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Anyone do either a thru-hike or "pilgrimage" after surgery?



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Just curious, have any of you done a thru-hike or pilgrimage after bariatric surgery? In particular, has anyone done the Camino de Santiago after bariatric surgery? How was it? How did you handle eating? Did you gain/lose/maintain weight? Insights you can share?

I had surgery Sept 4th. I am losing weight at a nice pace. I have just reached a BMI under 30. I am walking 6 miles a day now (still easy walking, but at a brisk pace). I am just beginning to do Yoga/Pilates again (when I can get my daughter to dance in time for me to get to class). And I have just booked a flight to Paris/back from Barcelona... but in between I am planning on doing the Camino de Santiago (French Way) from St Jean Pied de Port! I am super excited. I am planning to up my fitness routine steadily until I leave. I am already buying any gear I don't have and trying to figure out how to keep weight down in my backpack. Buying smaller clothes will sure help that! Hopefully I am a Medium by then if not smaller. Anyhow, any tips on what you did to get you through a thru-hike?

This is my first thru-hike. I have always wanted to do one, but I am using this as more motivation to keep going on my weight loss and getting fit. I selected this one because I don't have to carry my tent and all my food for many days at a time, and I SHOULD have an actual bed to sleep in every night. Anyhow, excitied, nervous, and really not sure how I will be handling food by then. I am doing better with hydrating now. I am eating small meals without problems. I have never gotten sick from anything I ate or overeating.

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Did my first triathlon last month, doing a 50 mile bike race next month, and planning a rim-to-rim hike (in one day) of the Grand Canyon next year! This new like is awesome beyond words!

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9 minutes ago, AZhiker said:

Did my first triathlon last month, doing a 50 mile bike race next month, and planning a rim-to-rim hike (in one day) of the Grand Canyon next year! This new like is awesome beyond words!

Yes, Rim to Rim is one of my goals! I am going to Spain at the end of May, so I will be 8 1/2 months post op.

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Physical goals are so fun and important, too! My whole family has done the Canyon many times - but not me. I am soooo looking forward to this! Am working on segments of the AZ trail, and lots of stairs to build up for it. Our trip will most likely be next Oct when the north rim opens.

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Nice! I am going to be doing some of the AZ trail for my training as well! Mostly south of Tucson.

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The Camino is on my bucket list. I am also planning to walk Hadrian's Wall, dividing England and Scotland. My son goes to college up there and we hope to do it together in 2021.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using BariatricPal mobile app

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1 hour ago, HappyHikerGal said:

The Camino is on my bucket list. I am also planning to walk Hadrian's Wall, dividing England and Scotland. My son goes to college up there and we hope to do it together in 2021.

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I have always wanted to see/walk Hadrian's Wall. What an awesome adventure. I am so jealous!

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The Camino is on my bucket list. I am also planning to walk Hadrian's Wall, dividing England and Scotland. My son goes to college up there and we hope to do it together in 2021.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using BariatricPal mobile app


I will have to check that one out for another trip!


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Just bumping this thread again to see if anyone else has already completed a post-bariatric surgery thru hike or long distance pilgrimage? Would like to know how you handled nutrition along the way. Especially if you completed the Camino de Santiago in Spain. But experience with long distant (many day) hike would do. I am now 4 1/2 months post op. Below my doctors goal weight. Not far from a "normal" BMI. I will be leaving in late May, just over 9 months post op.

I am trying to figure out how to stay hydrated, how to get enough Protein, how others did with carbs (need to increase for the hike, but don't want to have to withdraw afterwards and am afraid it will be hard to go back to my non-hiking bariatric diet). I have tried asking some questions on Camino forums, but the average hiker just doesn't understand the challenges that many people face if they have medical issues that affect their diet/nutrition/hydration health. For example, a question about "Are you able to buy electrolytes along the Camino" gets responses like "there are Water fountains everywhere, just drink more water". Um, yeah. I would love to do that. But I am still lucky to get 60 ounces in. What I need to know is if I can easily buy electrolyte supplements along the route. If yes, I am good. If not, I need to come up with a plan for hydration. Or someone else asked questions about Vitamins and people replied "Just eat fruits and vegetables, vitamins are a waste of money". Um yeah... doesn't work for those with Vitamin deficiencies. This person, like me, needs very specific vitamin supplements to maintain her level of health. While we can find a normal mulit... we may not be able to find the right dosing of each vitamin for our needs. And heck... I even talked to my nutritionist about my nutritional concerns for the hike and she tried telling me "just bring all the mulit-vitamins, calcium chews, and individual packets of Protein Powder and electrolytes with you for the entire trip". Um... sure... that would work for a normal travel situation. But I am packing a backpack with my clothes, bedding, hygiene essentials plus medications, first aid, and other necessary supplies. I will be carrying that bag on m y back for at least 7 hours a day, every day, for up to 7 weeks straight. Yeah.... can't pack enough for the entire trip. She at least understood when I put it that way to her.... but those who have hiked the Camino before and don't have my medical issues just don't know how to reply in a manner that is actually helpful to me. And US thru hikers send themselves care packages to local post offices along the path... but since I would be mailing things from the US, I risk packages getting stuck in customs and not arriving as scheduled and thus I might have to move on without dietary essentials.

Anyhow.... if anyone has experience they can share, i would love to know how you dealt with some of these issues. Or if there were other challenges you faced because you are a bariatric patient.

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I have never heard of those places but I’m interested in getting back into running. Years and tears ago I was training for a half marathon when I broke my foot. Now that I’ve had surgery and and going “the other way” I’d like to try again.

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On 01/14/2020 at 20:00, momof3_angels said:



Just bumping this thread again to see if anyone else has already completed a post-bariatric surgery thru hike or long distance pilgrimage? Would like to know how you handled nutrition along the way. Especially if you completed the Camino de Santiago in Spain. But experience with long distant (many day) hike would do. I am now 4 1/2 months post op. Below my doctors goal weight. Not far from a "normal" BMI. I will be leaving in late May, just over 9 months post op.




I am trying to figure out how to stay hydrated, how to get enough Protein, how others did with carbs (need to increase for the hike, but don't want to have to withdraw afterwards and am afraid it will be hard to go back to my non-hiking bariatric diet). I have tried asking some questions on Camino forums, but the average hiker just doesn't understand the challenges that many people face if they have medical issues that affect their diet/nutrition/hydration health. For example, a question about "Are you able to buy electrolytes along the Camino" gets responses like "there are Water fountains everywhere, just drink more water". Um, yeah. I would love to do that. But I am still lucky to get 60 ounces in. What I need to know is if I can easily buy electrolyte supplements along the route. If yes, I am good. If not, I need to come up with a plan for hydration. Or someone else asked questions about Vitamins and people replied "Just eat fruits and vegetables, Vitamins are a waste of money". Um yeah... doesn't work for those with Vitamin deficiencies. This person, like me, needs very specific Vitamin supplements to maintain her level of health. While we can find a normal mulit... we may not be able to find the right dosing of each vitamin for our needs. And heck... I even talked to my nutritionist about my nutritional concerns for the hike and she tried telling me "just bring all the mulit-vitamins, calcium chews, and individual packets of Protein Powder and electrolytes with you for the entire trip". Um... sure... that would work for a normal travel situation. But I am packing a backpack with my clothes, bedding, hygiene essentials plus medications, first aid, and other necessary supplies. I will be carrying that bag on m y back for at least 7 hours a day, every day, for up to 7 weeks straight. Yeah.... can't pack enough for the entire trip. She at least understood when I put it that way to her.... but those who have hiked the Camino before and don't have my medical issues just don't know how to reply in a manner that is actually helpful to me. And US thru hikers send themselves care packages to local post offices along the path... but since I would be mailing things from the US, I risk packages getting stuck in customs and not arriving as scheduled and thus I might have to move on without dietary essentials.




Anyhow.... if anyone has experience they can share, i would love to know how you dealt with some of these issues. Or if there were other challenges you faced because you are a bariatric patient.


I believe there are services that will transport your luggage between stops for you. Maybe you could look into the cost of that? That way you can bring what you need for the full trip but only carry what you need for the day in your backpack.

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1 minute ago, elsie77 said:

I believe there are services that will transport your luggage between stops for you. Maybe you could look into the cost of that? That way you can bring what you need for the full trip but only carry what you need for the day in your backpack.

Thanks. Yes, there are. But I am trying to avoid that. The problem with doing that is if you send your bag ahead, you need to know exactly how far you will be walking that day. I might pick a town 25km ahead. But... if I get hurt or need to stop early, I wouldn't have the flexibility to do that because my supplies are 25km ahead. I really want to be able to listen to my body and walk further on days I feel good and stop earlier on days that I need to stop earlier. Also, while it isn't expensive, the costs will add up if I have to do it daily. And if I bring everything I truly need, then I have to add hold luggage to all my flights, which adds even more cost and I risk my bag getting lost with things I really need. I prefer to carry-on only. Still... haven't ruled it out as an option!

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