How to Look Svelte in Photos After Covid 19LBS

Let’s face it; The past two years of Covid-19 bullshit has not helped anyone’s waistline. How the hell can I even hope to still fit in my favorite sustainable fashion thrift store finds as 2022 chugs along? In my case, it was made even worse by the Covid rash from hell that required me to be on steroids for two months. I thought I would bulk up and get mass gains. No, instead I just got fat.

Green juice. It’s what for breakfast if I ever had time to juice everything in my fridge.

After two months of only being able to wear leggings because every other pair of pants rubbed against my rash, I was looking forward to putting on my favorite pair of sustainable fashion skinny jeans again. Except by February first none of my pre-pandemic pants even fit. Stupid rash. Stupid steroids. Stupid pandemic problems. I needed a zen juice cleanse kind of week. Except I work ten-hour days, seven days a week this time of year. I didn’t have the time, the patience or the ability to juice everything in my fridge or even get in a simple workout.

New Year’s Resolutions my Fat Ass

Well if it’s the second week in March then that means you may have given up on all of those New Year’s resolutions, healthy eating and working out every day at least a month ago. I know that I did. When you work none stop in a resort town during peak season it gets harder and harder to find the time to eat healthily. I would love to have a salad for lunch but that means I need to find the time to grocery shop and then build a healthy salad, package it and somehow shove salad at my face while driving in the tourist traffic on my way to work.  It’s okay. I’ll eat healthily and start juicing again in April during the shoulder season in a resort town. Most days recently I throw beef jerky at my face, maybe some nuts or whatever snacks I can scavenge out of my SUV. That’s lunch.

If you are anything like me and you may have gained back that covid-15 that you so worked so hard to lose that first week in January, let me say there is hope for us. If you work full-time like me no you don’t need to go to the gym every day and somehow find the time to create a kale salad to pack for lunch. Let me tell you how to stand in a silly way and look good in photos.

I hung out with a good friend recently who was so surprised that I gained twenty-five pounds during the last year of global pandemic good times. “You can’t tell in photos,” She told me. That my friend is because I contort my body into the most Instagram-worthy pretzels to hide all my backfat. It might not be the easiest thing to do with degenerative disk disease but my physical therapist says I need to stretch more so I guess this helps.

Mommy, why is the hiking guide so fat?

You would think someone who hikes for eight hours a day would be able to enjoy all the Anglo Indian Fruitcake she wanted to shove into her face hole. Maybe before I was forty but not after turning forty, the stress of two years of a global pandemic and did I mention enough steroids to bulk up Lance Armstrong coursing through my system? Even trekking double-digit miles some days I still can’t button my favorite thrift store find sustainable fashion snow pants.

Is it too much to ask that I just want to enjoy some Butter Chicken after taking travelers snowshoeing all day long and then also want to still fit into my favorite pants? Well, you would be wrong. Not when you are over forty. Fitness over forty means never, ever eating carbs and saying arrivederci to my favorite Italian pinot grigio.

This dog’s fluffy fur will hide my fat rolls.

I can’t believe we’re saying this but it’s February and we are now two years into a global pandemic, inching our way towards herd immunity. If you are anything like me, over forty and working forty hours a week you might find it difficult to find the time to make those healthy meals these days. Ten-hour workdays can make it challenging to eat healthily. I try to bring a salad with me every day for lunch but sometimes life gets so crazy that I don’t even have time to construct a healthy salad. And that’s why I have to learn how to sit, stand and lean in my photos so as not to look over forty. Or at least look slightly fit.

A Hungry Mountaineer is not a happy Mountaineer

I’m 40 years old. I’m no spring chicken. At this point in my life I’ve discovered I need to use trickery and magic to look svelte and possibly shave off that covid-15lbs. Because juicing and shoving an occasional salad at my face is just not working anymore.

Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions each January. Now that it is newly 2022 my resolution is to look better or at least more in shape in photos. It might be fake news but I don’t care. In April, when I’m not working ten hours a day, seven days a week I will find time to work out again.

Walking around in a winter wonderland. Fat pants edition.

I absolutely love the winter so hard. Going for a hike on a chilly twenty-five-degree day while it’s snowing is just fine with me. But try to take an attractive photo while wearing your favorite sustainable fashion snow pants. Just try it. Today I was wearing my favorite jean leggings, puffy snow pants the warmest sweater and one of my warmest jackets. All of these layers together made it look like I had gained thirty pounds. Is there any way to take an attractive-looking photo in snow clothes?

The biggest tip with taking slimming photos is making sure your posture is good. Make sure your shoulders are back and you are standing up straight. This will make you look taller and leaner. Try and suck in that Covid-15, just try.

This is my fat forest cat. We like to call her  The Walrus. Sometimes these days I feel like a walrus but through some careful research, I have learned how to stand in a more pleasing manner for photos in 2022.

  • Number one, that theigh gap is your friend. Tilt your hips back while standing. I don’t know about you but my legs look thinner when I have that thigh gap visible.
  • Arch your back. This will make you look more curvy and less walrus.
  • When trying to appear to look more svelte stand with one leg in front of you at a 45-degree angle.
  • Lean on an object, I prefer part of a Jeffrey pine tree and sit just with your butt on the edge. Don’t sit like you are on the toilet. I absolutely don’t recommend this pose.
  • Bend your limbs. Don’t stand totally straight. Find a pine tree to lean against and bend one leg. This is my favorite tree huggers tip for a skinny-looking photo.
  • Tuck your legs when sitting down. Stretch them out and cross your ankles. This is a great look to show off cute shoes or your new sustainable fashion snow boots you love to hike in also.
  • Have your bro take photos from up high. When the camera is slightly above your head you will eliminate those double Butter Chicken chins.  This way you have to look up and avoid that double chin from all that Mangalore Style Ghee Roast you inhaled for breakfast before climbing that 10,000-foot mountain over yonder.

Picture perfect photo tips from a photographer nature guide

When I’m not leaning on Jeffrey pines trying to not look forty years old, I work as a hiking guide in Big Bear Lake California. My sister-in-law, Echo, is also a hiking guide near Lake Arrowhead. Between the two of us, we have basically a monopoly on the guided hike business in southern California. My hiking guide sister-in-law is also an awesome photographer. Everything I have learned about taking scenic photos I have learned from Echo. Here are just a few more pointers on taking those scenic travel photos. I love photos with people in them but not as the focus of the photo. I love to take photos where my subject is peering out into the wilderness or snowshoeing through a snowy forest. But how to take quality photos? Let me share with you what I have learned in the last six months.

  • Make sure your human in the photo is standing to the side when you take the photo. Always put empty space in the direction the person is facing. You want to see what they are looking at and less of what is behind them.
  • Remember the rule of thirds. If your picture was split into thirds in each direction, put your subject in one of the spots where the lines cross. This looks better than pictures with people-centered.
  • That live-action setting on your iPhone is fantastic for taking photos of your friends sledding or your rottweiler puppy frolicking through fresh snow but did you know if you leave live-action on you will lose so much quality in your photos?
  • Leaving your flash on all the time will also reduce the quality of your photos. Turn off live-action and flash to get better quality photos on your phone.
  • Another great trip is to stop texting photos of family and friends when you want to share those snaps. Put your family-friendly photos in a google file to share with loved ones. You can text them the file and they can download the images and not lose any quality.



How to take a better selfie without a double chin

I had a guest on an experience the other day telling me that she’s terrible at taking selfies. She had obviously never met my friend Amy the selfie queen. There are some great tips for taking a good selfie. Number one absolutely always use self-timer and that way you won’t get that terribly awkward photo of your arm. A self-timer makes any selfie look a lot less awkward.

As a hiking and adventure guide, I always try to hand out advice to my guests on how to take great nature photos. One of my all-time favorite selfies in the forest is aiming the camera up at the trees and getting that beautiful alpine skyline in your photo. The great thing about self-timer too is you can try to make your chins look like just one chin. #Thisis40 It’s also the best movie ever, just saying.

So what have we learned about not appearing to look like a fat ass in photos as 2022 dawns? Don’t be afraid to hug a tree (As long as you arch your back) Furry friends like dogs are great for hiding your rolls of fat.  And self-timer can be your new best friend when it comes to not being that awkward person in the selfie.


  1. Chickenruby

    I lost a lot of weight during covid as I couldn’t eat out or pop to the shop for snacks, it’s starting to gain again now everywhere is fully opened. I really must be more disciplined. The double chin in photos drives me mad. It’s not about how we look to others, it’s how we feel about ourselves.

    Thanks for linking with #pocolo hope you had a Happy Easter and hopefully see you again on the 29th April

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