That’s the number that stared back at me when I stepped on the scale a few days after returning home from Denver.
A few calories had been burned going down the slopes at Keystone and snowshoeing on Squaw Mountain, but a majority of the trip was spent kicking back with friends, stuffing myself silly and enjoying some of Colorado’s local breweries — more carb-loading than calorie-burning.
Weight itself wasn’t the issue, even though it’s the heaviest I’ve ever been. Instead, it served as a reminder that I have a long way to go if I hope to condition myself well enough to be confident that I can reach the summit of Kilimanjaro.
Since returning home from Switzerland in late June, my cardiovascular efforts gradually tailed off. That, paired with my habit of eating two large Little Caesars hot-and-readies per week, made for a dangerous habit that needed to change.
In the two months since returning from Colorado, cardio has been a major part of my routine five days per week. In the process, the excess pounds melted off quickly. Within a month I was back to my normal 160.
My legs, lungs and knees all feel stronger. I’m feeling more confident about my chances moving forward, and I’m eager to nail down a departure date for Tanzania.
In fact, now that my cardio training is coming along, I’m taking another step in my trip preparation — adjusting my diet.
For the first time in ages I went to the grocery store this week and returned home with no frozen pizzas. The only frozen goods in my basket were some yogurt, vegetables and some grilled chicken strips to go on salads. I cut back to one hot-and-ready last week and will do without entirely this week, opting instead to cook for myself.
It’s not a complete transformation, but it’s a step in the right direction.