A Willpower Moment

I thought I failed today.

I started the day off on a really great track. I made myself a smoothie for breakfast, I had a banana a little while later to keep me going for a bit, and then for lunch I made my first-ever balsamic dressing from scratch. That, along with a salad of kale and mushrooms with a couple of tablespoons of goat cheese for added points, was lunch. Since I am intermittent to fasting and skipping dinner, I thought this clean slate of meals made for an amazing Sunday.

Then came family pictures. My fiancé and I went out to a park to have our daughter’s six-month photos taken, and all of a sudden in the middle of the shoot my body starts going haywire. Dizzy, lightheaded, shaking, and I could not stand still to save my life. Nausea soon followed, and I spent most of the forty minute ride back feeling like I was going to be sick.

In desperation, I had my fiancé’s stepdad, who was driving us, stop at a drive-thru so I could get something to hopefully help my blood sugar levels. I ordered a single cheeseburger and small coke, which would only bring me a point or two into my weeklies. At that point, however, despite calculating it into the app I didn’t care if it used up all of my points for a week. I needed it in my belly and I didn’t care about anything else. When they handed us the bag I dug out my burger and could not get the wrapper off fast enough.

Long story short, though, I couldn’t do it. Yes, I needed the calories and I did end up eating about half of the burger and drinking half of the drink, but I began having flashbacks that made me stop and think about some things. In years past, it would be moments like these where my entire set of goals began to fall apart and crumble. This would be the point where I gave up and resorted back to old habits and began eating and feeling like garbage every single day because that’s what I was used to. That was what was easy for me. I don’t know what changed to make me stop myself tonight, but I did. Consuming half of that fast food meal kept me within my SmartPoints number for the day, and I’m ending the night with points to spare. Granted, I am a little disappointed that I did not fat tonight like I wanted to, but the important thing is that I stayed true to Weight Watchers and have now gone SEVEN WHOLE DAYS on the program and doing it right. The old John Siebelink never came close to something like this. He would try, and try many times, but he would always let the excuses get the better of him.

Tonight just goes to show what you can do when you are truly committed.

What Five Days of Not Failing Feels Like

I dedicated myself 150% to Weight Watchers this past Monday. I weighed 240 pounds on the dot.

After five days of tracking points and intermittent fasting, I am now down to 230.4 pounds! That’s 9.6 pounds in less than a full week!

I have more energy, I am more motivated, and I feel better than I have in a very, very long time. I have also found that it’s easier for me to wake up in the morning. I’m still a little tired (I am naturally a night owl) but I’m not groggy and I don’t feel like crap.

If you knew the old me before this week, you’d know that when it comes to commitments I am the world’s worst. When I first signed up for WW I failed miserably the first day. I was actually telling my fiancé that it wasn’t the best fit for me and was signing in to cancel my subscription.

Before I did that, I weighed myself. 240 pounds. I was officially the heaviest I have ever been in my entire life. I had been letting my body waste away and ordering out so much that the weight continued to pile on. I sank into a severe depression and hated my life hardcore. The next day, this past Monday, I decided on a healthy breakfast. On a whim, not thinking I would let the day, I logged my points. The breakfast did not cost as many points as I thought it would. Later on I had a fairly crappy lunch of burgers, Doritos, and Pepsi but because of the breakfast even that accurately logged only made me dive into a couple of my weekly spare points. I already knew that I would not be having dinner so all of a sudden Day 1 was a success. My meals the rest of the week were far healthier, each day without dinner per my intermittent fasting, and here I am today ready to start the new week (my weigh-ins are Saturday mornings) off on a great note!

It is the hardest thing, to break life-long bad habits. I’ve tried for years and years and years and have failed every single time. When I turned 30 at the end of January I promised significant change, and here it is middle of the year and I’m finally trying to start keeping that promise.

Here is to my first full week of Weight Watchers!

A Note of Appreciation

Look.

I know that George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a group of white cops. I’m not blind to the fact that this sort of thing has been happening—or at least has been reported—more and more and more in recent years. The police officers of today are not looking good in the eyes of the community or the news. Many parts of the country are on fire as we speak because of the actions of criminal cops across this country.

That being said, I acknowledge that the crimes were committed by a tiny rogue percentage of police officers. The vast majority of law enforcement officials are good, hardworking, dedicated men and women who are all probably as outraged and disgusted at the actions of their former comrades as the rest of us who don’t wear badges.

While it is extremely easy to vilify the whole group and denounce everyone in uniform as racist or pigs, this is both irresponsible and offensive in so many ways. Law enforcement is a job like any other. Every business and career field out there has its share of bad apples. Every retailer has its cashiers or managers who try sneaking merchandise out of the store or dipping their greedy fingers into the tills when they think no one is looking. Doctors and pharmacists are always writing bogus prescriptions for a little extra change or accepting kickbacks. The occasional restaurant chef spits into the food. Do a quick Google search and you will find many more examples from all walks of life. None of these examples mean that every doctor, cashier, or cook is evil. These crimes have been committed by a few select few. Those are the ones who deserve punishment, if not vilification. If we are to target entire groups then we might as well denounce every single human being on Earth because statistically speaking all of us at one time or another have belonged to an industry of some sort or another. The majority of people have committed a crime or two over the course of their lives. That doesn’t make us all bad people. It makes us human.

It is an important thing to remember. Police do not have an easy job. They work rough hours. They aren’t paid all that well. They are almost always the first on scene of the most gruesome displays of human depravity known to man. Every murder, rape, fire, car crash, domestic assault, bar fight, and riot always has police there right away. I can’t tell you how many officers I’ve talked to have told me of the various horror stories that still keep them up at night.

On top of that, they go to work every day not knowing if they will be coming home or not. Living a life shift by shift is not a good way to live. I remember my stint in the Marine Corps. Drill instructors and sergeants were always telling us stories of their close encounters with death. The same goes for the police.

I want to take this moment to say thank you to all the law enforcement in this country. You have my upmost gratitude and undying appreciation and respect. You are heroes to me and Americans everywhere, even if they don’t currently see it. Keep up the good work and know that you are appreciated.

That is all.

The Prodigal Blogger Returns

It’s been a while, fellow WordPressers.

I see the app has changed quite a bit since the last time I was on here. That’s always exciting—and annoying.

Even though I haven’t blogged in a few months my stats show that a few people still have been dropping in to see me, which makes me very happy.

The past several months have been hard. I’ve been adjusting to the role of a new dad, which I’m pleased to say has not been as difficult as I led myself to believe my entire life. Alexis, my fiancé, and I have been absolutely blessed with the greatest baby girl any parent could ever hope for. She’s absolutely beautiful with red hair and denim blue eyes and the attitude that comes with both. She’s tall, smart, and extremely vocal (she gets that from her father.) So parenthood has been going great.

I don’t even want to get into talking about COVID-19. It fucking sucks, man. I lost my temp job months ago because it was nonessential, our vacation out to Michigan for my brother’s wedding ended up being confined to my parents’ living room for a week. Back in California, no beach. No gyms. Having to wear a mask everywhere you go, which sucks for me because I am claustrophobic and overheat within seconds of putting a mask on. The lack of money, the physical stagnation, and repetition of every true crime documentary on Hulu and the same few funny YouTube compilations have done wonders for my mental health, as well as everybody else’s I know.

Maybe I should have gone back to blogging sooner. Maybe I wouldn’t have felt so bad…

But now, things have changed. I parted ways with the employment agencies that I have had mediocre luck with for most of my working life and now I’m permanently employed by Home Depot, which is a store I always thought would be cool to look at whenever Mom and Dad would bring us there when we were growing up. School is being figured out—again—-and when it finally dawned on me that my piss poor eating habits may have caused me far more harm than I ever thought possible, I signed up for Weight Watchers. I start on Monday.

What I am most pleased about from a personal development standpoint, however, is that I have been replacing video games with books. For the past month I have been averaging a book read every other day. One day on Amazon I found a cool true crime book about a cold case squad and devoured it. Then I found a similar book about the LAPD and that was done in a couple of days, also. Since then I have read multiple mystery novels, true crime books, the memoirs of President Grant, The Virginian, and have now made my way into personal development books. I am currently reading my third in three days. Thanks to Kindle Unlimited, I have two or three more currently in line for when I finish this one (should be tonight unless the blog takes most of my focus away.)

Coincidentally, the book I’m reading right now has been talking a lot about blogging, which made me remember this old blog of mine. I’m trying to make better decisions and pull myself out of a ruck I’ve been stuck in for most of my life. I remember when this blog first started to take off and all the joy and confidence that it gave me, only for me to all of a sudden stop just like I have done for so many things in life. For some reason, though, this blog is something I always keep coming back to. I guess that means it’s with me until the bitter end. Might as well start back blogging again!

I know better now than to make any promises. I’ve promised that I would blog every day or three times a week or whatever and I’ve failed in every one of those promises. I say I’m not going to stop blogging but then I stop. I have no excuse. However, my goal is to return to regular blogging and hopefully not bore the shit out of you while I do it.

Alright, that’s enough ranting for now. See you all later!

Dirty 30

Today is my 30th birthday. I know I’m no different than I was yesterday but for some reason I feel like a totally different person than I was when I was 29.

I feel old.

I love having a January birthday because it allows me to restart New Year’s Resolutions that might have fallen by the wayside in the first few weeks of January.

New year, new decade of life. The twenties are over. I’m not a kid anymore. Lots to get done, time to get cracking.

That being said, how are things?

Happy New Year, Blog

With the holiday happening on a Wednesday this year and me having to go back to work tomorrow morning, it’s hard to believe that today is the start of a new year.

Even though I’ve had some long pauses in between posts on here, I am really hoping that 2020 is the year my writing career truly begins in earnest. I’ve been extremely active on Twitter with various writing groups and I’ve even been humbly included in a couple of lists of writers to look out for in 2020.

Therefore, I must provide!

I brought back the old CrapPile title because having a blog solely focused on being a new dad is a bit too cliche. I prefer to be able to write about what I want, when I want without feeling the constant need to attach a photo of Kenway (although you will still be getting plenty of those!)

My goal is to post a minimum of three times a week of more quality posts than I have before. What’s happened since the beginning was I would bullshit and write whatever was on my mind and then post. I did not pay attention to spelling and grammar or even if I rambled a bit too much. My newer posts will be more thought out, organized, and edited before I publish. Hopefully this will keep my writing polished and help me continue to craft my own style as I start work on my novel tonight.

I’m the worst at commitments and I’ve broken way too many promises over the years. Every goal I’ve set out to do with my blog or my writing I’ve failed at. My fingers are crossed that the imaginary power of January 1 will help me succeed where I have failed many, many countless times before.

Happy New Year, CrapPile! Let’s hope it’s a good year…

The Blog Reboot—Again

Hi all,

I’m sorry again that I’ve been quiet. As you can imagine, a newborn and full-time job squeezes the life out of you. I’ve only been active on Twitter and my pillow the past month.

I’ve been doing a shit ton of reading and outlining for a science fiction novel I’ve already started picking away at writing, so I’m considering returning the blog to the original CrapPile moniker. I want to start writing more about writing and books on top of parenting and opinion pieces. I’m going to set a goal of three or four (hopefully more) posts a week. Hopefully while I’m at work I can think of some good topics and return this to its former glory.

Until then, be patient!