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Dallas

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My son, a professional chef, cooked us a superb dinner on Mother's Day. I had to do a small dinner-time shoot to end off the conference I just covered last week, so by the time I got home the food had dried out a bit, but it looked so good I just had to take some shots anyway. 

 

These were taken with the OM-D E-M5 and the very under-rated Panasonic-Leica 45/2.8 Macro-Elmarit. I literally did them hand-held in the kitchen under some down lighters and processed them in Lr 4.4 using my own presets (developed over a period of time).

 

Really like the way these came out. Click to view the big version.

 

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For the foodies amongst us, this is a roasted port fillet wrapped in bacon, with corn on a cob and asparagus, served on a mash potato with mushroom & jalapeño sauce. :)

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All it needs is a tad of gloss applied (I hear what you say about it being a bit dried out from standing, though) and you'd really be in the ballpark. A bit more depth of field on the first one wouldn't hurt, either, the foreground is too soft. A three-stack would probably cover that OK.

 

There's a deal for you - get him to cook a new dish each evening, photograph it when it's still steaming, eat it and both claim the food & preparation as a business expense under "training"... :)

 

Just looking at that makes me put the weight back on (dropped 12 kilos now, another 12 to go to what I weighed when I was 19....)

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Thanks Alan. Ya, I wasn't going to put any glycerine on it since I would have to eat it afterwards! :D

 

Congrats on the weight loss! What are you doing to get there? I've had to stop my kettlebell training because of ongoing issues with my right shoulder (yes, the one I use to lug camera bags around). Seeing the chiropractor on Thursday. It's making me wake up every morning at between 2 and 4 am. Driving me nuts...

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I figured that about the glycerine, Dallas, although it won't change the taste it'll change the texture of the food, but would almost certainly lubricate its passage through the digestive system.

 

I only lost weight through diet change, eating pre-prepared frozen one-serve meals (yuck). As the nutritional/calorie info is by law printed on the packaging here, this makes keeping a count on intake easy. Adult intake is 8,500kj daily, I'm keeping mine to 6,500-7,000kj whenever possible, which, like my bank balance, means that more out than in = lower capital. I've always been hopeless in keeping up with things that bore me, and exercise for exercise's sake tops the list of those. Every time I've done that, I've inevitably ceased at some stage yet continued to eat as though I was still exercising, which has always led to weight gain with compound interest.

 

6 months so far, but loss has now slowed as the metabolism adjusts to what evolution has marked as the appropriate response to famine, so another year to lose the remaining 12kg is on the cards. After that I'll maintain the reduced meat, very low fat diet in my own cooking that'll be necessary and never fall back into cooking and eating like I used to. These frozen "one serve" meals have taught me what a single portion size should be, and given a reason as to why Australians are getting fatter at one of the fastest rates in the world - everything is served up here at three-portion size compared with these pre-prepared meals.

 

As the weight drops I'm also getting more physically active, so this is turning into a complete readjustment of balance. I did this because at 60 I didn't want to be another mid-60's CVD write-off - I'm already in the danger zones of BP, Cholesterol etc, and am on 5 pills daily including beta blockers and diuretics, so the outcome was very predictable and inevitable. Doc tells me that if I reach my goal he'll probably be able to take me off all the meds, I get a full blood screen & physical next Feb, so hopefully I'll have obtained my goal into the "normal" range BMI of 24.4 by then (currently 28.4 "overweight", and was 32.4: stage 1 "obese"). Australia has a real problem with 60% of males over 40 being into the obese stages.

 

With all these exciting times in round two of the digital photography revolution happening, I want to be around for the results as it matures. If the doors keep opening at the rate they have over the past 5 years, I want to see what happens in the next 10 at least.

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That's good to hear, Alan. 

 

It's all really about changing your frame of mind when it comes to eating. I must admit, I have backslid a bit on the eating side, but at least I am still exercising, so it helps me to burn it off. I'm avoiding sugary foods as much as possible and ignoring the whole hype about cholesterol and fat, etc. Its not the cholesterol that kills you, its the inflamed arteries from eating too much sugar in your diet. The cholesterol is trying to repair the damage that inflammation from sugars does to your blood transport system. 

 

Recently I stopped having sugar in my tea, which I actually did by accident one day and stopped to think, hey it wasn't so bad. I'm down to half a teaspoon in my coffee now too. I also don't add salt to my food anymore. 

 

My BMI is currently 23.9, but I think that whoever calculates those things is a bit loose with the scale of what they consider overweight! 

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I eat no sugar other than what comes in the form of carbs (and haven't for at least 25 years now), and even that is balanced reasonably well, not excessive, although since cutting back the meat as a proportion to the other groups I guess that carbs are now in the majority, although the amount is still not excessive. That said, cholesterol has been my bugbear since I was in my early 20's, and I've been on meds for it ever since. It doesn't matter what I do with diet (believe me, I tried all sorts of combos, right down to a no-carb/no-sugar diet for a few months), yet I still produced elevated readings. As a doc told me, it's in my genes.

 

I also don't eat nor cook with added salt, and haven't for a decade or more now. I guess that's risen with these pre-prepared meals, but that is only temporary.

 

Still, we all have to die from something, and having seen more people than I care to think about die a painful and lingering death from cancer as opposed to those who've exited in the space of standing-to-dead in a couple of seconds (my Dad included), I'll take the CVD route in preference if that is to be my fate over cancer any day.

Edited by Alan

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I also have that hereditary high cholesterol thing. Got it from my mother, who was on the Baycol drug for it. She wasn't overweight, didn't eat any fatty foods at all, yet she died of a heart attack in her sleep at the age of 52. Her problem was cigarettes and stress. 

 

So, I decided a while ago that if I am going to live a longer life I am going to do so without the use of any medication. My blood pressure is normal now, I'm not sure about the cholesterol, but I am not concerned about it. When I was at my heaviest (about 108kg) I think it read at something like 7.2 - you are supposed to be below 5. At that time the doctors told me that my LDL cholesterol was fine, I just had an over-supply of good cholesterol (HDL). 

 

Here's a shot of what I looked like in 2005 at my high school re-union. I'm a little bit slimmer than I look in my avatar now. :) 

 

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Ye gods, that's some improvement!

 

The drugs have kept everything in check for me, and the BP is a direct consequence of being overweight - I never had any BP problem until after my divorce (1984) when I started the weight gain brought on by long working hours and a bad diet (too much take away food back then with a new business, unexpectedly single and no time to cook). I didn't weigh myself at my peak just before I moved to Tasmania in 1995, but even at my heaviest here I was still four notches more with the belt I used to wear back then at my fattest here, so guessing about 106-108kg back then. I got down to the mid-90's with a better lifestyle, but that started to creep up when my dog died and the daily 5km walks ceased. I'm thinking maybe 102-104kg before I started the current regime, I'm hovering around 90kg now with a goal of 78kg to achieve. In 1982 at 29 I was 88kg, so 78kg will be the lightest I've ever been in my adult life by a good margin, a weight last enjoyed when I was 19. At that weight the BP problem should evaporate and those drugs not be necessary anymore, although I'll probably be on the cholesterol meds for life.

Edited by Alan

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We have shared the same weights! At the moment I am sitting around 81kg, which for my height of 1.84m is perfect. I dipped down to about 78kg a few weeks ago when I was doing an hour long kettlebell session 3 times a week, plus cycling at least 3 times a week for 10kms along the beachfront too. The problem is I began losing muscle mass from too much exercise and not enough protein. I can't bring myself to consume those bloody whey shakes. 

 

Off to see the chiro in a couple of hours and then I will find out if I can resume kettlebell training next week. 

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Oh yes, I went from a size 38 waist down to size 32. My shirts were always 2XL and now I am wearing medium (M). 

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I am differently arranged - my shirts never got bigger than L, mostly M, and my waist was never over 36 here (maybe it was up to 38 when I was still living in Melbourne) & pants size M or 34 is usual and when that gets tight I know it's time to lose. I stack it on my legs first, and lose it there first - I had trouble getting bushwalking gaiters to fit my calves, XXL was a snug fit. While maybe an inch has come off my waist, most of the 12kg has dropped from my legs. Standing with feet together my calves were in firm contact, now I can fit my hand easily between them without resistance. What's more I'm shorter than you at 179cm, so I guess according to medical science I was more overweight, and why my goal is 78kg.

 

32 waist is also my target, that was my size at 19, I remember the day at around 21 when I was still at university when I had to return a pair of 32 Levis bought off the rack and exchange them for 34. Never been below 34 since.

 

I used to swing 10kg dumbells around for upper body & cardio, but now age has caught up and my wrists can't handle it, as well I've buggered a tendon that runs up the palm of my left hand in line with my ring finger and it makes guitar playing painfully uncomfortable for a long while after those dumbells. Guitar is more important to my life than dumbells, so the choice was easy. :)

Edited by Alan

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