Before my 2016 thru hike attempt at the Appalachian Trail, I practically did zero training! I went on two short walks in the woods to test my fully loaded pack on my back, and that was it. Needless to say, I eventually got injured once I got on the Appalachian Trail and that was that. To prepare for this year, I decided to, well, prepare. I’ve been working on getting my pack weight down, such as making some swaps (including my pack), and ditching un-needed gear. I also decided to train my body for 3 months prior to leaving so I’m feeling stronger and more limber for round two.
Beverages: I mainly consume water, and a lot of it. The only liquid calories I drink are the occasional beer, morning coffee with a little creamer, and sometimes tea with a little bit of honey. I decided to eliminate beer altogether for now. *gasp* Once I get on the trail and I’m burning an insane amount of calories a day, I will probably definitely help myself to a beer, or two, or ten.
Food: My overall diet isn’t horrible. I don’t eat fast food, I rarely go out to eat, I hate sweets (although I can be a sucker for chocolate at times), and I do most of my cooking at home. I’ve already developed a habit of planning my meals ahead for the week so I can be sure to keep my calories moderate, protein hefty, snacks healthy, all while sticking to the weekly budget. The tricky part is getting through all the holiday leftovers first! I don’t know about you, but we made a ridiculous amount of grub and I hate wasting food! My standard daily diet includes this:
- Breakfast: Post workout, I have 1 cup coffee black or with light creamer, and 1-2 hard boiled eggs (I know it’s bad, but I’m not much of a morning eater, so that’s about it).
- Lunch/Dinner: A meal with a good source of protein (i.e. eggs, beans, lentils, lean meats, poultry), healthy carbohydrates (veggies and lots of them, brown rice, and occasionally whole grain pastas and couscous), and a little healthy fat (olive oil mainly, and sometimes avocado, nuts/seeds). I split up the proper portions prior to eating and I’ll eat one for lunch and the other for dinner if the recipe I cook makes 4 servings (my husband eats the other half).
- Snacks: I have dried/fresh fruit and nuts laying around the house for when I need something in between meals, but I might also go for some yogurt with chia seeds, almonds, and blueberries, string cheese, celery with nut butter and sunflower seeds, olives, and/or veggies with hummus later on to switch it up.
Since my injury, I have been sedentary for the most part (sadly), but I’m healed up and ready to get back in the game!
I won’t bore you with all the details, but I have a schedule written up with a rotating daily morning routine lasting 30-60 minutes. If I wait until the afternoon or evening to exercise, I usually make too many excuses and never get around to it especially when it’s cold out. So I decided to set my alarm for 5:50 every morning so I can get up and do it already before I’m conscious enough to whine about it! It will mainly be strength training in the mornings with focus on my back, core and legs. I will occasionally swap strength training for cardio or yoga/stretching in the mornings. I also plan to squeeze a 1-2 mile walk in every evening too. So far I have stuck to the plan! Go me! Way to not be such a slacker!
To keep a little fire under my ass, I took pre-workout measurements to get an estimated body fat %, I calculated my BMI, weighed myself, and took some super unflattering photos in all my post-holiday glory.
Date: 1/1/17 Height: 5’2” Weight: 124.5 lb.
Measurements (some needed strictly for body fat %):
- Neck: 13”
- Bust: 37”
- Waist at narrowest point: 32”
- Waist at naval: 35.75”
- Hips at widest point: 39”
- Biceps: 10”
- Forearm: 8.5”
- Wrist at narrowest point: 5.5”
- Thigh at widest point: 20.25”
- Calf: 12.25”
Estimated Body Fat %: 34.17% (translation – “ew, gross. Thanks 2016!”)
The algorithm used to calculate estimated body fat was produced by Health Status LLC and is based off of a combination of algorithm from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corp, U.S. Army and the YMCA which estimate body fat percentages without calipers. To get an idea where I’m at, the preferred percentage (in the good to excellent range) for a woman ages 20-40 would be 19-26%. The average woman is 32%. The body fat percentage for athletic women is usually 15-20%.
Estimated Body Mass Index (BMI): 22.8
The estimated BMI for individuals of normal weight (not underweight, overweight, or obese) is 18.5-24.9 according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Well, there you have it! Here’s hoping there’s some significant changes for the better in 3 months so I’m trail ready!