Earlier this year my roly-poly appearance annoyed me sufficiently to begin a weight loss program, which consisted of these before mentioned stupid daily walks and some serious portion control. Everything I swallowed was first weighed and recorded to stay below a 1.2 Kcal intake allowance per day. To make such a tedious regiment more interesting, I pretended to be back in my lab, cooking up recipes for specimen preparation in super important experiments. Twelve hundred calories add up rather quickly, considering that a reasonably sized portion of oat flakes, honey and kefir with a cup of coffee easily exceeds 300. Add a little granola for crunch and you hit 400+ before you can say fatty alert. My daily walks became very important positive reinforcement tools in this scheme. Every minute I spent out there working up a sweat earned precious calories to be added to the 1200 cal base line. In practical terms, 150 calories ‘walked off’ translates into a glass of wine for diner.
Two apps turned into very valuable instruments of control and encouragement to stay with this self-imposed program and actually make it work. I used ‘My Fitness Pal’ to record every morsel crossing my lips, home cooked or restaurant fare, thus letting it count the calories for me. And ‘NIKE+’ is my running, well, let’s not get carried away, my walking buddy. It keeps track of every step I take, measures pace, time elapsed and calories burned. It plays your music and even cheers you on, if you like. I lost about 8.5 Kg in three months, gaining back two, while eating croissants and duck confit in France in April. But, as you know from my posts, I walked there as well, to be able to indulge in all that Frenchy deliciousness. In mountainous Costa Rica I have to supplement my walking with laps in the pool, the darn country is just too steep for limping fuddy duddies.
Now, in Vancouver-the-Gorgeous, I’ve landed in Walker’s Paradise. We’re directly at the pedestrian-only seawall, which rims most of the city. 22 Km of walking to the hypnotic rhythm of waves breaking over rocks and along beaches, where you can watch seagulls, herons & crows, as you breath the bracing salty air. Additional entertainment presents itself through watercraft of all kinds, the contrast of clusters of high-rise buildings versus darkly looming forests reaching the ocean’s edge and impossibly high bridges spanning inlets and creeks. I love these walks, can you tell? Let me illustrate the point: