I’m not addicted… I can quit any time Iwant

Addictions are a funny thing. I know for a fact that Ihave been suject to my own over that last few years.

-I’m a smoker who is trying to quit.
-I played World of Warcraft for about nine (9) years.
-I eat compulsively based on my surroundings.
-I don’t drink anymore, but when I did, Icould have been considered a temporary alcoholic.

The problem is I have an addictive personality. Well, at least that is what people tell me. I don’t quite think that statement holds much water, but it is still what people say. It sounds like a bunch of “do what you want and have something to blame it on” kind of excuse to me.
I think the big thing that people don’t do enough is take enough personal responsibility for their actions… myself included.

So, looking at each of my addictions, Ican see that each one can be conquered by taking personal responsibility for my actions in each case. As always, I have examples.

World of Warcraft: It’s funny, I have already broken this one. I quit playing about a year ago. Before that, I had quit playing for 6 months, picked it up again for three months due to attending a remote school, and then quit again. But like I said, I have been clean for around a year. I still find myself reading on the internet, or looking at screenshots, or looking for something to do and wishing that I could be back in Azeroth. I had a good time for those 9 years that I played. There was social content, a real mental challenge, and there was always something to do. Even if you were bored, you were having fun doing it. The game itself was addictive to the point that I would play for 8 hours a day. That’s a lot of time to ignore family, children, friends, and work.
It finally came to a close when it nearly impacted my marriage with a divorce. Needless to say, I don’t play anymore. Since quitting, I spend time with my children and my wife, and I have picked up other interests such as quilting and wood working that don’t require that kind of time investment that Ihad put in.
Personal responsibility allowed me to quit.

Smoking: This is a tough one. I have been a smoker for about 7 years now. I actually regret picking it up. It’s a horrible habit. I remember telling my wife that I could quit at any time. I picked it up and hadn’t stopped until about 3 days ago. I haven’t had a real cigarette in 72 hours. It’s a small amount of time, but it’s a start. It requires me to realize that I am personally responsibile for my actions. I chose to stop… so I stopped. Crazy right?!

Drinking: I don’t like hangovers so I don’t drink. Easy enough. Not gonna beat that dead horse.

Eating: Oh boy, this is why I actually started writing this post. Backstory time.
I found myself cleaning off my wifes desk yesterday and I had picked up a potpie that my daughter had barely touched. I remembered that I was watching my caloric intake so Icouldn’t have any of this deliciously salty meat and potato pie thing. As I walked to the kitchen, I said out loud “One bite won’t hurt”.
So I took a bite.
OMG it was good.
I took a second bite.
I actually verbally said “Garen, you can’t be eating this”. And then I started to argue internally that I couldn’t stop. I needed to eat this pie. I had to eat this food or something in the cosmos would never align properly.
I found that no matter how hard I tried, I could not put that food down.
I finished the 560 calorie pot pie that tasted like shame and guilt.
Salty shame, and tangy creamy guilt.
I sit on the couch each night with my wife and we watch TV. I find that we snack the entire time. I find that we almost always have a soda in our hands.
Personal responsibility hasn’t kicked all the way in yet.
I actually feel like Iam addicted to food. Good food, bad food, crappy food… just food.
I have a problem. I know that I do. I’m fully aware of it. I just need to find a way around it.

While I have been writing this post, I have come to an interesting series of thoughts. For someone that wants to be so outspoken against the evils of fatlogic, I sure seem to be showing some. So… how do I get around it?
Good question.
I’m thinking that personal responsibility my actually come in to play.
I go back to work tomorrow after a long holiday period off. I’m not sure how it will go for me regarding food. Looks like we’ll just have to see what happens.

Wish me luck? Or something?

-RH

Daily Prompt: Beyond the Pale

Daily Prompt: Beyond the Pale.

When was the last time I did something new?

Holy crap… that’s a tough question.

I mean, I do little new things all the time. I play new games. I try new recipes. I even try new exercises. But as for something completely new? That’s a rough one.

I know that most of the Daily Prompt posts are usually short. People write them in an effort to dig up support from the community, a half hearted attempt to get more viewers, subscribers, and regular readers. The unfortunate part of all of that is that it is exactly what I said… Half-Hearted.

So, I figure that while the topic is bland, I’ll give it some real effort and come up with something substantial to write about.

 

The last big thing that I tried that was new was working out for the purpose of losing weight.

sure, I had tried to lose weight in the past but it always consisted of just getting rid of soda in my diet. That was a big deal because I was killing off easily three liters or cola in a 24 hour period. That’s a crap ton of Beetus Juice.

I figured that I was so much heavier than I should be that I wouldn’t be able to scam my way through my semi-annual weigh-in’s at work any more. It came time to actually do something about the weight.

I was weighing in at 199lbs. For someone with my size frame, I was required to have a maximum weigh of 186. Those 15 pounds were going to cost me my job, my way of life, and possibly have very negative affects on my family. So, it was time to do something.

 

My wife and I went to the gym.

That seems like the right answer, doesn’t it? We bought a membership and started going each day. I would do an hour of weight lifting and she would do 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weights. This seemed to be working for us… kinda… except that we weren’t losing any weight.

*Cue the montage here*

-We went to the internet.

-We started using MyFitnessPal.

-We got our hands on Fitbits.

-We picked up some at home equipment.

-We USED the at home equipment.

-We educated ourselves.

-We eliminated any and all Fatlogic from our lives.

*End Montage*

We found that when we were controlling our caloric intake and followed the simple rule of “Calories In < Calories Out”, that losing weight became easier.

We coupled those tools of MFP and the FitBit and tracked our efforts on the home gym equipment. We were able to see exactly what we had to do in order to meet the goals to lose weight.

I started getting skinnier. My wife went from a size 24 dress to a size 18. That was huge.

We were looking and feeling great.

No excuses.  Smaller portions. A little exercise. And the idea of “It’s my thyroid” or “I have a cundishun” being eliminated from our lives ensured that we were quickly becoming healthier.

6 weeks later when I stepped on to the scale and I was weighing in at 176lbs, I was feeling freaking AWESOME! I looked good, and I could run a mile if I wanted to.

I had learned to work out to lose the weight and I have figured out how to make positive changes in my life to make myself feel better.

I have picked up the unexpected side affect of no longer having ANY pity or sympathy for people that argue about weight loss being impossible, or that they can be “Healthy at every size”, or that believe that I have some sort of “Thin-Privilege”. I call Bull-Shit on that entire fat acceptance movement.

I made the change and I’m willing to help anyone out there that wants to do the same.

Simple diet. Simple effort. And the willingness to be honest with myself is all that it took.

So, I did something new. It worked better than expected. And I couldn’t be happier with the results or more willing to help others do the same.

 

-RH

Twitching, Shaking, and Grumbling

It’s been 24 hours. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot, but over the last 24 hours Ihaven’t had a cigarette.
That’s a pretty big deal to me.
Sure, I’ve moved to an e-cig format. And yes, I’m still taking in nicotine, but considerably smaller amounts.
And the actual smoking of the cigarette is gone.
Most people won’t care, but for me, this is a big deal.

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Daily Prompt: Truth or Dare

Daily Prompt: Truth or Dare.

Seriously? Is it possible to be too honest?

Let’s chew on some deliciously salty food for thought, shall we?

 

-Yes honey, that dress DOES make your butt look big.

-Actually potential mate who happens to be a single mother, I find kids to be irritating and gross.

-No, I actually find organic food to be a supreme waste of money.

-No darling child, I love you and your siblings all the same.

 

Honesty is NOT always the best policy.

I’m sorry, but in my personal world view, I find that occasionally there is a time where shading the truth, omitting facts, or flat out ignoring something is going to be the best option available. No questions asked, hands down.

If we lived in a world where everyone was 100% honest 100% of the time in regards to 100% of all the things, then I believe we would find a way to cope with it. In fact, I believe it would make SOME things better.

Examples? Of course I have examples.

-ANYTHING politically charged! I’d like to see what the president had to say if he couldn’t lie for a few days.

-Courting rituals! Is this a one night stand or is he/she actually looking for love?

-Poker? Actually, this would ruin poker, but I’m sure we could come up with a new game if we tried.

-Fast food advertising! I’d like to see a poster that actually showed what a taco bell burrito looked like when they used truth to sell it.

***SIDE NOTE!***

Taco Bell burritos actually look like they are advertised. It’s everything else that doesn’t look accurate. I mean seriously, how hard is it to screw up the sale of a tortilla.

Regardless, back to the rant.

 

Truth is subjective to the situation where it is used in our current society. My religious roots tell me that the ability to choose… to choose right from wrong, good from evil, or truth from fiction is essential to our trial and purpose to being on this earth. Taking away ones free agency is something that would defeat the entire purpose of being here.

So… truth or dare… it’s a valid question. I choose truth simply because it is USUALLY the easiest method.

But are there times where it’s not the best option? Absolutely. It’s just up to the individual to determine when those situations arise.

 

*** Secondary side note!***

Darling wife: No, that dress does NOT make your butt look big.

Former Potential Mate: I do ACTUALLY like kids.

Organic Food Hippie: Sorry, Organic food IS still a scam. Sorry. And get a haircut you dirty hippie!

Loving children: I do love you equally! Sometimes I like one of you more than the other, but I LOVE you equally! (Don’t hate! I believe there is a difference between liking someone and loving someone. Deal with it!)

#365 Grateful – A clean upstairs

What am I grateful for today?

This.

It’s not a high quality photo or anything, but it is something that makes me smile.

The upstairs of my home is clean. My awesome 10 y/o son and 6 y/o daughter did the work. What was once a scary site, is now clean and manageable.

I’m grateful for a clean upstairs.

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If Mario was Cheating on Peach, He’d do it here!

Mario seems like an upstanding guy.

I mean, he has like 87 games that he stars in and has more marketing power than Steve Jobs ever could hope for. Mario is a ROCK STAR!

But, what do all rock stars have in common?

INFIDELITY!

Seriously though, Mario is a bad ass.

Anywho, the reason for today’s post is this…

Mario Bunk Bed

 

This picture is awesome on like 3 different levels.

I made the comment that if Mario was gonna cheat, this is where he would do it. I mean, it’s his own castle, it’s got a bed, and as awesome as Peach is, Daisy would NOT hesitate to capitalize on real estate like this.

I guess the long of the short here is that this childrens bunk bed is pretty awesome.

Makes me wish I had one as a kid… or a teenager… Hell, I want one now and I’m 33.

Verbose, Morose, and Comatose

Hell of a post title, right?

The lovely wife decided to spin in to high gear again. I love when she does that.

There is something about her writing style that I can’t help but enjoy.

Regardless, I figured a shameless plug would be good here. So go and take a peak.

Bonus kitten as a bribe.

kitten

 

 

 

 

Yeah, I know the kitten wasn’t worth much, but here is the banner and link to the wifes blog.

 

 

GO THERE NOW!

Untitled-1Oh, and just a small note… I made the banner myself. Nothing fancy, but it was my first trip in to photo editing.

2014 New Years Resolutions

Twenty fourteen is upon us.

2014

A new year. A new start. A new list of possibilities. A whole new box of stuff that can make life increasingly difficult… etc… etc… etc.

Because of this arbitrary point in time that we as humans choose to observe, I too have come up with a list of things that I resolve to change this year. I’ve had decent success in the past with resolutions, but I feel that this years list will be bigger than most years in the past. I’m looking at some fairly hefty stuff to put on the plate for the upcoming 525,949 minutes of my life.

I won’t sit and rant about it yet. Instead, I’ll provide you with the list and we will work from there. After you read the paltry (HA!) list, keep reading for the rants you have come to love so much.

I present you with my 2014 New Years Resolutions…

resolutions

STUFF GAREN RESOLVES TO DO

1. Lose Weight (Down to 160lbs)

2. Quit Smoking

3. Keep my Kitchen Clean

4. Promote at Work

Well, the list is short enough. That’s only four (4) things really. Anyone can do 4 things… right?!

However, if we really look at these four things, they are pretty big. So, as promised, here is the associated rant.

1. Lose Weight

lose weight

I currently weigh in at 182lbs. (82.3kg) I’m not fat by any means, but I’m surely not where I want to be. When I joined the US Coast Guard 11 years ago, I weighed in at 145lbs and I was pretty happy with my size. Over the years of driving a desk and enjoying the edibles that my paycheck (and Taco Bell) has provided me, I ballooned up to 199.5lbs. Over the course of the last year however, I have lost a little bit of weight and was able to pull myself down to my fluffy 182. Having learned what is involved, and what is required to continue losing weight, I feel that it’s a reasonable goal to get down to 160lbs by the end of the year. Hell, if I really work at it, I could be there in as little as 3 months. But hey, no point in almost dying just to look like I stud. (Hint: I always look like a stud!)

2. Quit Smoking

Quit SmokingAt the beginning of 2013, I was smoking upwards of a pack a day (Menthols! WOO!) and had no real intention of putting out the effort to quit. I wanted to quit, don’t misunderstand, but the work required was a little too brutal for my tastes. A lot of things have happened in the last 12 months that have made things interesting on the smoking front. But over the last few months, things have finally lined up that I think I have a real chance of fixing this little problem of mine. From Vaporizers that cut out the smoke, to a lovely wife who is supporting the efforts of her own accord, I believe that I have a real chance at this. Knock it all you want, but I’m going to at least try. After all, I get a rise out of proving other people wrong. So let’s see what happens… shall we?

3. Keep my Kitchen Clean

clean kitchenYeah, I have NO idea how I’m going to pull this one off. Honestly, with the other three people in the house contributing to the mess like it’s a life goal to keep me from having a clean kitchen for more than 18 minutes, I’m going to have to come up with something that works better than what I’ve been doing. I’m thinking a Taser and a Baseball bat might be effective in this endeavor.

4. Promote at work

anchorThere is only so much that I can do to increase my odds of promoting at work. I can keep being a rock star and getting awesome employee reviews, and I can study. That’s really about it. Honestly, I know I can do the first part, and as much as I hate the second part, I’m pretty sure that I can do that too. It’s just going to take time.

Time… yeah…. that’s a precious resource I don’t have enough of.

This might be trickier than I thought.

Either way, that’s my plan. What’s yours?

So, tell me what you think in the comments section below, I’ll consider writing a post if the comments carry enough weight.

Cheers

-R.H.

My blood runs cold at the utterance of these words…

I have learned over the years that there are certain combinations of words that you just don’t want to hear from your children as a parent. I haven’t heard ALL of these yet, but I know I don’t want to hear them.

Examples:

-Would you like to see my piercing?

-Mom, Dad… I got her pregnant.

-I know I’m only 13 daddy, but Snake and I are in love!

-Where do we keep the fire extinguisher?

-I think someone pooped in the bathtub.

Most of these things are fairly stereotypical. You hear about them in movies. But of all the things you could hear (Either fake or real) the one that stops me in my tracks the fastest is this…

“Dad, What’s for dinner?”

CRAP! I have no flippin clue. It’s only four thir…… DOUBLE CRAP! It’s almost SIX.

Mom’s not home to yell at me to make something which means I’m on my own here. This isn’t that big of a deal since I do the cooking every night anyways. But now I have to come up with something quick, easy, and that they will ACTUALLY eat.

Might as well go paint a chapel ceiling cause’ that will be WAY easier than THIS task.

Okay, seriously, what to make for dinner.

After a quick look in the cupboard I realize I don’t have a lot of quick and easy stuff. Lots of meats and such, but not a lot that’s fast.

Suddenly, I spy the pasta.

I’m making spaghetti tonight.

spaghetti, dinner, pasta, noodle, sauce

 

Freaking SWEET! I love spaghetti, but my family hates it. Every last one of them. Seriously… how does one make it this far in their life and NOT eat spaghetti? It’s a freaking staple of civilized society for the love of Odin.

Well, I know I want spaghetti, so now I gotta figure out a way to make the kids eat it. I have garlic bread, and I know they will eat that, but that doesn’t solve my spaghetti problem.

garlic, bread, dinner, spaghetti, cheese, butter, garlic, salt, yummy

While I’m digging through the freezer looking for something that I could make other than the awesome pasta that I have running through my head, I moved around a bag of Rhoades Bread Dough. (I love that stuff).

rhodes, bread, dough, cowboy, bread

I didn’t think too much about it at the exact moment I saw it but by the time I made it upstairs, I knew what I was going to do.

Genius had struck!

Okay, before we go any further with the dinner train of thought, I need to give a short backstory.

backstory, back, story, shark, lincoln, brain, red, hair, beard

I grew up eating something called “Cowboy Bread”. That stuff was AMAZING. Deep fried bread type substance that my mom made on occasion. Apparently, my uncles wouldn’t eat elephant ears when they were kids back in the 50’s so my grandmother called it “Cowboy Bread” because my uncles were always playing cowboys and indians. My mother picked up the term and it stuck. So this amazing bread that I ate as a kid was simply re-branded fried bread dough. Simple enough, but freaking amazing with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar.

I apologize, my back stories are usually WAY WAY better than this. I might not have the commitment to that one that I should.. but meh. Whatever.

Okay, so I’m walking up the stairs from the basement and inspiration hits. Instead of calling it spaghetti, I’m calling it… uhm… canned noodles? No, they’ll figure that out. Uhm… “Super Spaghetti”?…. HA, even I’m not dumb enough to fall for that. ooohh…. I got it… “Potted Lasagna”.  (Turns out it wasn’t even a real thing yet… I might have to patent this one.)

HELLS YEAH!

So, as I’m standing in the kitchen, before I open anything, I yell to the kids…

“HEY! Who wants potted lasagna?”

Hayden: Uhm… sure.

Lillie: Okay.

Dinner is ON!

grinch, gif, mister, meme

So I make the noodles, and I throw the sauce in the pan afterwards  (which I never do) and I let the whole thing cool off a tad. I throw a little shredded cheese in the bottom of a bowl. I top it with the spaghetti and I top it with a touch more shredded cheese.

Now people, for all intents and purposes, THIS IS LASAGNA! I don’t care how you slice it… It’s freaking lasagna.

So, Lillie devoured hers in a heartbeat. Hell, she even asked for seconds. Now if I had told her that she was eating spaghetti, she would have freaked the hell out. But… this did not happen. Dinner for her was a success.

However there is the issue of Hayden. This kid is WAY smarter than I honestly give him credit for. I set that bowl down in front of him and he stopped. He looked at me and stared for a moment. Three words escaped his ever truthful lips… “This is spaghetti”.

f7u12, fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu, rage, guy, face, meme, 4chan, reddit, comic

Well crap.

I had to poke, prod, bargain, urge, yell, plead, cry, and cajole, but I finally got the boy to eat. I dunno if I’ll be trying that one again with him any time soon. But for Lillie, it was a stellar success.

Now I gotta figure out what I’m making for dinner tomorrow.

Crap.

An open letter to my Wife and the World

It’s funny how music can be a motivator, a hinderance, or a controller of emotion.

Right now I’m underway working in my office.

I have this great playlist that has about 250+ songs on it that range from high tempo hard techno to slow loving and emotionally charged ballads. The music has driven me in many directions. And while sometimes it is merely a distraction, some of it has actually driven me to be better.

As some may know, I’ve been on my own for the last 10 months of my life. Those 10 months have been the most difficult of my life.

I have had experiences that have reduced me to tears. Brought me to the edge of the bounds of sanity. Destroyed my ability to function. And for a period of time, dragged me down into the realm of suicide.

Nearly everything in my life that is of value was removed from me by my own actions leaving me no one to blame but myself.

To anyone reading this, That is a VERY difficult pill to swallow.

Since I have been alone, a lot of things have taken place. I have learned. I have observed my mistakes and the mistakes of those around me. I have made alterations to my life, my personality, and who I am in an attempt to restore a modicum of order to my existence.

I am slated to transfer from my current unit within the next few months.

I have spent three years stationed at a facility that has beaten me, broken my will, and destroyed my faith in the service to which I have toiled for the last 10 years of my life. I was, and sometimes still am, in the position where I don’t even know if holding on to this job is worth the stress.

I look forward to the day that I walk across the brow of this ship for the last time, never to return. Only to turn back one final time to flip the bird and dust my feet. I have plans for getting away from this three year disaster that has made up the most recent chapter of my life.

The plans I speak of are simple. But because of the pain, the suffering, the lonliness, and the constant heartache that I have suffered, I will execute these plans with such vehement passion that you would not recognize it as coming from the man writing these words.

I am moving across the country. 2034 miles from here.

I will rent me a home with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and off street parking.

I will have my lovely wife Andrea by my side. My two Children Hayden and Lillie will be there as well.

I will work my required 8 to 4 shift each day. Traveling as required.

I will ensure that two Fridays each month my lovely wife will have the uninterrupted hours dedicated to a night out as a couple.

I will ensure that my children have the time each night dedicated to them as people instead of wasting my time on a computer.

My kids will be read a story each night at bedtime. They will be tucked in, kissed on the forehead, and told that they are loved.

My eternal companion, my spouse, my lover, my wife… Andrea will receive her nightly foot rub as I did each night when we were still together. She will get her backrub as often as she desires just as I did for her before.

Each time I have the opportunity to do so, I will tell her that I love her. I will not only show her through my usual deeds of cooking, cleaning, and watching the kids, but I will buy her flowers. I will get her little gifts just because I was thinking of her.

Weekends will be dedicated to taking the kids to a park, a movie, or just playing on the beach.

As I have done for the last 10 months, the “noise” that only my wife knows of has ceased, and it will continue to stay that way.

I am a horrible person as judged by my history.

No sane person would consider associating themselves with me if they knew of my personal atrocities.

I am dedicated to resolving my personal failings.

I am committed to exceeding the expectations laid out by my loved ones.

I am committed to being the best Father, Husband, Lover, Spouse, Companion, and Friend that I can be.

While some involved are apprehensive, I have too much riding on the line to fail.

If I have learned anything in the last 10 months of my life, I have learned that I can succeed.

Now… I just have to show the right people so that they can judge for themselves.

My wife made a comment on the 4th of July back in 2011. She told me to find out what makes me happy. To find what I enjoy in life and to seize it.

I did.

I figured it out.

It’s kind of funny how you can find contentment in life with the things that make you happy, but still know that there is that last piece that makes the good things even better.

My name is Garen Anderson.

I am going to retrieve my family.

We are moving to Oregon where I will fill my role as Father and Husband.

I fucked up!

I’m fixing it.

God as my witness!