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Showing posts from January, 2017

Turning Heads

Losing 100 pounds turns a few heads. It also raises quite a few questions like.. How? I've always struggled with that answer. How.. I mean, I didn't go on a strict diet or start a dogmatic routine at a gym. I just got tired of where I was and curious where I could go. I figured the product in front of me was just the sum of my actions multiplied by time. If I changed a few actions, replaced a few habits, over time my product would change. The things is...I didn't have time for the gym or exercise. I'm a husband and a father of 3 young kids who daily need help with homework, food, attention... Still something had to change. I figured the best way to find time was to record how I used the time I had. After a week I realized how ineffective I was with the time I had. With a few changes to my schedule, I found I had a lot more time than I thought. Not only was it less stressful, I also found I had more time to prepare better foods for my family. Those foods helped…

Super Bowl LI

Well my dreams of a Texans vs Cowboys Super Bowl in Houston were crushed this year. Maybe next time, right? Growing up, I wasn't much of a football guy. My brothers were. I preferred Nintendo, RPGs, D&D. I wasn't even interested in Madden. Then John came along. I don't know where he got it from but the boy breathes sports. I put on cartoons and he's bored. I put on sports and he's glued. I don't get it. He's always looking to 'Down Set Hut' any minute, any day. Always looking to punt the ball, dive on it, and rush into an end zone. His love for the game even ignited mine. But the Houston Texans. Come on man! Give us a break! I guess it could be worse. Anyway. Super Bowl LI, it's coming up and the kids are all a buzz about it. They simply can't wait to see the big game. I can't wait to see the Puppy Bowl Halftime Show.

Landing Hot in Brazoria

After our journey to Healthy Way Dairy and Runge Park, we still had plenty of time to kill. So I decided to drive. I didn't know where but I figured we'd find something. We did. After a bit of driving, we came across the Brazoria Wildlife Refuge. Canadian geese were flying in formation overhead. I guess they have Google Maps too. Down a county road, we came across the Alligator Marsh Public Hunting Grounds. We weren't too excited to visit for obvious reasons. We were close to the Freeport beaches so I sent a text to Anne to see just how long exactly are we supposed to be gone. DiscoveryDown the road, I saw more birds in formation, behind them appeared to be the outline of a plant looking kite. It wasn't a kite. I stumbled upon an airfield! The planes were doing trick moves. What's more, it wasn't a normal airfield, it was an RC airfield! Twitch decision, I pulled in to get a closer look. The kids faces adhered to the windows, staring at 2 planes stunting wond…

Saturday Morning Adventures - Santa Fe Texas

Saturday Morning, Anne Marie wanted the kids out of the house so I decided to go on a mini road trip with them. Our first stop was to the Healthy Way Dairy Farm. A friend of mine mentioned you can get raw, unpasteurized milk from there. It peeked my interest. This farm is in the middle of an unincorporated neighborhood in Santa Fe, Texas. By the time we reached it, I was questioning Google Map's authority and accuracy. Good News, in the end, I didn't find the wrong way, I found the Healthy Way Dairy Farm. Thanks navigation! The place had quite a few cows, some ready for milking. Farmers where busy running tractors back in forth as the cows mooed and moved about. In the front of the farm, there was a small lot and a small red shack set up as a store. Inside, there are refrigerators full of gallon and half gallon jugs of milk. Milk from a single cow source. The cows are even named! As an American used to getting milk from a store, that blows me away. So does the price. $10 …

Hiking at Jack Brooks Park

My 6 yr old son has been having some problems at school so I decided to take a day off with him. I decided we should go on an old fashioned hike together. I imagine a father would take his troubled son out to experience nature in some world like ours. Well after a quick look at biking and walking trail in the area, I came across this app called AllTrails. It's like MapMyFitness (another great app) but for parks and trails. Go figure. Looking at the list of trails, I discovered one labeled hard. A hard trail? How does one even make a hard trail anywhere near where I live? For those who don't know, Houston resides on prairies and marshes. I live on the subtropical marsh side. Yay mosquitoes! The only elevation we see down here are from the overpasses. Anyways, I've been to this park about once a year. Backstory. My daughter's biological father played disc golf and her grandmother holds a yearly disc golf tournament in his honor benefiting my daughter. There's…

January Challenge : Your Own Character Sheet

If you're anything like me, you love a set of shiny dice. I tell you, I have so many sets, I could start a business! It was an addiction of mine for the longest time. Another one was models. I have a ton of models, painted and plain, used and still packaged. They are all collecting dust between campaigns and sessions! But even with all these shiny bells and whistles, the game doesn't get far without a pen & paper, right? Gadgets are nice, but the don't tell the story. A nicely painted models can't tell you his INT or how many hitpoints it has. That's vital statistics! Your Character SheetThe have a log for our heroes for a reason. We need to keep track of where the hero is at. But do you bother keeping a log for yourself? Keeping a log forces you to reflect on each day rather than trudging through life like a mindless zombie with no INT score. A journal helps identify patterns, both good and bad, and enables you to course correct when you start charging …

A New Year

2017 brings a new year and with it, a new direction. A direction out of hiding in the shadows into a world I am no longer ashamed of myself. Funny, how shame even creeps on me after all the success I've experienced. You'd think by now I'd find the cure! But shame is a slithering, sneaky, serpent of a dragon, not easy killed. I submitted and hid in shame for years. The thing is, just like in weightless, I can't cancel out the years with a couple of days. ShameAnd I don't even know why I struggle. I've spent time trying to figure it out. The result? Nothing other than I am afraid to the shame of failure to the point of paralyzation. For so many years, I could't stand losing. I was (still am in ways) ultra competitive. Even my wife refused to play board games with me for years because of it. We're only recently getting back to where will break out a game. 5 years ago, I'd get mad at the table if I rolled a 1. Man, I had some issues. Still do. They…

Fighting Food Addiction

Ever notice some foods you just have trouble with overeating? I know I do. Well, if you're anything like me, you go HAM at Italian and Mexican food restaurants with the bread & chips. Bread & chips aren't even the enemy, I just go to town on them, killing complete baskets on autopilot. The thing is, I have the same problem with them at home. I'd go to the store and each week would perpetually purchase problem foods. Unhealthy Foods I craved, I put in the basket without a thought. It wasn't until I started purposely keeping them off my grocery list, was I able to fight the addiction. Yes, you'll want those foods, you will crave them. Your saliva will kick in when you get to that aisle. You may even automatically reach for them on the shelf. I did. Many times. There is a psychological struggle that comes with addiction and overeating. But, you can't over eat what you don't have. Sure, there's a struggle, but the struggle doesn't have to be e…

Frodo's Fading Resolutions

Have you noticed the gym is a little less crowded already? Only days into the new year and many well intention resolutions are already fading fast. But is this even a surprise? How foolish are we to believe a few days of willpower can override a deep ingrained habit? Creatures Of HabitWe are creatures of habit. We strive to find levels and routines we can protect, a place where we can stay. Kind of like a Hobbit Hole. The thing is, if change was easy, everyone would do it. It's not easy. It's uncomfortable. It takes time and effort and you're most likely going to fall down and get a little dirty along the way. What's more, without a map, you might as well be traveling through Mordor to get to your destination. You got to also be able to read the map. Accountability PartnerThat's why you need an accountability partner. Think of it as a Sam to your Frodo. Someone to help guide you along your adventure through weight-loss of whatever resolution you've deci…

2016 In Review

What a year!If you said last January I'd be cartwheeling and performing pull ups, I'd of looked at you crazy. Why would anyone even do that? At the beginning of 2015, I couldn't scale 3 flights of stairs without stopping for breath. I couldn't perform 5 consecutive push ups without dropping to my knees. Sure, I was down to 250 but obesity wasn't the only thing 35 years of laziness caused. I was out of shape and fitness wasn't even on my radar. BackstoryIt started with 2015. I was juggling excuses like a circus clown. I was so fixated in trying to control everything, I payed no mind to the talents I possessed. What's more, I wasn't even in control. My first step on the path toward success was becoming aware of where I was. So like how a gamer builds a hero from a peasant in a RPG, I began auditing where I was so I could get to where I wanted to go. I was the level 1 unlikely hero. Now in D&D, you audit abilities and rank skills to measure succes…

Change In The Air

Once again, the year is new and resolutions are on the rise. Many sick of the old stand tall and declare change in the air. With defiance against old habits, they swear this year will be different. This year will be new! The bad part is, most resolutions are given up before they come to fruition. The goals die before given a chance to live. But how do we see our goal to the finish? The biggest way I lost 100 pounds and quit smoking was through accountability. I kept a journal and confided in people who wanted to see me succeed. Along the way, through trial and error, I learned tricks to help me succeed better. It has been an amazing journey. But the journey isn't over. As I ascend to my next peak, I realize mastery over the basics is crucial. That said, I'm looking to take in a few people for a wellness mastermind group. This is a group where your chances of success will multiply exponentially. Together we will share successes, failures, and will motivate each other along the…

With Change Comes Challenge

With every change come a corresponding challenge. Big changes come with big challenges. I'm reminded of this with my most recent road trip. I live in League City. It's between Houston and Galveston. For our Christmas break, we decided to take a trip to New Mexico. That's over 750 miles one way. Over 12 hrs of driving. We also have 3 kids. Now it you're a parent, you're already nodding your head. But if you aren't, kids, particularly 3 and 6 year olds, start unraveling after 3 hours in a car ride. If we're honest, they start unraveling as soon as they get in the car but it's bearable for those first 3 hours. It helps when there's scenery. The thing is, after Houston, there's not much scenery between Houston and San Antonio. Just a lot of flat lands and rolling hills. Not much obvious change. It reminds me of my weight loss journey. I made a change, a resolution. I decided things will be different! I hit the road of life with new habits! But a…

Same Variables, Different Results

"Stop giving same variables expecting different results." The third day of January, my birthday, I want to face my fear. My fear of how others will feel about my failings. You see, I'm pretty insecure. Better than before, but I still struggle daily. I need to confront my fears. I need to stop running from this Dragon and finally face it down. I need to reveal the ugly lizard casting large shadows for what it really is! I know my words aren't for everyone. They might not work for every person coming across them. But my words are not for those people. We are not all assembly line creations. There's no one size fits all. My words are for who they work for. Distilling my message to satisfy imaginary critics diminishes the chances it will actually help someone. But hiding words in order to appease people who might not exist, I'm robbing the people who might actually need to hear them. I know these words help people. I've seen it first hand. By restrict…