Sunday, 2 January 2011

#395 - The Best of Intentions

First of all, the very best wishes for 2011 to all!*  
(* = these wishes apply to everybody, but only remain valid until somebody does something that pisses me off, in which individual case these wishes are revoked automatically. No further action is required on the part of the piss-offer.)

So, one of my good intentions for this year was to buy me one of those fancy Giant Power Heidelberg Electric Belts I had seen in an advert some time ago, but when I visited the local electric belt store they told me they had just ran out. Anyway, I did not let that deter me, so I decided to start with the next best thing: walking. You might think that that's hardly a very impressive way to start a healthier regime, but I'm afraid that the amount of excess weight on my bones has grown so much out of control that those bones would have to process fairly big impacts with each step if I started running on pavement right away. So, I'm going to start nice and easy...

And as luck would have it, I recently found the Dutch site
The concept is utterly simple - but brilliant. With the help of Google Maps / Earth you can easily plot several different walking / running / cycling routes in your area and the site tells you the exact length / distance of the route. So, I've now set out several routes in the area through nearby parks, varying in length between 2 and 10 kilometres. I plan to take two stiff daily walks from now on, and I can now easily choose a route based on the weather conditions and the amount of available time.

It's a shame the web site only has a Dutch interface, but the idea is so simple that I'm sure there must be sites in other languages as well that provide this information / service in your language. Nevertheless, the site is just a shell around Google Maps, so as long as you remember to choose the "hybrid" view the Dutch site might work for you as well. Just in case you have good intentions for the new year as well, here's how it works;

2) find the entry field below "Ga naar" (4th line from the top in the upper left corner),
3) enter your address and hit the magnifying glass (or drag the map there),
4) choose the "hybrid" view from the options in the upper right corner (OSM, OCM, etc.),
5) zoom in to the required detail view,
6) click once on the point where your route is supposed to start (front door, office, etc.),
7) add points to the route by clicking on the map where-ever you change direction, 
8) remove points by clicking on a point (your cursor changes to a hand when you hover)
9) The overall distance is indicated at the upper left; "Afstand: 3620.30m (12 punten) ".

That value means that the route is over 3,5 kilometres long and leads you along 12 points. Simple enough, eh? I know from experience is that I need some feedback to stay motivated, so knowing that a certain detour adds exactly 600 meters to my walk helps.

I'll be doing much more than just revising my diet and taking long walks, but I'll get back to that in future reports. I know I'll have to take small steps and change my routines and schedule after every few kilo's of weight loss, so for now I'm aiming for a first goal of 105 kilo's. When I weighed myself yesterday morning, the scale said 112 kilo's, so I'll have to lose 7 kilo's in the weeks that lie ahead. If at all possible, I'll try to make at least 10,000 steps every day - which should equal some 8 kilometres a day for somebody with my short stubby legs... 

I'll also be spending some time on the home trainer and stepping machine each day, so I hope to reach my goal of 105 kilo's by the end of February... If that works, I'll open a very special bottle of whisky from my reserve stock before I start working towards the next goal; getting under 100 kilo's. (The ultimate goal is 75 kilo's, but that's long term planning...)

Sweet drams,