Time to Change – The Unexpected Expected

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I just don’t understand this whole process some weeks.

I did get a lot more steps in this week.  A week ago today I logged 27,249 steps.  That’s a new personal best.  Despite the fact that I kept forgetting to carry my Fitbit I still logged more steps than most weeks (three days logged, over 48k steps.  Ridiculous).  On the other hand, I ate badly this week and had a good sized stress event drop on me mid-week.

So I wasn’t expecting much.

 

Truth be told, I got exactly what I expected.

Except that it went the other way.

A small loss.  Which is a small win.  Which I will take.

Onward.

My resolution remains:

This guy – 2009

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good. (New photo of The Guy)

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page  Step total this week 48,597, average 7,954.  The goal is 70,000/10,000.

The next milestone is getting back below 200.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

204.4 pounds

Weight Change this week: 0.6 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date: -1.0 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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A Little Heart

(A repost of some of my earlier blogging on other sites.  I am occasionally re-posting ones that I think are interesting)

I thought I’d share this story. Some folks have heard me tell it before. It began with “one of those days”. The kind of day when everything seems to go wrong. When it doesn’t matter how hard you try it stills comes out wrong in the end. I had spent the day struggling with a couple of projects that simply did not want to cooperate. None of them were complicated all were things that I had done before but they just wouldn’t play. With each passing minute, I grew more and more frustrated.Thanksgivingw I knew I could do this stuff but somehow I kept dropping the ball. The final straw was a printing job that kept getting lost in my computer. I couldn’t take it anymore! The computer was stupid. I was stupid. The world was stupid. I was incompetent. God was obviously ticked off at me and my Momma probably didn’t love me anymore too. Suddenly my printer whirred into life. This was a little startling because I hadn’t asked it to print anything! Great! Stupid piece of technological (dirty words, dirty words, dirty words) won’t work when I need it and does when I don’t! When I turned to look at the page it spat out it looked like it was blank. Looking again I realized it had printed a single symbol in the upper corner of the page.

A single heart.

I just sat there staring at it, almost afraid to touch it. It was like a direct answer to my thoughts at that moment. Of all the random symbols the printer might have kicked out it was that one. I had to laugh. I also had to say a little prayer of thanks.

Today that piece of paper still sits in my printer tray. If you dig down under all the pages that sit on the output tray you’ll find it there. It’s a reminder that God (and Mom) love me. Even on the days when I can’t get the machines to work for me. Even on the days when I think, I’m stupid and incompetent. Even on my worst days.

It’s kinda nice to have the reminder sometimes.

Peace

(Sadly that piece of paper was lost in one of our moves)

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Time to Change – Back At It

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Someone once told that you haven’t lost if you keep getting back off the ground and trying.

So I’m back off the ground.  And the overall impact of last week turned out to be exactly zero.  Maybe that means I didn’t gain anything and just held even.  I’d rather think that getting back on task put me back on track.

Whatever.  I’m not any worse off than I was.  That’s good news.

 

Had an interesting reminder about my eating this week.  Breakfast has always been an issue for me.  I noted a while back (HERE) that I’d found something in the South Beach Diet that worked for me.  Simple, tasty and can carry me long into the morning.  The problem is when it’s my everyday breakfast.  Normally I will do a breakfast sandwich or two during the week for variety (I am easily bored).  This week I went all shakes, all week.  Plus lots of salads for lunch.  And, inevitably, on Thursday my stomach said, “Shtaaaap!”.   Let’s just say it was an uncomfortable day.

This weekend will be a mega-walking experience and a chance for me to be smart about eating out.  We’ll see how that goes.

Onward.

My resolution remains:

This guy – 2009

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good. (New photo of The Guy)

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page  Step total this week 31,009, average 5,119.  The goal is 70,000/10,000.

The next milestone is getting back below 200.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

205.0 pounds

Weight Change this week: 0.0pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date: -0.4 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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The Etiquette of Walking in Circles

Over the last couple years, I have had a great location to do my walking and running (when I’ve managed to pull that off).  Just a few miles away is a great local park with a small lake in the center.  Given the Scottish history of the name of the town where I live (Midlothian), I love that the lake is named Loch Lothian.  There is a paved path around the lake that covers 1.14 miles.  It’s a beautiful little walk that is convenient.  So it’s the perfect exercise location.

CirclesThe difficulty of a circular exercise path is that folks walk in both directions and that means you keep passing the same people over and over.  Which creates some etiquette problems.

Here’s the Craxy, Mized Up World Etiquette for Walking In Circles.

The first time you pass someone you have to acknowledge them.  If it’s a guy, then you give the “nod”.  (When I was younger I know the “nod” made some of my female friends crazy.  Like it or not, it is part of the universal male language.  A short downward nod for someone you don’t know, a quick upward nod for someone you know or have a connection with.  For example, someone else with a Pittsburgh sports team logo will get the up nod, even if I don’t know them).  For the ladies, I need to be a bit more circumspect.  You don’t want to come off creepy, so a closed mouth smile is what I go with.

The second time around is just a variation on the first, but smaller.  It comes with a “Yeah, we’ve done this already” kind of vibe.  After the second time, you can politely ignore each other.

There are a couple other variations that need to be acknowledged.  Teenagers can be different.  If a teenaged boy acknowledges you at all, they can be dealt with like any other guy.  Just the nod and you’re good.  Teenaged girls have an even lower threshold for “creepiness” for a middle-aged man than adult women.  In general, I will just glance at them, to let them know I see them.  If they say something to me I will give them a quick “Hi” and go back to ignoring them.

The other unique group is small children.  If I see a child is zeroed in on me I will give them a smile and a wave.  Otherwise, just a smile.  You need to watch the reaction of the adult with them.  Most of the time saying hello is just fine, especially since you’re moving and not hanging about.  Sometimes the adult really is heavily into the “stranger danger” mode, so I shift my focus to dealing with the adults.

I don’t have earphones in as a general rule.  It’s thinking time and I don’t want the outside distraction.  The general etiquette rule seems to be that if you’re listening to something you can go straight to ignore mode.

If you’ve ever wondered what “over-thinking an issue” looks like, this is probably it.  It’s also the kind of thing I think about while I’m exercising.

Maybe I’d be better off with something to listen to!

If you have thoughts on exercise etiquette, feel free to drop me a comment below.

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The Creativity Project – Zoom In

In my ongoing attempt to keep the creative side of me flowing (which was the original purpose of this blog), I’ve decided to take on a weekly photo challenge.  It sounded like fun, so I’m giving it a try.  Photos on the blog are reduced to ensure faster loading.  So they actually look BETTER than they do here!

Week fourteen was “Landscape – Zoomed In”.  The challenge was to look at landscape not in the traditional sweeping wide angle but zoomed in closer.

 

Another week and more discussion.  The two camps were those of us who saw it as challenging the shooter to get in close (down to macro for some) and those who saw it as using a telephoto lens for tighter focus.  I’ve been taking advantage of the urban landscape virtually at my door, so I went into Richmond looking for something interesting.  I found this down an alley.

 

What appealled to me here is that the alley walls reinforce the sense of “zooming in”.  I love the textures of the brick and metal roofing, with the blue of the sky above it all.  I am very happy with this one.

 

ISO 64, f4.5 at 1/210

Next week’s challenge is Artistic – Metal.  Finding inspiration in metal, shiny, rusty, whatever.

This is part of a year-long photographic challenge.  Dogwood Photography came up with this interesting challenge (HERE) where you have to come up with a photo a week in one of three categories – Portrait, Landscape or Artistic Impression.  Each week has one with a slightly different challenge.

For the folks who are interested in technical type things:

My primary camera is a Fujifilm Finepix S1000fd.  It is a 10.0 Megapixel CCD, sensor size is 1/2.3″.  I shoot in the Fine JPEG 3648 x 2736 format and usually in the “Chrome” setting.

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Time to Change – Just Quit

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Won’t even lie.  This week I just gave up.

Not permanently, but I just couldn’t face the struggle this week.  I got virtually no exercise and stuffed my face with leftover Easter candy.  We didn’t plan a menu and ate out several times.  Complete catastrophe.

And I just didn’t care.

The lack of any kind of sustained, positive movement in this project is wearing me down.  There’s other stuff going on in my life that creates stress.  Stress is not my friend.

So I’m not even going to weigh myself this week.

A decade ago I would probably be quitting completely.  I’d just walk away from the blog and pretend like none of this ever happened.  But I keep reminding myself that I’ve done it before.  Maybe I won’t make the 175 goal again.  Maybe that’s beyond my reach.  I don’t think so but I know that above 200 isn’t inevitable either.  I need to find a new resolve and a new focus.

A couple years ago I posted elsewhere the realization that I needed a “win”.  I’m feeling very much the same way right now.  I’m not done.  I just took a break.

Break’s over.

Onward.

My resolution remains:

This guy – 2009

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good. (New photo of The Guy)

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page  Step total this week 38,529, average 5,396.  The goal is 70,000/10,000.

The next milestone is getting back below 200.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

205.0 pounds

Weight Change this week: +1.4 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date: -0.4 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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Exploring Richmond – One Meal At A Time

One of the things we discovered very quickly when we arrived in RVA is that the list of places to eat appears to be infinite.  This has caused a certain distress to our waistlines (an ongoing struggle described in these posts).  With our second anniversary here approaching, I thought I could share some of our favorite places.

So by category:

Barbecue

I start right off with a three way tie.  Each one is different from the others, but each does a great job with a slightly different approach.  It’s a coin toss between:

  • Alamo BBQ in Church Hill – If you need a cozy restaurant setting for your barbecue this isn’t your place.  If you like some zing in your barbecue, you’re going to love Alamo.  Texas style so that means brisket plus chicken, pork, sausage, even portobello mushrooms and tilapia.  Everything I have ever had here has a spicy bite to it from the cowboy beans and mac and cheese to the brisket and ribs.  Seating is entirely outdoors mostly under a canopy.  The choices are many, so make sure you know what you want when you get to the window.  Sandwiches, platters, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, lots of sides and meat by the pound.
  • Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue – two locations, on Boulevard and on Broad.  This strikes me as more old school barbecue.  They are firmly based in the pitmaster traditions of barbecuing.  You’ll find brisket, chicken, pork, ribs, catfish and shrimp.  In season there’s Brunswich stew or chili.  The sides have all the usual suspects plus okra and hushpuppies.  Not fancy but solid, comfortable seating inside and patio outside when the weather permits.  They’ve been consistently at the top of the “Best BBQ in Richmond” list for years.
  • Q Barbecue – four locations around the area.  This is a regional chain that does a very good job of putting some quality food in front of you.  Comfortable traditional restaurant setup with some pretty good items on the menu. Founded by barbecue competition champion Tuffy Stone you’ll find the usual suspects plus wings, fried chicken, even burgers and hot dogs!  But the barbecue is good enough to ignore the rest.  Our very first meal here was from Q and we’ve been fans ever since.

Honestly, could not put one over the other.  Each has their attraction and we’ve gone to each multiple times.  And will again.  We’ve had some pretty good barbecue other places but these three stand apart from the rest.

Mexican

I don’t know what it is about the Richmond area but the mexican restaurant per square mile has got to be very high around here.  Given that Mexican is one of our favorites that’s not a bad thing at all.  There’s a clear favorite here:

dinner-plate-with-spoon-and-forkCasa Grande – Midlothian Turnpike – One of my first checks on the quality of the food at a Mexican restaurant is the number of customers speaking Spanish.  The more spanish speakers the better the food.  Plus they make your guacamole fresh at the table!  Food is great, the atmosphere is relaxed, the service has always been great.  When we want to go out but don’t know where we want to go, we usually end up here.

Mi Hacienda – Midlothian Turnpike –  Solid food but it’s atmosphere that really puts this place over the top.  It’s spacious and airy inside.  You get the feeling it would be a great place for a reception or big party.  In the past they’ve done live music and other events but we’ve never been there for any of them (yet!).

Isidro’s Tex-Mex Grill – Midlothian Turnpike – This place is relatively new (and virtually next door to Casa Grande).  There’s not always a lot of difference between restaurants in the food, so Isidro’s stands out.  Different flavors, especially smoky, spicy flavors.  Very quiet the night we were there but the food was excellent.

Lots of other places as I said.  Plaza Azteca in Westchester Commons also very good.

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