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

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

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

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

Weight Loss

For those of you who haven’t seen my post on Facebook this week, I am Fat. I would love to sugar coat it, but I am afraid I would eat that too. I am sick of being fat. I am sick of being short of breath when I bend over. I am sick of sweating profusely at the slightest effort. But most of all, my chances of being taken away from my children prematurely is becoming too high.

IMG_5534

My weight has always been an issue for as long as I can remember. I have never been what could be called a small lad. Whether due to inactivity, genes, diet or otherwise I always carried a little extra. In the past 10 years I have had varying degrees of success and failure with my weight. January 2008 I was 149kg. It was the heaviest I had ever been. I was disgusted in myself but had no real incentive to change. That is until I decided to join the Navy. I knew that I would have to lose 50kg in 12 months for them to accept my application. I began to restrict my intake, but not in any meaningful way, just halving everything I used to eat. I also added at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. It wasn’t anything fancy, just step up on a homemade step and weights using the heaviest thing I could find around the home. It worked, some how, I lost enough to join, I was still around 100kg, but it was the lowest I had been in a while. During my first six months of being in the Navy I lost more weight and hovered 2-3 kilos either side of 95kg. I found pretty quickly that if I continued to eat reasonably sensibly I could maintain 95kg reasonably easily.

The photos above are all of me at or around 95 kg. Unfortunately due to surgical procedures, recoveries, and depression my weight didn’t always stay at 95kg. I can think of 5 different occasions since 2009 that my weight has gone from 95kg to 120kg+ and back again. Sometimes it took a change in diet to bring back the weight, other times I lost the weight because of the intensity of work, but I have found recently that it is harder to accomplish. Randomly and without direction, changing my diet was not the answer, finding time to exercise, and the persuasion, was difficult. So this time I employed the help of a dietician. I have seen their methods through work, and I knew that my diet was going to be the hardest thing to sort out. So after a snappy referral from my GP I was underway.

why-you-need-a-dietician

The only thing I was apprehensive about talking to the dietician about was the concept of Lite, Diet, or other similar labels. Whenever I see these labels I just think “Chemical S**tstorm”. I was concerned that they would just force the idea of diet and lite products. I was relieved when the dietician did not go down this path. We had a discussion about my current eating habits, like and dislikes, allergies, and goals. The dietician formulated a plan that began with a daily limit of 7000Kj, which is too restrictive when you think the recommended Australian intake is 8700Kj. We then divided the daily amount into three meals of 1900Kj and two snacks of 600Kj, for those astute mathematicians out there yes that does only equate to 6900Kj. We then discussed foods for different times of day, thankfully the dietician didn’t eliminate any foods, just suggested either alternatives or self control. So with a plan under my belt and a new app to help guide me, Easy Diet Diary, I went home and started to come up with menu items for various parts of the day that were easy, healthy, and suited the Kilojoule restriction. I am still working out the best way to stay full after a meal. Some meals easily last the 4-5 hours between meals, others don’t seem to make it half way to where you could sensibly have a snack. The other hurdle to overcome is work. Though I get meal breaks they aren’t necessarily at the same time, and with shifts like Night Duty where there is an almost 12 hour gap between meals there needs to be a substantial meal leading into, and a decent snack in the middle. It will take time to perfect but I am confident I can get it to work for me.

IMG_8576

From my meeting with the dietician I did get a body scan. This calculates your weight, your muscle mass, bone weight, and fat weight. It is to be taken with a grain of salt though as it is a fancy scale with some BioElectrical Impedance sensors on them. But it gives you a guide to work from, and shows the changes as you continue on the journey. Below is the print out from my scan. The long and short of below is I weighed 131.7kg, 47kg is Skeletal Muscles, and 49.4kg is just hard up Fat. Of that fat I am carrying a lot of Visceral Fat, more than twice what is recommended. Visceral Fat is the deep abdominal fat that covers your organs. It is tricky to reduce and can be dangerous if there is too much of it. I need to reduce my overall fat amount, and I DEFINITELY need to reduce my visceral fat amount.

IMG_1547

And that brings us to where we are now, and the way forward. The plan is to continue on the 7000Kj restriction until my dietician tells me otherwise, weekly home weighs on Wednesday with an updated mug shot, and a new post every Wednesday with the Weight, Photos, updated scans, and Meals that worked and Meals that didn’t work through the week so that others who want to start their own Journey can. You can continue to follow the journey here at Maintain The Rage via the Weight Loss Category page, or following the Weight Loss Album on Facebook.

To get the ball rolling the picture above is my starting point. It doesn’t seem that bad from the photos but there is a lot of fat on there that could be gone. By publicly showing these images I hope to stay accountable and stay on track. I thank all of you in advance for your support in this venture. If anyone has a favourite or go to low Kilojoule meal, that doesn’t have seafood or walnuts in them, feel free to share them on any of the Weight Loss posts, or send them to me directly using the Connect page.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld