I got my first taste of the concerns that the women in my life have long complained about, finding clothing that fits larger than “socially acceptable” bodies. The same could be said for makeup brands that don’t include African Americans, and so on.

I couldn’t find a single Backpacking pack that fit my hips, my stomach is just too big. 5’11” and ~250lbs, I’m medically obese.  Hip straps were 6″ too small with a multi-layered coat on for both Amanda and I.

I’m a 38″ in jeans on a good day and clothing I bought last summer with a 34/36 waist are long past fitting.

It feels pretty god damn terrible.

And there’s not a quick fix. Engrained habits in both exercise and consumption have gotten me here, and it’ll take changes over a long period of time to get to where I need to be. Worse still, there’s a multi-billion diet industry dying to take advantage of my situation to make that sweet revenue.

I sit for work and work from home. No other weekly activity that consumes a majority of my time has such a large impact on my health. Quite literally between Amazon and grocery delivery, I have no inherit need to ever leave the house, which is also a major factor for mental health. I never had anxiety as bad as when I started working from home those first few years, I never went anywhere.

I think that I’m coming full circle and figuring out why I enjoyed living in an RV for that half year. Every single day I was doing something, every single day I was outside. I lost 20 pounds and I was feeling better (and would have kept at it if I kept living out of an RV).

So, what to do?

And this is where the minefield lies. There’s a really simple way to cut out all of the bullshit of diet and body positivity culture. Burn more calories than you consume. I average 3,400 calories burnt a day, consuming less than this would represent a deflect, and thus, body mass droppage.

This summer, Matthew McConaughey dropped nearly 30 pounds to go from a ripped stripper in Magic Mike to a drug-dealing HIV patient for an upcoming role. And contestants on The Biggest Loser often shed double digits’ worth of weight in a week.

But when it comes to your own weight loss, experts recommend you aim for a measly one to two pounds a week. It’s fair to wonder: Why?

The above examples and a little math confirm you certainly can lose a lot more. If you start at a weight of 250, cut back to 500 to 800 calories, and work out for two hours daily, you could expect to drop seven to nine pounds a week, says obesity expert Yoni Freedhoff, M.D., author of the forthcoming book Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work. (Build muscle while you torch fat with Speed Shred, the new follow-along DVD series from Men’s Health.)

But besides making your life a living hell, dropping weight this quickly has other downsides: Muscle loss, nutritional deficiencies, and loose skin, just to name a few. And don’t forget gallstones and even potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmias, Dr. Freedhoff warns.

OK, fine, so losing 9 pounds a week isn’t reasonable or healthy. But can you aim for three or four while still preserving your hard-earned muscles—and your health?

Trainer Marc Perry, C.S.C.S., C.P.T., founder of BuiltLean, says though it’s not typical, he’s seen clients healthfully lose up to 1.5 percent of their body weight from fat in a week. Start at 250 big ones? That’s four pounds of fat.

Could you become a similar success story? Research does tell us that your fat-burning potential depends on a few factors, some you can control and some you can’t. Read more…


But sadly, it just isn’t as easy as one specific thing. Do it wrong and you burn lean muscle. Do too much and it could have dire health consequences. Go Soylent to help manage weight, and end up having a sodium deficiency.

Long story short, body maintenance is a lifestyle and there’s a ton of attributes and datapoints to track. I greatly want to go Backpacking and know that healthier body mass and fitness level has massive impacts in my mental health. I also don’t want to die when I’m 40, 50, so there’s that.

I suppose I’m feeling flustered as I was doing better, then really lost track of myself and have been getting wakeup calls; discomfort when tying my shoes due to the gut, equipment not fitting, and how I look on camera.

Now it all boils down too if I can get pissed enough to fuel the fire to do something about it.


I met good ol Barnacules at MRRF in Goshen. His humor is crude, and he relies upon self depreciating humor, but I still find some inspiration in there.

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