and year a around,
This and a yearly Camiono makes it 18oo kms every year walking, 4 sets of boots spent.

I was thankful to get through cancer and will not yield an inch to pay it all back by living longer and staying two more years on the job before retiring.
I am having a hell of a time and enjoying every minute of it, and I do not suffer one bit by this stringent regime, not a bit !

Nunquam Redono - don´t ever bloody quit
I think 'non desistas' might be more accurate. Possibly 'nunquam desistas' would be even better? Then again, I am not a Latin scholar. Heck, I have enough problems with my native language.o_O

But, that said, I COMPLETELY relate to your struggle. At 65, I have similar health and weight issues. Your results are great. I only wish I could do as well.

I am planning my next Camino for early May now. I have that many months to try to lose some of my 113 kg before then...

It makes far more sense to lose 5 or 10 kilos than it does to quibble about a single kilo or two in a rucksack... At least IMHO.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2000-2004,2006), Via De La Plata, Camino De Madrid, The Oberstrasse, Camino Ingles
#53
One post talked about cancer and hormones.
I too had surgery and hormone therapy and my last Camino was near impossible. No testosterone makes the job so much more difficult. My wife was out pacing me by a lot.
That's a very interesting observation about testosterone. I started on hormone replacement therapy back in 2005 prior to an operation and it had an immediate impact on my ability to walk due to the side effect of blocking the testosterone. I didn't have the same energy or stamina. So when I tried to walk the CF that year I did not get very far!

I'm 6 foot tall but 120KG so BMI is 36. I have managed several camino's at that weight and the major problems each time were chaffing and tendonitis. Blisters not so much. Because of my height and build I always wear a large rucksack and it tends to weigh 20KG with water and food.

On one camino in 2004 I walked a large part of the Via De La Plata and didn't lose a single ounce in weight but lost 7 inches on the girth! So that had to be muscle build up!

And I am now 59 by the way!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked 2014
#55
Hi, my name's Robo and I'm fat !

According to all the guides I should be about 20 kg lighter!

I've been reading lots of interesting posts and threads recently about topics such as:

  1. How to train for the Camino.
  2. How much weight will I lose on the Camino
  3. I'm trying to lose weight before I go
  4. etc etc
I'd just like to address the Elephant in the Room here :eek:

I planned to lose weight before my first Camino. And didn't lose much.
I planned to do lots of training, and didn't do much.
Because I was overweight, the training caused injury.......

I have walked the CF from St Jean twice and Sarria (plus a bit) once.

And here are some observations from a 'fatty' :)

Thinking I could train on the Camino, by starting slowly. I was kidding myself. It hurt, all the way........ all 3 times.
It started hurting a bit less after a week as my legs got stronger.
And in the last week it hurt a lot......as my legs and joints found it hard to cope.

Training overweight, caused damage before I even started.

Walking three times overweight has caused permanent damage.

If you are significantly overweight, as I am. (BMI 32) You probably eat and/or drink too much and have a poor diet.
If you think you are somehow going to eat less on the Camino, think again.
The walking will make you hungry, and the plentiful supply of yummy, cheap, and hi carb/fat food ain't going to help you much.

On 3 Caminos, whilst I got fitter and stronger, I hardly lost any weight. Maybe 2-3 kg. (starting at 94)

So fool yourself as much as you like ;)

But for my next Camino, I'll be:

Losing weight before I go. By eating less! (Yes, it's about energy balance. Not rocket science)
I will loose at least 10 kg before I start any serious training.
I will aim for a BMI of about 25-26 if I can, before starting my next Camino.
Still bordering on overweight but a lot lighter than I am now.

I know that if I walk again with a BMI of 32 that.
I might not make it through injury.
And if I do make it, it going to be really painful..........again.

I've come across a few Pilgrims my size or bigger, and..........
90% of them had terrible foot and blister problems.
No wonder really is it ? :oops:

So if you are a fatty like me.
Do yourself a big favour.
And use your upcoming Camino as a really good reason to lose some serious weight, before you go.

Your Camino will be easier.
Less painful.
And far less damaging in the long term.

P.S. I find it really hard to stick to diets.
But the one that seems to work is the 5-2, or a variation of it.
Basically 2 days a week I don't eat much at all.
When I do this, I can lose 1-2 kgs a week easily.

Then Pat cooks a great meal, I get a bottle of wine to go with it.
And I start all over again :(
But you get the point.
I know what I need to do prior to my next Camino.......
And I've found a diet that will work when I need it.
Hello
I walked fat and I did great other than being slow. I don’t mean to disagree with your experience, but, mine was very positive. I managed to get a bottom bunk as I knew that I couldn’t do the top bunk bed. The only training I did was walking before hand. I left home weighing 240 and returned weighing 220. I’m only commenting on his post so that fat people who read this won’t lose hope...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked 2014
#56
Hello
I walked fat and I did great other than being slow. I don’t mean to disagree with your experience, but, mine was very positive. I managed to get a bottom bunk as I knew that I couldn’t do the top bunk bed. The only training I did was walking before hand. I left home weighing 240 and returned weighing 220. I’m only commenting on his post so that fat people who read this won’t lose hope...
 

Attachments

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#59
I may not be popular here but... how about eating LESS. T’is the only way!
Don’t think for a minute I am being flippant, I have the same problem!
Do as I say and not as I do ;) : eat less. End of.
Oh how I wish I could follow my own advice :D
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#60
I may not be popular here but... how about eating LESS. T’is the only way!
Don’t think for a minute I am being flippant, I have the same problem!
Do as I say and not as I do ;) : eat less. End of.
Oh how I wish I could follow my own advice :D
Haha. My mother used to give me advice based on her own experience - when she wanted to lose a pound or two (she was never overweight) she would just cut portions in half for awhile. I would reply that it was a great idea, as long as she only ate one of those half portions.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#61
Before my 2015 Camino I lost 35 pounds (263 to 228). When people asked how I did it, my somewhat flip, but true response was that I ate half as much and worked out twice as much. I have dramatically shifted my diet toward whole grains, fish, fowl, fruits, nuts, vegetables and legumes. We have cut our red meat consumption down to about once a week. Quitting taking seconds was the easiest way for me to cut my caloric intake. I don’t think diet alone would have done it for me though. There is a positive reinforcement loop between weight, diet and working out.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
#62
-But slimming is not only a question of (excessive) less:
If you starve yourself below what your body is expected to need to make the metabolic to go round, the system will shut into survival mode and save som energi and not be butchering your bodyfat stores as you desire....
It is the composition of food items and the added excercise that is supposed to make more muscles for your carbs and proteins to live on. - And adding better fatty substance (but less) to the diet in the bargain...
In a new regime, walking is actually better than spinning the bicycle... (ie walking 30 minutes a day )
Rob - you have a mission !
The mission, should you choose to accept it, will make you a happier man !!
Rob,
Rob......
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#63
Regarding use of BMI, I’m not a fan. I’d rather look at body fat percentage. BMI penalizes those who have a high lean body weight. BMI feels a bit like a sledgehammer. The high end of the optimal range for my BMI says I should weigh 190 pounds (I am 6 ft-2 in), which is only 3 pounds above my lean body weight. That would be a dangerously low body fat percentage.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#64
Regarding use of BMI, I’m not a fan. BMI feels a bit like a sledgehammer.
I agree. The only inputs are height and weight, so it doesn't take anything else into account like body type, bone structure, proportion of muscle. I hate the waist/hip ratio even more.
 

Oravasaari

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJpdP to Fistera, 2016 Leon to Fistera, 2017 CF-Salvadore-Primitivo, 2018 CF run/walk
#65
I agree. The only inputs are height and weight, so it doesn't take anything else into account like body type, bone structure, proportion of muscle. I hate the waist/hip ratio even more.
There are also more clever BMI calculators online that ask for wrist circumferance and waist measurements to take account of build/body type. But yes, BMI is rather a blunt instrument. A sedantary person with under developed muscle but carrying fat can have the same bmi as a more active muscular person carrying much less fat. The active/muscular person is likely to be much healthier though. This BMI visualisation graphic is quite good fun to play with.. http://www.bmivisualizer.com
 

AngeKenn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
#66
I went on the Camino 22kgs heavier than I am now. Everyday was a struggle but I had two weeks off work and was determined to walk as much as I could. I broke my foot half way but still managed to keep going. I got treatment when I got home. I must have had an epiphany as I now walk everywhere and feel mentally and physically better. The Camino is your own journey and sometimes the lessons come well after you come home.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#67
Hello
I walked fat and I did great other than being slow. I don’t mean to disagree with your experience, but, mine was very positive. I managed to get a bottom bunk as I knew that I couldn’t do the top bunk bed. The only training I did was walking before hand. I left home weighing 240 and returned weighing 220. I’m only commenting on his post so that fat people who read this won’t lose hope...
Sure it can be done. I did it, 3 times :p

But I've caused irreparable damage doing it :(
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#68
But I've caused irreparable damage doing it
Bummer, Rob. I'm sorry to know that.
The flip side is that the functionality of the body only goes in one direction - and given that it will break anyway, I'd rather break mine on the Camino than doing almost anything else.;)

Fit and heavy is possible.
And thin can come at a cost: I am much healthier now with a BMI of 24+ than when I was whippet with a BMI of 18. At the same time, there is definitely a big downside of carrying the equivalent of a pack-load of extra weight on the body.

Unfortunately I have no discipline sometimes: for example, I could be doing something active right now but am sitting here on the forum. :oops: Ahem...and it's not the forum's fault that it's making me flabbier...
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
#69
All this talk about losing weight before walking. Has no one heard about the rule that you should carry no more than ten percent if your body weight? The less you weigh, the less you can carry. If I weigh my pack and it is a couple of pounds over, I know I just have to gain another twenty pounds and everything will be perfect.

Note: in case it wasn't obvious, the above was not meant to be taken seriously.
 
#70
Hi, my name's Robo and I'm fat !

According to all the guides I should be about 20 kg lighter!

I've been reading lots of interesting posts and threads recently about topics such as:

  1. How to train for the Camino.
  2. How much weight will I lose on the Camino
  3. I'm trying to lose weight before I go
  4. etc etc
I'd just like to address the Elephant in the Room here :eek:

I planned to lose weight before my first Camino. And didn't lose much.
I planned to do lots of training, and didn't do much.
Because I was overweight, the training caused injury.......

I have walked the CF from St Jean twice and Sarria (plus a bit) once.

And here are some observations from a 'fatty' :)

Thinking I could train on the Camino, by starting slowly. I was kidding myself. It hurt, all the way........ all 3 times.
It started hurting a bit less after a week as my legs got stronger.
And in the last week it hurt a lot......as my legs and joints found it hard to cope.

Training overweight, caused damage before I even started.

Walking three times overweight has caused permanent damage.

If you are significantly overweight, as I am. (BMI 32) You probably eat and/or drink too much and have a poor diet.
If you think you are somehow going to eat less on the Camino, think again.
The walking will make you hungry, and the plentiful supply of yummy, cheap, and hi carb/fat food ain't going to help you much.

On 3 Caminos, whilst I got fitter and stronger, I hardly lost any weight. Maybe 2-3 kg. (starting at 94)

So fool yourself as much as you like ;)

But for my next Camino, I'll be:

Losing weight before I go. By eating less! (Yes, it's about energy balance. Not rocket science)
I will loose at least 10 kg before I start any serious training.
I will aim for a BMI of about 25-26 if I can, before starting my next Camino.
Still bordering on overweight but a lot lighter than I am now.

I know that if I walk again with a BMI of 32 that.
I might not make it through injury.
And if I do make it, it going to be really painful..........again.

I've come across a few Pilgrims my size or bigger, and..........
90% of them had terrible foot and blister problems.
No wonder really is it ? :oops:

So if you are a fatty like me.
Do yourself a big favour.
And use your upcoming Camino as a really good reason to lose some serious weight, before you go.

Your Camino will be easier.
Less painful.
And far less damaging in the long term.

P.S. I find it really hard to stick to diets.
But the one that seems to work is the 5-2, or a variation of it.
Basically 2 days a week I don't eat much at all.
When I do this, I can lose 1-2 kgs a week easily.

Then Pat cooks a great meal, I get a bottle of wine to go with it.
And I start all over again :(
But you get the point.
I know what I need to do prior to my next Camino.......
And I've found a diet that will work when I need it.
Dearest Robo, we've all been there and done that. See this weight loss program you are now beginning as a new adventure and keep your eyes on the end result..... weight LOST. Will be thinking of you and am certain that this time you will succeed.
 

Irish Bernie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis 2013-2014-2015,16 and June 2017,May 2018,Sept 2018.
#72
As someone with the physique of a greek Adonis I don't feel it would be right to post a reply ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Hope to walk the CF in Sep/Oct, 2018 with my wife
#75
“Eat less, move more”
Not rocket science, but I agree with many, not easy.
Thanks Robo for starting this discussion.
Now for work motto....”Work less, make more”
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#76
I've found a diet that will work when I need it.
@Robo , kia ora from across the ditch and you've ceratinly started something.

In early 2012 I was told (dont ask) I was to wak in northen Spain. My first training trip (a whole 4 km downhill) was agony. I weighed well over 90 kg (BMI over 32). Bought some scales, reduce my intake (smaller portions), And worked up to achieving 30 + km on 2 or 3 training trips most months.

I reasoned if I could get my body weight down I could easily manage a heavier pack (lots of luxuries, such as rice cookers and bottles of wine :)).

While my weight was going down, very gradually, I became impatient and started looking for really light weight and durable pack, bag and tent. (found them - big cost but I am still using them all after nearly 3,000 km in Europe and more than that in training). Alas, I could not find light weight rice cookers or bottles of wine including contents. :mad:

So, mate, there is hope and it is an effort and very much a discipline. I am lucky - I don't have any paid work to get in the way. Nor an attentive and loving wife to cook delicious meals.

So, kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#77
“Eat less, move more”
Not rocket science, but I agree with many, not easy.
Thanks Robo for starting this discussion.
Now for work motto....”Work less, make more”
Ah. We have a different philosophy at work.
Work More, Make More, Give More.
Long story ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino VDLP april (april2019)
#81
I am also large and thus careful. 3-4 days from Seville is a hill called Almaden, it is littered with crosses of Peregrinos who have fallen by the wayside, never to walk again. So I bought myself a 4 wheel Rolser shopping trolley from the Ferreteria in Madrid. Cost €60.00 it takes up to 35 kg and I have carted and pushed it along Frances, el Norte and Via de la Plata. Over 1,000km. The trolley is made in Spain and can also be found in el Cortes Ingles.
There is nothing on my back or body other than my own excess weight. I can easily attach a second pack and carry a tent.
When it is hard up a hill, it is hard with the shopping trolley, otherwise it makes life very much simpler. My knees and hips are still in good shape as I carry nothing to strain them. The trolley is also a steadying influence and eliminates the need for the walking poles. It is it’s own walking frame. I am 64 years old and weigh 115 kg, way in excess of a healthy weight, I should be 85 kg. My knees are safe and I can carry far more than a survivor at 10kg on their back.
Inside the shopping trolley is a thermos pack for keeping wine cold, it can be like a magicians hat. I can sometimes pull a party out of the insides. Vino blanco, cheese biscuits and stories from all around the world.
You are funny ! :) It's all about priorities right? Buen Camino futuro x
 

Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
#82
Just carried home a frozen turkey weighing 4800gr. That bag was so heavy! Makes me feel even better about "only" losing 5kg. so far. Schlepping that extra weight around is hard on us. Inspired to lose the next 5.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
#84
“Eat less, move more”
Not rocket science, but I agree with many, not easy.
Thanks Robo for starting this discussion.
Now for work motto....”Work less, make more”
If we're sharing our mottoes, I go with "I hear, I see, I learn". I like it better in Latin though (the language of mottoes): audio video disco.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#86
@Robo
I was never able to resist the wine that went with the dinners on the camino. But then, I never drink wine at home unless someone treats me. It is not in my budget.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#87
@Robo
I was never able to resist the wine that went with the dinners on the camino. But then, I never drink wine at home unless someone treats me. It is not in my budget.
We live in the wrong Countries!
The minimum price for anything drinkable here in Australia is about $10 :oops:
Mind you, some Australian wine is cheaper in the UK than here. They ship it in bulk!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
#88
That's cheating! Anyone can lose weight by cutting alcohol :p
He was responding to:

Lisa Brownsey said:
"The food is abundant on the Camino but my husband managed to loose 10kg when he cut out all sugars. No dessert for him from the pilgrim menu. He doesn’t drink alcohol though."

Unfortunately, you can only lose weight by cutting alcohol if you drink it in the first place. If you are a non-drinker, cutting alcohol will do nothing for you. Otherwise, I'd be a lot skinnier.
 

MethaV

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Camino Frances
2017 Le Puy en Velay-Cahors
2018 Cahors-SJPdP
Le Chemin Piemont Pyrénéen (2019)
#89
Hi, my name's Robo and I'm fat !

According to all the guides I should be about 20 kg lighter!

I've been reading lots of interesting posts and threads recently about topics such as:

  1. How to train for the Camino.
  2. How much weight will I lose on the Camino
  3. I'm trying to lose weight before I go
  4. etc etc
I'd just like to address the Elephant in the Room here :eek:

I planned to lose weight before my first Camino. And didn't lose much.
I planned to do lots of training, and didn't do much.
Because I was overweight, the training caused injury.......

I have walked the CF from St Jean twice and Sarria (plus a bit) once.

And here are some observations from a 'fatty' :)

Thinking I could train on the Camino, by starting slowly. I was kidding myself. It hurt, all the way........ all 3 times.
It started hurting a bit less after a week as my legs got stronger.
And in the last week it hurt a lot......as my legs and joints found it hard to cope.

Training overweight, caused damage before I even started.

Walking three times overweight has caused permanent damage.

If you are significantly overweight, as I am. (BMI 32) You probably eat and/or drink too much and have a poor diet.
If you think you are somehow going to eat less on the Camino, think again.
The walking will make you hungry, and the plentiful supply of yummy, cheap, and hi carb/fat food ain't going to help you much.

On 3 Caminos, whilst I got fitter and stronger, I hardly lost any weight. Maybe 2-3 kg. (starting at 94)

So fool yourself as much as you like ;)

But for my next Camino, I'll be:

Losing weight before I go. By eating less! (Yes, it's about energy balance. Not rocket science)
I will loose at least 10 kg before I start any serious training.
I will aim for a BMI of about 25-26 if I can, before starting my next Camino.
Still bordering on overweight but a lot lighter than I am now.

I know that if I walk again with a BMI of 32 that.
I might not make it through injury.
And if I do make it, it going to be really painful..........again.

I've come across a few Pilgrims my size or bigger, and..........
90% of them had terrible foot and blister problems.
No wonder really is it ? :oops:

So if you are a fatty like me.
Do yourself a big favour.
And use your upcoming Camino as a really good reason to lose some serious weight, before you go.

Your Camino will be easier.
Less painful.
And far less damaging in the long term.

P.S. I find it really hard to stick to diets.
But the one that seems to work is the 5-2, or a variation of it.
Basically 2 days a week I don't eat much at all.
When I do this, I can lose 1-2 kgs a week easily.

Then Pat cooks a great meal, I get a bottle of wine to go with it.
And I start all over again :(
But you get the point.
I know what I need to do prior to my next Camino.......
And I've found a diet that will work when I need it.
Hi fat Robo! I wish you the very best of luck! :-D
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#91
I seem to be fattening up for Christmas nicely
You only need to worry if you family either have a very large oven or know to make and tend a hangi

If so, kia kaha (take care, be strong, get gone)

Hangi = A large pit dug into the ground. A fire, covering the bottom, is lit and large stones placed on top. When hot enough (and the fire is out), flax mats are put down, the food (rice fed pork is a favourite), kumara and other root vegetables are placed on top and more flax mats on top of that. The excavated soil is placed over all that. A few hours later ... An original slow cook. Yum ;);):D:D
 

Hunter5410

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to SdC (2019?)
#93
Bmi 38.7
Lets just say....38
Ime not fat..ime fluffy
I am a valued commodity..in winter
I make my own shade....

I dont look like it though...especially in baggy clothes!
Santiago it seems...has plans for me...had a bad tooth...only solids i could eat was tuna from a can...so i have been eating 4 cans a nite...my lunch at 7 cst or so is 2 cans w lemon pepper and some dried cranberries
Din din at midnite is the same with a wet pack oatmeal in a cup.
Water is the drink and for dessert usually an orange.
I have lost about a notch a week on my belt.
It turns out i have a talent for weight loss because of the forced discipline.

I trend taller than wider and walk like a cat because of work...a squatch size lurch gate cat..yeah..thats it

Knee is shot..some loose, some snap,crack pop
So St.Iago sent a toothache.

I plan in trying to get down to 250 lbs or so before camino
And take my chances with a leg brace,rub and lots of luck.
Ime glad you were brave enough to take the Camino on...im not there yet.
Its always been the size of the heart that gets me..not the outershell
Guys,
I am on the way to good health and hoping to walk the entire Camino next year. I began the year about at 306 pounds then spent January at a fitness camp in San Diego and lost almost 30 pounds hiking the Southern California mountains. Returning home the old habits crept in and by summer’s end I popped back to 300, even though my exercise was ok (not as intense but gym time & walking 4 miles 3x/wk).

In September I opted to try a protein diet which consists of 8 oz of lean protein + 2 cups of veggies and a few supplements. To date I am down 50 pounds and I have lost 6” in my waist and feeling more confident about my goals and physical being. I actually look different! I am planning to be close to my ideal weight by summer and we plan to be strong and healthy when tackling the Camino at age 65! Being big has always been a psychological barrier that I am only now getting in front of. I am supported and loved by my wife who is on a similar journey. This morning we walked 5 miles at a decent pace (17 min mile) and feel fantastic. Best wishes to all and perhaps we we see you on the trail!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
#94
Robo, in my books, you are not fat at all and only could I wish to ever get down to your weight. I am 58 years old, 132 kilos and a body index of 44.85. Heck, if I were your size, I could jog the Camino, lol.

But you do make some good points which are worth repeating and that I tell everyone who shows an interest in taking on the Camino. Train, train, and train. The more pain now, the less later. When I first climbed the Pyrenees in 2010, all of my training had been on flat land. Oh my gosh, I had never seen a hill as steep as the Pyrenees. Although I did the Camino again in 2012 and 2013, I did not start in St Jean. This past September (2 months ago), I again started in St Jean and although the mountain still was very steep, it was much easier (not saying easy but easier) than it was in 2010. Why? Because I spent June, July, and August training on steep hills at home. Even where in the guild books it shows flat elevations, there are still steep hills. So training before you go in my books, is a must.

Also in training, you find out what works best for you. My issue is always blisters. The heavy weight plus the weight of the backpack contribute to this. So what foot wear works best (hiking boots, running shoes sandals - there is no right answer - you need to find what works best for you). Also, type of socks; do you use Vaseline, or something like Body Guide, etc. Do you use hiking poles, or just one pole, or no poles. On and on - it is the training that will sort this stuff out for you to lessen the surprises that you will encounter when on the trail - because there will always be surprises. Good luck everyone.
 

Mapanggulo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I haven't done the Camino yet, the plan is to do it 2020 or 2021. So here for information/research.
#95
Hi, my name's Robo and I'm fat !
Hi Robo, I'm Fat also. Thank you very much for posting your prospective of the Camino, it's much appreciated.

For me, next to money issues being a hurdle to doing my Camino (hopefully 2020), loosing weight is the other hurdle. I won't do it until I reach my goal weight. I know it will make it harder if I don't.

In Aug 2014 I was enrolled in a monitored weight management program. It involved setting goals, exercising, eating healthier but not denying cravings (just controlling portions of those), portion control, drinking more water, calorie counting and getting help with monitoring what I ate. By summer of 2015 I was down about 36kg. I also found out about a non-profit organization that I still belong to (and am a leader in) that helped me get more active both physically & socially. I never could break under 90kg, which my doctor said I should do but I held it well & most people thought I weighed less. Being 6ft helped me carry the weight well and the fact that I have fairly big thigh muscles.

Since then through various life experiences that happened I have let me self get just about back to where I was in 2014, 131kg, I'm currently at 129kg. I know that to successfully do the Camino I need to be back to where I got before 92kg (or less). So my goal this month is to start back doing what I did before to loose weight. Get more physically active, do more Rucking and quit eating like a pig.

I already know from before its a struggle, getting into and staying in that mindset is hard. It doesn't take much to slip. I love food which doesn't help. I also know I've did it before and can do it again.

Didn't really want to de-rail this post with an "about me" comment though. So again, thank you for your insight and I hope you do achieve your goals before your next Camino.

- Matt
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#96
Let me pass on two weight loss tips. The first is a low carbohydrate diet. Harvard just released the results of a study. From news reports it is a well respected study. See here for an introduction: http://foodmed.net/2018/11/harvard-case-against-carbs-for-fats-grows/

The second is to do weight training in addition to cardio. With your knees Rob this can be a big help. What is happening here is that the more muscle moving, even at low activity, the more calories burned.

Good luck Rob.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#98
Hi Rob, I'm Fat also. Thank you very much for posting your prospective of the Camino, it's much appreciated.

For me, next to money issues being a hurdle to doing my Camino (hopefully 2020), loosing weight is the other hurdle. I won't do it until I reach my goal weight. I know it will make it harder if I don't.

In Aug 2014 I was enrolled in a monitored weight management program. It involved setting goals, exercising, eating healthier but not denying cravings (just controlling portions of those), portion control, drinking more water, calorie counting and getting help with monitoring what I ate. By summer of 2015 I was down about 36kg. I also found out about a non-profit organization that I still belong to (and am a leader in) that helped me get more active both physically & socially. I never could break under 90kg, which my doctor said I should do but I held it well & most people thought I weighed less. Being 6ft helped me carry the weight well and the fact that I have fairly big thigh muscles.

Since then through various life experiences that happened I have let me self get just about back to where I was in 2014, 131kg, I'm currently at 129kg. I know that to successfully do the Camino I need to be back to where I got before 92kg (or less). So my goal this month is to start back doing what I did before to loose weight. Get more physically active, do more Rucking and quit eating like a pig.

I already know from before its a struggle, getting into and staying in that mindset is hard. It doesn't take much to slip. I love food which doesn't help. I also know I've did it before and can do it again.

Didn't really want to de-rail this post with an "about me" comment though. So again, thank you for your insight and I hope you do achieve your goals before your next Camino.

- Matt
Where there's a will there's a way Matt. You'll get there I'm sure ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#99
I like going for walks: 1,000 km (VdlP) is much better for length than only 500. But that was last year. Going for a walk today would probably end up with me falling (again). It is winter here in Calgary and will probably be winter until April. I don't want to risk breaking bones, which, at my age, could well be worse than getting fat. At least I am going to Mexico for a month. I have just realized that I am going next month (January to February). But a holiday rental that backs on a busy highway five kilometres from town is not ideal. Maybe I will spend the month in the pool.
My point is that our lives and our personalities (I like solitary walks and have never been near a gym since high school) affect what choices are available to us. I shall not be walking again until summer, unless I can find a way to do so safely in Mexico. I need my camino next fall, to renew my spirit and shrink my body. Or at least that is my justification for this thread.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
I'm one of the lucky ones who does usually manage to lose size when I walk a camino, even if I do not always lose weight. One of the advantages of walking is that it keeps me out of the kitchen! Still, it seems a shame not to enjoy the food on offer in different countries - it is part of the experience - but I try to be a bit judicious. As a Dutch friend once said to me - don't have both butter and cheese on your bread. Choose one or the other.
 

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