Time to Change – February 6

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Does two weeks qualify as a streak?

Second week with positive movement.

 

Which means it’s time for my biggest enemy to make his appearance.

The Inner Critic.

It’s that internal voice that delights in telling me that I’m going to fail.  That I’m not good enough, not smart enough, not talented enough, not good-looking enough, not whatever.  I’ve heard that voice since I was a teen.  Most of us have, I think.  I’m not sure if others are better at dealing with that voice than I am (the Inner Critic assures me that everyone is better at it than I), or if I’m fairly normal.

All it takes is a blip, a tiny slip and that voice oozes into consciousness.  The Inner Critic is loudest when I’m tired, when the going gets tough, or when I’m not sure what to do next.

He has opinions on everything in my life, not just the weight loss.  My writing, my photography, my work, my relationships, you name it and he’s ready to point out every flaw and shortcoming.

When I was younger I referred to him as “The Guy in the Hobnail Boots”.  He stomped around being a pain.  That much hasn’t changed.

What has changed is that I know the little S.O.B. is wrong.  I’m not perfect, but then I’m not really supposed to be.  I’m just supposed to be the best I can be.  I can do this.  And there’s nothing he can do.

As long as I don’t pay him any heed.

One step at a time.

This guy – 2009

My resolution remains :

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 34,003, average 4,858

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

Official Weigh In Weight

203.4 pounds

Weight Change this week : -1.4 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date : -1.4 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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My Hugging Dilemma

(A repost of some of my earlier blogging on other sites.  I am occassionally re-posting ones that I think are interesting.  Originally posted February 6, 2009)

(I still struggle with this – 2015)

Today is National Hug an Episcopalian Day.

Having hugged my favorite Episcopalian, my lady wife, I feel I have filled my quota.

Of course there is that other thing.

HugIt’s really rather embarrassing.

But here goes…

I’m not a natural hugger.

Which is NOT to say I’m some kind of UN-natural hugger.

Oh dear, this does get complicated doesn’t it?

Let me try again.

I am a relatively shy person who grew up in a house where we were not real physically demonstrative. So hugging doesn’t come easily for me.

Now at this point some of you are thinking “Well then great googly moogly son just don’t hug! It’s not like there’s a law requiring it. Heck, some of us would prefer that all this hugging nonsense toned itself down anyway”

But you see you miss the point.

I LIKE hugs.

The problem you get into is the whole “Do I know you well enough?” and “Are you one of those anti-hug people?” and “Oh my God,I’m going to mess this all up!” and “Is this too long a hug, is this too short a hug, am I offending them?” stuff.

Maybe you don’t want to be hugged cause you don’t like hugging.

Maybe you don’t want to be hugged cause you don’t like ME.

Maybe you would love to have a hug but wonder why I seem to be rather reluctant and what does THAT mean?

(Bet you never knew that hugging was so complicated, did you?)

I envy folks who can just hug the stuffing out of life.

I’ve gotten better over the years. Most of my best friends, male and female, seem to be into giving me (and getting) a big hug. My brothers still hug a little awkwardly but we hug. My youth are big huggers. I don’t have to do much, just wait for it from them. My bishop is a BIG hugger. You meet my bish, you’re gonna get hugged.

There was a great moment late last year in my hugging history. A male adult leader that I was just getting to know better was at a meeting with me (and a bunch of other folks). At the end I was caught in my hugging dilemma and stuck out my hand to shake hands as we left. He looked right at me and said:

“I prefer a hug”

Now I know exactly where I stand with him.

And that’s SO cool!

So I’m willing to practice my hugging with willing partners. (I’ll shake hands with anyone else. Heck, I’m easy) Just let me know.

(((HUG)))

Peace

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The Creativity Project – Head Shot

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 insure faster loading.  So they actually look BETTER than they do here!

Week four’s assignment was “Head Shot”.  Unlike previous portrait assignment, this one was to take a picture of someone else.  An interesting challenge as always.  So I started by thinking a little farther afield.  One of the many things I love about living in Richmond is the many wonderful places there are to go.  The Virginia Museum of Fine Art (VMFA) is a fabulous place to just wander around (the permanent collections are open with no admission).  Having a weekend day to ourselves my wife and I took the opportunity to do some exploring.  In the amazing French art collection I found this lovely young lady.  This is a Degas bronze sculpture if memory serves.  I was working with just my Moto G phone camera once again.  I had to angle myself to eliminate as many distractions in the background.

 

Degas Dancer

 

Not a lot to mess with here.  The camera phone actually pretty well for this kind of thing.

I still felt like I wanted to work a little harder than that though.  Crazy, I know.

So I found this lovely lady at home and she was, mostly, willing to sit still for the head shot session.  Natural light, this time with the Fujifilm camera.  The biggest problem was getting her to keep her eyes open!  Miss Jenny is a lovely cat who is extremely wary of me.  So I had to be very careful to get the image I wanted.

Miss Jenny

The challenge here has been that there are some things that I would love to correct in post production but I don’t have th chops yet with my editing software.  Would love to throw the background out of focus more, would love to lighten her left eye and reduce the blowout below her right eye and on her chest.  Guess I know what I need to be doing moving forward.

 

Next week’s challenge is a Landscape: Black and White.  Need to look for some high contrast image opportunities.

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:

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.  My photo editing software is PhotoPlus X4 from Serif.

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Time to Change – January 30 (delayed)

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Yeah, I’m late.

I simply did not want to step on the scale.

Two bad numbers in a row.  I made a single conscious change this week.  I had no idea if it had helped.  At that point the negative thinking took over.  It won’t work.  I’ll never lose this weight again.  You’ll never be The Guy again.  Just quit.

I finally decided to just do it.  Those negative thoughts can bite me.

The change was simple portion control.  When I ate out half of whatever I ordered was wrapped and taken home.  Just being more focused on what went into my mouth.  I snacked a little, but tried to snack a little smarter.

It worked.  Need to keep watching portion size and up the exercise, even just a little.

Next week a word about my biggest enemy in this whole process.

One step at a time.

This guy – 2009

My resolution remains :

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 34,003, average 4,858

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

Official Weigh In Weight

205.2 pounds

Weight Change this week –  -2.3pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date –  0 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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The Creativity Project – Red

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.  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.  It sounded like fun, so I’m giving it a try.

Week three was “Red”.  This is the “Artistic Impression” category, so the idea is to stretch the limits somehow.  Always the most challenging and potentially the most satisfying.  The first challenge is to find something red.  Then to find something interesting that is red.  And then find an interesting way to approach the image.

So I spent a while just looking for things that were red.  Actually more difficult than expected.  Then, while shopping, I stumbled on these.

But my camera wasn’t with me.  Sigh.

One of the interesting things about living in the 21st century is that we are almost NEVER without a camera.  So I reached into my pocket and pulled out my Moto G (2nd Gen) phone and snapped.  Got some peculiar looks from the staff but hey, you gotta make sacrifices for your art.

Between the camera and the lighting, the carts came out a bit more orange than I wanted so I tweaked it post production

Still have lots to learn with my image editing suite, but I liked this version.

Carts

But as soon as I got home I saw another subject and decided to try that too.  This gave me the chance to use my Super Macro mode for the very first time.  This is a cactus that I’ve owned for several years (cacti are generally the only plant that I can not kill).  Last year, for the very first time, it bloomed.  And then a few weeks ago it did it again.  So I put this down on the floor in some good light and edged in close.  My cat was exceedingly puzzled.  The real challenge here was getting the camera to focus where I wanted it to, on the flower.  I did this handheld and through the viewfinder.  Next time I think it will be on a tripod and using the rear screen.  Again, I like the result.

Kong II in bloom

Kong II in bloom

 

Next week’s challenge is “Portrait – Headshot”.  Supposed to do a photo of someone else.  Hmmm.

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:

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.  I do my post shooting tweaks on Serif PhotoPlus X4

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Time to Change – January 24

weight-loss-3

Bleah.

Not a good week, not a good number

Exercise is the issue clearly.  I haven’t done any.

I’m also wondering why this has been so much more of a struggle than before.  When I hit 30 my metabolism clearly slowed down.  I’m wondering if I’m facing the same issue again.

Under any circumstances, this week was bad.

 

Sigh.

One step at a time.

This guy – 2009

My resolution remains :

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 34,003, average 4,858

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

Official Weigh In Weight

207.5 pounds

Weight Change this week –  +1.8 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date –  +2.3 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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Filed under personal, Weight Loss

The Creativity Project – Traditional Landscape

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 insure faster loading.  So they actually look BETTER than they do here!

Week two was “Traditional Landscape” which was fine with me.  It’s one of my favorite subjects.  The problem is that the day available for shooting stayed in the mid-30s temps.  And, of course, it’s January.  In a place where it doesn’t snow.  So I had lots of leafless trees and no snow to make up for it.  An interesting challenge.  One of my favorite locations is Maymont, a really wonderful park in Richmond with lots of photo opportunities.

I ran into a problem fairly quickly.  The challenge includes “…and don’t forget the sky”.  Beautiful sky today but my time frame unfortunately came right in the middle of the day.  Terrible time to shoot.  Plus Maymont has lots of trees.  LOTS of trees, which meant that I was often cut off from views I wanted.  Sky I could get, it was everything else.  Tried lots of ways to get some saturation into the sky and just wandered.  I’d had the Japanese gardens in the back of my mind (my favorite part of this place) and found a couple really great places.  I ended up with two that I really love, both with minor issues.  First, my second favorite.

 

Lake photo

A beautiful carp pond at the center of the Japanese Garden

I really wanted to get some balance between the mid-day light, the reflection, the lit areas and the dark.  I like this one.  Used an old trick I learned with film to get some color in the sky (the other versions of this have a totally blown out sky).  I took the reading off the sky opposite the sun, held it till I swiveled around and snapped the picture.  Still works pretty well.

But this is the one that I like the best.  A small bridge in front of what is a waterfal in warmer seasons.  Now just a beautifully textured stone wall.

Fell in love with this place the first time I saw it.

Fell in love with this place the first time I saw it.

The advantage here is that the sun was behind me so the sky was perfect.  I wish I could have gotten rid of that branch top center.  Didn’t notice it when I took the photo, and I’m trying to do all my editing in the viewfinder rather than post production for this challenge.  That’s just me.  Looking at the photo, it appears that it will be a tight edit anyway because the branches are so close to the ones on the right.  I might have missed them by moving in or moving to my left (big tree to the right), but I wanted the bridge centered.

But hey, it’s supposed to be a learning experience, right?

Next week’s challenge is a Artistic: Red.  Whatever inspires me with red as the focus.  Not the kind of photography I usually do.  This will be, well, a challenge!

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:

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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