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Lose Weight!

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
This is an aspect of the camino preparation which I don't think has been touched on much. There are numerous posts about keeping equipment to a minimum but I think it is also important to try and lose weight if you are a bit on the portly side. I walked with a bloke in 2006 who started out at about 100kgs and he found the heat and walking very difficult. I started off at 69kgs and ended up at 60kg and really noticed the difference. There is no real difference between carrying weight in your backpack to it being on your person. Last year from Le Puy I was pretty fit by the time I got to SJPDP but still found the stretch from there to Roncesvalles very strenuous (as an aside I think the arduous nature of this bit is not emphasised enough) so carrying extra body weight-and often carying too much in their packs-can be very dispiriting if you start at SJPDP.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Ah Omar! Don't remind us! I am a porky 59kg at the moment - usually not more than 55kg - and know that I'll have to lose it before walking the Aragones in June.
I don't want to carry 5kg on my back and another 5kg on my hips!! (Why does the extra weight always end up like a Dunlop tyre around my waist?)
After Christmas.....
Or maybe after New Year.....
In the summer ... lots of salads.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
You touch on an aspect not much discussed on these forums (fori?) : The walk is really hard. Some people´s bodies just cannot or will not meet the demands put on them.

So many pilgrims start out with great expectations, and are so crushed when they have to slow down or even stop with tendinitis, exhaustion, or just fed-upness. If you are thinking of doing the camino, unless you are already quite fit, expect to have the tar kicked out of you. Then you won´t be surprised when it happens, and you can feel even better about your fitness if it does not.

And don´t let other pilgrims judge you. Listen to your body.

Reb.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
omar, I am not sure this is as crucial as you say! I am very portly (as Rebekah has seen - but I was even more portly when I started two months before she saw me!!!) However, even though I am portly, I had done quite a lot of walking before I started, just on the hills near the city where I live. I had been concerned that I hadn't done enough training with a large pack on, but in the event, it was enough, and I was able to take the initial hills up and down out of Le Puy in my stride. What was the hardest thing in fact was the blisters I got from days 6-9, when I had three days of solid rain and my feet got saturated. In hindsight, one of the best things I did was to take a day off in Estaing to give my poor feet a chance to lose some tenderness.

I saw quite a few others walking who were as overweight as I was, or even more so. I think that as long as people do listen to their bodies, as Rebekah says, they can complete the Camino. I was quite a 'tortoise' along the route, and walked only as far each day as I felt comfortable. I think that anyone with a goodly dose of determination- enough to see you through the harder patches when the way seems too long and things don't seem quite as rosy- can make it, so long as they have allowed themselves enough time. (And so long as they don't fall prey to an accident or serious illness etc.) To me, willpower, and 'wanting' to walk, is far more important than losing weight.
Margaret
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
Another thing about this topic I remembered was how many good hikking footwear shops/web sites recommend a different sole density of boots depending on pack weight. But isn't the salient point: what is the combined weight of yourself and the pack? I weigh about 65kgs but if I take a 15kg pack (heaven forbid!) they would recommend medium density boots yet if someone else weighs 80kgs but has a pack weighing 7kgs they would recommend light density boots. Surely it's the total weight and more importantly the weight placed on knee joints and cartilege? (and to a lesser extent hips). For those of us getting on in years joint wear may already be present and my point about losing weight was that for every kilo extra you weigh your body/knees will have to carry it. To me it's a bit of an equation: lighter pack+lighter body weight=easier/more enjoyable camino.
 

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
About weight, in my opinion is not important the evolution of your weight but your volume. Usually you can lose some weight but you will reduce a lot of volume. Try your clothes when you return home after your trip.

The only Camino where there's no weight reduction is the Camino del Norte. Because the gastronomy, may be ...

Buen and healthy Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

MermaidLilli

Active Member
Salvador and I started together the Via. Did 3 weeks' worth when I hurt my ankle. He went to the Frances and did the whole thing. I went back and finished most of the Via. He lost 33 pounds, I lost 3.
Yeah 33 vs 3.
We ate out almost all the time. Pilgrim menus are very rich in calories. Once he was on the Frances with a group of young folks like himself, they cooked most of the time. Probably that is the difference. Of course he walked 3 weeks' worth more than me. Either way.... not fair!!
He has gained most of it back by the way.
 

Alan Pearce

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
Before I walked the Camino Aragones in April/May this year, I had shed 10 kg through walking every day for many months. In the 6 weeks that it took to walk from Pau to Finistere i pulled my belt in 2 notches, yet stayed the same weight. Presumsbly this is because i transferred the weight from my midriff to my legs; certainly both of these sections of my body changed shape.
I used to eat the three course peregrino meal each night, and then eat fruit and a big block of chocolate during each day. Eating chocolate is good when you walk 25 km each day, but when you don't, you put on weight. Come January 1st, I will have to give up the confectionary, and go back on the road, in orded to be fit to start walking from Biarritz with my Irish friend on August 29th 2009. We are walking the del Norte and are very much looking forward to the gastronomy of the region.
Buen Camino
Alan
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I think your weight remains steady because fat is going, and muscle is building. Muscle weighs more, but like Javier said, the density/volume is leaner. So overall you weigh the same, but you´re down two or three sizes. Build the muscle, lose the fat. A good philosophy for life as well!
(Sil, maybe your son lost so much weight because he had more to lose??)
Reb.
who on my big Frances camino I lost only 3 kilos, but went from a US size 14 down to a 12!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I lost 15 pounds.
I've gained them all back which is why it is IMPERATIVE that I go do the Camino again! ::laughing::
 

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