Surviving COVID-19

I was initially avoiding writing a ‘How I am surviving COVID-19’ post, but thought about it, and had inspiration from my Alma Mater, CQUniversity. So I have compiled a short post about my experiences with COVID-19 and how I am surviving what has developed into a very interesting 2020 and Year of the Nurse.

My experience staying connected with family and friends

Thankfully for me, I have a fairly tech savvy family. We all own Apple products, so FaceTime gets a fair workout, and we were pretty good at staying in contact anyway. I call my parents every couple of days to check in out of habit, and I FaceTime the girls when they are actually sitting still for longer than 30 seconds.

I play Dungeons and Dragons with my friends once a week, on Saturday Nights. We chat during the week on Facebook Messenger and Discord, and generally share our days, what’s going in life, the struggles with our kids, the difficulties of being ‘essential’, and the day to day mundane facts of life.

The difficult people to stay in contact with are my extended family. My grandparents aren’t tech savvy at all. My Grandfather here locally has trouble working a microwave let alone a mobile phone, and I can’t visit him as we have to limit the number of people who drop in. I tend to share things through my Father to him, he shows him photos and tells stories about the girls. That’s what makes this COVID-19 stuff hard, the time that my Grandfather is missing with his Great-Grandchildren.

I am taking time for myself by

I am shamelessly watching Netflix, a lot of Netflix. While my girls are watching ABC Kids, I have my phone out and headphones in watching the shows I want to watch. So far I have binged my way through the entirety of Brooklyn 99, Rick and Morty, Altered Carbon and I am about to continue on my adventures with Gotham. For me, escaping into a TV show and not thinking for a while is very relaxing.

As mentioned earlier, I play Dungeons and Dragons over Discord with my friends. I actually run the Game, as Dungeon Master. I write the story, create the characters that players interact with, I describe the world they are in, and guide them through their adventure. I love it. I love creating the world, the non-player characters, and I love watching (or in this case listening) to my friends realise the error of their ways as the story unfolds.

Something I have found comfort in this time is

I have found comfort in the little things. COVID-19 has been an interesting time to realise what really matters, how much busy-ness we all have in our lives, and for a chance to simplify. For some, slowing down to work, home, and family is a drag. I am trying to make the most of it. I am spending more time with my girls, taking more time for me, trying to make sure I self care a little better, and most of all stay connected to those who matter.

It comforts me to know that we, as a community, have banded together, done the right thing, and are beating this thing. We aren’t getting pig headed and selfish in our quest to go back to normal at whatever the cost. We as a Country have supported those in need, given a hand to those who can’t do it on their own, and strived to be better for it. The real comfort is being part of that, it’s being Australian.

Something I’m not doing (and that’s okay) is

I am not, however, taking it easy…. completely. My role as the only Nurse at a Meat Works has meant some very long days. Some days are 12-14 hours, then we are working 6 days a week, public holidays included. This time at work has meant that I don’t always have the amount of time at home, and the one day off I do have, I try and cram everything in. Which then leads me to be tired and worn out for the week.

So in short, I am not balancing work and life as well as I should be.

Something I want to say to people who may be having similar experiences is

It’s ok to be a little out of sorts. It’s ok to snack a little heavier than normal. It’s ok to feel a little disconnected. It’s ok to be a little scared of what is going on. It’s ok to feel a little blue, and a little worn out.

We are going through a Global Pandemic. Tens of thousands of people are dead, millions are sick. The Country is in lockdown. We have spent more on Social Support now than we have since the War. For the first time since WW2 we are told to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. Our shopping centre shelves are bare. People are out of work. There is less to go around. People are struggling.

It is OK to not feel OK.

We have to remember that this is only temporary. Before long, we will be back to swimming at the beach, catching up with friends for a coffee, eating a Parmy at the Pub, and getting back to the way things were. But we have to acknowledge that not everything will be the same, there will be a ‘new normal’ on the other side of this. And we need to be ready for it.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Dungeons and Dragons

As you are all well aware by now, I am a massive GEEK. I enjoy table top board games, playing with plastic men, and have waaaayyyy too many movies and TV shows that start with Star. But most of my love for all things geekery began when I was 10, and I was introduced to the wonderful world of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D).

Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons

Some good friends of mine, and their older more experienced brother, introduced me to D&D one summer afternoon. I had no idea what was involved, what I had to do, or even why I needed so many dice; having not played a game with dice outside of Yahtzee. But never the less, we persevered. I rolled my Level 1 Human Fighter, like most young boys starting out. I chose my weapons based on nothing but how big they where, and how likely I was to chop someone’s head off. We engaged in the scenario, explored the world we had been thrown into. I nearly drowned after I attempted to swim in Chainmail armour. But we learnt. We came across our adversaries, a Goblin Raiding Party, I summarily chopped them into pieces and the day was won. I was hooked. This one campaign on a hot Summers afternoon would spur a 20+ year love affair with Roleplaying Games.

Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons Parties

As the years would go by I would play as part of several groups, some more successful than others. Some I would only reach levels 3-5 where as others I would become an Epic Level character and top out in the mid 60s. No matter what I played, I loved it. It was a way to explore a strange new world, interact with its inhabitants, and throw just a little bit of me into every character. I loved to play. Then someone showed me how to run a game. How to design a world of my own. How to shape the very fabric of space and time and wield it as my own play thing. I was gob smacked. I didn’t realise how much excitement and enjoyment I would get out of creating a whole new world and sharing it with people. I would run a couple, quite unsuccessfully might I add, campaigns in my early days. But it was all in the spirit of learning. I have since created and run many different campaigns, different worlds, in different time periods, using may different rule sets. But I always come back to D&D.

Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons

When I first started playing D&D it was in its 3rd Edition, I would continue to play 3rd Edition until 2020. I also played Pathfinder, Golden, Fantasy Age, Star Wars Roleplaying, and finally D&D 5th Edition. I can see some of you wondering why it jumped from 3rd to 5th edition of D&D? It’s simple. 3rd Edition was amazing, so amazing that people wanted it to constantly expand and improve. So much so that eventually Wizards of the Coast (WotC) who own D&D decided to re-release 3rd Edition as 3.5 Edition. I was not amused. I was staunch in the fact that 3rd Edition was completely fine as it was. So much so that I refused to play 3.5 Edition. Then they released 4th which was such a complete flop that it was almost immediately withdrawn and noted that a better 5th Edition would be on its way. I had the opportunity to play test for 5th Edition in the early days, and I was intrigued by the play style, the nod towards 3rd Edition, but still being its own thing. When I decided to run a game for my Friends I decided it was time to leave behind my beloved 3rd Edition and get with the times, so I began generating a 5th Edition campaign.

Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons

So I began writing in earnest. I started with a basic idea of the Big Bad Evil Guy (BBEG) how he was going to interact with the world, how this was going to change the landscape, and what the party was going to have to do to stop him. I then started to come up with some low level encounters for the party to get started, and before you knew it the World of Eseron was born. I spent nearly two days perfecting the map alone. I love world building, I love creating people for the party to engage with. I love coming up with social structures, social standings, geography, city names, weather events, BBEG, and everything else associated with creating a new world.

I may have even got so wrapped up in my creating, I forgot to post last week. So don’t be alarmed, I hadn’t forgot about you all, I was just a little bit preoccupied. I will share, periodically, how the party is traveling and how the world of Eseron progresses. Do you play D&D? Perhaps another Roleplaying Game? What are your fond memories of the Game? Share them in the comments below.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Weight Loss Since Jan 2020: 6.5kg

Adjusting

Like a ship maintaining course, we make small adjustments in our lives every day. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing the cereal we have for breakfast, changing our morning routines, or adding in a new diet or exercise plan. For me, this week, I have had a challenging adjustment to make… sleep.

Adjusting Course

Adjusting Course

I would classify myself as a night owl, or some kind of permanently exhausted pigeon. I do not do mornings particularly well, though I can rise early if required, And work now requires it. I now start work at 0530. Which means I am up at 0400. Now, I don’t care who you are, thats early! 5 Years ago I wouldn’t have said that was early, I would have told you I was going to bed a touch late. However, I am adjusting. The hardest part I am finding is not actually getting up early enough, its going to bed early enough. I am in such  habit of going to bed at 2200 to 2300 every night, that trying to go to bed at 2000 or 2100 is almost impossible.

The small adjustments we make to our daily lives are important. They keep us on track for our goals, they help us maintain sleep, they help us with our children, our work, our day to day living. Without small adjustments we wold crash into a reef, or into some other metaphorical trouble. Some people resit change, even small change like the adjustments we are talking about now. These people have become so rigid and immovable in their lives that they can’t seem to even budge on the smallest of changes. I am reminded of an old urban legend involving a US Naval Ship;

Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.
Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.
Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.
Americans: This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States’ Atlantic fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that YOU change your course 15 degrees north, that’s one five degrees north, or countermeasures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.
Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call
Carrier vs Lighthouse

Carrier vs Lighthouse

We all laugh at the thought of a US Aircraft Carrier arguing with a lighthouse, but for some people it is their reality. We come across these immovable objects every day. And we find ourselves being the ones to make the small adjustments to avoid them. This can leave us feeling put out, feel like we are worthless, or even like is was our fault that we had to adjust. We need to remind ourselves that it is OK to make small adjustments in course, so that we do not become these immovable Aircraft Carriers.

Adjusting Course

Adjusting Course

I will continue to try and adjust to early mornings, I will continue to make small adjustments in my life to stay on track, like my diet to lose weight, my schedule to have more time with family, and my habits to try and facilitate a more balanced lifestyle. Maybe there is a small adjustment you have made in your life recently, or one you can see on the horizon? Share it in the comments below and show everyone you aren’t afraid to adjust your course.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Weight Loss this Year: 4kgs

Outside the Box

When we think of Nursing, or for those outside the field, Nurses, we tend to think of Hospitals, Doctors Surgeries, and Aged Care Homes. But, as my recent furor with the job  market will attest, there are plenty of unknown opportunities. I was unaware that some Schools still employ Nurses, there is the Prison system which employs on site Nurses, the Meat Works employs Nurses as I will bear witness to, along with some Mine Sites, Cattle Stations, and of course the Military. My advice to you, as the potential Graduate Nurse, or Re-Deploying Nurse are the following three things; Look Wide, Ask Everyone, Talk to People.

Nursing Imagery

Nursing Imagery

Look Wide

As I have hinted towards already there is a large and varied workforce in which to select from when it comes to Nursing. Each one has its own pros and cons, and you as the Nurse will have to weight those up for yourself. For example, I would trade salary for time with family and availability to volunteer. So a Monday to Friday, Dayshift, or at least rotating roster were you can plan more than two weeks ahead, was worth more to me than an extra couple of dollars an hour. To this end, when you have decided what you want out of the job look everywhere, even places you wouldn’t expect. Look outside of Seek, Job Search, or the local Paper, jobs these days are also advertised on LinkedIn, Company Websites, or even FaceBook. Look in places that you would not have normally considered like Schools, Meat Works, the Military. Apply for EVERYTHING as you may not be successful your first few interviews, regardless of experience.

Dreaded Job Hunt

Dreaded Job Hunt

Ask Everyone

Don’t be afraid to ask around, ask those in the field, ask your friends, ask your acquaintances, or do what I did and ask FaceBook. Whatever your tactic for this particular portion is, be ruthless. Don’t be afraid to ask people you haven’t spoken to in a while, don’t be afraid to ask people if there is a job at their workplace, ask if they have heard anything, ask if they know someone who knows someone who might know about a job. The point being ASK EVERYONE!

Social Callout

Social Callout

Talk to People

While I was looking for a Registered Nurses Job one of the things I took it upon myself to do was to email EVERY SINGLE GP Clinic in my Hometown, Rockhampton. I must have sent out 30 emails to all of the Practice Managers with my Resume and a Written Reference. Some wrote back to me fairly quickly with a Dear John email stating they didn’t have any positions at the time. I had two interviews, and a call back for a third after I accepted my job at Teys. I also applied to the Three Hospitals Nursing Pool, and directly to several of the wards. None of these places were advertising for Nurses, none of them were asking for my application, and most of them at least wrote back to me in some form or another. As I mentioned in Ask Everyone, most of the Nursing jobs secured, especially in a small town such as mine, will be by who you know. With a little bit of what you know as well. The job I ended up with wasn’t advertised, was a suggestion by a mate of mine, and started with an unsolicited email to the HR manager of Teys. So Talk to People, it may land you the job you didn’t even know existed.

Never Know Who Will Have the Job

Never Know Who Will Have the Job

These are three quick and helpful hints to assist you with your Job Hunt, whether it’s for a Graduate Position, a Re-Deployment, First Enrolled Nurse Job, or Re-Entering the Workforce after a sabbatical. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone, drop an email, post on Social Media, or do the classic walk around with your Resume. When it comes to Employment it may not come easy, you may have to work for it, but it will all be worth it once you are working in the best profession in the World.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Weight Loss Since January 1: 5kg

Answered Prayers

I have always believed that Social Media should be exactly that, Social. I also believe that when used properly, great things can be done; whether it be raising funds for a charitable cause, spreading warnings about flood or fire, sharing News about a lost child, or in my case finding myself a job. During this whole process there were many people involved, many shares, many likes, many comments, there was also a team of people who were praying for me, for the right job, at the right place, with the right conditions. These prayers are the ones that have been answered.

Social Callout

Social Callout

Social Media whether it be FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Twitch, SnapChat, or otherwise has a lot of bad press. And for very good reason. These platforms are no longer about the sharing of ideas, photos, moments in time, memories, or life together but instead have become a platform of hate, ill will, debauchery, filth, and simply put Anti-Social Behaviour. I was glad, and not to mention a little surprised, by the overwhelming positive feedback, comments, likes, and conversation that my post generated. Now, it was in no means trending or ‘going viral’ but it still reached a large, and appropriate, audience. And most importantly it landed on the screen of someone who had just the right job in mind.

Anti-Social Media

Anti-Social Media

Now it shouldn’t come as a surprise to my regular readers, but I do actually attend a Church on a regular basis, and with that comes a pretty tight knit community of people who are genuinely concerned about how you are travelling. So as you can imagine when I posted on Facebook that I was looking for work the prayer warriors did two things; 1) Kept an eye and ear out for an RN job and 2) Began fervently praying for the right Job, at the Right place, with the Right conditions, and the Right renumeration. I don’t normally pray for myself, I find it oddly self servient and distasteful. But, on this occasion, I prayed for myself. I prayed for the same thing the prayer warriors were, I was believing in the perfect Job, the one He set aside for me. Well, the Prayers were answered, and with Gusto.

Answered Prayers

Answered Prayers

My perfect RNs role, for this moment in my life, involved a number of different things;

  1. Stability – Being able to plan my life further then 2 weeks in advance
  2. Workplace – Being part of a Workplace that is people focussed
  3. Distance – Close to home, not that anything in Rockhampton is ‘Far Away’
  4. Renumeration – A comfortable amount of money to bring into the House
  5. Flexibility – The ability to arrange my Work life to suit my Home life if needed
  6. Challenging – A workplace that would challenge my skills
  7. Time – Somewhere where I was actually able to see my children and wife on a regular basis and not just in passing between shifts and sleep

And thats the role I have found. For those astute enough, and those who subscribe to my Social Media, would know the position is at Teys Rockhampton, one of the local Beef Processing Facilities. It is one of the largest employers in Rockhampton and they have been without a Nurse for nearly two years, in fact in that time I was the first to be interviewed. Talk about God holding a position open for you.

I look forward to the new challenges ahead in Occupational Nursing and I am thankful for my opportunities a HillCrest whilst I was there. I look forward to new connections, new skills learnt, new language barriers overcome, new cultural issues overcome. I look forward to a workplace that empowers me to be me, and facilitates that wherever possible. I look forward to what the future holds. 2020 has started off really well so far, here’s hoping it keeps it up.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh In Eight

I am fat and lazy. I seem unable or unwilling to do anything about it. I attempted to diet on a VLCD and failed, I tried Shakes and failed, I’m eating sensibly with smaller portions and the right food, still FAT!

Goal = >100kg

Start = 144.5kg

Current = 145.0kg

Loss to Date = +0.5kg

Weight To Go = 45.1kg

As you can see I have come full circle in just 6 weeks. I’m sick of being fat, but I am also sick of fad diets, starving myself, and generally trying to fit into a mould that maybe I just don’t belong in. By the number I am healthy. BP is good, Heart Rate is goos, Bloods are great. I have no indication that my weight is having a negative impact on me. Except my self image and self esteem. But you know what, maybe I’m OK being a little chubby, makes me harder to kidnap. If we really are only here for one trip, maybe I should just enjoy what I want, when I want, and to hell with Social ideal of what I should look like.

I will be taking a sabbatical from the Wednesday Weigh In posts. This is both due to the negative mental state it is pushing me into, and because I still believe that any weight loss is not going to occur until I return to running around like a headless chook at work. But we will see.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just justifying the means.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Teenage Years

I was a little stumped on what to share this week as my week has been pretty benign. I thought I would ask the youngest person I know who reads my blogs to give me inspiration, my son. He asked that I write about Relationship Advice, or the trials and tribulations of my teenage years. I have decided that Teenage Years it is. My Teenage years were a rollercoaster ride of emotions, experiences, and interactions. The years can be divided up into School, Friends, Everything Else. This will give the clearest picture of what my teenage years were like.

Calwell High School

Calwell High School

School

School for my teenage years was, like every child in Canberra, into two location, Calwell High School for grades 7 to 10 and Lake Tuggeranong College for grades 11 and 12. Calwell High was a public school in a mid to low socioeconomic area. There was no uniform, only a colour code that was barely adhered to. The teachers tried their best but were worn down by years of attitude and filth. Most of the schools funding a resources were spent replacing or fixing equipment and facilities that had been destroyed by students. Fights were frequent, and often involved weapons of both the ad hoc and very deliberate type. There were issues with violence, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and general poor behaviour. Police visits, both called and random, were commonplace. There would be a fence erected around the school, not to keep people out, but students in. Often relief teachers would be asked to come in and baby sit 2 to 3 classes at a time, which is somewhere near 100 children.

With the scene set this is the High School I attended. Before I go any further I don’t regret going to the school, I don’t resent my parents for sending me there, and I don’t blame anything on anyone outside of the situations described henceforth. My earliest memory of the school was outside the art class room, a class which to this day I have never excelled at. I was standing out the from with my backpack over both shoulders, shirt tucked into my jeans, and sneakers on. It was the 90s leave me alone. I was approached by one of my classmate who said if I didn’t want to get picked on I should untuck my shirt and only carry my bag on one shoulder. I thanked her for the advice, acted upon it, and continued to wait outside. No more that 5 minutes later it would prove that no matter what I did I was going to get picked on. I was not the statuesque man mountain I am now, at the time I was the better part of 5′ 2″ tall and rotund to say the least. This drew the attention of the Jocks, my mildly ethic looks and distinct lack of ethnicity caught the attention of the Lebanese and Greek crowd, and the catty girls followed the jocks so you can guess where that went.

Through my 4 years that I spent at Calwell I was seen as the short, fat, nerdy kid. I was picked on, harassed, bullied both verbally and physically every day of my schooling life. This did grate on me, I did spend days, weeks, and months dreading the very thought of going to school. I did though continue to attend most day short of a physical ailment. And though it was emotionally and physically tough to do so, it did build resilience and toughened my exterior. I learnt how to read people better. I learnt how to take a punch. How to stand up to people at the right moment. I learnt how to survive in a less then pleasant environment. All of this while still trying to study and do well enough to pass and succeed.

Lake Tuggeranong College

Lake Tuggeranong College

My graduation from Calwell High School was an absolute blessing. It meant the end of torture, beating, bullying, and the start of something new. The reason why this was such a God send was years 11 and 12 were not compulsory for Canberra students, and most of the bullies dropped out, and the ones who stayed behind realised that between graduating December one year and coming back to school the next I had grown nearly a foot to a shade over 6 feet. So bullies were no longer an issue. Classes were interesting and engaging. Free lines were amazing. And life just got better. Not to mention the light was at the end of the tunnel. GRADUATION!!

Despite the release that was Graduation, what it really marked was the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. It meant responsibility, bills, cars, loans, bills, rent, mortgages, bills, and more responsibilities. And though I took these in my stride, securing a full time job straight out of college, securing my own home by the age of 19, and joining the military at 22. It certainly didn’t mean the transition from school to the real world was without issue. Poor financial choices, poor friend choices, and poor life choices in general meant I hurt my family for my own selfish need or gain, and that is never right. Yet another lesson learnt really.

Friends.jpg

Friends

Friendships are forged out of need, circumstance, opportunity, action, or some mixture of all. My high school friends were a mixture of all of the aforementioned. During year 7 the three ladies above where running a performing arts lunch project in which young teenagers explore their emotions, behaviours, and reactions to different scenarios that were plaguing young people. I participated because i was both interested and it provided a lunchtime safe haven. However, the friendship wouldn’t truly kick in till Tegan, the one in the hat, found me one day crying in the playground. You see I had a rather savage falling out with people who I though were my friends, were in actual fact they were just using me and teasing me about it behind my  back. Tegan invited me to come and hang with her circle of friends, some of whom I knew, like Kate and Sophia (left to right in the photo). This friendship, though I never would have guessed it at the time, has survived trials and tribulations of high school, college, real life, mortgages, relationships, breakups, arguments, and every thing else you can imagine. Though I don’t talk to them as much as I used to, or should for that matter, these three are some of my closest friends. And I truly miss them all.

Everything Else

Teenage years are a mixture of hormones, bad choices, bad skin, bad people, bad circumstances, and bad more bad choices. I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason, and I wouldn’t change a single part of my teenage years. Not the beating, not the dodgy school, not the dodgy girlfriends, the bad choices, the bad focusses in life, nor the body choice of first house to move to into. Every single choice and experience has made me the person I am today, and you should equally treasure your life choices for the same reason. I have totalled cars, blow up engines (yes plural), hurt people, hurt myself, pushed the wrong people away, held onto the wrong people, prioritised the wrong things, and as always made bad choices. I wouldn’t know what I know about now with cars if not for the little accidents along the way. I wouldn’t know what I know now about people if I didn’t have all of the negative experiences, and a whole lot of positive ones too. Don’t be too quick to move out of a situation, unless its not safe in which case leave that place yesterday, as it may be trying to teach you something. It may not make sense now, but and 10 or 20 years time, it may become relevant.

Teenagers

Teenagers

I may not have enjoyed every day of my teenage years, but it has made me the resilient, well rounded, educated, compassionate, caring, loving person I am today. I don’t regret a day, and neither should you. Enjoy the simpler times that are the teenage years, before everything becomes even more complicated.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh In Seven

I am fat. I seem unable or unwilling to do anything about it. I attempted to diet on a VLCD and failed, I tried Shakes and failed, I’m eating sensibly with smaller portions and the right food, still FAT!

Goal = >100kg

Start = 144.5kg

Current = 144.3kg

Loss to Date = 0.2kg

Weight To Go = 44.4kg

FAT

FAT

As you can see I have come full circle in just 6 weeks. I’m sick of being fat, but I am also sick of fad diets, starving myself, and generally trying to fit into a mould that maybe I just don’t belong in. By the number I am healthy. BP is good, Heart Rate is goos, Bloods are great. I have no indication that my weight is having a negative impact on me. Except my self image and self esteem. But you know what, maybe I’m OK being a little chubby, makes me harder to kidnap. If we really are only here for one trip, maybe I should just enjoy what I want, when I want, and to hell with Social ideal of what I should look like.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just justifying the means.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Pain

As most of my regular readers are aware, I am no stranger to pain. I have suffered through 15 operations in 8 years, have suffered through the recovery for all of them, have numerous permanent conditions that cause all sorts of chronic pain, and all at the tender age of 32. This is not meant to illicit sympathy or cause a feel of shock. This is a cautionary tale that I hope someone who reads this will take heed.

Five of my surgeries were in direct relation to a genetic or since birth conditions. Most of them are Ear, Nose, and Throat related. I have had my Tonsils removed, my Adenoids removed, and my nose holes widened (technically its the Turbinates being widened). The other was a Hiatus Hernia repair. Thankfully these don’t cause constant pain, they are in fact, among the most successful surgeries I have had. The only negative to any of them is my Hiatus Hernia Repair has meant that I need to consume my foo slower, otherwise it gets stuck above the diaphragm which causes a fair amount of pain. Out of these procedures the removal of Tonsils was the most painful and uncomfortable. I cannot even begin to describe the level of pain even drinking water caused. So take note, when your small ones have had their removed and say its painful, THEY AREN’T LYING!

Carpal Tunnel Release

Carpal Tunnel Release

The next cautionary tale is about listening to your body, and acting on its warning signs. At the beginning of 2016 I had some pretty severe lower abdomen pain. I didn’t think much of it as it felt like I had eaten too much junk food, so I ignored it. this pain went on for several days, getting worse the whole time. Then, four days later, I could barely get out of bed because of the pain. My wife put her foot down and bundled me in the car to go to the hospital. I was quickly seen by the ED staff, and after much poking and prodding it was decided I had appendicitis. I was taken in to theatre to have it removed. Now an appendectomy is a 30-45 minute procedure. After my wife didn’t receive a call for four hours, she called the hospital, only to be told I was still in theatre. She finally received a phone call six hours after being taken into theatre to say I was out. Turns out my Colon had a severe case of Diverticulitis, and had ruptured. Filling my abdomen with, well, faeces. After much cleaning up, removing nearly 12 inches of my bowel, and creating a stoma, I was on the ward. This ordeal would last six months, with numerous returns to ED, two more surgeries, half a meter of scar tissue, and one hell of story, Thankfully there is no ongoing pain or issues following this ordeal. However at the time, especially with a long midline incision, there was much pain during the recovery. So listen to what your body is telling you.

Post Stoma Reversal

Post Stoma Reversal

No doubt my biggest issue is all things Orthopedics. I have had a Tibial Tuberosity Transfer (TTT) on both of my knees, a Bankart repair to my Right shoulder, Bicep Tendonesis to my Right Shoulder, excision of my Distal Clavical, and excision of my Sub Acromium. Most recently, 3 days ago to be exact, I had a Carpal Tunnel Release to my Right Hand. To be blunt, ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERIES HURT. Each surgery has meant weeks to months of pain and agony as I recover from the operation. It has also left me with Chronic pain to my Knees and Shoulder. It has meant I have to be careful with some activities and make sure I am using proper lifting techniques, not squatting, and not working above my head. So my warning regarding anything Orthopaedic is be sure that the remedy is not worse than the condition.

ED Trip Number 347

ED Trip Number 347

If someone can take something away from what I have been through, then it will have not been for naught. I know that this story seems like a a bit of a pity party, but that is not the intention. It is a cautionary tale to look after yourself, listen to what you body is telling you, and go into any decision regrading surgery with open eyes.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh In Six

For those astute readers out there you will notice that this post seems remarkably similar to my previous Weigh in day Wednesday Weigh Day. In that series I endeavoured to loose weight by reducing my daily intake of Kilojoules to 5000 per day. After 18 weeks of dieting I had lost roughly 16 kilos, but my depression decided to kick me in the guts and I began over eating, indulging in way too many sweets, and comfort eating almost every meal.

This week was a blow out. I ate take out too often, large starchy meals, and consumed milk and juice like it was water. This has seen the obvious increase in my weight this week. We are trying a different tack, when I can control myself, which is to eat food instead of shakes, but still try and keep the Kilojoules as low as possible.

Now for the scary part, the numbers and pictures:

Goal = >100kg

Start = 144.5kg

Current = 141.6kg

Loss to Date = 2.9kg

Weight To Go = 41.7kg

Wednesday Weigh In Six Front

Wednesday Weigh In Six Front

Wednesday Weigh In Six Side

Wednesday Weigh In Six Side

Not an overly flattering view, but this image, this ever-growing round mass that is my body, is the reason for the extreme weight loss measures that are in place. It is for my children, my future, my health that I need to lose the weight. And oddly enough, I need to do it for me. To improve my mental state, to improve my confidence, to improve my self worth. No longer do I want to be the fat guy at the table, the waste disposal unit, the guy that no one thinks much of because he obviously doesn’t think much of himself. I WILL lose the weight, I WILL keep it off, and I WILL be a healthier person for it.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

AirPod Pro

Anyone who has known me for longer then about 15 minutes knows I am an Apple Fan Boy. I have the phone, the computer, the tablet, the TV, and now the wireless headphones. My wife and I decided to treat ourselves to an early Christmas Present. Now I am a firm believer that technology is an adjunct to our daily lives as apposed to necessities, and the AirPod Pros are no exception. They are, however, a superb product and deliver everything they advertise. I will look at the AirPos Pros in the vein of a review, and also dissect the impact of such technology on our lives and society as a whole.

AirPod Pros Expanded

AirPod Pros Expanded

The AirPod Pros are designed to be the next big thing following the release of the AirPods a couple of years ago. The added features of the Pros include;

  • Silicone ear canal buds
  • Active Noise Cancelling
  • ‘Hey Siri’ functionality
  • Wireless charging case
  • Improved Battery life
  • Improved Sound Quality
  • Water and Sweet Resistance

Though this list isn’t exhaustive, nor does it seem that impressive, but it does finally bring the AirPods into competition with better wireless headphones by companies such as Sennheiser, Bose, and even their own company Beats. Now the Pros really do deliver everything that is listed. I have been using Apple headphones almost exclusively for 5 years, and the Pros definitely have the best sound I have heard so far. They tote a warm low end, crisp and clear mid field, and shrill high ends that won’t disappoint. Now, I have listened to music on other headphones, both wired and wireless, over ear, on ear, and in ear. So when I say that the AirPod Pros can compete with the other in ear varieties, I mean it. Battery life thus fas has been amazing, the case works as a portable charging station for the AirPods while out and about, and the transition between sides is seamless. Hey Siri has all of the normal functionality, and has no problem dictating messages, emails, or otherwise. As a handsfree alternative the AirPod Pros really come in their own. The AirPods actively eliminate background noise, while simultaneously boosting the vocals. The result is a clear signal sent to the other party, and because of their clear audio the received signal is just as clear. All in all, I am thoroughly enjoying the product, even with its $399 price tag.

AirPod Pros

AirPod Pros

The question that now exists is how will products, such as the AirPod Pros, impact our lives, and how will it change the way we do things. In the immediate, AirPods may just seem like a way for us to listen to music, podcasts, books, or otherwise. However, I believe we need to look at how we all began to listen to music. Originally we had to physically have the musicians at our home, or attend a hall to listen to music. We had very little say in what was actually played, and the only choice we had in the matter was whether we attended a particular artist or not, not too dissimilar to the Gigs and concerts we now have, but a little less grand. We move forward to the recording of sound onto Vinyl and the transmission of sound through the airwaves. This greatly increased the accessibility of music. A person could buy albums to listen to at home, or tune into different radio stations to listen to different music. 8-Track, Cassette, and CD would greatly increase the accessibility of music, and mainstream the idea of custom music playlists of the individual, not the artist or studio. Time progresses MP3s become the mainstay, and before you know it, Streaming services are on our door step. These streaming services opened our world of music to the World, Apple Music for example totes over 50 million tracks, and growing daily. You couple a seemingly infinite music library and wireless portable headphones and you have yourself a personal concert, every single day. In the end, AirPod Pros coupled with Streaming Services have changed the way we listen to music, yet again.

I welcome the change in the way music is delivered. I have always felt encumbered by CDs and even a personal MP3 library, so I am glad there is freedom in the listening to music yet again. I look forward to what technology will bring next, I just hope its not out of reach of the average user.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh In Five

For those astute readers out there you will notice that this post seems remarkably similar to my previous Weigh in day Wednesday Weigh Day. In that series I endeavoured to loose weight by reducing my daily intake of Kilojoules to 5000 per day. After 18 weeks of dieting I had lost roughly 16 kilos, but my depression decided to kick me in the guts and I began over eating, indulging in way too many sweets, and comfort eating almost every meal.

This week has seen more stagnation with my weight loss. This has put into question the reason why my Wife and I are serving ourselves with shakes, maybe we should return to a normal Calorie restricting diet.

Now for the scary part, the numbers and pictures:

Goal = >100kg

Start = 144.5kg

Current = 139.5kg

Loss to Date = 5.0kg

Weight To Go = 39.6kg

Wednesday Weigh In Five Front

Wednesday Weigh In Five Front

Wednesday Weigh In Five Side

Wednesday Weigh In Five Side

Not an overly flattering view, but this image, this ever-growing round mass that is my body, is the reason for the extreme weight loss measures that are in place. It is for my children, my future, my health that I need to lose the weight. And oddly enough, I need to do it for me. To improve my mental state, to improve my confidence, to improve my self worth. No longer do I want to be the fat guy at the table, the waste disposal unit, the guy that no one thinks much of because he obviously doesn’t think much of himself. I WILL lose the weight, I WILL keep it off, and I WILL be a healthier person for it.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Reason to Write

As bloggers we all write for different reasons. Some write to have a message heard, some write to reach the masses, some to simply have their thoughts written down, and some (like me) write to reflect on their life and hope that the struggles they are going through are not selfdom alone. When I started Maintain the Rage in 2017, I never expected anyone to read my blog outside of family and friends. To this day I am still surprised by the fact that several hundred choose to visit my blog on a weekly basis. But I am left wondering, what is my reason to write in the future.

Blogging

Blogging

I do not think that my thoughts, reflections, and musings will stop being my main source of material. What we indeed all go through on a daily basis is the source of much material. I feel that these reflections either need to be more targeted or have a different focus. I have been reading other blogs of late on ‘How to Blog’ and the like, and most say to have a clearly defined voice, and subsequently a clearly defined target market. Sometimes I feel I am writing with a shotgun, so to speak. I write to so many different topics, with different views, and with different audiences that some days I wonder if I will ever find my niche.

Writing

Writing

My life, like so many others, is a coming together of all the small parts of our days. For me that generally consists of;

  • Parenting
  • Being a Husband
  • Nursing
  • Being a Friend
  • Scouts
  • Blogging
  • Being a Son
  • Being a Brother
  • Being a Mentor
  • Chairing Committees
  • Weight Loss
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Thats a lot of different things to focus on. For me I write about what has occupied my week, or is currently occupying space in my Brain. This does mean that for the most part no two blog posts from week to week follow the same topic. Which means I am aiming at different groups, different parts of the internet. I have found this hard. I have found that my ability to share the message is not good enough. However, I am also unsure of how to fix it.

Blog

Blog

I will continue to write about my life. I will continue in the only style that feel natural to me. I will continue to share the message as best I can, and rely on others to fill the gap and share it to theirs. I hope you enjoy reading my posts and I hope you will continue to return, don’t hesitate to bring a friend.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh In Four

For those astute readers out there you will notice that this post seems remarkably similar to my previous Weigh in day Wednesday Weigh Day. In that series I endeavoured to loose weight by reducing my daily intake of Kilojoules to 5000 per day. After 18 weeks of dieting I had lost roughly 16 kilos, but my depression decided to kick me in the guts and I began over eating, indulging in way too many sweets, and comfort eating almost every meal.

This week has seen a stagnation with my weight loss. This is most likely due to taking the weekend off whilst camping, and the continued use of sweets after dinner. It is evident that I will have to be more vigilant with what I shove in my mouth.

Now for the scary part, the numbers and pictures:

Goal = >100kg

Start = 144.5kg

Current = 139.5kg

Loss to Date = 5.0kg

Weight To Go = 39.6kg

Wednesday Weigh In Four Front

Wednesday Weigh In Four Front

Wednesday Weigh In Four Side

Wednesday Weigh In Four Side

Not an overly flattering view, but this image, this ever-growing round mass that is my body, is the reason for the extreme weight loss measures that are in place. It is for my children, my future, my health that I need to lose the weight. And oddly enough, I need to do it for me. To improve my mental state, to improve my confidence, to improve my self worth. No longer do I want to be the fat guy at the table, the waste disposal unit, the guy that no one thinks much of because he obviously doesn’t think much of himself. I WILL lose the weight, I WILL keep it off, and I WILL be a healthier person for it.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Happy Memories

This weekend saw another camp with friends and family at Seeonee Park, a local Scout Campground. We sat around and chewed the fat, we played cards, we burned things, we threw the kids in the back of the ute and drove around the grounds, but best of all we simply existed together. These things all created Happy Memories, but there were also the Happy Memories that were triggered by activities. Memories of driving around Nan and Grandads property running errands, memories of bouncing around in the back of the ute mustering, and enjoying the quiet serenity of rural landscape after a hard day’s work.

The weekend just gone was a camping weekend for my eldest son’s 17th Birthday. He had a couple of his friends come out and camp with us and we wiled away the weekend with activities and food. We sent the teenagers on a scavenger hunt that led them all around the campgrounds and discover the hidden gems that Seeonee had to offer. We also threw everyone in the back of the ute and went for a tour around the grounds. This served as a trip down memory lane for most of us and a shared experience for the younger children who have never had the joy of bouncing around in a ute tray. It was these simple happy memories that were created over the weekend that make it all worth while.

Back of the Ute

Back of the Ute

On Friday we had arranged to meet at Seeonee at 0900 to set up before the day got too hot. As usual, I arrived way to early. So I took the opportunity to drop off camping supplies to the different areas around the site, I set up the kitchen, and ensured the campsite was getting water from the town supply. As I was driving around performing these errands, I was reminded of the errands and chores I used to perform around my Nan and Grandad’s farm. More often then not, when I was visiting I would be responsible for the morning and afternoon feeds and waterings. I would either walk around with the food or drive around to the different areas to feed the cattle, chickens, pigs, horses, and whatever other animals happened to be housed at the time. This solo time around the farm was fantastic. I loved the smells, the sounds, the sights, the rewarding feeling you get after you finish working with your hands. Just all of it. It was nice to be reminded of this.

Droughtmaster Cattle

Every time the family and I visited my Nan and Grandad it was Mustering time. Didn’t matter if it was May, December, or August, it was Mustering time. During the muster the days were long and hard. They required a lot of concentration, a lot of hard manual labour, and your fair share of risks. I loved it. I loved moving cattle between paddocks, I loved moving them around in the yards, I loved preparing them in the crush, and loved the tasks that were performed there. By the end of the day though, you were physically and mentally exhausted. My grandparents had this wonderful patio area off their house that overlook the bull’s paddock and the yards. As we finally stopped and the sun was beginning to set the peaceful serenity of farm life became apparent. There would be some distant mooing, the short cluck of the guinea fowl, the whiney of the horses, but mostly the silence; the gentle rustling of trees, the occasional chime of a an outdoor ornament. That memory of the calm after the storm is one of the best memories I have of farming life.

After a Long Day

These memories, both new and old, highlight the need for experiences over things. Nothing was centred around the latest phone, the hippest look, or an expensive restaurant, they are all simple memories of activities or events shared with others. I love the idea of owning land and having a small collection of animals for private consumption. I love the idea of looking across the vast horizon and seeing nothing but nature. I love the silence. I love the peace. I love this barren outback we call home.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh In Three

For those astute readers out there you will notice that this post seems remarkably similar to my previous Weigh in day Wednesday Weigh Day. In that series I endeavoured to loose weight by reducing my daily intake of Kilojoules to 5000 per day. After 18 weeks of dieting I had lost roughly 16 kilos, but my depression decided to kick me in the guts and I began over eating, indulging in way too many sweets, and comfort eating almost every meal.

The lowest I managed to reach on my diet during my last attempt was 116kg, I am aiming for less than 100kg. When I started this venture I was 144.5kg. I was a mere 5kg away from my heaviest weight back in 2008. In 2008 I managed to loose the 50kg to get below 100kg so that I could join the Navy. To get the ball rolling on this particular weight loss journey my wife and I are using Meal Replacement shakes and bars. Using the shakes and bars, with a yoghurt for Morning tea and fruit or nuts for Afternoon tea our intake up to that point is 2800kj. We then have a healthy dinner, with meals like beef laksa or steak and low carbThe  vegetable for example, and a frozen yogurt for dessert. Total kilojoule intake for the day was less than 5000kj.

I expected to be constantly hungry while using the shakes but so far its been pretty good. I think that because we are eating every couple of hours, and hydrating in between, your body doesn’t get a chance to really get hungry. I know a lot of readers will be thinking that Meal replacements are dangerous, unsustainable, and can cause massive yoyo weight loss and gain, but we need to kick start the dieting again, to help our mental state. As my wife and I approach our desired weight we will begin weaning off the replacements and onto a normal healthy diet, one that is enjoyable, sustainable, and healthy.

Now for the scary part, the numbers and pictures:

Goal = >100kg

Start = 144.5kg

Current = 139.5kg

Loss to Date = 5.0kg

Weight To Go = 39.6kg

Wednesday Weigh In Three Front

Wednesday Weigh In Three Front

Wednesday Weigh In Three Side

Wednesday Weigh In Three Side

Not an overly flattering view, but this image, this ever-growing round mass that is my body, is the reason for the extreme weight loss measures that are in place. It is for my children, my future, my health that I need to lose the weight. And oddly enough, I need to do it for me. To improve my mental state, to improve my confidence, to improve my self worth. No longer do I want to be the fat guy at the table, the waste disposal unit, the guy that no one thinks much of because he obviously doesn’t think much of himself. I WILL lose the weight, I WILL keep it off, and I WILL be a healthier person for it.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Back in the Saddle

This weekend saw the return to something that I love, but needed time away from due to work, study, and mental health, and that thing was Scouts! I was taking part in an International activity referred to as JOTA/JOTI which stands for Jamboree of the Air/Internet. The weekend gives Scouts from around the world to chat to one another and share experiences. It allows the Scout to feel like something bigger than themselves. This weekend was especially special to me as JOTA/JOTI 2016 was my first Scouting event I attended, and JOTA/JOTI 2017 was the first District level event I ran.

The return to Scouts isn’t just about rejoining a great group of individuals or the ability to invest in the youth of the region, for me it marks the end of my study, the stability in my mental health, and the freedom to explore my own leadership and development. Scouts is a global movement that focuses on the growth of the youth through the exploration of outdoor activities. Funnily enough it is also for the growth of their Adults and leaders. I spent 5 years in the Navy practicing and honing leadership, Scouts pushes me to grow even further. Leading children and adults simultaneously poses unique challenges that I hadn’t considered prior to Scouts. Children look for strength, discipline, gentleness, understanding, it can take 5 seconds or 20 minutes to get a direction across. Adults on the other had to look for direction, insight, and evenhandedness. These challenges make every activity worth while.

What makes Scouts, however, is its people. The volunteers that make up the body of Scouting leaders are some of the most selfless, inspiring, and kind hearted individuals I have ever met. They tirelessly plan, organise and run camps, activities, training exercises, and meeting nights. They inspire children to bust out of their bubbles, stretch a little, and try new things. They are also some of the funniest, laid back, and brilliant individuals I have had the pleasure of coming across.

The adventures that are still to be had, will be wide and various, I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead, and the people that I will have those adventures with. Stay tuned to see the journey unfold.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh In Two

For those astute readers out there you will notice that this post seems remarkably similar to my previous Weigh in day Wednesday Weigh Day. In that series I endeavoured to loose weight by reducing my daily intake of Kilojoules to 5000 per day. After 18 weeks of dieting I had lost roughly 16 kilos, but my depression decided to kick me in the guts and I began over eating, indulging in way too many sweets, and comfort eating almost every meal.

The lowest I managed to reach on my diet during my last attempt was 116kg, I am aiming for less than 100kg. When I started this venture I was 144.5kg. I was a mere 5kg away from my heaviest weight back in 2008. In 2008 I managed to loose the 50kg to get below 100kg so that I could join the Navy. To get the ball rolling on this particular weight loss journey my wife and I are using Meal Replacement shakes and bars. Using the shakes and bars, with a yoghurt for Morning tea and fruit or nuts for Afternoon tea our intake up to that point is 2800kj. We then have a healthy dinner, with meals like beef laksa or steak and low carbThe  vegetable for example, and a frozen yogurt for dessert. Total kilojoule intake for the day was less than 5000kj.

I expected to be constantly hungry while using the shakes but so far its been pretty good. I think that because we are eating every couple of hours, and hydrating in between, your body doesn’t get a chance to really get hungry. I know a lot of readers will be thinking that Meal replacements are dangerous, unsustainable, and can cause massive yoyo weight loss and gain, but we need to kick start the dieting again, to help our mental state. As my wife and I approach our desired weight we will begin weaning off the replacements and onto a normal healthy diet, one that is enjoyable, sustainable, and healthy.

Now for the scary part, the numbers and pictures:

Goal = >100kg

Start = 144.5kg

Current = 138.1kg

Loss to Date = 6.4kg

Weight To Go = 38.2kg

Weigh In Two Front

Weigh In Two Front

Weigh In Two Side

Weigh In Two Side

Not an overly flattering view, but this image, this ever-growing round mass that is my body, is the reason for the extreme weight loss measures that are in place. It is for my children, my future, my health that I need to lose the weight. And oddly enough, I need to do it for me. To improve my mental state, to improve my confidence, to improve my self worth. No longer do I want to be the fat guy at the table, the waste disposal unit, the guy that no one thinks much of because he obviously doesn’t think much of himself. I WILL lose the weight, I WILL keep it off, and I WILL be a healthier person for it.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Own Company

I have had the unfortunate issue of being at home away from work. I have an acute case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and can barely butter toast. It was therefore agreed that I stay home until it is remedied. So far we have done the conservative, today I am having a Cortisone injection, and we will see how everything unfolds from there. Anyway, as a result of all of this I am at home. While everyone is at work, school, or daycare. I have been completing small tasks as much as my wrist will allow. Unfortunately, most of the tasks I want to achieve require way more physical capacity than I currently have. This has left me with waaaaay to much time for my brain to go into overdrive, schemes and plans come out of said overactive brain some of which are probably best left as ideas, and too many hours to be wracked up on my favourite game Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Overactive Brain

Overactive Brain

Now as most of you who have been reading for a while now know, my Brain and I have a love/hate relationship. Though my brain is my superpower in many ways, when it is left alone with little stimulus or mental drain it tends to run different ideas, what if’s, and half truths. Most people, and probably a fair portion of the readers, who have depression and anxiety are well aware how crippling racing thoughts, what if’s, and half truths can be. It can take a considerable amount concentration and positive thoughts to bring you back around, if that even works. Normally, like me, you find the easiest way to avoid the negative headspace is to keep the brain active, and sometimes that involves getting off your backside and catching up with people. I know I find it hard most days, and if I don’t have things pre-planned then I will often make stories up that ensure I don’t have to leave the home. I suppose we all need to ensure we take positive steps to ensure the best possible headspace.

Anxious Mess

Anxious Mess

The positive that does come out of having an idle mind and therefore tons of free thought time is some other plans, schemes, and ideas that make their way out. Now, some of them, OK most of them, are pretty terrible ideas like opening my own business, moving interstate, having like 7 more children, and the list goes on. However, every now and again a good idea pops up. Currently the best idea that has graced my cerebral white matter is moving to a parcel of land of 50 acres or more, building the house we want, and selling the one we are in. Now there are a lot of pieces to this puzzle, not the least being finances, timeframes, and livestock. Now this idea is not beyond the realms of possibility, and the more I investigate the idea, the more plausible it becomes. This will still be a long term project; though who knows, everything may fall into place quicker than expected.

Property Search

Property Search

The large amount of time that I do have at home, when I have accomplished all that I can, I find myself spending a majority of it playing Drag Age: Inquisition. I fell in love with this game in 2015 when it was released and I am currently playing through it for the third time. The last time I played it through was during ECT, and subsequently I can’t remember any of it. So far, I am up to nearly 100 hours of game play for this run through, and I am no where near finishing. I enjoy the game, mostly, because of the story line and interactions between characters. I also really enjoy making the decisions that sway the game and actually impact of how the world around you looks or reacts. I am also playing through again in anticipation of the 2020 release of Dragon Age: The Dread Wolf, which follows on from Inquisition. I am no way a hardcore gamer, nor am I an elitist or competitive type, I am just a casual gamer, with way too much time on his hands.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition

And that has been my week. I have an interview for a Graduate Nursing position at the public hospital today, and of course that lovely injection I am sooo looking forward to. But both are for a good reason, and both are for my future. I will see how the next week shapes up, hopefully I will find more to keep me stimulated, or I’ll design my house, pick a block of and, sort out the finances and push the plan forward. Either way.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh In One

For those astute readers out there you will notice that this post seems remarkably similar to my previous Weigh in day Wednesday Weigh Day. In that series I endeavoured to loose weight by reducing my daily intake of Kilojoules to 5000 per day. After 18 weeks of dieting I had lost roughly 16 kilos, but my depression decided to kick me in the guts and I began over eating, indulging in way too many sweets, and comfort eating almost every meal.

The lowest I managed to reach on my diet during my last attempt was 116kg, I am aiming for less than 100kg. Currently I am 144.5kg. I am a mere 5kg away from my heaviest weight back in 2008. In 2008 I managed to loose the 50kg to get below 100kg so that I could join the Navy. To get the ball rolling on this particular weight loss journey my wife and I are using Meal Replacement shakes and bars. Using the shakes and bars, with a yoghurt for Morning tea and fruit or nuts for Afternoon tea our intake up to that point is 2800kj. We then have a healthy dinner, last night was beef laksa for example, and a frozen yogurt for dessert. Total kilojoule intake for the day was less than 5000kj.

I expected to be constantly hungry while using the shakes but so far its been pretty good. I think that because we are eating every couple of hours, and hydrating in between, your body doesn’t get a chance to really get hungry. I know a lot of readers will be thinking that Meal replacements are dangerous, unsustainable, and can cause massive yoyo weight loss and gain, but we need to kick start the dieting again, to help our mental state. As my wife and I approach our desired weight we will begin weaning off the replacements and onto a normal healthy diet, one that is enjoyable, sustainable, and healthy.

Now for the scary part, the numbers and pictures:

Goal = >100kg

Current = 144.5kg

Loss to Date = 0kg

Weight To Go = 44.6kg

Week 1 Front

Week 1 Front

Week 1 Side

Week 1 Side

Not an overly flattering view, but this image, this ever-growing round mass that is my body, is the reason for the extreme weight loss measures that are in place. It is for my children, my future, my health that I need to lose the weight. And oddly enough, I need to do it for me. To improve my mental state, to improve my confidence, to improve my self worth. No longer do I want to be the fat guy at the table, the waste disposal unit, the guy that no one thinks much of because he obviously doesn’t think much of himself. I WILL lose the weight, I WILL keep it off, and I WILL be a healthier person for it.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Berry Good Produce

In my continuing series on My Rockhampton I have decided to share the story of my local Green Grocer, Berry Good Produce. For me, Berry Good Produce epitomises the very essence of a local retailer. Berry Good sells not only his own produce, but sources the best our region has to offer. He gives the smaller producers a chance to have their produce seen and tasted by the people of Rockhamtpon. This Co-Op is what has seen the exceptionally friendly Green Grocer evolve from an overspilled Gazebo in the carpark, to a large store front with an ever expanding range of produce.

Humble Beginnings

Humble Beginnings

Mark and his team are always on hand to ensure you get the right produce for the right job. They may even lead you towards something that you weren’t expecting. On a recent visit to Berry Good I was in the market for mushrooms for breakfast the next morning. As always I had a chat with Mark as I shopped and browsed. When I got to the mushrooms he enquired what I was using them for, I explained my morning treat idea and he suggested the new local Oyster Mushrooms. Having never had them before I took Mark’s advice, as he is normally right, and I was not disappointed. The were amazingly fresh, buttery, and delicious. Mark and his team know what is best from the region and how to use them.

Local Produce

Local Produce

The store has seen an evolution from the aforementioned gazebo and the tray of a ute, to a large storefront with the evolving line of produce. This is an absolute score for the local community as the range of fresh, local produce expands to encompass everything that you could want in a staple Green Grocer, plus the addition of some of the lesser known, or at least lesser seen produce. Purple brussel sprouts, oyster mushrooms, five different types and colours of cauliflower, just to name a few of the lesser seen produce. Mark has even shared photos and videos of his personal Dragon fruit orchard on his property, this wonderful asian fruit has a sweet lovely flesh, that Mark is all too happy to share and show off. Its this kind of business that ensures Berry Good Produce will be here for the long haul.

Berry Good Produce

Berry Good Produce

Berry Good Produce has become the life blood of fresh produce for Parkhurst and its surrounds. With a variety wide enough to ensure that all needs can be met, and produce fresh enough to actually last longer than 3 days, Mark and his team have a good thing going. I would encourage everyone, if you haven’t already, stop in on Mark (he’s the one with his face on the sign) or anyone from his team, have a chat about what local produce is doing well this time of year, and stock your fridges and cupboards with the best, freshest produce available.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Parkhurst Quality Meats

For those who have been reading for a while, you know that I love supporting the local guy where I can. If every dollar I spent could stay in the region I am residing, I would make it so. In that vein of thought my local butcher, Parkhurst Quality Meats, not only provides me with a large variety of butchered goods, but has second to none customer service, and an attitude of constant improvement and development.

Some of the Team

Some of the Team

I love my meat. I love beef, lamb, goat, chicken, duck, crocodile, in fact if it can be butchered, I’m in! Reggie and his team provide a large variety of butchered meats, and meat products. The casing window is chock a block full of different cuts, marinated products, stuffed products, a large selection of flavoured sausages, jerky, cabana, salami, and the list goes on. You can walk past the window every day, and every day there will be something new. And if you don’t see something you want it is nothing to the boys and girls to go and grab it for you. I have been exclusively eating the meat from Parkhurst Quality Meats for nearly two years now, and I have never has a bad or even mediocre product. The team love feedback on what you have tasted, and will endeavour to take any thoughts on board. The team also provide bulk packs in the form of ‘BBQ Packs’ with differing denominational values attached, or going whole hog and ordering a quarter of a Cow. Nothing is too much for the team, and everything is sublime.

Casing Window

Casing Window

The customer service at Parkhurst Quality Meats is second to none. The service you receive at the window is superb, but it even extends beyond that. Myself, and many other customers are welcomed just by walking past the shopfront. The staff always remember your name, and are genuinely interested in how you are doing. They are the epitome of a small community Butcher. It reminds me of the old TV show Cheers where Everybody knows your name. The team remember what you have bought recently, ask how the product was, and make suggestions based on your feedback to ensure that you have the best dining experience with their products. They are always innovating based on customer feedback, which just shows that the team really listen, and genuinely care about your feedback. Nothing is too hard for the team. If something isn’t in the casing window, and they have it out back, it’s yours. If you have a budget and an idea in mind, they can tailor the meat selection accordingly. They even help with portions and required amounts of meat. Nothing is too hard for the team.

Reggie and Mia

Reggie and Mia

I’ve already touched on the constant improvement and development that the team put into their products, and it shows. It almost seems every time you turn around, Reggie and the rest of the team at Parkhurst Quality Meats are winning an award for some creation of theirs. This not only reaffirms their devotion to improvement, but also shows the level of product you are receiving. Even products like the humble sausage has all of the love and attention to detail that can possibly be poured into it, added in. I could not speak more highly of the products that Reggie and the team produce, but instead of being verbose, I will let the pictures of just some of the awards that they have been awarded.

If you live in Rockhampton, or even the surrounding region, and are looking for a great, friendly, local butcher, then look no further than Parkhurst Quality Meats. You will not be disappointed.

Parkhurst Quality Meats

Parkhurst Quality Meats

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

No payment was made to Maintain the Rage or any of its authors for the publishing of this post.

Dear Reader

Dear Reader,

Whether you are a long term subscriber, or happen to chance your way to this post, you will soon realise this is not a blog with a singular goal. It doesn’t inspire people to reach their goals, it doesn’t give hints on how to succeed, it rarely gives people a laugh, and it is not in any way a large scale influencer. What it is however, is very real, very open, and sometimes very raw look into the life of the author of this letter, Luke Sondergeld. You may not agree with everything he says, you may not like everything he says, but if you have found yourself here there is something for you.

images-2

Now you should know that Luke lives for his readers. He is checking in more times a day to see what his readership is doing, engaging with everyone that comments on social media, and on the blog, and loves hearing feedback from readers about what he has written. Does that mean he is fishing for the 1 million subscribers, No. If only one person reads his post for the week, but that one person is really and truly impacted, then he considers it a job done. He values every single person who comes across this blog. He values every comment and every share. He loves to interact with the readers, it is after all what gives him purpose.

images

The topics that are shared are very real at the time of writing. If you are reading a post from May about weight loss, that is because he was trying to loose weight in May, if you read posts from last year surrounding suicide and depression, that was the very real struggle that he was going through. Every week is a snapshot of what is going on in Luke’s head at that very moment. Even this letter. Luke is striving to engage with his audience more and more, so what better way to achieve this then by literally writing a letter to them. Some of the topics and conversations can be very raw, especially the ones surrounding his mental health. Take the time to read these posts, but don’t see them as a pity party, they are there to normalise an otherwise taboo subject.

scripts-handwritten-notes

Now that you are armed with the heart behind the posts it needs to be considered, what now? Well, for the most part, keep reading. Keep reading the posts as they come out. Take the time to go back and read the ones that you missed. Engage with the post, even if it was from two years ago, every comment gets a reply. If you get something from a post, or think of someone who will, don’t hesitate to share it, that share, may reach the one person who needs to read that post, hear that message, see that plight. In short, continue to Maintain your Rage.

Luke Sondergeld

Final Placement

Anyone who has seen my Facebook feed this week would know that I finished my final placement for my Bachelor of Nursing this week. This means that I no longer have to wear the Teal uniform of choice, I no longer have to practice under someone elses registration, and I no longer need to work for free. But despite all of the finality, and the opportunities that lies ahead, the journey to this point has been both enjoyable and enlightening. Every department had its own secrets to share, every shift had a lesson to be learnt, and patient a mystery to resolve.

luke sondergeld - rockhampton9

During my time studying to become a Nurse I have had placements in many different facilities and many different wards. My placements where in Aged Care, Community nursing, Acute nursing in a Surgical and Medical ward, Mental Health nursing in an Inpatient facility, another Surgical Placement, another Acute care Ward placement, Emergency Nursing, and Intensive Care Nursing. Each placement, and subsequently each ward, has had a profound impact on both my learning and clinical practice. The first placement in Aged care taught me compassion above all else; to treat every patient as a person and not a condition, to take solace in the small tasks for each person, and never be in a rush to be done with a patient. Community care showed me how easily a simple condition can become something far more sinister, and how people can be so accepting of the worsening of a condition under the guise of convenience. My first Acute nursing placement showed me the importance of time management and good communication. Mental health nursing firstly showed me that despite common misconceptions, it is not an easy option, and showed me the difficulty we face when our own mind fights against us. The Emergency placement showed me the wonders of critical care, the pace, the broad spectrum of ailments, the need to maintain nursing skills to the highest level. Intensive care taught me the importance of taking my time, the little details matter just as much as the large one, and the need to show compassion and tenderness to those who need it most. Every placement had something unique to share, I am blessed to have had these opportunities and I trust these experiences will serve me and my patients well in the future.

IMG_2140

38 weeks over 3 and half years, 190 shifts, 1520 hours, every single moment a new opportunity to learn, grow, and develop my skills and knowledge base. Looking back over my placements its hard to believe that so much time was spent in different wards, for so many shifts, with so much to come out of them. I have always had the mentality that you should endeavour to learn something new every day. It helps fight stagnation and keeps you growing as a person, a nurse, a father, or otherwise. Every shift may not have taught me about a medication, a disease process, a new technique, a new piece of equipment, or even a new practice, some days it was a different way to show compassion, a new way to engage with my patience, or even a new way to deliver bad news. I feel it is important to keep the practice of learning something new every day, and not just from fellow nurses, out doctors, or the patients, but from family members, the wards man, the kitchen staff, or the stores staff, each have invaluable information that could make your life a whole lot easier.

IMG_8954

Every patient is not just a human being who has befallen an illness or ailment, and they are most certainly more than just these. Each patient is a story, a journey, a life. Every patient deals with their ailments differently, they develop comorbidities and often take them in their stride; to see near life ending events as something trivial as they have survived them and moved on. We as nurses can never assume that two patients who have the same conditions will act the same. And for this I am grateful. Every patient also has a life of stories, stumbles, triumphs, and complications. These life events can not only help build a better picture of the patient you are currently treating but also give you insight into how others may develop their illnesses. We need to take the extra time to spend with our patients to collect these little gems as we go about our day.

All in all, the placement process has been enjoyable. I’m not going to lie, I am glad I will no longer be working for free. I am truly thankful for all the staff, patients, others involved in my placements and the learning they imparted onto me. I will do everything I can to ensure the information is used to the betterment of my patients.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Dear Body

To All Major Organs, Muscle Groups, and Systems,

It’s not all my fault. I am of course referencing the letter in which you wrote to me a little over a fortnight ago. I think it is entirely unfair to lump all of the bad diet choices, demands, and ramifications squarely on my lap. I believe there needs to be some spreading of the blame, namely; the hormone and thought producing Brain, his evil counterpart Eyes, and those perpetually lazy lumps around bones called the Major Muscle Groups.

Firstly, the mastermind behind this whole endeavour, the main cause behind our binges, and most certainly behind the lack of motivation towards exercise. In the letter you wrote to me, I was blamed for the increase in sweet consumption. I am going to start out by saying I am just the end user of a long line actions in the sweet consumption. To start, brain begins with thoughts of either self gratification and the need for a treat, or the need to eat our emotions. Either or, the consumption is triggered by both sides of the same coin, so no matter which side it lands, SWEETS! So as the poor organ that has to digest and make the treasure trove of sweets into some kind of absorbable and useful goop, I simply ask to limit the intake to a more sensible amount.

QQbMu3K

Eyes, you have the wonderful power to trigger saliva, trigger the release of hormones, and even get me excited for the delicious feed in front of us. I do, however, have to ask that you remember my size and portion appropriately. Now I understand when we are all hungry and when it comes time to suss out the fridge it is your job to ascertain what we have and if it is sufficient for us. But in that period of rummaging please remember that I cannot, in fact, eat three wraps, a large serve of pasta, left over taco meat, 750ml of Iced Coffee, and a chocolate, without feeling like an over inflated balloon on the verge of either expelling all of my contents or simply exploding. If isn’t comfortable for me, and could be uncomfortable for many other systems too.

to-have-eyes-bigger-than-your-stomach

Now I am going to pick on the Major Muscle Groups, not because of their role in the overconsumption but because of the role they play in the burning of energy and the constant excuse generating pain you seem dead set on producing. Now, the burning of energy we realise isn’t entirely your prevue, Brain plays a large role in encouraging and spurring you on. However, when it comes to aches, pains, and other inconveniences you are nearly 100% to blame. I cannot sit at a chair without my feet being flat on the floor, otherwise sharp pain running up my shins, standing still for longer then 5 minutes causes back pain, and merely sleeping tends to either cause agony in my shoulder, numbness in my hand, or neck spasms. It would seem that I cannot perform even the simplest of tasks without pain. In order for us to burn energy we need to be able to work harder and get rid of some of these extra layers of fat.

Muscular man picking dumbbell

I propose then that we stop blaming one another and start working together. We need to stop smashing sweets, need to stop filling me up so much, and we need to get off Arse and work out at some point in our lives. I’m not suggesting anything radical, just a couple of changes to extend the life expectancy of us all. Well that’s just my two cents anyway.

Maintain the Rage

The Stomach of Luke Sondergeld

The Barbecue Box

A little over 3 months ago I wrote an article called My Rockhampton in which I shared some of the things that, to me, make Rockhampton the place I love. Well, I have decided to start getting a little more specific in what I think make this city so great. I will share, on no regular interval, the cafe’s, restaurants, retail outlets, butchers and many more places that make Rockhampton the brilliant place it is. Today, I am going to focus on a nearly unheard of restaurant near the CBD called The Barbecue Box.

The Barbecue Box is located on the corner of Bolsover Street and Archer Street, diagonally opposite the “Target Centre”. The place itself is clean and tidy, the tables aren’t too tightly packed together, and the Korean BBQ tables were new and immaculately clean. As soon as we entered the building we were greeted by the waitress, who showed us to our table, gave us our menus and offered us drinks. The menu was quite large, it comprised of Entrees, Rice Dishes, BBQ, Deep Fried, and Sizzling options. There was also a Take Away menu which offered what I presume to be their hot favourites. The prices were reasonable with entrees tallying around the $10 and mains hovering around the $15-$20 per person price point. Drinks weren’t unreasonable, I have certainly paid a lot more for a lot less, and they offered some more traditional drink options, which was nice.

Deep Fried Sushi

Deep Fried Sushi

Now onto the important part, the food. For an entree I picked the Deep Fried Sushi. I couldn’t pass it up for two reasons; I am a sucker for good sushi, and they deep fried it so I was both intrigued and salivating at the same time. It had a reasonable price point of $9.90, and I assumed it would be something attune to 3-4 pieces of sushi in some kind of batter then deep fried. Oh how wrong I was. As you can see from the image above, it was not simply 3 or 4 pieces, it was a whole roll of sushi, over 15 cm long, and covered in a deliciously light crumb/batter. The sushi was amazing. It wasn’t oily or saturated like one might expect. The rice still stood on its own, the Korean beef was to die for, the kimchi scattered throughout added a nice piece of heat and wonderful crunch. The batter/crumb was light enough to not stand out, but had enough body to still offer the resistance and snap one would not expect from Sushi. The bar had been set pretty high with this as an entree.

Bi Bim Bap

Bi Bim Bap

For the main I wanted something a little more traditional, something that the chef should be able to do in their sleep, something that would stand out and say “This is The Barbecue Box, you will be coming back for more”. I decided the $16.95 Bi Bim Bap would be up to the task, and I wasn’t disappointed. When the bowl hit the table, I will admit I was a little disappointed. I am a large guy, and as such tend to eat fairly large serves, even if I shouldn’t. The bowl that laid before me, and the one photographed above, seemed a little small, more of an entree serve than a main. Nevertheless I gave it a go, and gave it a chance. I was not disappointed. The beef was tender and juicy, the kimchi offered a breath of heat and freshness, the rice and sauce that was intertwined was delicious, even the egg on top was a beautiful and perfect sunny side up. I couldn’t stop eating, even after getting three quarters of the way through and realising just how deceptive the bowl was, I wouldn’t put down my spoon. It was amazing.

All in all the experience of The Barbecue Box was amazing, I instantly wrote a review on their Facebook page to share my glee. I came home to my wife and told her about the restaurant and what it had to offer, and we agreed we would have to return for a Date Night in the near future. If you are in Rockhamtpon and looking for somewhere to eat that is delicious and not too expensive, look it up.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/The-barbecue-box-317504395581977/

Website – https://the-barbecue-box.business.site/?m=true

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

No payment was made to Maintain the Rage or any of its authors for the publishing of this post.

Dear Stomach

Dear Stomach,

It has come to our attention that your desires, drive, and consumption are no longer taking into account the best interest of Body, and by virtue Brain. We have therefore decided to write to you today to cover a few concerns we have and how we may rectify these moving forward. We need to talk about your seemingly unending desire to consume everything that has a sugar content about 5%, your complete disregard for portion sizes, and the concerning nature of the food you choose to consume.

Back to the Start

Back to the Start

The unending desire for you to consume, chocolate, lollies, cake, custard, ice cream, and other sweet treats is nothing shy of unnerving. Prior to this year the consumption of sweet things was a rarity. In fact in recent history you even gave up all sweets for a whole year, drinks, food and all. Then, over the past 18 months you have decided that you will try your level best to force Body into a state of either sugar high, or crushing low. Brain feels that you are forcing Body to behave like a 5 year old without parental supervision. He admits it was fun at the beginning, but that was 30kg ago. Pancreas is in a constant state of shock, and I won’t even mention what Intestines said. We feels, as the collective organs, both vital and not, that the consumption of sugary treats should be exactly that, a treat, and not in fact, a daily occurrence.

We also need to talk about portion sizes. We have recently undertaken diets and meal plans that showed what proper portioning is, and how it is sustainable with a little effort. Even with this knowledge on board, you seem interested in only showing the rest of the world that you can consume not just your portion, but that of everyone else at the table. A large serve of root vegetables, a large sourdough roll, and 14 gyoza dumplings IS NOT ONE SERVE, that’s a meal for at least two, maybe even three. Also, half a bag of chocolate bullets, a litre of ice cream, and one and half litres of chocolate milk is also not a single serve dessert. Thats enough for four people. Even you felt sick after that one, and the pain seemed almost unbearable. Changing portion sizes back to one average adult will stop us from being one and half average adults stuck together. We all therefore request that you stop eating with Eyes and consider what we actually need. The other Organs and Muscles will notify you of the caloric requirements.

My View

My View

Let’s talk about food choices. Brain is aware of what good food choices are, and he has shared that information with you in the interest of stimulating you to make good food choices. However, you seemed set on choosing anything that is full of carbohydrates, fat, or sugar, sometimes even all three, see Bush Doughnuts. All things in moderation should be adopted as the governing idea behind your desire for food. For example, sweets are fine, choose a yoghurt, or a Bulla split, or even a piece of fruit (if you can remember what they are). You can have a small serve of carbohydrates, Muscles appreciates the carbs in moderation, the rest Body doesn’t appreciate it when you decide to eat 3 bowls of pasta then go looking for sweets. Leafy vegetables have been a request from Intestines for a while to help with their work, Skin and Brain are after good fats vs the trans fat you keep requesting, and Heart would appreciate the reduction in cholesterol. You can make good choices, you can have treats from time to time. Currently we have been running on treats all the time and behave and eat sensibly once a week, and it needs to stop.

Nourishment

Nourishment

While we have the opportunity we need to talk about the revenge pain you seem set on delivering. As you know you spent the better part of 10 years trying to escape through Diaphragm and occupy the same space as Oesophagus (Google Hiatus Hernia). To rectify this, Brain decided to engage a surgeon. We know that surgeon blocked your escape route, and tied a knot around your neck (Google Hiatus Hernia Repair and Nissen Fundoplication). This, however, does not give you the right to cause an unbelievable amount of pain in the upper chest, merely to remind everyone that you went through something traumatic. You don’t see Intestine causing pain every time he performs his duties in protest of loosing 12 inches of himself (Google Hemicolectomy, Stoma Creation). We understand that consuming any liquid in large enough volumes seems to satiate you, however we would appreciate this act of defiance to cease entirely.

We understand that this is a lot to take in, and we are requesting a lot from you. We also understand that even while writing this you are sending the signal to eat half a tub of ice cream with chocolate topping with a side of Berry Bliss lollies. We thank you in advance for taking action in regard to the aforementioned. If it is any consolation you are not being lumped with the entire blame for weight gain, Motivation and Effort are in the firing line too, and there needs to be a serious talk with Knees and Shoulders. Until then, we would appreciate the head start that only you can provide.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Being Me

I have written a lot about different portions of my journey, whether; weight loss, depression, parenting, nursing, or other facets of my life. In almost all of these posts I am either striving to reach a particular point, or I am trying to stretch myself. The commonality between them, however, is the continued dissatisfaction with who I am, where I am at, or even how I am perceived. Now, I am not saying that we shouldn’t push ourselves to grow, or to improve, stagnation is the enemy. However, I am reaching a point in my life whereby I need to accept me for me, and not always looking at myself in a negative light.

fullsizeoutput_2b08

Every day I endeavour to learn something new, or expand on something I thought I knew enough about. This extend from my family life, to nursing, to my hobbies, and everything in between. I enjoy being a perpetual learner. I enjoy putting into practice new ideas, and new thoughts. The toxic portion of this is the internal voice that says “You are not good enough”. When I apply this to my work, for example, I am constantly displeased with the level of knowledge that I have. I am always angry at myself for not knowing an answer, a treatment, a medication, or a diagnosis. Setting the bar as high as I have has made it unachievable. I will continue to learn over my career, which I hope is long and fruitful, but still have the idea that I am not good enough. I need to step back, acknowledge what I don’t know, and be thankful that I know what I know, be OK with Me being Me.

IMG_5719

In my family life I take every disobedience, back chat, scream, yell, disapproving look, and other child like behaviour as a personal attack on my parenting. I think that I should have guided them better, taught them how to vocalise better, how to express their emotions. I feel that when I snap and loose my cool, or begin the dreaded count, that I have lost, and I am letting down my children. I know I need to not judge the behaviour of my children as a reflection of myself, at least not entirely, and I need to acknowledge that they are spirited free willed individuals who will do as they want, regardless of direction and correction. I need to remember that I am doing pretty well as a Dad, my kids aren’t dead, my eldest isn’t into drugs or drinking, and they all have some leaning towards God, I need to remember that I’m doing OK, and therefore I can just let Me be Me.

IMG_7047

Outside of striving and self correction I still have a particular image I try to portray. This is the image I endeavour to project onto people as I meet them, work with them, chance encounter, or otherwise. This image of myself is confident, capable, knowledgable, funny, interesting, and a slew of other positive traits that I won’t bore you with. This image though is hard to maintain. There are days, and they feel more frequent these days, whereby the only thing I want to project is that I was able to put on pants this morning. Instead I have all of these rules in place to ensure that I continue to portray the aforementioned version of myself, like, no thongs, no stains, belts in belt loops, no tracksuits outside the house, some clothes are designated “home clothes” and therefore are never seen out of the home. These rules are great to ensure that I am presentable and well-groomed, but not necessary all the time. I need to be able to accept that I don’t need to force an image of myself, others need to accept me, just as I need to let Me be Me.

IMG_4966

So whats the end result of this. I am sitting here acknowledging that I need to give myself a break and not have such ridiculous standards for myself, but at the same time I need to maintain these standards as they make me what and who I am. There needs, I feel, to be a measure of both. I need to able to relax and let go once in a while, but still maintain the highest standard in the things that matter the most.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Night Shift

As most readers will know, I am a Nurse. This awesome, wonderful, and rewarding careers comes with it once teeny tiny little drawback, Night Shift. As 1.4 million Australians know, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, that shift work is hard, a rotating roster is had, and Night Shift is just the pits. There are however a few things that you can do to help get through the shift and subsequent days following.

Plan your Sleep

Sleep doesn’t just happen, and if it does I don’t want to hear about it. You need to make sure there is a comfortable 8 hour gap were you are not responsible for the children, the in laws. or any other talks that requires your actual attention and input. Once you have planned your sleep make sure that there is room for the wind down from the previous Night Shift or daily activities. Also, allow for your sleep to go over. I know when I have my two nights the first day I only nap after dinner for 2-3 hours, I come home, sleep for nearly 10 hours, then tackle the last Night Shift, after which I spend a day without sleep until that night, colloquially called my “Zombie Day”.

Plan Your Sleep

Plan Your Sleep

Maintain your Medications

If anyone out there is like me, you have a boat load of medications to take at different parts of the day. They are also set up so that all of the “Sleepy” tablets are taken at night. This makes for an exceptionally awkward when the “Sleepy” tablets are doing their job, and your chugging triple shot expressos like they are lolly water just to stay awake. I have found though that I if I take my “Sleepy” tablets before dinner on a Night Shift night, I can manage well enough. You will need to find what works best for you, and if you are having any dramas please go and see your prescribing doctor.

Maintain your Medications

Maintain your Medications

Nourishment

It is easy on Night Shift to do one of two things, eat nothing at all, or stuff your face with chips, lollies, and other junk foods that seem to make their way into the workplace. Eating the meals you are awake for is key. It is also sometimes necessary to introduce a fourth meal to have around midnight. Otherwise you could end up being awake and active without food for 14 hours. Also, consider snacks that aren’t junk to take with your to work. This can be fruit, yogurt, muesli bars, or other “healthy” choices. I find that the only meal I miss is the Lunch on the day between shifts, I also find that a high protien yoghurt at around Midnight is awesome.

Nourishment

And that’s it. Everyone will have their own coping mechanisms, and we would love to hear from you in the moments below. Well I better use some of my advice and catch some shut eye before shift tonight.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh Day 18

This is the Eighteenth week I have been somewhat aware of, and concerned by my weight. The past two weeks have been hard with my Depression taking a bit of a strong hold. As such, I have been comfort eating, punishment eating, and just general being a fatty eating.

Weight at Start: 131.7kg

Weight Today: 120.0kg

Weight Loss this Week: +1.7kg

Total Weight Loss: 11.7kg

Amount till Goal Weight: 25kg

My View

My View

The above photo is the view I have every single day. This image grates on my soul. This image drives me to negative self talk about being lazy, fat, useless, and other unpleasantries. I have zero motivation to come up with recipes and ideas for food that is low cal, I have no interesting starving myself to loose weight, and I don’t have the inclination to actually exercise outside of what I do at work.

Fat Bastard from the Austin Powers franchise actually said it the best, “I fat because I eat, and I eat because I am fat”. I feel trapped in a constant cycle of chocolate, puddings, ice cream, burgers, chips, and all things nice. I know that if I don’t change my life span is being drastically shortened. I know I need to remain fit so I can run and jump and pay with my children. I know I need to loose weight to take the pressure off my fractured back and worn out knees. I know what I have to do, but have no motivation to do it.

I am stuck in a rut, a fat lazy rut.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Rough Patch

For those who have been following my journey through Depression and Anxiety, you will know that the trip has had many twists and turns, ups and downs. Well unfortunately I appear to be at one of the downs. The past couple of weeks has seen my motivation decline, mood slip, and overall my headspace to take a sharp turn towards the negative. So much so that my Psychologist left our routine session and made a time with my Psychiatrist for the end of our session. Made me feel awesome, huh?

I'm Fine

I’m Fine

I don’t know if it’s the end of University Semester, or the recent placement I had, or my brain just changing things up for a bit of excitement, but I hit a wall. A rather large wall. I had little to no energy to drag myself out of bed, I felt like last year were I was dragging a boat anchor around. I would go to bed early, rise late, and still feel as though I hadn’t slept a wink. I felt drained, I felt demotivated, I felt lousy. Something that was out of character for me, I was actively avoiding social situations. I was avoiding my friends, church, life group, family, everyone or anything that would drag me out of the house, or invade the hovel at home. I knew this wasn’t a good place to be but at the same time I couldn’t seem to shake it, or see the reason to actually do anything about it. I even ran into my Psychiatrist on placement when the decline started, but didn’t want to cause a fuss so just said “I’m Fine”. This was in no way going to help my situation, but it sure as heck made it worse. I slid further and further into the depressive phase, until I had my meeting with my Psychologist…. then things changed.

I'm OK

I’m OK

My headspace was in no way helping the situation. Other then feeling like I was swimming through molasses or dragging an anchor around, I had a little niggling voice at the back of my head. The voice started small and quiet, occasionally making a remark about what I was doing or calling me stupid or fat. This voice steadily got louder. Soon it would be commenting on my driving, what I was eating, things I said to patients, my weight, my clothes, my cooking, what I was watching, when I was doing things…. EVERYTHING! The voice was so loud and so constant it became impossible to ignore. Soon I started to listen. Maybe I am going to be fat forever, maybe I’m not good enough to be a Registered Nurse, maybe I am a lousy Husband, a Terrible Father, a horrible friend, an awful cook, a slovenly mess…… you get the picture. This just fed the aforementioned anchor problem.

Negative Self Talk

Negative Self Talk

Through all of this I am going to say I didn’t have suicide ideation like I had last year, and for that I am eternally grateful. I did however have thoughts of self harm, and toiled with the idea of different ways in which my life could be taken. Like whilst cutting vegetables with my exceptionally sharp knife, acknowledging the fact that the brachial artery was an easy target, or after refilling my script for Seroquel how peaceful it was be to just consume a whole box. I know to most these would seem like the start of a plan, or even intention, and if I hadn’t gone through last year I would have agreed with you. However, the power in which the thoughts carried, the lack of conviction, and the lack of desire to see them undertaken did not lend, to me, the idea that they were “proper” suicidal ideations.

Depression

Depression

However, after my Psychologist appointment, I did go and see my Psychiatrist. He was less than amused by what he heard. He was also less then amused that I didn’t say anything when we ran into each other. He was concerned that we were heading down the very slippery slope to where we were last year. So some changes to my medications where made. My Venlafaxine is now 300mg a day instead of 225mg, and my Quetiapine is now 600mg per day, instead of 450mg. I’m not overly excited about the prospect of the increase, but given the alternative, and where it could lead, I’ll take it.

I am going to call on the Maintain the Rage community, please keep me in your thoughts, prayers, and best wishes. I am doing OK, but not great. Because I am slowed, my wife shoulders the burden, which is not sustainable. Keep being awesome, and normalising the conversation. I’ll keep writing, as long as everyone else keeps reading, sharing, and motivating.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

2nd Year

Well I thought the First Year went by quickly, it seems as if I blinked and the second has disappeared. I thank everyone for coming on this journey through depression, weight loss, nursing, parenting, and life as a whole. It has meant so much to me that you have decided to come along for the ride.

Second Birthday

 

Firstly, the numbers. In the past twelve months I have written 67 posts, starting with Quoth the Raven and ending with this one. I have written about my success, my stumbles along the road, and the treatments I went through to save me from myself.  I began to share about my struggle with weight, and the steps taken to change the image that was in the mirror before me.  I explored more of my own struggle, ideas behind death and the nursing implications, what it is to father someone who is not your biological child, and a pictorial view of the town I love so much. From these posts, and many more, we can sum up the year with some key numbers;

  • 64,659 Words Total
  • 696 Words per Post (average)
  • 139 Comments
  • 348 Likes
  • 6,288 Views, of which the top five countries were
    1. Australia
    2. United States
    3. Canada
    4. United Kingdom
    5. New Zealand / India

These are just the figures from the Maintain The Rage website and do not account for comments, likes and shares from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, or Reddit.

When I started Maintain the Rage I had the intention of sharing what I had learnt, my tips and tricks, and general advice. I quickly realised that I would immediately be thrown into the Do these five things if you want to be rich, successful, and sexy category. I shifted to sharing about my life, not in an attempt to illicit pity or praise, but to show that you can do all the things you want to do, to juggle the different activities, work, school, family, and life, to show that even if your are struggling, thats ok. I hope that this has been a well received shift and that I have made the right choice. But judging by the reads and conversations with people in comments, direct messaging, and face to face contact, I am going to say it was the right move.

For the future of Maintain the Rage I am going to stay the course, I will continue to share my journey as a Parent of both a 1 year old, a 3 year old, and a 16 year old, my life as a Nurse, my journey through life with my Wife, my Scouting life, and my struggles and successes with depression and anxiety, and the victories and struggles through weight loss.

I thank everyone of you who have come on this journey with my and hope you have enjoyed and taken away something from the posts. I encourage all of you to ask me what you want to hear about, and what part of my life you are curious about. I also encourage you to share this blog with family and friends, not for mere likes or views, but so we can expand the community that Maintain the Rage has and continue to share together.

Thank you again,

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh Day 16

Welcome to the Sixteenth post of a continuing series of posts called Wednesday Weigh Day. These posts will be a tracker for my progress through weight loss, hopefully, and a way to share my journey, and some of my recipes.

This week has had many challenges with my depression and workload, my wife has also been extremely busy with work. I spent most of this week either emotionally eating, making poor choices out of exhaustion and lack of care, or indulging myself in an effort to feel better. This has seen the first increase in weight since this journey started.

Weight at Start: 131.7kg

Weight Today: 118.3kg

Weight Loss this Week: +1.3kg

Total Weight Loss: 13.4kg

Amount till Goal Weight: 23.3kg

lose6zeight

Due to this weeks poor choices I haven’t made any new and amazing recipes to share with everyone, I am endeavouring to make better choices this week as I cannot afford to continue to gain weight and wind up where I started from or worse.

My emotional eating has so far cost me 2.3kg. As I continue to gain weight, instead of doing it, my brain now cycles the negative self talk, with name calling, derogatory comments, and generally making me feel worse, which leads to more bigne eating and poor choices.

I thank every one for their support through this journey, it has been a lot harder than I anticipated, with more lows in mood than I expected. If nothing else it goes to show that I am just human and make mistakes along the way.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Duplicity

The word Duplicity conjures up imagery of being deceitful, untrustworthy, or as the literal translation actually goes, two faced. However, there is another meaning to Duplicity which is the state of being whereby you feel two normally conflicting emotions at the same time, both are equally as rational as the other, and both are valid emotions at the time. The later form of Duplicity is where I am at. I feel torn inside myself, like there is two me’s occupying the same space. I cannot help but think of the movies Split and Glass, both of which have a character who suffers from Disassociate Identity Disorder and has 24 known and identifiable identities occupying the same body. I am not saying that I am developing DID, but it helps draw the parallel.

Duplicity

Duplicity

This week has seemed like a struggle. I have been on placement for my Bachelor of Nursing, which was interesting but a difficulty in itself as I felt like I was simply doing my job but for free. I have been endeavouring to finish my last written assignment for the semester, in a subject I find quite interesting, but the final assessment left me feeling drained and beaten. These two things probably dragged me down enough without the continued badgering from within. My internal voice, Little Luke as previously written, has been unrelenting in the negative self talk, between my weight, my memory, my seeming inadequacies, thoughts about my children, my shortfalls as a father, shortcomings as a husband, and my absenteeism as a friend. This thrown in with constant thoughts and feelings of inadequacy and failure when it comes to my study, my work, and well every other facet of my life, has left me feeling a touch defeated.

Defeated

Defeated

This object negativity has been periodically broken by moments of spirited energy, positivity, and sometimes glee. I have been driven to finish my essay; research and plan ideas for a camp kitchen setup, and engage with my children with more frequency. On Sunday, for example, I spent the morning with my wife out at OfficeWorks, Bunnings, BCF, Anaconda, and of course Gus’ Coffee. I was more engaged than I had been in recent days. I enjoyed the time with my wife, and I felt genuinely happy about the prospect of a new project that would benefit the family. However, by the time we returned home the mood shifted from enthusiasm to a near blunted absenteeism. I would performs tasks, complete jobs, and look after the kids but feel disconnected, and had to fight the desire to simply run into my room, shut the door, and sob in the corner.

Depression

Depression

I feel that there may be a link between the Duplicity of the past week or so and the discussion regarding Masks several months ago. Masks are the voluntary changes in our state, whether to serve other better, protect ourselves, or something in between. I don’t feel that it is truly honest of me to be one thing in one moment and something completely different in another. It makes it hard on my wife, my children, and myself. It dosen’t serve any purpose, but to create division and hostility. The bible asks us to ensure that “Our yes’s be yes, and our no’s be no’s” that we are transparent and display who we are, and what we are honestly. I am struggling with what I am feeling, when I am feeling it, and the similarities to the thoughts of 2018. I don’t want to go down that road again. I have come too far in my journey to simply turn around and walk back.

Pre-Walked Path

On the surface I may be accomplishing everything. I may seem to have it all together. But underneath, not even that deep underneath, I am struggling, I am burning out, and I am failing. I need patience, love, prayer, and grace in this particular period. I thank everyone who already provides all of these things and more. I don’t know why I am feeling so Duplicitous in this very moment, I just hope I land on the uphill side of it.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh Day 15

Welcome to the Fifteenth post of a continuing series of posts called Wednesday Weigh Day. These posts will be a tracker for my progress through weight loss, hopefully, and a way to share my journey, and some of my recipes.

This week has had many challenges with my depression and workload, my wife has also been extremely busy with work. I spent most of this week either emotionally eating, making poor choices out of exhaustion and lack of care, or indulging myself in an effort to feel better. This has seen the first increase in weight since this journey started.

Weight at Start: 131.7kg

Weight Today: 117.0kg

Weight Loss this Week: +1.0kg

Total Weight Loss: 14.7kg

Amount till Goal Weight: 22.0kg

Eating Emotions

Eating Emotions

 

Due to this weeks poor choices I haven’t made any new and amazing recipes to share with everyone, instead I will share some of my poor choices from this week and their caloric value;

  • M&M McFlurry – 2678Kj
  • Chocolate Thick shake – 2110Kj
  • Burger and Chips – 4807Kj
  • Donut Pudding – 4087Kj
  • Rum & Raisin Chocolate – 4487Kj
  • Large Cheese Burger Meal – 3727Kj
  • Pizza – 6416Kj
  • Peters Ice cream – 1519Kj

I guess I am lucky that I only gained 1Kg, need to be resilient this week.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Little Luke

Through our day to day lives we reflect, review, argue, weigh up, decide, and posit over a myriad of different things. Sometimes this internalisation can be heard inside your head as an echo of your own voice. Some see this as the classic Devil vs Angel on the shoulder, or others as a respected figure they hold dear. Myself, I hear me echoed around in my head, this is sometimes drowned out by the noise around me, other thoughts, or otherwise. When I am reading it is the voice that reads the word, and even when I am writing, like right now, he is the one dictating what is to be written. This is Little Luke.

Devil and Angel on Shoulder

Devil and Angel on Shoulder

It should be stated that this discussion is not dealing with the psychosis of hearing voices, hearing instructions to do certain things, or the dehumanised detached ego of self. This is more the reflection on the voice that is you on the inside. I enjoy the fact that Little Luke reads my stories, it makes it feel more like I am a kid having a bedtime story read to me, even if it is complications surrounding acute kidney disease, or leadership principles and their applications. I am thankful that I hear the words that are being written onto the page before they are written. It gives you an odd pre-completion sanity check for the sentences, and the knowledge that what you are writing is heading somewhere. Sometimes Little Luke freezes up and forgets a word, mispronounces something and therefore spells it wrong, or get distracted by a thought, an idea, or a problem, and therefore has to be encouraged to come back on topic.

Official Conscience

Official Conscience

For some, the little voice we carry around is like Jiminey Cricket, our Official Conscience. They are our voice of reason, the sound person in your corner, the person who often tells you what would be the best course of action but you summarily ignore. Little Luke plays this role. He plays it as either the sounding board, or simply voicing what would be a sound idea, even if I end up ignoring it. Thankfully, these discussions don’t tend to become heated, Little Luke is not easily offended, and even if I have completely disregarded my Conscience, he will still be there to read me a story.

However, Little Luke is overly hash and judgemental. Small mistakes taken during the day will be dragged up for weeks. The negative self talk that comes from Little Luke does at times, have a huge impact on my mood and mental health for the day. He can berate me for days about my weight, my attitude, my choices at work, my habits, the way I spend my time, and even the fact that I listen to him. These words and the venom that comes with them is hard to escape. No amount of background noise, distractions, or changes in activity can silence Little Luke when he is on a tirade.

Is it worth keeping Little Luke around? Even if I had a way to purge my internal voice would I really want to? Would the benefits of less negativity outweigh the complete and utter silence that would follow? For all his faults, and subsequently mine, Little Luke does provide an invaluable service. I just need to kerb his behaviour a little more.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh Day 14

Welcome to the Fourteenth post of a continuing series of posts called Wednesday Weigh Day. These posts will be a tracker for my progress through weight loss, hopefully, and a way to share my journey, and some of my recipes.

This week has had many challenges with my depression and workload, my wife has also been extremely busy with work. This has led to some less than desirable choices of meals and snacks. I am just thankful that despite all of this, I broke even and did not add more weight.

Weight at Start: 131.7kg

Weight Today: 116.0kg

Weight Loss this Week: 0.0kg

Total Weight Loss: 15.7kg

Amount till Goal Weight: 21.0kg

My front and side will obviously have changed very little in a week. You’ll also notice the dip in the right shoulder. Thats the result of four reconstructive style surgeries to increase mobility and use following a fall during my service. At last check up, I have lost 33% capacity compared to a normal fit person my age.

Wednesday Weigh Day 14 - Front

Wednesday Weigh Day 14 – Front

Wednesday Weigh Day 14 - Side

Wednesday Weigh Day 14 – Side

This week I made a light version of a meal I learnt to make back in the Seventh Grade, 1998, Satay Beef. I have made some lighter choices since then, but the recipe remains much the same as it did back then. This recipe is super easy, a great one to teach the children, this is one of the first recipes I taught my son and he still makes it.

Light Satay Beef

Preparation 10 minutes

Cooking 30 minutes

Serves 4

Kilojoule per serve 1750

Ingredients

500g Diced Beef

2 Medium Onions, Halved and Sliced

2 Tbs Crunchy Peanut Butter

1 Tbs Soy Sauce

1 Tbs Curry Powder, more if you want more kick

1 Can Light Coconut Milk

4 Bags Low Cal Noodles

Method

  1. Sauté the onions until soft
  2. Add Beef and brown
  3. Add all remaining ingredients except Noodles
  4. Simmer till sauce reduced to desired consistency
  5. Prepare Noodles as per packet
  6. Serve

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Dear Mum

Dear Mum,

There are so many things I want to say, and I feel that I lack the vocabulary or the nuance to say them all. Firstly, and more obviously for-mostly, I love you. That isn’t to be taken lightly or seen as a passive line, I mean I love you. You are selfless, generous, loving, kind, and caring. You are the largest influence in my life for those traits in me. Without your influence, I would not be half the man I am today.

Always by my side

Always by my side

You are alway willing to sacrifice your time and your energy to help others. The number of times you have taken the girls for a weekend or longer to simply help Alinta and I out is beyond calculable. You care for the children and are willing to care for them our way, not yours, simply to be kind. You put others before yourself, often to your own detriment, and think nothing else of it. The example you have set for Ashley and I, and our children, lays us in good stead. The example of selflessness you have set has given me one of my most valued traits as an adult. I will never be able to live up to the standard you have set, but I will continue to try.

Mum and Dad

Mum and Dad

Your generosity, to date, knows no bounds. You are more then willing to pick up a tab, pay for the coffee, or pay for a meal, without even giving it a second thought. You have taken to be sneaky just to be generous, which is both frustrating and appreciated. Your generosity is held high amongst my friends circle, and they can even see the same generosity in me. You give more than just financially, you give with your time, your heart, and emotionally. Your level of generosity has impacted almost everyone you have come in contact with. The number of stories I have heard from people you have worked with, or come in contact with that highlighted your generosity is ridiculous. Don’t ever change your giving heart.

Mum & Darby

Mum & Darby

I knew growing up that you loved us. Even when we where in trouble as kids your love could be seen through it all. You invest so much of yourself into others, through your love, that you leave others better then when you found them. I have the inordinate joy of seeing you love on the girls, like you no doubt loved on Ashley and myself. I see you hold them, hug them, kiss them, play with them, and put them first. I see the mother that you were, and the Grandmother that you now are. It warms my heart, just to see you with them.

Answering the "Phone"

Answering the “Phone”

The kind hearted nature that you have it obvious. You do not try and be kind, that would show through, it comes to you as second nature. The above scene is an excellent portrayal of just that. With Darby sitting in your chair at work, you don’t hesitate to answer the mouse as if it were a phone, when it was passed to you by Darby. You entertain Darby by playing along to her game, in her reality, instead of bursting her balloon and dragging her back to reality. Your kindness has always been that way. Simply ask any person you have ever worked with or engaged with, and they will say you are kind, almost to a fault.

Mum on the Boat

Mum on the Boat

You care for us, our wives, our children, your husband, and somewhere in there right at the end, yourself. You always make sure that I am taking enough breaks, relaxing enough, taking time to care for myself, often while you are sacrificing yourself for someone else. You are actually interested and invested in our daily lives. As the great mother you are, you are still making sure I am sleeping enough, eating enough, drinking enough water, exercising enough, and generally existing at an acceptable level. I am eternally grateful for the level of care you continue to provide.

Wind Farms

Wind Farms

Finally, you can have a laugh. Sometimes at a joke that’s funny, sometimes at someone else’s expense, and sometimes at your own. You always have a smile on your dial, you try and lift the mood of the room by saying something timely, or funny. You know when it’s appropriate to pull a prank on someone, like about banking hours, and when its time to leave it alone. I enjoy the moments of stitched up laughter that we have shared, and I look forward to many more like them.

Christmas Mum

Christmas Mum

You have always been my greatest support, even if I didn’t realise it. You have been my rock, my safety net, my sounding board, my confidant, my example to live by, and my loving Mother. As I said at the beginning, there aren’t enough works, or words that are of a high enough calibre to describe what you mean to me, and those around you.

I love you Mum.

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh Day 13

Welcome to the Thirteenth post of a continuing series of posts called Wednesday Weigh Day. These posts will be a tracker for my progress through weight loss, hopefully, and a way to share my journey, and some of my recipes.

Weight at Start: 131.7kg

Weight Today: 116.0kg

Weight Loss this Week: 0.6kg

Total Weight Loss: 15.7kg

Amount till Goal Weight: 21.0kg

My front and side will obviously have changed very little in a week. You’ll also notice the dip in the right shoulder. Thats the result of four reconstructive style surgeries to increase mobility and use following a fall during my service. At last check up, I have lost 33% capacity compared to a normal fit person my age.

Wednesday Weigh Day 13 - Front

Wednesday Weigh Day 13 – Front

Wednesday Weigh Day 13 - Side

Wednesday Weigh Day 13 – Side

This week didn’t see too many new or super amazing Meals that deserve a share, so I thought I would discuss some exceptionally under valued Beef cuts to include in your low Kilojoule meals. Skirt, sometimes referred to as Flank, is a great and inexpensive cut of beef for shredding. Skirt has large stranded muscle fibres that during the life of the beast do little to no work. As such, this cut is great for the slow cooker. Identify which direction the strands are running and cut perpendicular to make the trends the desired length. Then though in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours with your favourite flavours, I often use skirt for my Mexican Shredded Beef. Next is Ox Tail, or Osso Bucco, which comes from the tail of a Cow closest to the join with the body, and sometime the Shank is used as well. Oxtail is great for the recipe Osso Bucco, which is a slow cooked tomato based stew. The final under utilised Beef Cut is Beef Cheeks. The Cheeks are a sizeable round cut of beef about the size of a large fist. The Cheeks have just enough rendable fat to make them juicy and tender, the Cheeks also have similar striated fibres like the Flank, but not as large. Cheeks are easy and tasty, simply marinade overnight in the flavour you desire, and throw into your slow cooker for 8 hours. Your local butcher should be able to provide all of these cuts, even if they aren’t on display, just ask at the counter.

Beef Cuts

Beef Cuts

My Rockhampton

Welcome to Rockhampton

Welcome to Rockhampton

In my life I have lived in a number of cities, across most of the states of Australia. I have seldom called any of them home. I have felt that for the most part I was either a visitor, or an outsider. Even Canberra, where I spent most of my formative years, where I purchased my first house, and where my two best friends reside, I still struggled to feel a sense of community. Rockhampton, however, has surpassed that. I moved to Rockhampton in 2014 with my wife, and son. We bought a home, and started to grow roots.

Rockhampton Home

Rockhampton Home

The beginning of any community is those closest to you. I am exceptionally lucky that I have my parents and brother here, as well as my Grandfather, most of my uncles, and last but not least my Sister-in-Law. We found ourselves in one of the local churches and felt immediately at home within the church family. We quickly began to make friends with some of the congregation, and are still friends with them today. We both got jobs and began to settle in. But Rockhampton is more than family and friends.

Rockhampton Floods

Rockhampton Floods

Rockhampton is more than Beef and Floods, though both of those happen. It is a wonderful city that has all of the benefits of a large city, and none of the draw backs. Traffic in Rockhampton will delay your journey by no more then 5 minutes, and even if you are unlucky enough to be stopped by the train twice, there won’t be a massive addition to the amount of time you will need to travel.

Old Rockhampton Home

Old Rockhampton Home

Central Queensland has seen its times of hardship and struggle, and Rockhampton is no different. Whether is has been Cyclones, Flood, Downturns, or mass laying off of staff the people of Rockhampton have struggled. Images like the home above aren’t as commonplace as they once were. New mining contracts, employment opportunities in the regions, stable weather patterns, and general economical improvement has seen these houses fall in a reduction of numbers, instead of increase.

Rockhampton Architecture

Rockhampton Architecture

Rockhampton is steeped in history and grandeur, the architecture of the CBD is an excellent reflection of this. The large sandstone blocks, the grand balconies and casements, it is like looking directly into the past as you walk down the street with your latte on the way to work.

Rockhampton Cemetery

Rockhampton Cemetery

A quick stroll through the Rockhampton Cemetery will show you that there have been families here in Rockhampton since the town was first planted. You can see the introduction of vaccines and reduction of childhood deaths. You can see the different faiths and belief reflected in burial practices, tombstones, and words on memorial plates. As a snapshot of the lives of people in Rockhampton, the cemetery shows this.

Rockhampton Masonic Temple

Rockhampton Masonic Temple

Every historical building has seen use after use, nothing is left to rot and collapse. The Rockhampton Masonic Temple has seen numerous uses over the years, the obvious original purpose, an office space, and most recently a dance studio. This constant renewal of life ensures these amazing structures are still in place for our children and theirs.

Gospel Hall

Gospel Hall

But, not all things that are old need a new purpose. The old Gospel Hall is still to this day being used for exactly what it was designed for. The well maintained building still strikes imagery of old Churches nestled on hill tops, or centred in an old country town. This one is tucked away, unassumingly on the outer edge of our CBD.

Rockhampton Trains

Rockhampton Trains

When we first moved to Rockhampton my wife couldn’t get over the fact that there were trains rolling down the middle of the road, through the middle of the CBD, in the middle of the day. 5 years on, nothing has changed. The railway which bought much of the life and business to Rockhampton in the early years, still acts as an artery providing much commerce in the way of goods and cattle. I see the train as our own mid street carriage way like Melbourne has her trams.

Rockhampton Graffiti

Rockhampton Graffiti

Similarly the lanes and alley ways are decorated like much of Sydney or Melbourne. They aren’t hate speech, or graven images, just simple artwork from our young and young at heart. The tasteful art is ever changing, walking down this alley in a months time will spring forth new imagery and life, with its time waining just as quickly.

Rockhampton Laneway Life

Rockhampton Laneway Life

The laneways are not simply an avenue for street art, they are the practical driveway of many a home and business. As such, the laneways see springs of life through hedges, flowers, and ferneries. This life brings forth colour and greenery to an otherwise cold and grey landscape. It also serves to show the individuality of the person who lives in the  home, or operates their business from the laneway.

Rockhampton Laneway

Rockhampton Laneway

With almost more laneways than Sydney, seemingly, there is no end to what can be found as soon as you round the corner. It is safe to say though that each laneway is full of  unheard stories, unmet people, and connections that are yet to made. One of the best things about living in Rockhampton is the sense that if you hang around long enough, you may just get the chance to hear all the stories tucked away in these laneways.

Gus' Coffee Rockhampton

Gus’ Coffee Rockhampton

Every city has their special little coffee hole, somewhere where you can unwind, enjoy a lovely cup of coffee, and just recharge. For me and my kin, that place is Gus’. A local chap who started the business with the singleminded goal of making a great coffee, a real “Shot above the rest”. Though everyone around Rockhampton has their own idea of the best coffee; The Two Professors, Stellarosa, Zaraffas, or Coffee Club jut to name a few.

Samo's Fish Bar

Samo’s Fish Bar

One thing that is probably universally agreed upon is the best fish and chips in town goes to Samo’s Fish Bar. A Friday night can see you waiting for up to an hour for your order, Samo’s is that popular. Their chips are always crisp and hot, the fish looks thick and juicy (I’m allergic so I will say Looks), and the prices are hard to beat. Samo’s is known by almost every person who lives in Rockhampton, and if they haven’t eaten there themselves they know someone who has.

IMG_0639

Keppel Island

IMG_3037

Fish

If, however, you would prefer to catch your own fish and prepare them to your personal taste, then Rockhampton is conveniently situated about 30 minutes from Yeppoon and Emu Park, both are great launching platforms for your boating adventure to the Keppels. The diversity of the seafood that is available to the cunning anglers is impressive, an even if you spend the day on the water without so much as a bite, you are surrounded by some of the clearest waters and best views around.

War Memorial

War Memorial

I’ve been around the country a number of times, I have served in the military for five year, and subsequently seen my fair share of War Memorials. Outside of the capital cities I can say, hands down, the memorial at Emu Park is stunning. It captures the moments of the war that some people don’t realise, it honours the memory of those who have gone before us, and has one of the most beautiful memorial pieces I have ever seen. At the right angle, the above photographed sits in just a way that the ships and men appear as though they are storming the beach of Emu Park.

My Backyard

My Backyard

The great things about Rockhampton, Rockhampton being a regional centre, a small town feel with the big town attractions, a town of classical values, a town that believes in bettering itself, a town that hangs onto traditions, its a town everyone can call home. From my back yard to yours, I encourage you to stop in and share a steak, at the Beef Capital of Australia, Rockhampton.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh Day 12

Welcome to the Twelfth post of a continuing series of posts called Wednesday Weigh Day. These posts will be a tracker for my progress through weight loss, hopefully, and a way to share my journey, and some of my recipes.

This week I managed to recover from the Easter Binge, and get closer to my goal.

Weight at Start: 131.7kg

Weight Today: 116.6kg

Weight Loss this Week: 1.2kg

Total Weight Loss: 15.1kg

Amount till Goal Weight: 21.6kg

My front and side will obviously have changed very little in a week. This week, being 12 weeks since I began this journey, I decided to have a look at the side by side to see the transformation so far. You’ll also notice the dip in the right shoulder. Thats the result of four reconstructive style surgeries to increase mobility and use following a fall during my service. At last check up, I have lost 33% capacity compared to a normal fit person my age.

 

 

By Far the best, and easiest, Recipe this week was the Satay Beef. This recipe is one I cam up with in my cooking class back in grade 9 (2001). Its one of the first recipes I taught my son, and it is a great little staple for a quick and easy meal.

IMG_4667

Satay Beef

Serves 5

Kilojoules per Serve 1543

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

750g Diced Beef

3 Brown Onions

750g Frozen Sliced Beans

800g Changs Super Lo Cal Noodles

2 ½ Tbs Peanut Butter

1 ½ Tbs Soy Sauce

2 Tbs Curry Power, adjust for personal taste

1 Cup Water

Method

  1. Prepare the Noodle as per the package.
  2. In a medium high pan sauté the onions till soft.
  3. Add the beef, and cook till browned.
  4. Add remaining ingredients.
  5. Simmer till at desired consistency.
  6. Serve or store for an easy work meal.

 

Dear Wife

Dear Wife,

I know you hate these public displays of emotion, especially affection. They cause you to feel anxious, shy, and force you to become a little more recluse. I know that what we feel is between Us and God. I know that everything I am going to say here is of no surprise. And it shouldn’t be. This should be nothing more than an overly public confirmation of everything you already know. But I am going to share it anyway.

While I am writing this you are baking treats for our children and trying to pry out of me what I am writing. I am doing my level best, and failing, at trying to hide it from you. You tell me that somedays I am a brick wall, and this is true. But even still you manage to leave your mark, and it doesn’t go un-noticed. I know some days it seems like I am not present, I’m sucked into my phone, or zoned out on TV, or even simply staring off into space. You try to engage with me, I give simple one and two word answers and seemingly get annouyed when I have to answer anything more. All in all, a wall. However, every conversation, every comment, every question, is graffiti on that wall. It is something that I will see, and feel, and show forever. Every conversation is cherished. Every moment together is precious.

Graffiti on the Wall

Graffiti on the Wall

You could very well be the most loving, kind, good hearted person I know. You not only see the silver lining in almost every situation, you see the good in every person, and every action. There are days were I feel like I am the worst human being, not worth anything, and generally useless. You always take the time to life me up, encourage me, show me what I am, what I am capable of, and the worth that you and God sees. I love your selflessness, your drive, and your inability to do something half arsed. You kill yourself over a computer, planning, researching, replanning, organising, building, and scripting every class you teach. Every classes script is uniquely written for each student. You endeavour to make sure that every single person in that classroom has the very best shot at learning, and growing. It is that that level of dedication and self sacrifice I strive to even get even half way towards, so that I can be the best nurse, the best father, the best husband that I can be.

Self Sacrifice

Self Sacrifice

My love for you grows every day. Every day I get the opportunity to wake up next to you, fall asleep listening to your faint gremlin like snore, every time I come home to your embrace, even hear your voice on your voicemail. I am so incredibly lucky to have you in my life, let alone have you as my wife, the mother of our 3 beautiful children, my confidant, my sounding board, my common sense, my anchor in the storm, my shield, my shoulder to cry on, and my warm body to curl up with. Every day I think I couldn’t love you more, and every day I am exceedingly delighted to be proven wrong.

If not for you I would not have come to know Christ in the very real and intimate way we should. I would probably have wound up miserable in the middle of the ocean somewhere pining for my next drink in one moment, while struggling with my direction and sense of self in the next. You showed me what was possible, the love that He can provide. You showed me how much closer we could be with Him in our lives. You nurtured me through my stupid questions, and encouraged me to lean in. You are the physical embodiment of what Jesus Christ has asked of us. You are kind, love others, you share the word at every possibility, and you live your life like it is the only bible someone might read. You are amazing.

I Love You - I Know

I Love You – I Know

If by now you can still stomach me being open for just a few word longer I will conclude. Alinta, you are the kindest, sweetest, nicest, most loving person I have ever had the pleasure of crossing paths with. You take me at my faults and use them to help me grow. You soften my often hasty, and rash decisions, but you still allow me to lead or decide as necessary. You are the love of my life, and I just wanted you to know that.

Love you Always

Luke Sondergeld

Point in the Road

We are all so focussed on where we are going; the next goal, the next promotion, the next holiday, even our next home. This forward focus is needed to ensure we don’t stagnate, but, at times, we focus so much on the future we lose sight of where we are, and those who are on the journey with us. As we travel down the road of life, we sometimes need to stop at a point in the road, look at how far we have come already, and refocus with a renewed energy.

Childhood Home

Childhood Home

Above is the picture of one of my childhood homes. I say one of as my father served in the Australian Army for just over 22 years and subsequently moved around a fair bit as a child. At this point in our lives, we were a single income family, being my fathers. Our family consisted of my Mum, Dad, myself and a newly born younger brother. My father was a Corporal but while living in the house we would see his promotion to Sergeant. We didn’t have a lot, as the income of a serving member back in the late 80’s and early 90’s was less than desirable, but that didn’t mean that our childhood was lacking; we spent every day doing some kind of activity to stretch our physical and mental selves. I start at this point in my life, which I reconstruct much from stories and photos, for this reflective journey both because I have some memory of this house and because we have moved back to Rockhampton, the city in which this house is located.

My Service

My Service

Fast forward a number of years and many things have happened. We would move to Sydney and spend nearly 9 years there before moving to Canberra and really planting roots. My parents would finally be in a financial position to buy their first home, at 31 and 34 years of age. This meant that my mother would have to return to full time work and thus my brother and I would need to be far more responsible. With afternoons spent completing addition chores, cooking meals (where I found my love of feeding people), and finishing homework, it would be the foundation of my self reliance.

School would be school, where I graduated from year 12 and immediately began working full time in Fast Food. Jobs would come and go, and eventually I would secure a job with Employment and Workplace relations. This job would then enable me to secure my first Home. The years would go by, and the waist would began to expand. In 2008 I decided to join the Navy, and at that point I weighed 149kg and I had to be under 100kg to enrol in the Navy. I gave myself twelve months to lose 49kg and by January 2009 I would sign the bottom line, literally, and begin my basic training.

Love

Love

During my service I would reconnect with an old friend, Alinta. We would date, engage and marry, inside of 12 months. I was still serving in the Navy, and as most Navy people do I went to sea, two weeks after our Marriage, for 6 months. When I came home, my boss told me to enjoy the 2 weeks off, we will be going away for 11 months in the next year.  Alinta and I both decided that life at sea, and being in the Navy was no longer going to work. In 2014 I discharged from the Navy, and set on new path to Ministry.

Our House

Our House

We would buy our home late 2014, move in and immediately begin making it ours. I would spend my time studying and working in the local Church.  We would be blessed with our first daughter December 2015. Unfortunately, I would be laid up for an extended period when my bowel decided to perforate in early 2016. This period was painful, restrictive, and all round unpleasant. It did however give me plenty of time to think over where I was on the road and what I doing. My time in bed, or on the couch, would reveal that vocational governmental ministry was not currently in my immediate future. What I did need was a skill that was actually useful in the real world, as there isn’t a huge call for people to drive warships outside of the Navy… who knew.

Life Changing Scar

Life Changing Scar

So after much thought I headed down the path to become a Nurse. Firstly completing my Diploma, so that I could work and earn money whilst studying to become an RN. I am now studying my Bachelor to become the Registered Nurse I wanted to be. The skills I learnt in the Diploma set me up, not just to work, but for further study. I have felt, so far, that I have learnt more during the Diploma than I have in the Bachelor. The Bachelor does cover some of the “higher” thinking processes, but nothing a good seasoned EEN wouldn’t know or be able to work out.

New Career

New Career

I can honestly say that I love my Job. I love Nursing. Even at 2 in the morning when a patient has finally opened their bowels after 4 days, I still love my job. I look at the rest of this year and think that I have soo much left to go with my study. I sometimes feel like it is insurmountable. But I stop and look back on the road travelled thus far, I think about all the decisions that have lead to this point, I think about all the people I encountered and how every little word and conversation has shaped who I am. After reflecting on the road that has been, the road ahead doesn’t seem so bad. There are only 18 weeks left in the Academic year. 10 of those weeks I will be on placement. I graduate on the 8th of December, and I WILL graduate.

The past 30 years have culminated to this point, every person and very decision. The past 20 years have shaped how I look at others, situations, and deal with emotions. The past 10 years have been a crucible in which I have developed my attitude, my ethics, my values and my beliefs. The past 10 years has also bought me my family, my wife, my son, and my two beautiful daughters. The road thus far has seen some twists and turns, some speed bumps and seeming road blocks, but the road ahead seems slightly less foggy and confused.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh Day 10

Welcome to the Tenth of a continuing series of posts called Wednesday Weigh Day. These posts will be a tracker for my progress through weight loss, hopefully, and a way to share my journey, and some of my recipes. With a current Daily Kilojoule goal of 5000Kj, to better tie in with my wife who is also on the weight loss journey, and to expedite the weight loss so I can wok out my neutral caloric intake. I have been on the 5000Kj goal for just over of a month now and have settled into the reduced intake reasonably well.

I have found this week that I have been sneaking extra Kilojoules here and there due to boredom, hunger, depression, or simple cravings. This hasn’t hit my weight loss too hard, but I know this isn’t a great habit to continue.

Weight at Start: 131.7kg

Goal Weight: 95kg

Weight Today: 117.0kg

Weight Loss this Week: 0.6kg

Total Weight Loss: 14.7kg

Amount till Goal Weight: 22.0kg

My front and side will obviously have changed very little in a week, though there are changes. If you want to see the biggest change I encourage you to look at Week 1, then look back at these pictures. Having said that, I have noticed that on most pair of pants I have reclaimed yet another belt loop.

Wednesday Weigh Day 10 - Front

Wednesday Weigh Day 10 – Front

Wednesday Weigh Day 10 - Side

Wednesday Weigh Day 10 – Side

This week I thought I would share my Naked Chicken Parmie recipe. I know that many people have a fairly set idea on what a Parmie should contain and how it should be cooked. This recipe serves to simply make a lighter version of the pub classic.

Naked Parmie

Naked Parmie

Naked Chicken Parmie

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 30 mins

Serves 4

Kilojoules per serve 946

Ingredients:

4 Large Chicken Thighs

300g Tinned Diced Tomatoes

40g Mozzarella Cheese

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Trim the Chicken Thighs of all fat, and place on a Baking Tray.
  3. Divide the Tomatoes over the Chicken Thighs, then cover with the Cheese.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the Cheese is golden brown and the chicken cooked though.
  5. Serve.

Optional Extras

2 Slices Ham 222Kj per serve

150g Sweet Potato Chips 450Kj per serve

 

If you see a post on Facebook that involves a meal that hasn’t been covered here at Maintain the Rage, please message me, or comment below and I may be able to write a special post with the recipe.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Staying Afloat

One of my readers asked if I could write about my study disciplines; what I do to stay on top of my assignments and study load. I have written in the past about being a studious student, returning to study, and the sacrifices made along the way. To truly understand how I keep on top of University, or TAFE for that matter, we must look holistically. After all it no good looking at the bridge without understanding how the rudder works.

To make sure that I can minimise wasted time I prep a lot of my meals, iron my uniforms a week in advance and generally try to limit the wasted little moments in the day. As you may of have seen, if you follow my facebook feed, I spend roughly 2 hours in the kitchen prepping on Saturday. These two hours prepare my breakfasts for the week, all my snacks, my lunches, and even two dinners. If I was to spend time every day to make the same or similar, it would consume somewhere closer to six odd hours. That’s four hours saved just in meal prep. Meal prepping also has the advantage of stopping or slowing the temptation to snack on things that aren’t the lowest in calories, or the best of choices.

Meal Prep

Meal Prep

As anybody who has read anything I have written knows, I am a nurse. With that comes the inordinate joy of shift work. This isn’t always the most convenient thing to deal with, but can be turned to an advantage. If I am working a Late shift, which starts at 1500, I can see the wife and children off and spend the morning, unencumbered, to study, write essays, or otherwise get things done. An early shift means I am leaving before the kids, and return home at about 1600. This generally means I am not sitting down to study until the kids are in bed. Night shifts are a thing unto themselves, I can usually sneak a couple of hours here and there, or sacrifice sleep if I am in a pinch.

Stay Focused

Stay Focused

I often get asked how I do it, or what’s you secret, or something similar. As you can see I have set in place some things that save time and help with making time for study. The biggest tip is STOP PROCRASTINATING AND STUDY! I am completely guilty of this as well. I will procrasticlean, procrasticook, and procrastianythingelsethatisntstudy. So it comes from a place of understanding and not hate. The first time I sat down at my desk and thought about study, I had all of my modelling stuff covering my table, which is something I would rather be doing then study, so I had to remove it and stash it away to remove temptation. It now sits in my cupboard, in a box with “Box O Bugs” written up the side, enticing me to finish my assessments so I can pull them out again. Which leads me to reward or incentive. You need to balance work and play. I have set aside my modelling till this semesters work is done. You may play video games, have a book you want to read, or even a weekend camping to celebrate. It also pays to have your eyes on the prize. I know my graduation is December 8th this year. I know that the endless assignments and study comes to an end in a little under seven months.

Study

Study

So there it is, nothing fancy, just planning, prepping, using all time available, stop procrastinating, rewarding, and keeping your eyes on the prize. If you have another method of getting through the study blues or a tip to save time, comment below. If you would like to know more or have any other questions about study or time management please add a comment below.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh Day 9

Welcome to the Ninth of a continuing series of posts called Wednesday Weigh Day. These posts will be a tracker for my progress through weight loss, hopefully, and a way to share my journey, and some of my recipes. With a current Daily Kilojoule goal of 5000Kj, to better tie in with my wife who is also on the weight loss journey, and to expedite the weight loss so I can wok out my neutral caloric intake. I have been on the 5000Kj goal for just shy of a month now and have settled into the reduced intake reasonably well.

Weight at Start: 131.7kg

Goal Weight: 95kg

Weight Today: 117.6kg

Weight Loss this Week: 0.0kg

Total Weight Loss: 14.1kg

Amount till Goal Weight: 22.6kg

My front and side will obviously have changed very little in a week, though there are changes. If you want to see the biggest change I encourage you to look at Week 1, then look back at these pictures. Having said that, I have noticed that on most pair of pants I have reclaimed yet another belt loop.

Wednesday Weigh Day 9 - Front

Wednesday Weigh Day 9 – Front

Wednesday Weigh Day 9 - Side

This week I thought I would share my Corned Beef (Silverside) recipe. I know that many families around Australia have their own secret concoction that makes their Corned Beef there’s, so this one is mine.

Corned Beef

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 4-5 Hours

Ingredients:

1.5 – 2kg Corned Beef

3 Tbs Molasses

2 Tbs Whole Peppercorns

1 Tbs Cloves

1 Cup Malt Vinegar

Boiling Water to Cover

Method

  1. Rinse any excess brining solution off the Corned Beef, and pat dry.
  2. Add Molasses, Peppercorns, Cloves, and Malt Vinegar to the slow cooker
  3. Add Corned Beef.
  4. Add Boiling Water to cover the Corned Beef, or until it starts to float.
  5. Cook on Low for 4-5 hours.
  6. Divide and Serve with roasted vegetables, and a Light White Sauce.

Light White Sauce

Serves 5

Kilojoules per Serve 458

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes

Ingredients:

400ml Light Milk

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

40g Flour

30g Butter

Method

  1. Bring a nonstick pan up to a medium heat.
  2. Add butter and melt.
  3. When small bubbles being to appear add Flour.
  4. Stir constantly a cook off the Flour for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the Milk and Dijon, and continue to stir.
  6. Stir until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  7. Serve.

If you see a post on Facebook that involves a meal that hasn’t been covered here at Maintain the Rage, please message me, or comment below and I may be able to write a special post with the recipe.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Step Dad

As most of my regular readers would be aware I am a father to three beautiful children, two young girls who are One and Three, and a 16 year old boy. For those doing the math in their heads, no I did not have a son at 15, Joseph is my wife’s son to her first husband, and he is my son, period. Having a step-child is no real different to having children, you still need to love on them, guide them through trials and tribulations, and you need to be there when times are tough for them. I wrote a while ago about boundaries, and encouragements for the children, and all of this is extremely relevant, but there are some pitfalls, and they are quite deep.

IMG_4794

When I first came on the scene, dating Alinta, and generally being around Joseph he was Nine years old. I didn’t force any sort of title on him, I told him my name was Luke and he could make his own mind up. Over the proceeding months, I showed him how to properly set a table, showed him chores he could do around the house to be useful, playing imaginary games in the back yard, and generally hung out. One night, at the dinner table, about three months into the relationship, Joseph stops eating at looks at me, and he says I think I am going to call you Dad. My heart melted. The hardest thing with any step relationship with a child is creating a close enough bond with them so they feel as though there is no difference between you and who would be their parent. Our relationship has grown since the early days, he gives as good as he gets now which is refreshing, but he still calls me Dad, no matter how angry or twisted he gets.

IMG_3872

Another complication which needs to be addressed is the Biological parent. In my instance Bio-Dad. Once Joseph had decided to call me Dad he was quickly getting confused between the two of us in conversation, I suggested that while he was with his mother and I he could refer to his Dad as Bio-Dad, keeps it all clean and simple. What I hadn’t  expected was when he visited Bio-Dad and he was talking about me as Dad and was corrected by his Nanna to call me Step-Dad, Joseph got quite fired up and defended me as just Dad. This isn’t the case for every parent, step-parent or otherwise, but it is still a complication.

The other half of this problem is arranging time with the Bio-Parent. I know plenty of people who loathe seeing their child go to the Bio-Parent, get spoiled rotten for two weeks, then come home. Initially, I loathed Joseph going away, as I would have to spend the next 3 months correcting him and directing him to get him back to where he was before he left. Since then I have softened, I do not stop Joseph spending time with his Bio-Dad, we arranged a number of years ago the Easter and Term 3 school holidays are free game for Bio-Dad, instead I encourage Joseph to do all the things his Bio-Dad wants to do, but stress that he doesn’t ask for any expensive gifts. His Bio-Dad is not a wish granting fairy. The short and tall of all of this is you need to be comfortable allowing your Step-Child visitations with the Bio-Parent. It’s going to hurt, it’s going to be rough, but it is in the best interest of the child, and that’s what’s important.

IMG_9329

Parenting a step-child can be difficult. Some children make it exceedingly difficult for you to really fulfil the role of Mum or Dad, others make it all too easy. As a step-parent you are not second rate, or just a fill in, you are their parent, sometimes more so because you chose to be there. You looked at the Child and decided that you can step up and be the parent they need. To all my brothers and sisters out there who are parenting a step-child, stand up, be proud, and know that you are awesome.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh Day 8

Welcome to the Eighth of a continuing series of posts called Wednesday Weigh Day. These posts will be a tracker for my progress through weight loss, hopefully, and a way to share my journey, and some of my recipes. With a current Daily Kilojoule goal of 5000Kj, to better tie in with my wife who is also on the weight loss journey, and to expedite the weight loss so I can wok out my neutral caloric intake. I have been on the 5000Kj goal for just shy of a month now and have settled into the reduced intake reasonably well.

Weight at Start: 131.7kg

Goal Weight: 95kg

Weight Today: 117.6kg

Weight Loss this Week: 1.1kg

Total Weight Loss: 14.1kg

Amount till Goal Weight: 22.6kg

My front and side will obviously have changed very little in a week, though there are changes. If you want to see the biggest change I encourage you to look at Week 1, then look back at these pictures. Having said that, I have noticed that on most pair of pants I have reclaimed yet another belt loop.

Wednesday Weigh Day 8 - Front

Wednesday Weigh Day 8 - Side

Wednesday Weigh Day 8 – Side

This week the standout meal, based on comments on Facebook, and personal feedback, was the Loaded Man Pie. The great thing about this recipe is that you can add or remove things as you desire. The base of the Man Pie itself is just the eggs and ricotta, other than that it’s all flavour and filling. Be Creative!

Loaded Man Pie

Loaded Man Pie

Loaded Man Pie

Serves 10

Kilojoules per Serve 1123

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 45 – 60 Minutes

Ingredients:

20 Eggs

2 Onions finely diced

750g Light Ricotta

800g Diced Pumpkin, Peeled

250g Diced Ham

2 Diced Capsicums

280g Baby Spinach, Wilted and Cooled

350g Diced Mushroom, Cooked and Cooled

10 Cloves Garlic

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Combine the Eggs and Ricotta in a large bowl.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add mixture to a large, greased or lined, baking dish. The baking dish should be ceramic or glass to ensure even cooking.
  5. Place in oven for 45-60 minutes, until golden brown on top, no giggly bits, and a metal skewer can be inserted in the middle with no egg coming back on it.
  6. Divide and Serve.

The recipe above is for a Quiche, though there was a discussion many many moons ago about how Men don’t eat Quiches and Salads, so in our household they became Man Pies. Times have softened the stance on salad, mainly due to ever expanding waistlines, but it is still to this day called Man Pie here at The Hearth.

If you see a post on Facebook that involves a meal that hasn’t been covered here at Maintain the Rage, please message me, or comment below and I may be able to write a special post with the recipe.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Good Death

Over the past couple of weeks I have been reflecting on palliative care and what it is to experience a Good Death. I have had the honour of being a nurse to several patients in their final days and moments, and to my glee they have all experienced what I would call a Good Death. This also triggered thoughts surrounding my family losses in recent years, and the ones that are to come. More broadly this raised the discussion around assisted suicide and the moral, legal, and ethical issues surrounding the idea.

Some people will find it unusual or even confronting to read the fact that I had glee in my heart when dealing with someones death. Please realise that it warms my heart to see friends and family surrounding someone, who is comfortable, in no pain, well presented and cared for, all in their final moments on the planet. For me I define a good death by several factors. Firstly, comfort; the patient should be as comfortable as physically, emotionally, and spiritually possible. If this means Morphine infusions so be it, if it’s aromatherapy so be it, 12 pillows, a heater, their favourite blanket, if it can be arranged and not be a danger to them that’s what I will do. Secondly is pain; unfortunately most of us won’t meet the end of life without pain. My job as a nurse is to liaise with Doctors and ensure that the pain is either eliminated all together, or kept to an absolute minimum. Thirdly, well presented and cared for; the patient should have their hygiene needs met, new clothes as appropriate, hair attended, mouth cares attended, clean pad if appropriate, and generally look like someone has actually cared for them. Finally, family, and this can be a tricky one. Nobody can force family to be in attendance. Nobody can force family to be civil. We can facilitate an environment whereby the family don’t feel the need to clash, bicker, or argue with one another. The family of the patient should be able to say their goodbyes in a fashion that suits both them and the patient. Nothing will fill a person with regret quicker than not seeing a family member in their final moments, and having to apologise at the funeral.

Nan

Nan

A couple of years ago I lost my Nan and my Aunty within the same week. My Grandfather lost a Wife and his Only daughter. It was a rough week, and an emotional roller coaster. My Aunty suffered a massive brain haemorrhage and spent over a week in ICU before being declared brain dead. Within 24 hours of her passing she saved 6 lives as an organ donor. Please register to donate your organs here. My Nan was moved to palliate care after 4 days on a medical ward deteriorating. She spent 3 days on the ward before being called back to God. In those three days she was surrounded by family, memories, stories, and a whole gambit of emotion. She was prayed for, prayed over, and had the last rights read to her by the local chaplain. She was kept comfortable by some of the most attentive nurses I have ever met – one of the driving forces behind my choice to become a nurse. She was part of a going away party the night before she passed whereby her husband, sons and their family at pizza, drank beer, and reminisced over stories old, and not so old. There was laughter, there was tears, there was acceptance. We left Nan that evening and returned in the morning. That morning the Cheyne Stokes pattern kicked into high gear, we all knew it was close. We gathered around, and there was an absolute silence, and she slipped away. I led a prayer for her as she was taken back to be with God, and then the inevitable emotional release hit all of us like a ton of bricks. There was tears, and hugs, and silent nods of acceptance. My Nan passed without pain, well presented and cared for, surrounded by her family. She experienced a Good Death.

20180825_OPP514.jpg

In the effort to ensure that everyone has the opportunity for their Good Death, the conversation around Assisted Suicide or Euthanasia was bound to come to the front. My viewpoint is simple, everyone has the right to choose the way they want to die, how it looks, who is there, and what is involved. I am happy to facilitate all of that, just don’t ask me to push you over the edge. I can appreciate the fact that some people are in immense amounts of pain, and that their final days could be potentially agonising, though I am not convinced that a medical and pharmaceutical care plan could not deal with the pain. I also appreciate that some people won’t have a quality of life that they are accustomed to in their final days. I am not convinced that a well structured and considered Nursing care plan could make their final moments as dignified and for-filling as possible. I know that this subject is both currently controversial and emotionally charged, however it is something that needs to be discussed. It is also something that is unlikely to simply go away.

hand_2073098b.jpg

With all of this said, the best way to ensure that the patient, a family member, or even yourself experiences a Good Death is to talk to your friends and family. If you want to be an organ donor, register and tell people so they know. Have an Advance Health Directive drafted so your wishes, should the terrible befall you, can be executed. Talk with your friends and family about your wishes and how you would like to be treated. Be informed of what is available in your region for palliation. Can you be palliated in your own home? Do you need to go to hospital? Would you need to travel to be palliated? These seemingly macabre things are considered as irrelevant or too distant to warrant discussion, but accidents can happen to anyone, or a sudden and fatal medical episode could befall you. Set yourself up properly for a Good Death.

Maintain The Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh Day 7

Welcome to the Seventh of a continuing series of posts called Wednesday Weigh Day. These posts will be a tracker for my progress through weight loss, hopefully, and a way to share my journey, and some of my recipes. With a current Daily Kilojoule goal of 5000Kj, to better tie in with my wife, who is also on the weight loss journey. I have been on the 5000Kj goal for a little over a fortnight now and have settled into the reduced intake reasonably well.

Weight at Start: 131.7kg

Goal Weight: 95kg

Weight Today: 118.7kg

Weight Loss this Week: 0.4kg

Total Weight Loss: 13.0kg

Amount till Goal Weight: 23.7kg

This week has been a bit of a holding pattern as far as food goes and also inability to take some snap shots. With work being busy, and University assignments and Residential School filling my timetable, and my wife having Parent Teacher interviews till 1900 at night. As such most of our food has been tried and true recipes like Chicken Fried “Rice”, Man Pie, Steak and Veg, or Chicken and Salad.

If you see a post on Facebook that involves a meal that hasn’t been covered here at Maintain the Rage, please message me, or comment below and I may be able to write a special post with the recipe.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Sacrifice

In every day life we all sacrifice one thing for the sake of another. Those of us with children this seems to be the status quo. Our sacrifices could be be studying to better ourselves and move further along in our profession, working long or odd hours to increase our income through shift loadings or facilitate care of our children; and sometimes it is merely sacrificing what we would like to do in order to do what we should do for our family, our loved ones, or even ourselves.

Res School

Res School

For those of you who have been reading my posts for a while know that University has recently started back again. This has meant the onslaught of assignments has begun. I am studying Full Time, and working 8 shifts a fortnight. This has meant that this semester I have eight assignments due by July, a three day mandatory residential school, and four weeks of placements. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but when I need to take leave from work to go and work for free, or use my days off in my roster to attend residential school, it makes a difference. This fortnight for example, I will be working 13 days straight. I will work for five days, have my three days rostered off which will be consumed by residential school, then another five days on at work. I study full time to advance my career, I advance my career to better support my family with improved income, and open up opportunities in the future to guarantee job security. I sacrifice the short term for long term gain.

Assignments

Assignments

I work in an acute care hospital. I work all shifts; Early, Late and Night Duty. I work eight shifts a fortnight. I miss a lot of time with my children and my wife because I am either at work, recovering from work, or getting ready for work.  As a Nurse there are a myriad of different opportunities for us. We can work in a Doctors office, an acute care hospital, aged care facility, community based organisation, some schools, specialised work sites, our military. Some of these jobs have the benefit of only working day time hours, 9-5 or 8-4 for example. The rest rely on nurses being at the facility 24/7 and therefore require a roster system to cover the whole day. To better my skills and earn a little extra money for the family, I opted to work in an acute care facility, which involves working all shifts. This means I am often at work when my family is home, sleeping when my family is awake, or at home while they are at school. It is not unusual to go several days without seeing my children, and if it wasn’t for my wife burning her candle from both ends with work, I wouldn’t see her either. I sacrifice the amount of time I get with my family to ensure a better present and future quality of life.

Study

Study

Outside of work, and study the sacrifices move into two categories; wants and needs. Often I find myself sacrificing, willingly, what I would like to do with what needs to be done. For example, recently I have had some friends who are moving house. I had just finished a Night shift the day before, and I was working a Late shift that evening. My friends requested my help to move some of the bigger furniture as I have a large tray Ute, and they don’t have access to a trailer. I very easily could have blown it off and said that I was busy or otherwise occupied. I even could have said that I was studying. But instead knowing that my friends needed the help, and without it may not be able to move the furniture at all, I willingly put aside what I was doing to help a friend. We all sacrifice the wants for needs.

I am not unique. I am no way attempting to be a bleeding heart to garner sympathy. I do not have it the hardest. I am not saying everyone doesn’t sacrifice. If anything I am opening the dialogue for everyone to share their sacrifice and struggles that come along with it. We as a community can better support each other if we are open and honest. Your own life can be improved by being open and honest. Take care out there everyone. Remember to engage in a little self care.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh Day 6

Welcome to the Sixth of a continuing series of posts called Wednesday Weigh Day. These posts will be a tracker for my progress through weight loss, hopefully, and a way to share my journey, and some of my recipes. With a current Daily Kilojoule goal of 5000Kj, to better tie in with my wife, who is also on the weight loss journey. I have been on the 5000Kj goal for a little over a week now and have settled into the reduced intake reasonably well.

Weight at Start: 131.7kg

Goal Weight: 95kg

Weight Today: 119.1kg

Weight Loss this Week: 1.6kg

Total Weight Loss: 12.6kg

Amount till Goal Weight: 24.1kg

My front and side will obviously have changed very little in a week, though there are changes. If you want to see the biggest change I encourage you to look at Week 1, then look back at these pictures. Having said that, I have noticed that on most pair of pants I have reclaimed yet another belt loop.

Wednesday Weigh Day 6 Front

Wednesday Weigh Day 6 Front

Wednesday Weigh Day 6 Side

Wednesday Weigh Day 6 Side

This week the standout meal, based on comments on Facebook, and personal feedback, was the Mexican Chilli Bowls.

Mexican Chilli Bowl

Mexican Chilli Bowls

Serves 4

Kilojoules per Serve 1264

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

500g Beef Mince

1 Brown Onion

1 Red Onion

100g Corn Kernals

2 Large Tomatos

500g Lettuce or Leafy Greens

2 Tbs Ground Cumin

1 Tbs Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Chilli Powder, or more to taste

2 Tsp Onion Powder

2 Tsp Garlic Powder

1 Bunch Corriander

½ Cup of Water

OPTIONAL/SUBSTITUTES

1 Cup Cannellini Beans for 256Kj per Serve

Dollop of Light Sour Cream for 235Kj per Serve

Method

  1. Warm a large frying pan on a medium high heat.
  2. Add Brown Onion and fry until transparent.
  3. Add Beef and stir until brown.
  4. In the mean time add leafy greens to a bowl and mix together the Corn, Red Onion, Coriander, and Tomato. Place on top of leafy greens.
  5. Once the Beef is browned add the remaining Spices stirring for about a minute, add the Water to dissolve the spices.
  6. Once water has evaporated and you are left with just a small amount surrounding the beef serve on the Leafy Greens.
  7. Enjoy

If you see a post on Facebook that involves a meal that hasn’t been covered here at Maintain the Rage, please message me, or comment below and I may be able to write a special post with the recipe.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Self Care

Self care comes in many forms; for some its a walk or run to clear the mind, others it’s writing or creating something, whatever the self care is it’s important to engage with in it  as often as required. We often don’t take the time for self care, thinking it is a selfish endeavour, or that we are coping fine with our daily struggles. The reality is that more and more people are suffering from depression, anxiety, and are committing suicide because they cannot see the way out of their situation. Last year I was in that very situation. I was not self caring as I should have been, and it nearly cost me my life.

Rosslyn Bay Marina

Rosslyn Bay Marina

Earlier this week I posted about being at Rosslyn Bay Marina and enjoying the sea breeze and quiet crashing of the waves. I have always enjoyed the ocean; the rolling of the swell, the gentle noise of the water against the hull of the boat or rocks of the shore. I find it so calming, it has always been a great way for me to clear my mind. That’s probably a fairly large part of the reason I joined the Navy, truth be told. I don’t however enjoy the beach, the sand gets everywhere and tends to be covered in people, but that’s besides the point. So when I had the opportunity to go, sit, clear the mind, and enjoy the waves on the rocks at the Marina I took it. I was only there for 20-30 minutes in total, but my mind felt refreshed and recharged.

Psalm 94:19

Psalm 94:19

My faith has always been a great comforter no matter what my situation. I have been able to turn to God and at the very least lessen my anxiety. Some people have this luxury, others do not. Some people meditate, use crystals and oils, or in other ways care for their spiritual side. The care of soul, for lack of any other term, is quite often overlooked. In a modern and often skeptical society any real focus on anything that isn’t completely tangible, visible, and “real” is often immediately discarded as useless. I would encourage everyone to find what cares for their “soul” and engage in the activity at least once a day. Its doesn’t have to be for hours, but enough to top up.

Take care of yourself

Take care of yourself

Your physical well being is also massively important when dealing with self care. Some people go for a walk, others a run, some people go to the gym, others get a hair cut, or get a massage. Our lives are getting busier and busier, and as such we often don’t take the time to care for ourselves. I know I for one did not care for myself over the past 12 months or so and as such gained an enormous amount of weight. As such I am now self caring and losing the weight. I am a shaved head, bearded gentlemen, I enjoy nothing more that sitting in a barbers chair having my head shaved with a razor and generally getting pampered for 45 minutes. I find it incredible relaxing, and I feel that I look better afterwards too, which helps with reassuring my self image. Whatever it is, getting your nails done, a deep tissue massage, or acupuncture, try and engage with it as often as time allows.

There are numerous ways to self care, but as long as you take care of your Mind, your Soul, and your Body, you can’t go wrong.

Do you have a favourite self care activity or technique? Feel the there is something that needs to be shared? Add it to the comments below, it could be what someone is after.

Maintain The Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh Day 5

Welcome to the Fifth of a continuing series of posts called Wednesday Weigh Day. These posts will be a tracker for my progress through weight loss, hopefully, and a way to share my journey, and some of my recipes. With a current Daily Kilojoule goal of 5000Kj, to better tie in with my wife, who is also on the weight loss journey. I have been on the 5000Kj goal for 3 days of this week, the first half of the week I was still at 6000Kj per day.

Weight at Start: 131.7kg

Goal Weight: 95kg

Weight Today: 120.7kg

Weight Loss this Week: 1.3kg

Total Weight Loss: 11.0kg

Amount till Goal Weight: 25.7kg

My front and side will obviously have changed very little in a week, though there are changes. If you want to see the biggest change I encourage you to look at Week 1, then look back at these pictures.

Wednesday Weigh Day 5 Front

Wednesday Weigh Day 5 Front

Wednesday Weigh Day 5 Side

Wednesday Weigh Day 5 Side

This week there standout meal, based on comments on Facebook, and personal feedback, was the Chicken Fried “Rice”.

Chicken Fried "Rice" 

Chicken Fried “Rice”

Chicken Fried “Rice”

Serves 4

Kilojoules per Serve 1479

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 Minutes

Ingredients:

500g Chicken Thighs, Dices

1kg Cauliflower Rice, made or store bought

250g Frozen Peas

250g Ham, diced

2 Tbs Soy Sauce

1 Tbs Mirin

1 Tbs Sriracha Hot Sauce

½ Tbs Garlic Powder

½ Tbs Onion Powder

½ Tbs Ginger Powder

1 Tbs Sesame Oil

OPTIONAL/SUBSTITUTES

250g Corn, for 244Kj per serve

250g Prawns, 232Kj per serve

250g Snow Peas, for 99Kj per serve

250g Capsicum, for 75Kj per Serve

10 Spring Onion, for 49Kj per serve

Method

  1. Add oil to pan, turn the pan to the hottest setting your stovetop allows.
  2. Cover the Chicken in the Garlic, Ginger, and Onion powders.
  3. Once Heated, add the covered Chicken to the pan, cook till golden.
  4. Add the Ham and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add all vegetables and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the Cauliflower Rice and Sauces, fry for 5 minutes, until there is moisture in the bottom of the pan.
  7. Serve with Shallots, if using, or Fried Onion.
  8. Enjoy

If you see a post on Facebook that involves a meal that hasn’t been covered here at Maintain the Rage, please message me, or comment below and I may be able to write a special post with the recipe.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Schools Back

By the time you read this, the University semester has begun again. I will no longer have free time to indulge, sleep will cease to exist, and I will be semi-permenantly hunched over my computer. But on the bright side, it’s my final year, I am studying something that I love, and every moment I spend in a book is another skill or piece of information that I can use to Nurse better.

I want sleep

I want sleep

I am profoundly happy about the fact that this is my final year of study before becoming a Registered Nurse. A dream that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to achieve. I am also happy that I could get the elective that I wanted, The Nurse as Educator. I firmly believe that every nurse, regardless of type or seniority, has the potential to learn, and not necessarily from someone higher than them. I also believe in continuing the education of the next generation of Nurses, or whatever you profession happens to be. To this end, I hope one day I can teach portions of the Diploma of Nursing course so that I can give back to a profession that has already given me so much.

The down side to all of this is, as with most things, time. In an average fortnight there are 224 waking hours, which assumes 8 house of sleep. I work eight out of fourteen days, totalling 68 hours, bringing us down to 156 hours. Study is expected to consume on average 80 hours per fortnight, bringing us to 76 hours. Deduct travel, showering, ironing, eating and prepping food, the time wasted lying in bed not sleeping, totalling 35 hours, we are down to 41 hours. Spread that over the course of the fortnight and that leaves you with a little under three hours a day to spend with the children, do chores, run children to extracurricular events, wind down, spend time with family, and other ancillary tasks. And that assumes all goes to plan.

coffee

Coffee

When I first embarked on this journey, at a time when I was bailed up having most of my abdomen sliced open, I knew that my study would put a strain on the family. I knew that I would be sacrificing time with the children, time with my wife, and time to myself, all in the interest of completing the required study to do a job that I am so passionate about. They say Nursing is a sacrifice. And it is, from the moment we begin studying, to working nights, weekends and other public holidays, coming home emotionally drained because of the different masks we wear for our patients, we come home physically exhausted from all of the walking, lifting, carrying, and other manual labour tasks. Nursing is not just a job. It’s a calling, something that gets placed upon your heart whereby you feel the overwhelming desire to serve people at their worst and most vulnerable. A profession I gladly serve.

Study Nursing

Study Nursing

For those who read this an are put off by the notion of study, don’t be. The journey may be rough and arduous, but is infinitely rewarding. If anyone is unsure of whether or not to embark on this journey I strongly encourage you to reach out to me, or someone else who has walked the journey ahead of you. Email, message, comment, Facebook stalk, I don’t mind, just reach out.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Wednesday Weigh Day 4

Welcome to the Fourth of a new continuing series of posts called Wednesday Weigh Day. These posts will be a tracker for my progress through weight loss, hopefully, and a way to share my journey, and some of my recipes. With a current Daily Kilojoule goal of 6000Kj.

Weight at Start: 131.7kg

Weight Today: 122.0kg

Weight Loss this Week: 1.6kg

Total Weight Loss: 9.7kg

Amount till Goal Weight: 27.0kg

My front and side will obviously have changed very little in a week. If you want to see the biggest change I encourage you to look at Week 1, then look back at these pictures.

Wednesday Weigh Day 4 - Front

Wednesday Weigh Day 4 – Front

Wednesday Weigh Day 4 - Side

Wednesday Weigh Day 4 – Side

This week there standout meal, based on comments on Facebook, and personal feedback, was the Lighter Shepherds Pie, I have also included our lunch for this week which was Man Pie and Salad.


Lighter Shepherds Pie

Lighter Shepherds Pie

 

Lighter Shepherds Pie

Serves 4

Kilojoules per Serve 1933

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 60 Minutes

Ingredients:

500g Beef Mince

400g Tin Tomatos

2Tbs Worcestershire Sauce

6 Cloves Garlic diced, can add less or more to taste

2Tsp Olive Oil

2 Cups Beef Stock

1 Medium Brown Onion Diced, about 100g

3 Medium Carrots diced, about 150g

125g Frozen Corn

250g Frozen Peas

375g Light Ricotta

750g Caulirice

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Heat a medium saucepan to medium high with the Olive Oil. Place the Onion, Carrot, and Garlic into the saucepan, and sauté until soft.
  3. Add the beef mince and cook till browned.
  4. Add the tomatoes, stock, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to the simmer.
  5. Add the Peas and Corn, and simmer till sauce reduced to slightly wetter then desired consistency.
  6. Mix the Caulirice and Ricotta together.
  7. Serve out the Mince mixture into individual oven proof bowls.
  8. Layer on the Caulirice mixture to create a ‘crust’.
  9. Place in oven for 30 minutes or until top is golden.
  10. Serve.
Man Pie with Salad

Man Pie with Salad

Man Pie with Salad

Serves 10

Kilojoules per Serve 1089

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 45 Minutes

Ingredients:

2 Medium Zucchini grated

12 Eggs

2 Cups Self Raising Flour

2 Onions finely diced

150g Bacon or Ham

280g Baby Spinach, wilted and cooled

375g Light Ricotta

WHATEVER SIDE SALAD YOU WANT – Not included in Kilojoule amount

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Combine the Eggs and Ricotta in a large bowl.
  3. Add the Zucchini, Onion, Ham or Bacon, and Cooled Baby Spinach, and stir to combine.
  4. Add the Flour and mix until well combined.
  5. Add mixture to a large, greased or lined, baking dish. The baking dish should be ceramic or glass to ensure even cooking.
  6. Place in oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Divide and Serve.

The recipe above is for a Quiche, though there was a discussion many many moons ago about how Men don’t eat Quiches and Salads, so in our household they became Man Pies. Times have softened the stance on salad, mainly due to ever expanding waistlines, but it is still to this day called Man Pie here at The Hearth.

If you see a post on Facebook that involves a meal that hasn’t been covered here at Maintain the Rage, please message me, or comment below and I may be able to write a special post with the recipe.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Self Worth

There are many different things that people use to gauge their self worth. For some people if followers, for some it money, others it might be accolades. For me, it’s simply acknowledgment, whether it’s being quietly thanked for a job well done, or reads on a blog post, a lot of my self worth is tied up in the opinions and actions of others. This is leaving me downtrodden and despondent as I am not feeling any level of acknowledgment for almost anything I do. There are three main areas in which I base my self work; my work, my family, and my blog.

signs-of-low-self-worth.jpg

This isn’t to say that I am chasing accolades for doing my job, I do not celebrate mediocrity with my children, therefore I do not expect it for my self. What I am talking about it is the above and beyond moments. A recent example is being called into work early so I could work a 10 hour shift. I accepted it, as I need the money and knew for them to call me in early they needed the help. I completed my shift, which was both long and intense, and at the end of the shift the Nurse Unit Manager came up and thanked me for pulling a longer shift. That is all, a simple Thank You. I felt great, like I could do it all again right then and there. It warmed my heart and charged my spirit.

Conversely, in the past I have busted myself to ensure my work is finished, I have assisted the other two nurses on shift, filled in for the Wardsman in some of his duties, and nearly killed myself to be above reproach. Instead of any kind of small token of kindness, I was met with negativity and questioning why I did not complete one ancillary task. I felt down trodden, beaten up, like there was no point to doing all of the extra work. Now, I am not one to slack off, even if I have finished all of my work, I will ensure there is nothing I can do to help the others on my shift, or help to set up the next shift. That is just who I am. However, just because it is my normal status quo, it does not mean I do not appreciate the occasional thank you.

The other area which I am finding it profoundly difficult to increase my self worth is this blog. I write twice a week, share my opinions, my life, my struggles, and my world. I bear all, share all, and endeavour to be interesting. I endeavour to make sure that every post that comes out is the best that it can be. That it portrays the message I am trying to convey and meets the expectations of my readers. I am struggling with motivation when I keep seeing 30-40 readers a week for my posts. I struggle to keep writing when the readership is constantly reducing, not increasing, or even stay the same. It hits hard that people are disinterested in my work. I am always trying to write to stay interesting. My posts surrounding my mental health I had hoped would  touch someone and encourage them to seek treatment, or even encourage them to start a conversation with someone. I don’t know what to do, and I am seeking help.

self-worth.jpg

So now I write this post, thinking about the possibility that it will be read as a whinging post, or looking about people, or even fishing for compliments.  This post is not supposed to be any of those things. It is supposed to bear all to you, the readers, that I base a third of my self worth on the readership and interactions with this blog. I hope that the message has been received appropriately, if not I am sorry.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Creativity

Though I get many chances to reflect and ponder my life and the direction it takes as we hurtle through this crazy thing we call life, I don’t get too many opportunities to be creative with my words. I may be verbose or overly decorative with my choice of words in conversation, after all in language we should not be lazy.

Dead Poets Society

This week, however, I have had the chance to stretch my creative muscles and write a narrative surrounding the occurrences of a game. So the situation is, on Saturday I went to Hammer and Anvil Gaming and played one game of Warhammer 40k. It was great to hang with the guys again, get a game in of my newly painted Tyranids, and generally just relax and unwind. The game I played was part of the year long Narrative game that is being played by members of the club, the idea being that the individual games that are being played actually take place at various points around the same planet. The wins of one game add to the victories of the side, the death of a character means it is unavailable while it is rejuvenated. I think this is a great idea, it forces the gamer to add a little bit of story into a game, instead of merely throwing dice at a table.

So, this week, I wrote the Narrative for the game I played. The game was between Necrons and Tyranids. The story follows the battle and bounces between both sides telling the story. The direction of the story and its eventual outcome are all guided by the actual game played.

The downed Monolith was being guarded by the remaining warriors and their Cryptek. Reinforcements had been called for, though there was no indication of when the Destroyer Lord and his detachment of warrior would arrive. The Cryptek knew that this world was a hive of Tyranid activity, he had been warned about the Tyranids on this planet, but the Cryptek didn’t consider it to be an issue due to his significant lack of biomass to attract the wretched beasts. Faithfully he and his warriors stood guard outside the Monolith.

The Green Ghost had returned with swarm of Hormagaunts from a Biomass collection from one of the last surviving towns in the immediate area. While the Hormagaunts returned the collected biomass back to central well the Green Ghost received instruction from the hive mind. An ancient energy, and potential biomass, had crashed on the planet. He was detailed to take his swarm of Hormagaunts and collect anything and everything from the crash site. With his orders received he let out a might cry, summoning his Hormagaunts and riling them into a frenzy. At break neck speed they were away.

The Cryptek was concerned by the lack of activity. The silence was deafening. No sign of his reinforcements, and also no sign of the Tyranids. Suddenly off in the distance a cloud of dust could be seen. Given the lack of wind the Cryptek decided it wasn’t a dust storm, it had to be the Tyranids. The Kryptek arranged himself and his warriors ready to deal with the onslaught. Gauss Flayers at the ready to lay waste to the scourge that were nearly upon them. The Kryptek had faced Tyranids before, he knew he would be able to lay waste to the smaller biomes before the larger more complex beasts could be upon them.

The Green Ghost was tearing through the desolate wasteland in an area of planet that was once teeming with life. The scene of destruction around him bought a disgusting and saliva rich smile to his face. The Hive Mind has passed onto the Green Ghost what threat was likely to be faced. He knew at he could not afford to simply let the Hormagaunts run towards the enemy. There would be too many casualties and he needed that energy. The Green Ghost decided to employ on of the Hive Fleets Psychic abilities, greatly increasing the Hormagaunts Speed for the cost of a moments concentration. As the began to see the Monolith over the horizon The Green Ghost knew the volley of Fire was soon to follow. He snapped his plan into action. Allowing half of the Hormagaunts to run on top of a small rise, giving themselves up as an easy target, while the other Hormagaunts, fuelled by the Psychic mastery that had been unleashed screamed, cried, and hollered their way towards the enemy. Before the enemy could even bring their weapons to bear, they were upon them.

The Kryptek followed the dust cloud. He saw it getting bigger and bigger. He knew they though soon be set upon. He watched as the cloud split in two, “Clever” he thought. He assumed the cloud on his left would try and come over the rise, briefly using it for cover before running down the hill. There was his first target. By the time the Kryptek had turned to give the order to his warriors they were surrounded by Hormagaunts. “Huh, really clever”. He had underestimated these beasts once, but was not going to again. He and his warriors snapped off as many shots as they could at the mass that was in front of them, but it was too late. The Hormagaunts shredded the warriors to pieces with little effort. He turned, realising that half the horde was still behind him. “I wonder if there will be resurrection for me”. The final thought that went through the Kryptek’s mind before being torn asunder by Hormagaunts.

The Green Ghost was wary that victory had come so easy, especially with a spoil such as this. He rallied the Hormagaunts around him, preparing for a sneak attack, or reinforcement to arrive. The first thing to appear was a Destroyer Lord, perched on a ridge. Casting his keen psychic mind upon the new target, he unleashed all of his fury. The Destroyer Lord dashed down the ridge away from the Green Ghost. But not for long.

Reeling from the Psychic scream that had assaulted his senses Commander Phaeron Thaszar used his rejuvenating circuits to recover from the affront. He took his warriors, split the forces to divide the attention of the Tyranid Hive Tyrant and split the Hormagaunts into manageable numbers. He accompanied half the warriors who were closest to the Tyrant. They moved off, trudging off toward the Monolith, and the writhing horde surrounding it.

As if playing by some set of rules The Green Ghost saw the reinforcements intended for the Cryptek. Split either side of line of sight blocking desert structure. The Green Ghost noticed the Destroyer Lord again, this time flying towards him. He knew the vulnerability of splitting his forces, he also knew the dangers of having the Hormagaunt outside of Synapse contact, but with the protection and range afforded him by the Norn Crown he was not concerned. He divided his forces and sent the Hormagaunts towards the warriors who took a few casualties, and saving the Destroyer Lord for himself. The Hormagaunts surged forward, few falling to snap shots before engaging them in close quarters. The Green Ghost sprung forward, engaging the Destroyer Lord with his Massive Scything Talons.

The plan went off without a hitch, the Warriors caused the Hormagaunts to split. What didn’t go according to plan was the abysmal shooting from his Warrior brethren “This wouldn’t have happened if I was issued with Destroyers” Phaeron Thaszar thought to himself. But he had little time to dwell on such matters, the Hive Tyrant had singled him out and was closing fast. Another piercing scream was felt to Phaeron Thaszar’s very core, as another Psychic scream was  unleashed. The two of us engaged in hand to hand, several blows were struck to my exoskeleton, but my regeneration circuits handled to beating. Phaeron Thaszar managed to land several blows, wounding the beast enough so he could drive his staffed blade into the skull of the infernal beast. Clearing his head, Phaeron Thaszar swung around and noticed the grim details of his condition. With what almost seemed to be an endless swarm of Hormagaunts, his warriors could be seen strewn across the battlefield, far beyond any ability for resurrection. Phaeron Thaszar soon realised the folly of his situation. Ever determined to be the last standing, or at least take as many of the screeching monsters with him. Phaeron Thaszar managed to take down over a dozen before succumbing to his wounds. Beyond the ability to resurrect Phaeron Thaszar was left torn apart, surrounding by an endless number of indistinguishable creatures, “After all this time, it comes to this…” and he faded away to seeming insignificance.

Tyranid Swarm

So there you have it. It isn’t exactly Shakespeare or Tolkien, but I think I served both the game and the Narrative well. What are your thoughts? Share them below, I would love to hear your feedback.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Enjoying a Salad

I am most certainly not a salad loving gentleman. I am most definitely a self confessed carnivore. The dieting that my wife and I have embarked on has seen a rapid increase in the consumption of lettuce, baby spinach, and other leafy healthy things. I have been consuming these things begrudgingly, knowing that I can eat 3 cups of lettuce for 75Kj. I am endeavouring to come up with ways to enjoy a salad, or least make it more palatable.

My Beef and Wombok Salad

My Beef and Wombok Salad

Dressings

This can be a little tricky on a low calorie diet as most dressings either have a large amount of added sugar like the dessing in the above image, or are fat based in the case of aioli or ranch dressing. I have needed to be a little cunning and utilise some strong or pleasant flavours to use as a dressing. On a leafy salad that has little flavour of its own I have been using Balsamic Vinegar; it offers a great taste, you don’t require a large amount of it, and it is really low in Kilojoules, only 30Kj for a tablespoon. Other alternatives include, lime and lemon juice, which I utilised on my salad with the pulled beef, pictured below.

If you want the creamy texture of a ranch or similar but don’t want the large amount of Kilojoules to go with it the light sour cream where one tablespoon is 242Kj, is better than the 626Kj for a Ranch.

Don’t be afraid to experiment, it can make eating a salad an almost enjoyable experience.

Mexican Pulled Beef with Crisp Salad

Mexican Pulled Beef with Crisp Salad

Composition

Not all salads need to be three cups of Lettuce with some crunchy bits added to it. A salad can be, as pictured above, a collection of salad vegetables tossed together. 150g of the above pictured salad was a grand total of 190Kj, throw some leafy stuff in there because you should as you would be hard pressed to break 200Kj, plenty of space for that sirloin steak you’ve been eyeing off.

Your salad may include avocado, celery, roasted vegetables, or whatever else may tickle your fancy. The idea of a salad, or at least from what I can tell, is to fill you up so you don’t notice that you are consuming ⅓ of the steak you used to, or to fill the empty void left on your place that until very recently was filled with chips or something else with a reasonable amount of flavour.

Be Creative with the Salad

Be Creative with the Salad

Be Creative

As I have been hinting towards this whole post, don’t let the normal constraints or ideas of a salad stop you from creating a salad. You want some added crunch or body, throw some cashews in there. You want some creaminess, add some yoghurt, light sour cream, or ricotta. Acid can be easy added with a vinegar or citrus. Change up the roughage by adding rocket, kale, baby spinach, bok choi, or even watercress. A salad also doesn’t have to be completely cold, add some roasted pumpkin or sweet potato to your leafy greens.

I will continue to share my creations on my Facebook Account, with my Weight Loss Album. There will also be my Wednesday Weigh Day where I will share my favourite  recipe from the week.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Shift Work

In today’s modern day of 24 hours worksites, the likelihood of you or someone you know being a shift worker is higher than ever. About 16% of Australians are shift workers of some varying description. With the advent of Drive-In-Drive-Out (DIDO), Bus-In-Bus-Out (BIBO), and Fly-In-Fly-Out (FIFO) not only are people working different shifts but are doing so away from their families for large chunks of time. You then have our service men and women in the ADF who can be deployed for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months at a time, away from everyone, in harsh and dangerous conditions.

shift-work

There is a lot of debate circling around shift work and the negative impacts it can have on a person both physically and mentally. The basic theory runs around your circadian rhythm, the body’s normal wake-sleep cycle that repairs and refreshes your body. There is research to support both a short cycle of two to three days of nights before reverting to days, and having longer cycles of three to four weeks. There is also conversations around shift length debating the efficacy of both the the eight and twelve hour shift. The summation of most of the above is short swing shifts, from Morning to Afternoon to Night to Days off, not more than three days each was more beneficial to the employee in terms of their health, and the workplace in terms of alertness and efficiency.  There is also a massive personal element that needs to be considered: children, home life, personal habits, and hobbies all impact which schedule works for you.

il_340x270.1331952971_5rp6

Some people only see the benefits of FIFO work, and I mean DIDO and BIBO too, whereby the workers are at home and off for a week at a time. What they don’t see is the day lost after work to travel, the day lost before work to travel, the 12 hours shifts while they are away, all of the missed time with family and friends. My Brother is a DIDO shift worker who is on an even time roster with a 5/7 rotation. He has a three hour drive to get work and to get home, he works a 12 hour shift, and then when he is done he escapes to the “donga” accommodation that is still on site. I know he often feels rushed on his days off to achieve things as he only has three days out of twelve to actually do anything. The long term effects of such absences are similar to that of Military service. This can create separation anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. 7% of FIFO workers seperate from their partners, as opposed to 5% for those who are home every evening. Thats a 40% increase on their “in town” counterparts. This separation can be a result of the worker themselves feeling isolated and removed from their partners, and also the partners not having their working other halves at home for most of the fortnight, then comes home to change routines, make a mess, be absent with friends or their own interests. All of this stress is increased with the inclusion of children, young or older.

88c7cc515cb0e390bce7e0d325f5f40b69d4d011.jpg

As you may or may not be aware I am a shift working Nurse. This means in a 14 day fortnight I can, and will, work a mix of Early (0700 – 1530), Late (1500 – 2330), and Night (2300 – 0730). Generally I will work two nights, and a mix of the others. I will some times be required to work a late shift one day, and then come back for an early shift the following day, giving an 8 hours break between shifts but being a rather quick turn around regardless. Shift working is hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either single with no children, or lying. I often have to make the decision between sleep and spending time with the family, missing social events due to shifts or sleep, and having a broken sleep cycle that often leaves me staring at the roof for hours at a time trying to get some shut eye. It’s difficult at times to manage, even as I write this I am between two night shifts, soon I will make dinner, sleep for a couple of hours, go to work, then stay up all of tomorrow to get back into my sleep routing. I call tomorrow my “Zombie” day as I may not be operating at 100% but need to stay up in order to sleep that evening.

IMG_6307.JPG

Undoubtedly though those who have it the worst are our men and women serving in the ADF. Long term readers know that I served in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and though I didn’t deploy overseas I still had six months separated from my family whilst on submarines, 3 back to back 6 week stints at sea on patrol boats, and an exceptionally demanding job as the Fleet Support Officer (FSO) in Western Australia. These times were tough. On patrol boats I was working two 4 hours watches on the bridge per day, plus the ancillary duties I had onboard. On Submarines the days were broken into four 6 hours watches which everyone take two off, as the FSO 12-17 hour days were not unheard of, working 6-7 days a week, and being constantly on call. Even though all of these different circumstances are considered difficult, it is nothing compared to the conditions of those who are deployed overseas to areas of conflict. These members are separated from their families by locality, have long hours to contend with, and are under constant threat from outside antagonists.

img_9317

Fatigue is one obvious detrimental effect cause by shift work, but there are a several others that may not be as obvious;

  • Increased likelihood of obesity
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Higher risk of mood changes
  • Increased risk of gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation and stomach discomfort
  • Higher risk of motor vehicle accidents and work-related accidents
  • Increased likelihood of family problems, including divorce
  • Probable increased risk of cancer, especially breast cancer.
  • Increased risk of injuries and accidents
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased quality of life
  • General feeling of being unwell

In addition:

  • Sleep deprivation caused by shiftwork may increase the risk of epilepsy in pre-disposed people.
  • Shiftworkers with diabetes can experience difficulties in controlling their blood sugar levels.

The most obvious solution to the above issues it to ensure you get adequate sleep, maintain a healthy and balanced diet, and get plenty of exercise. However, if you have any above the symptoms or feel uncertain about anything go and see your GP and get checked out.

Wall-clock

I will be a shift worker for the remainder of my career, because patients still need care over night, and that’s ok. I have an exceptionally understanding wife who appreciates my need for sleep, I try to maximise the time spent with family, I am trying to get in the habit of requesting weekends off every now and again so I can spend time with the entire family, I try and eat right, and stay hydrated. My only piece of advice I have for you ragers is stay safe, be sensible, and seek help if something is awry.

Maintain The Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Medical Nursing

I have been Nursing for about a year now, which isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things but never the less, and I have had the pleasure of experiencing Mental Health Nursing in two different facilities, Medical Nursing in two seperate facilities, Aged Care Nursing, Community Nursing, and Surgical Nursing. Though this only scratches the surface of what nursing is available with; Oncology, Cardiac, Emergency, Intensive Care, Renal, Respiratory, Rural and Remote, and Midwifery just to name a few. I have recently been reviewing my career and what each section has taught me, showed me, and revealed to me about my nursing.

When I first started my career I was almost exclusively employed in the surgical ward of my Hospital. I thoroughly enjoyed the work. It was fast paced, I had a tonne to learn, the staff were great, and I was able to meet new patients almost every shift. This was amazing, for the most part, but I felt that something was missing. Occasionally I would float to Medical and Mental Health, and though this was great exposure I didn’t really get a chance to experience the whole ward and what it meant to Nurse in these sections. My time in surgical felt very much like a revolving door, every day saw the discharge of one patient just to be replaced by another, that patient would stay overnight then would be gone again. It was something that I never got used to, it was something that I never felt comfortable with, it wasn’t the way I liked to Nurse.

medic treating patient

My exposure to Mental Health Nursing is varied. On one hand I was floated to Mental Health at random times which was great for a small taste of Mental Health but I never really had the opportunity to perform all of the duties a permanent Mental Health Nurse would, and for very good reason. My placement for Mental Health showed me a whole new side of Mental Health Nursing involved with involuntary mental health orders, and forensic mental health orders. This changed the behaviour of the client drastically compared to that of a voluntary client. Following everything that happened mid last year I no longer float to the mental health ward, to which I am thankful.

pexels-photo-921778.jpeg

When I returned from leave I found myself permanently assigned to the medical ward, at first I was a little miffed, I had always considered myself a surgical nurse, but never the less I gave the new role my all. What I did not expect was the learning, the experience, the joy, and the mental exercise that I would get on a day to day basis. I began to see what one of my nurse-mates said which is surgical is like the sports jocks, and medical is more like science geeks. Surgical pushes you as a nurse to be constantly one step ahead, be organised, and know what the next step is. But when it comes to medical its noticing the little things, the comments made by the patients, the changes in behaviour, the myriad of medications, and the effect of medications, bowel status, and fluid intake has on the human body and behaviour.

person using black blood pressure monitor

This last week I found myself back in surgical again, and I began to realise something…. I am not a surgical nurse. I am a medical nurse. I love taking care of people, I love watching as someone improves, I love encouraging patients to do their best and stretch themselves. I never thought that I would find myself saying those words, I thought I would be the speed freak chasing the quickest nursing with the quickest turn around and the least amount of physical time with individual patients. I was so sorely wrong. So what does this mean for me in the future? Currently I will continue to enjoy my time on the Medical ward of my workplace. In the future, I still don’t know. It could be a full career on Medical Wards, Intensive care, maybe even palliative. Only time will tell.

Maintain The Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Dragging the Chain

Despite being as supported as I am, you know who all you are, being well medicated, having professional help, and generally doing infinitely better than 6 – 12 months ago, I still find that I am dragging the chain a little. Now, most people would say the I am just being too harsh on myself and I need to cut myself some slack, but I still feel that I am sometimes actively avoiding chores, activities, social events, and family moments. This cannot continue.

Let’s start with around the house.  I am constantly reminded of my inaction with the forrest that has befallen my herb garden, and the terrible state of my vegetable gardens. I have had none of the motivation required to actually just sit in them and pull everything that isn’t edible out. I managed to gather the necessary energy to poison the Nutgrass that has conquered much of the garden, but even this has required follow up action that just hasn’t happened. I continue to come up with excuses as to why I can’t do it; it’s too hot, I just finished work, I’m busy doing something else, I’ll just wait till it’s cooler, I’ll do it later this afternoon, and the list continues. I would love to see my gardens be back to where they were. Unfortunately, this doesn’t just stop at gardening, I find it almost completely draining to look after the girls. Like all 1 & 3 year olds, they are exceptionally demanding, they are contradictory, they yell and scream and cry and then as if by the triggering of some self defence mechanism are completely adorable. I find myself just letting everyone else take care of the girls, even our eldest son sometimes, this isn’t the best but until I can stop dragging my chain on this one, it will have to do.

IMG_4860.jpg

The garden at it’s completion

I want to prefix this paragraph by saying I love my job, I would never do anything, or fail to do anything, that would be a detriment to my or anyone else patients. However, my motivation to actually go to work is, at times, a little low. I find it difficult to get out of bed, I drag the chain the entire time I am getting ready, and even on the car trip to work my mind continues to come up with ways that I could not work that day. I do find though that once I am at work I am almost, energised. The lack of motivation could have been spurred by a run in with a couple of staff, it could be because the workplace is a little slow at present, whatever the reason I need to stop dragging my chain on this one.

luke sondergeld - rockhampton9

Must stay motivated for Work

Finally, I have been dragging my chain when it comes to Maintain The Rage. I have skipped weeks, struggled to write anything meaningful, constantly put off writing, and otherwise simply want to put this by the back burner. I know that’s no fair to the readers, it not what I want for this blog, it’s not what I want out of myself. There are many reasons behind this chain being dragged; it takes a large amount of energy and thought power to write a post and most days I just don’t want to put that kind of energy into anything, and from an ego stand point the readership has fallen from over 1500 a month to less than 500. Now I know a lot of you will say that 500 a month is still great, and others will say it’s not about the numbers, and to an extent they are right, but like the thank you after a job well done, a good reader count following a post is a nicety. I really do appreciate every single reader, and I love the interaction we can get with comments, personal messages, or emails and I don’t ever want that to stop.

Study

I started Maintain the Rage to share, help, and encourage. I don’t want that to change

So as you can see between my depression and decreased motivation I am dragging the chain in almost every facet of my life. I want to improve it, I want to take charge of every facet of my life and do all of the things that I want to do in it, I want the motivation I had when I started this blog over 18 months ago. I don’t know if I need more sleep, more prayer, more coffee, or some sort of combination of these and more, but whatever it is I hope I can stop dragging my chain before it becomes habit.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Memories up on the Wall

We all carry memories of a life gone by, some of these are happy memories, some of them not so happy. Regardless of their positive sway, memories are the foundation of who we are; they dictate how we behave in given situations, and when presented, show the outside world a little piece of yourself. Memories these days are displayed in a number of ways, the spoken word through tall tales and exciting reenactments, physical objects such as printed photos or trophies or even items of clothing, and the digital which in todays 21st century world is rapidly becoming our memory storage of choice.

img_2408

Anyone who has known me for longer than 10 minutes knows that I am not afraid of a good story, and sometimes I won’t let the truth get in the way of a good one either. The spoken word has been the mainstay of sharing memories for millennia. The Jews still have the spoken word as part of their law and religion, we share experiences with our children by story, we learn from the mistakes of others by hearing their tales of woe. Sometimes while we discuss and share these stories, unexpected emotions may rise to the surface. Sharing a recipe may trigger a memory of a time it was cooked in the kitchen with someone who is no longer with us, or sharing an event may lead to the thought of missed opportunities. However these memories flow out of us it is important to not loose ability to share a spoken memory. We are too quick to instagram a meal or tweet a thought, but never really engage with those around us.

img_6802

For those who have been to my house you can not miss the photos on the wall, the memories we have decided to share, and the memories we have decided to remind ourselves of. Like most married people, there is a number of photos from the wedding. Not just because it was our special day, but because there is most of our close family all together, and for some of them they won’t be in any more family photos. Memories up on the wall, as the name of this blog has been leading towards, are curious memories. They aren’t just a display of a particular event, achievement, or person, but they are also a reminder of that time. For Christmas my wife made me a memory box with some small things from my Navy days. I served for 5 years in the Navy, and I have been out for nearly as long. In all that time I don’t have a single photo or piece of memorabilia on display. This memory box reminded me of the pride I had while I was serving, the joy I had in my role, and the people I met along the way. It now sits very proudly above my desk, with my certificates from University and Awards I have won since discharging from the Navy. My wife also encourage me to hang my ships’ hats in our cupboard, since they have been shoved in a bag for nearly 5 years, as a way of reminding myself of the fond memories I have of the Navy.

img_9317

Lastly the most common way of sharing and logging memories, no matter how trivial or how much of an over share, the Digital. Now the digital does cover all of the biggies, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and so on, but also includes platforms such as these Personal Blogs. The digital age has opened up a whole new avenue of storing and sharing memories with people. You can share almost anything with almost anyone and do it all from the comfort of your own home. For example this post is being written in the comfort of my study desk and chair, while in my Darth Vader pyjamas, while eating homemade Tiramisu. Got to love the digital age. It does also have its drawbacks, while all of your memories, actions, and daily routine are being posted online we seem to trivialise events. We have a first birthday of a child, take some Instagrammable pictures and dumb down the event to 120 characters with a couple of hashtags. We seem to forget when events actually happen and rely on Facebook or Twitter to show us, “OH, I posted the picture of you stuffing your face with cake on 12th of January, that must have been it”. The bright side is we are able to share memories with people in the far flung reaches of our planet. For example My wife and I have a Facebook Messenger Group with all of our friends and family who wish to see photos and videos of our two girls, who we seldom allow images of online. This allows us to share with my Mother in Law in Perth, my Uncle in Sydney, Friends in Canberra, and even Friends overseas. Sharing memories has become easier, let’s just not water it down too much.

screen shot 2019-01-13 at 19.42.59

Memories are important to all of us. We rely on them guide us, teach us, make us feel all warm and fuzzy, and to keep those who mean the most to us close. I am glad my wife has encouraged me to display my memories instead of keeping them locked away, or buried in the back of cupboard. What memories do you display proudly? Is there a story that you like to share with people when you meet? Comment below and share you memory today.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Simplification

Three months ago I wrote about goals that I wished to achieve in the near future in a post called Fixing a Headmark. As I go into 2019 I am compelled to not have so many goals as to have a way forward, two weeks ago I wrote about my desire to lose weight in the post Setting Goals. Both of these posts are still 100% relevant and correct, and this post is not designed to overwrite them or contradict them. Instead it should be seen as complimentary.

Life can become complicated at the best of times. Most Husbands and Wives are juggling work, children, each other, the household, bills, social interactions and expectations, health and fitness, and any other pressures they decide to add on top. I know in the past I have added way more stressors then I probably should have done. I was working, being a husband, a father, a scout leader, a student, a mentor, developing a peer support program, piloting a nursing society at University, maintaining social circles, blogging, and somehow in all of that managing to sleep and get through the next day. All of that eventually took its toll. As long term readers are aware of, for others my journey through depression starts about here.

photo-1506485338023-6ce5f36692df-1000x486

Out of all of this I had no choice but to simplify my life, and go on medication and receive ECT. Now I am still most of the things listed previously but, i only work 8 shifts a fortnight not 10, I am not trying to pilot new programs, I haven’t been a scout leader for over 8 months. I had no choice but to simplify things. Even interactions with friends and family. I try and make sure that I am taking the time to recharge myself before I engage with others. I have stopped trying to impress everybody. I have stopped trying to be everything for everyone. I have just decided to be me.

andres_blog_1_500x333

To some people this may seem selfish. To others this will come across as nothing more than giving up. It is however, neither, it is an attempt to survive another year and come out a little better not just scraping through. To aid in this I have been taking time to self care. This has been through little things like taking the time to read my bible every day and have some quiet time with God, I attend a small group on Fridays called Anchor, but most importantly I say NO. If I am not up to something, or don’t believe I will positively benefit the event, I will say No.

I hope that the struggles of 2018 stay exactly where they are, and 2019 will be the wonderful year I know it can be. I hope and pray that all of you will have a great New Year and your goals, dreams, and wishes come to fruition.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Living with Depression

I sit here at my computer getting ready to write this week’s blog and my mind is a complete blank. I read back through my recent posts to see if there is something that needs a conclusion, read back through the end of last years for inspiration, and I think about the week that has been and realise that I have covered all that has needed coverage. It dawns on me, however, that I have not written about how life is post treatment, with a stable medication regime, and all things considered a reasonably stable and improved mood with no suicidal ideation. So now I am.

I completed my course of ECT a couple of months ago and since then I have been on the upwards trend regarding mood and suicidal ideations. I haven’t had a suicidal thought in over two months, my mood has improved, my anxiety is under control, and I can continue with life in a reasonably normal fashion. ECT has left me with a rather large memory hole covering the period of treatment and several weeks preceding in following.  I consider this a small price to pay considering the alternative. The other negative side effect that I have noticed is the occasional inability to remember a word or name. Now I don’t mean in the sense of I haven’t seen someone for years and forget their name, I mean I was actively talking to the person and their name alludes me. But still, a small price to pay.

IMG_4068

Being motivated to spend time with my beautiful children has been a huge bonus outcome to the treatment

I conjunction with the ECT I have been in regular contact with my Psychiatrist who has both been monitoring the outcome of ECT and also the effectiveness of my medication. I have seen a significant change to my medication over the course of the year, but we have finally found a combination that works and is achieving the results we are after. These medications have now remained unchanged for nearly two months with minimal side effects. The only side effect noted is a bad case of the cotton mouth with is caused by the Alpha Channel blockers I am on. But, again, considering the alternative, chewing a bit of gum every now and again is a small price to pay.

IMG_6253

Finding an artistic outlet, something that tickles the strategic part of my brain, and the opportunity to engage with others has been an excellent ongoing tool

Medication and ECT are both great physical treatments for depression and anxiety, however, talking therapy is still important as we need to process the thoughts that led us to this point to avoid the same thing occurring in the future. Hence my regular visits with the Psychologist. Together we have been talking through present thoughts, the effects of treatment, and current mood. Since the recent stability we have been able to move towards processing trauma and memories in an effort to minimise the risk of a decline in depression again. The Psychologist has been using a process called EMDR, which utilises rapid eye movement and a scripted approach to process memories and emotions. So far I have found it to be really useful, even though I was quite sceptical at first but have since been corrected, and look forward to the future sessions.

IMG_4966

Being able to have a laugh at myself and realise I don’t need to take life so seriously

The actual day to day living with depression is fairly manageable. I know most of the time when a situation arises that is likely to push me into a reclusive depressive state, so I try to either avoid them or mitigate the outcome. I have had the classic lack of motivation moments ranging from not wanting to go grocery shopping to not attending that party to not wanting to get out of bed. Thankfully I have an amazing wife who is there to encourage me and sometime give me the kick in the behind I need. Financially my medication is currently costing me $2.15 per day, which doesn’t sound a lot but adds up pretty quickly.

I don’t feel that I am any different than anyone else who is going through depression or is dealing with anxiety on a daily basis. I just encourage those who are out there reading this to reach out and get the help you need to live a “normal” life and not live with the constant heavy downhill of depression or crippling fear of anxiety.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Addit: If people could please pray for myself, my family, and my immediate friend circle it would be greatly appreciated. We have had an illness of some varying description or another doing the rounds for months. We have had Influenza, Gastroenteritis, Conjunctivitis, Sinusitis/Rhinitis, Bacterial Skin Infections, and Bacterial Tongue Infections all do the rounds. We are all sick and tired of being sick and tired, so your prayer would be appreciated.

Setting Goals

Each year it is not uncommon for people to set New Years Resolutions, or goals for the proceeding year. Though I do not personally subscribe to the idea of a News Years Resolution, like January 1st is the only time of year you can set goals, I do subscribe to the notion that we should be constantly growing and moving forward. To that end I have three overarching goals for 2019, along with a slew of smaller ones, that I would like to see achieved.

lose6zeight.jpg

Goal 1

My first goal is probably going to be the hardest to achieve. I want to weigh 95kg before the year is out. Now some of you are probably thinking that should be a reasonably simple goal, that I should only have to shave 5-10 kilos and I will be done. Alas, no. To reach this goal, please note this is before Christmas and New Years befalls us, I need to shave 32kg from my frame. I need to lose the weight for my own health, the longer I carry this thick layer of visceral fat, the more and more likely I am to develop a serious cardiac issue. I also need to lose the weight for my kids, if I don’t shave the weight I won’t be able to run with them, hike with them, swim, jump, or play with them, and I can’t have that. That is not going to be an easy journey, however, it is a journey I have been on before. I know I can lose the weight, I just need to actually exercise, stop eating and drinking so much sugar, and cut down my portions from what I want to eat to what I actually need to eat. So Goal One, lose the weight.

cropped-img_3281.jpg

Goal 2

This one seems a bit of a no brainer but is here for a very valid reason. My second goal is to continue to Blog at least once a week. The reason this is a valid goal and not something  that is a given, is at times my depression outweighs my desire to share with everyone. Somedays I look at my computer and the only thing I feel I can contribute is a long paragraph of crying and some terrible pictures of me doing as much. Sharing with this community is as much for my benefit as anybody else’s, I feed off your reads, your comments, and your engagement. I love hearing about how a story I have written has impacted someone, or is changing the way we deal with ourselves and others. So this is why Blogging is my second goal for 2019.

luke sondergeld - rockhampton9

Goal 3

Again a goal that should not need to be written, but valid none the less. My final formal goal for 2019 is to Complete my Bachelor of Nursing. The reason this goal is so important is Nationally 25% of Nursing students drop out of the course, that is just the voluntary ones, then you have the failure rate of up to 40% on top of that. That is more than half of the students who begin the course will not see the end of it. In 2018 I had an interesting year (for those who are interested please read the Mental Health related posts) I managed to pass my written assessments, pass my exam (if only just), and I got through my clinical placements. It took a lot out of me to accomplish simply completing my second year, and that is I something I do not want to have to go through again. Hopefully, and God willing, I will be able to manage my depression and anxiety, study hard, and pass my Bachelor. This will the provide me with a better paying job, an expanded scope of practice, more opportunities, and a fantastic sense of accomplishment. So my final formal goal for 2019 is to complete my Bachelor of Nursing.

40kTyranids-Nov1-Image2hr.jpg

Informally I would love to, accumulate, assemble and paint 2000pt of Tyranids, play more Warhammer with my friends, spend more time with the kids, lean in closer to God, attend Anchor as much as my rostering allows, continue to grown in my faith, serve the Church more, spend more time with Family. I find the informal goals to be the things we all ascribe to achieve, and for one reason or another we fall short. I am finding if you write your goals down, have them in front of you all the time, and stay focussed you can achieve great things.

Why not share your 3 goals for 2019 in the comments below, who knows you may find a Goal buddy for 2019.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Checking In

Today I conducted a little experiment to see who was paying attention, if there were any folks out there who have been paying attention to my posts, tweets, and articles. The result I have is unfortunately not surprising, and is the reason behind my post today. As a community, whether Maintain the Rage, Church, School, Friends, Family, Work, Clubs, Hobbies or otherwise we need to ensure we keep a closer eye on one another, and Check In once in a while.

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 14.20.33.png

The experiment was, miss a post that has otherwise been out every Monday at 0530 Australian Eastern Stand Time for over 12 months, see if anyone reacts, posts, tweets, calls, messages or otherwise tries to get in contact with me or the page to see if I am ok, or at least comment on the lack of post. Sadly, as I write this a little after 1400 on the Monday, I am yet to receive even one such attempt at contact. This is mildly concerning for myself as I have recently gone through an episode of severe depression, suicidal ideations and planning. There has been reports saying that someone who has attempted suicide in the past is more likely to attempt in the future, and normally with an increased completion rate. This post is not meant to guilt trip anyone, or make anyone feel concerned for myself, this is supposed to show people how easy it can be for something to go awry and encourage the simple act of Checking In.

peter_uniform_cropped-900x596

For those of you who’ve read my Blog for a while now will recognise the man in the picture above, it is Peter Bach, a good friend of mine from my Navy days, he was also a close friend who was taken away from us because of Suicide. Peter even gave us a chance to help him. Two nights before he succeeded in a suicidal action, Peter had made an attempt, so we would realise later, and injured his head. Nobody realised. When asked how he received the injury, nobody suspect his answer was off. Nobody put two and two together. None of us realised it was probably the last time any of us would get the chance to save his life. We missed it. We failed to Check In.

warning-signs.jpg

I therefore encourage everyone to be aware of the community they are in, the people they influence, and those who influence them. I plead with you to notice when someone hasn’t performed a task at their usual time or arrived when normally they would. Sometimes retreating back inside themselves is the first noticeable sign of someone in trouble. The earlier signs are changes of habit, changes in mood, changes in dress, or changes in interest. Notice the signs, get educated, be involved, and Check In.

Maintain the Rage,

Luke Sondergeld

Christmas 2018

Tis the season and unless you have been living under a rock, with earplugs in, completely blocking out the outside world, you are no doubt by now completely overwhelmed with Christmas carols, sales, advertising, lights, trees, and that one person at work who seems a little too involved in the whole Christmas Cheer side of things. I am going to start by saying I am not exactly Christmas’s biggest fan, not the reason behind the season which is the birth of Jesus Christ, but the commercial, Santa Clause, snow effect, carolling, blinking lights, nonsense that the day and subsequent season has become.

IMG_5808

The main issue I have with Christmas is commercialism. Now I understand that our, and many other of the economies around the world are based on the premise of commercialism, and commercialism to the highest order. The idea of buying for $1, selling for $2, and putting it on sale for $3 reigns supreme. I also understand that lots of people’s welfare and income are based around the premise of buying and selling. What I don’t appreciate is being forced into buying things to decorate ones home to make it look like a winter wonderland, when  its 40 degrees celsius outside, 104 Fahrenheit for those in the States. I also don’t like the idea of an overweight Northern European man, breaking into my house, consuming food and beverages, then leaving suspicious packages around the place.

The entire premise behind the modern Christmas seems to boil down to buying gifts you can’t afford, with money you don’t have, to impress people you don’t talk to all year. Me and mine keep things simple. Our children are the only ones who get gifts, they are usually either practical or necessary, and friends and family are told that the only people who will have presents bought for them are the children, of which there are none outside my two girls. Even this limitation on the season still has my back up. I still don’t understand why there is a need for exchanging presents, hanging ornaments, and elaborate fables.

IMG_7788

I will add, I do participate willingly in a ‘secret santa’ with my friends and family. This involves all of my friends putting the names in and having to purchase 1 gift, and all of the family doing the same. This way we can meet the social preconceptions without too many financial implications.

IMG_1634

The other issue that I have with the majority of Christmas is the focus on the trees, the lights, the big guy in a red suit, the presents, the ham or turkey, and the decorations. The reason for the season is the Birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Now this post is not meant to be preachy, or beating you over the head with my bible, but it is only fair that I share my thoughts behind Christmas, and this means talking a little about Jesus.

Firstly, to quell the naysayers regarding the 25th of December actually being Jesus birthday or not, I will honestly say I have no idea, nor do I care. Historically people have pegged Jesus birthday in March 28th, somewhere in October, November 18, and a myriad of others. My thought is, the Queen has two birthdays a year, and only one of them is on her actual birthday, and frankly my faith isn’t hinged on whether Jesus was born on December 25th or not, the fact the He was born, lived, died, and rose again, matters.

Secondly, you can find any number of Nativity stories, songs that run the story, and so on, but to really get the story one has to get if from the source, Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2. For those who don’t have a bible at home bible.com is a great free access bible, if you are on your phone then You Version is a great free bible app. I also encourage you to head to your local church to enjoy the carols and story of the birth of Christ. So my reason for the season is to celebrate His birth, and share with others his-story wherever I can.

IMG_5806

So thats my story regarding Christmas, it may not fit the stencil that everyone else lives by, it may even offend a few readers. The aim of this post was not to offend anybody, put anybody off side, or guilt anybody, the aim was to share my story and views on something that has a very assumed belief attached to it. I encourage everyone to enjoy the season any way they see fit.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Food Affair

My wife wrote a post this week surrounding her love affair with food and the journey through anorexia to now obesity, this isn’t being mean just factual. This has sparked me to share my story, feelings, and love hate relationship with food. I hope this post will resonate with someone and you are empowered to take charge of your intake.

My love affair with food began somewhere in the vicinity of 13 years of age. Like most teenage boys I was a bottomless pit, an eating machine, and I wasn’t overly selective with what I ate. Intake for the average day included 16 WeetBix for breakfast with several glasses of juice, chips and fruit for morning tea, at least 2 sandwiches for lunch,  2 meat pies for afternoon tea, followed by a generous serve of dinner, and dessert of some varying description. As time progressed through my teenage years some things changed, I got a job, which meant I had money, a lot of which went on food.

tomato burger and fried fries

I learnt to cook from a young age. By the time I was 10 I was able to select, prepare and cook a series of main meals, one of them from memory. Since that time I have only increased my culinary skills, and repertoire. I now cook over 95% of the meals at home now. This was great for learning skills and being a useful partner but it did not help my waistline. The ease at which I could make a simple chocolate cake, tart, or lasagne was most certainly terrible as I could satiate my hunger, normally between meals, with something that was either designed as a meal, or was what should be considered 4-6 serves consumed as one.

I have never been a small lad. I was 10lb 7oz at birth, or 4.74kg, I was nearly 80kg during high school, and at my heaviest I was just over 150kg. Now, I am no short gentleman, I am 6′ 2″ or 188cm, however, this does not excuse my current 125kg frame. For example my BMI is 35.4, though I don’t prescribe to the BMI as being an accurate measure of health, balance or otherwise it can be used as a general guideline. Ideally I would be both comfortable and happy with being at 95kg. This was the weight I was when I completed my basic training in the Navy.

blue tape measuring on clear glass square weighing scale

Whats stopping me. First and foremost is laziness. I know I need to not only eat right but actually exercise. I cannot kid myself by saying I’m a Nurse I am on my feet all day and walk up and down the corridors all day, and consider that my exercise for the day. I also can’t kid myself when I do actually exercise to reward myself with something. I also need to not eat my emotions. When I am depressed I eat, when I am happy I eat, anxious eat, upset eat, bored eat, well lets face it not too many emotions that don’t spur on some kind of eating.

Secondly, the need to have the most lavish or rich food I can muster. One of my most favourite and simple foods to make its bread and butter pudding. It hails back to a time when there wasn’t a lot to go around, and you made do with what you had. Well I couldn’t leave it at using day old white bread, so I experimented. I used Brioche, Rye, Sourdough, and finally Donuts. I have now found that Donut and Butter pudding is far superior to normal bread and butter pudding, not to mention has nearly double the calories. This is the kind of thinking that needs to be changed.

cooked rice on black ceramic plate

Finally, serving sizes. The normal serving size for an adult is not to completely fill the large bowl, which holds just over a litre, with pasta and claim its a serve. I don’t need to use 4 cups of uncooked rice and divide it between 4 people. I need to stop filling my plate, or bowl and simply take an appropriate portion that will satisfy my hunger and not my eyes. I find that a lot of the food I consume, with the exception of things like donut and butter pudding, is good food. But, when we over eat any food, it becomes an issue.

So where to from here. I need to start exercising, it doesn’t mean joining a gym and smashing weights five days a week. I lost over 50kg in 12 months to join the Navy, and all I had was a plank of wood and some bricks. I need to stop making every meal a lavish meal, it is ok to have Spaghetti Bolognese without having sourdough garlic bread. I need to control my portion sizes. Recently I have started portioning my rice, because its really easy to go overboard with rice, and I have found that I don’t need to eat anywhere near as much as I used to. I can still have the bread and butter pudding even with donuts, but have a small serve not half a tray. I need to stay accountable. It is too easy to just continue being that large, bearded man, and accept where you are. I need people to see less of me, I need to lose weight, I need to do it so I can watch my girls grow up, keep up with them as they play, set the example to them. I need to control my self.

My name is Luke Sondergeld and I am a Food Addict

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld