About

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On July 20th, 2013 I will depart Bodega Bay, CA to walk the circumference of the United States.  This is an almost 9000 mile long walk that will take 14 months. You can check out my route. I do this for me – as a way to take back control of my weight and my life. Even more than that, I do it for every single obese person out there. It is time we rediscovered our strength, self confidence and voice again.
During this trip around the United States I want to talk with people about how we can fight back. I will use this trip to get out there, meet people and put the spot light on obesity and the related issues. I also intend to raise money to aid in the fight against obesity.

My name is Malene, and I am 41 years old. I have struggled my entire life with my weight. At the moment I weigh around 295 pounds and I am 5’2 tall. This is down from my highest weight at 330 pounds.
Not only have I struggled with obesity, but both of my mothers have too. While I did not know my biological mother well, I know she was 5’1 tall and over 400 pounds at her death at 56 years old. My adoptive mother who raised me got diabetes due to obesity, and the uncontrolled diabetes led to other even more serious health issues.
In our conversations about obesity I think some vital things are missed. Being fat is not just about my size, and losing weight is not as simple as “eat less, exercise more, feel better”. If it was as simple as that then we would not have an obesity epidemic. Obesity is much more complex than that. So many of us struggle with the effects of obesity – lack of self confidence, depression, lack of energy, inability to do the things we want to do, discrimination and ultimately obesity related illnesses. The number of obese people in the United States is growing not getting better. In spite of 61 billion dollars being spend on weight loss products every single year we keep getting fatter, which means we need to look deeper to find better solutions to this problem.
On this trip I want to talk about obesity to help all of us to find out what we need to fight back. I want to look at obesity as more than simply a weight issue, an issue of behavior, or as is so often spoken – a moral issue. As we talk about obesity it is my hope that it will become a little more clear how we can take back our strength so that weight loss will be a natural result of well being.

Clearly, I intend to lose weight while I walk. I hope to have lost 30 pounds before departure in July, but regardless of what I weigh when I leave I will start to walk. I have no doubt that the first couple of months will be a physical struggle as well as a mental one, I suspect most people would find it that no matter what they weigh. I do this for myself – I want to take back my power. I also do this for every single obese person out there who feels like “I can’t!”
I hope you will join me on this journey. To talk about what we need to feel stronger and to leave behind the shackles of obesity.

More about my personal story:

Adding a Layer of Honesty

My Dance with the Weight

How I came up with this idea

My Hormones and Health

My First Suicide Attempt

Please support my walk around the US

10 thoughts on “About

  1. You are truly an inspiration! I wish you the best of luck. Don’t let the mental hurdles get the best of you. They WILL come. Let them make your stronger and remind you why you are doing this in the first place! I’ll be following your journey as closely as I can. Best wishes!

    • Hey Heather,

      Thank you so much, and you are right. Sometimes I wonder how I could ever have gotten the idea that I could do something like this. I have a wonderful friend who keeps telling me that she knows I can. Right now is the fundraising challenge. Goal -to raise 250K for LiveFit. Jason, Alysia, and especially LiveFit needs the support so this platform can really soar.

  2. i wish you the best of luck on your journey….post fotos, post blogs along the way….be well….
    Roque

    • Thank you Rogue, pictures, video’s and blog stories will definitely be forth coming. I also chatter a lot about my walk and preparations on facebook.

      Malene

  3. i wish you all the best. from someone who has walked both 150 miles and 100 miles in different trips, i will say 9000 might be unrealistic. I am not trying to dissuade you in any way.. in fact i really hope you will succeed.. i have a limited budget but ill follow your progress and as you start to make it, ill chip in a few bucks here and there.. its gonna be hard.. be ready for that.

    • Hey Tara, Thanks for the good wishes. I think it is just about taking the time it takes, and I have several back up plans if I get behind on schedule. You are right though – this is the challenge of my life, no doubt about it. Purposely so.

  4. Right now I’m in Taos, New Mexico..If im still here when you walk through Santa Fe, I’ll drive down and buy you a meal at my favorite health food-y place called Body. One caution- I see you offering to make people food. I respect wanting to contribute, but in my own experience you will most likely be way way too tired to do that.. walking every day changes your whole world.

    • Hey Tara,I love the part of NM you are in. In fact, I deliberately routed myself through that area because I love it so much. I would love to meet up with you when I walk through. I think there are some giant differences in going on 200 mile hikes vs. what I am proposing to do, so I really don’t think it can be compared. The type of planning and the daily setup of a day is incredibly different walking 9000 miles and well over a year vs. going on a 200 mile hike. I am confident in my planning and in my contingencies – of which there are several, that I can make this work. Warm regards, Malene

  5. hi malene. thanks for the response. i had a few questions. are you going to have a support team? will you carry your own items and how heavy is your pack? will you be walking on highways or will you be searching for trails? i’m sure you know about peace pilgrim. she has been an inspiration to me.

  6. Hey Tara, I have a “home based” support team. Their job is to help me with outreach in advance of walking in to different places. Out reach includes finding me places to stay, letting local radio stations know I am there and what I am doing. In some cases letting police stations know i am there etc. Home based support will also follow where i am at and expect a daily check in to say “all’s a-ok”. I will be pushing my pack. I am going to re-purpose one of the really sturdy baby strollers on the market and put my things on that so I can push it. The sturdy baby strollers can handle up to 80 pounds of weight. I weigh more than plenty as it is and do not want to put additional weight on me. My pack should be within 50-60 pounds, with occasional additional weight from food and water. The weight of the stroller will only be an issue uphill though, and then not a huge issue. Last question – i will be walking on the smallest highways I can find. Examples of roads are in your part of the world: Farmington to Santa Fe, 200 miles on US 550 and US 96. Santa Fe to Clovis, 214 miles on US 285 and US 60. Clovis to Canyon TX, 88 miles on US 60. US 550 is a little big for my tastes, but it does look like there is a solid area on the side to walk on. It is not a freeway so walking it is legal. There are also some smaller farm roads running along side US550 so I can get off the bigger road several times. In comparison, US60 is perfect. My stroller will have a small red flag sticking somewhat into the road to warn drivers to go around, and I will be walking against traffic of course.

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