Ultimate Control Diet

I feel fit and full of energy but when it comes to weight loss I am always disappointed by the hit and miss nature of it all. Sometimes I lose weight and other times I seem to sit on a plateau.

I would like to take all the guess work out of my diet so that when I sit and wonder whether to have that extra packet of nuts I know exactly whether it will tip me over the balance and scupper my weight loss plans for this week.

When you exercise loads it is so easy to think you deserve a little treat and it must be that little treat that makes all the flippin difference.

To counteract this I have devised a spreadsheet based on the calorie intake required to maintain a sedentary person of my weight and knocked a few calculations in to take account of my exercise and required weight loss. It spits out the answer to live the universe and everything in the form of a very small number of calories that I am allowed to consume for the day.

I’ll keep you updated, if my maths is accurate I should be wather thin in months.

Ischia – Island of Thermal Spa’s

Ischia is a small island off the Amalfi coast. We reached it by ferry from Naples and later moved on by ferry to the glitzy island of Capri. There isn’t much to visually excite you about Ischia, it is just a lump of rock populated by folk and their boats. The interest lies in the geological activity that has left this place an oasis of thermal spas.

Accomodation anywhere around Amalfi is expensive so we decided to travel to the opposite end of the island to use the Youth Hostel near Forio. This was a fairly grim affair but passable and cheap.

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Shakti is trying to look strong

A short walk from the hostel, along the beach, lies the Poseidon Spa. What a fantastic place this is. It is a sprawling affair with tonnes of pools all at different temperatures, some at sea level and others cut into the side of the rock face.

There are dingy saunas within caves and the original japanes foot baths left over from the war. These are great for the feet if you can stand the pain. You walk around hot and cold tubs covered with loose pebbles.

This is definately a spa to recommend, there are restaurants, cafes and treatment rooms as well so it very easy to while away a whole day. With cheap flights into Naples I would definately like to go back here for a relaxing weekend break.

Day 1: Unpacking the Polar S725

A good day was heralded by the arrival of a new toy – the Polar S725 heart rate monitor cum cycle wonder computer. One of my more unnecessary purchases to date but surely it ranks amongst the most exciting.
I’ve read a few reviews that suggest the polar S725 and S720 are rather traumatic to install especially if you go for the optional/vital IR interface connection. I wasn’t in the least worried – bravado in the face of technical gadgetry is one of my strong points.
Bravado is all it is though – I was practically crying by the end of the night as no amount of button pressing or cursing was going to make the monitor communicate with my computer.

The trick I eventually discovered was to angle the watch at about 45 degrees with its little obscure window practically touching the front of the IR port. I had been spinning the watch around desperately trying to find the right angle as I couldn’t find its infra red window – its on the top of the watch.

So the connection process involves telling the computer via the precision software that it communicates via USB (in my case), pressing the lower right button of the watch so that it reads CONNECT, hold the watch ridiculously close to the IR thingy and then press the connection icon on the precision software tool bar.

Bob’s your uncle – the flashy light should stay constant and make contact withyour monitor. You can now transfer settings and files two and forth.

Few! Now I have to fathom out how I record a session so that I can use it on my commute to work.

Mad plans and schemes

Ok, it’s true I have come home with yet another major project, but it has to be said that this one is pretty exciting. Shakti has climbed on board and it is agreed that we will clip ourselves into our pedals and set off for a grand cycling tour around Europe, just as soon as I finish my PhD.

I need to get myself a little countdown timer to work on the website, but as I write this in Sept 2004, I imagine we will have about 2.5 years to get planning.

It could easily take this long, we have a lot to do. We need to improve our fitness and lose weight if we aren’t to flake out over the Pyrennees and then we need to get ourselves kitted out with nice new touring bikes. Routes need to be considered, although I like the idea of playing it by ear as far as possible and what about travel visas? I realise this shouldn’t be a problem for Europe but who knows, if we can find a way to fund this adventure, why would we stop with Europe? I haven’t got Shakti to agree to this extension yet – so lets hope she doesn’t read the site. In the meantime if you fancy keeping us out of the country for a bit longer why not help us on the funding front anf take a look at our very own web store.

Anyway, whether its a year or decade on the road, there isn’t much point me paying for storage of all my books and general trammel so I need to start decluttering again – blimey, blimey its getting stressful already.