Accountability knocks

I’ve always been a bit of a loner.  That might work against me in terms of weight loss.  It’s easier not to push myself if nobody knows what I’m up to.

I came clean and told my family.  My youngest son is on board (“throw out all the crap food in the house!”).  My husband is super supportive. My oldest son is also pretty cool about it.  (Wait until I start upping the veggies & salads in every meal…)

For the January snowshoe challenge, I asked my life-long adventure buddy, Jill, if she’d like to give it a go.  Jill is game for pretty much anything, so we’re on!  She’s got a schedule and a training chart and a really big “we’re not going to die in the wilderness” mantra for this adventure.*  For Jill, it’s about being prepared and strong for the trip.  Weight loss is a nice plus if it happens along the journey, but her focus is staying alive. I can respect that.

She’s been awesome in keeping me accountable to working out, getting out on my new snowshoes and not losing interest.  And it’s not even that she has to say anything at all.  I just know I don’t want to disappoint her by keeling over and forcing her to drag me by my hair through the snow for a rescue.

I also joined a fun Facebook group with a bunch of ladies who are all at various levels of fitness who are looking to shape up.  One lady threw down a 45 day challenge starting January 1st of three miles per day: walk, jog, run, step.  I have to consciously make time in the day to specifically hit the gym (or street) for almost five kilometres of dedicated movement – yikes. Trickier than it sounds. But checking in each night to share what I accomplished is pretty awesome.

Now that I’ve fessed up, joined up and committed myself on so many different levels, it’s on for reals.

*You see, about 10 years ago we went hiking in the Adamants, got lost, slept under a Glad garbage bag in the rain and got stalked by a grizzly. But that’s another story.

Outdoor gear for the morbidly obese

In order to travel the 11 km into the backcountry for my January challenge, I had a choice: cross country ski or snowshoe.

I’m an amateur cross country skier, never properly trained, with a tendency to fall over randomly whether I’m in motion or not. Not so promising.

I’ve heard that “if you can walk, you can snowshoe” so I figured snowshoeing would be the best bet for the mountain adventure. And it can burn up to 600 calories an hour! Woot!

Off I went shoe shopping online. Reading, reading and more reading, I went from the idea of picking up a cute set of snowshoes, poles and matching travel bag for about $100 to realizing that I was screwed.

I weigh 235 lbs. Snowshoes have weight limits, I learned. Every women’s snowshoe I saw was listed as maxing out at 160, 170 or at the very most 200 lbs. What the fuck? Is this another case of fat people don’t leave the house (jus’ layin’ on the couch eatin’ my bon bons and watchin’ my stories)? Am soooo sick of that.

This issue has already plagued me in finding outdoor clothing. I love Eddie Bauer, for example, and they offer loads of plus size stuff in their casual outdoor wear; however, in their higher end technical clothing line of First Ascent, the cut is slim, and the women’s options end at a skinny XL.  I want the Backdraft jacket, the lined Travex pants, etc, but I simply can’t squeeze into any of it.  (Oh – I can fit the gloves)  For long underwear, I gave up and bought a men’s XXL from MEC. And even then, I had to mail order because my local store didn’t carry the bigger sizes.

I know – lose weight and I can fit the clothing. I get that. But I need to wear something  while losing all this weight outside!! No one wants to see a nudist weight loss project in Canada when it’s below zero.

Back to snowshoes… I settled on a unisex pair from the good folks at the Atlas Snow Shoe Company of Seattle, WA.  The Atlas 1235 are uber light mountain hiking snowshoes that can handle up to 300 lbs.  (That ought to cover both me and my backpack full of donuts).  The price jumped from average joe to the best of the best at $280 CAD.  Wowsers.  But they are beee-ooo-tiful.  They are like budd-ah. They keep me from sinking up to my waist in the 83 cm of fluffy stuff we’ve had so far this winter here in the Great White North.

So, with clothing and snowshoes, let the games begin!

Set goals, get moving

All right, so here it is. A new year, a new you. All that good stuff we strive for at the beginning of a calendar year with the hopes and dreams of awesomeness. My goal for 2014 is being FIT and OUTSIDE.

I’ve been around the block enough now that I know myself. Without a goal and steps to back up the end result, I am just plain lazy and don’t bother. I THINK about it a lot, but am no Action Jackson. So, how to tackle 365 days of lean, mean outdoor machine-ness?

There’s nothing like a timely challenge to get me moving. Like, something that has life and death involved.  So, to kick of this outrageously healthy year, I decided on a backcountry snowshoeing trip in the Canadian Rockies for mid-January.  That’s two weeks of training time, people, and then I’m out there.  And the death part comes into play in terms of it’s-bloody-cold-out-there and if I get lost on the 11 km hike through valleys and over mountain passes… I’ll simply freeze to death at -30 C temps. (Tell my family I love them.)

Time to put down the New Year’s Eve fondue stick, and get training.