Automatic Thoughts, av8r007 @ WW Connect, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Nourishing the soul, Suicide Prevention, Weight Watchers

Dear Lynn, I’ve got your back!

Dear Lynn,

Last Thursday I had posted a vlog in which I asked my followers on WWConnect (@av8r007) what you struggled with in life, and I chose your question for today’s video as well as I wanted to include a note of gratitude to you for opening up and being vulnerable with the community. You wrote: “Struggling with depression. 45 years, never found a med that helped, just muscled through and distracted enough to be ok. Going through a bad patch again and wish there were some new drugs around.”

Lynn, my friend you are loved and you are worth it.  I’ve been on anti-depressants and antipsychotics to treat my own bipolar/anxiety disorder and have found to have the same path as you. My psychiatrist has had me on numerous drugs all thought to treat the same, but no matter what happened, it just got worse. It never got better. It turns out though that it wasn’t the medications that were preventing me from being happy; it was the physical barriers that were standing in my way. I had to play leapfrog and skip right over them because life is short.

You have one mission in life, and that is to love thy neighbor as you love yourself. The issue with depression is self-love can be incredibly difficult to find. I don’t know what struggles your facing personally; however, I do identify wholeheartedly with your struggles, and I want you to know three things in closing.

1.) Jesus loves you just the way you are

2.) You are worth it! Believe it! The tribe does!

3.) Take your meds everyday.  Even if you feel perfectly fine.

Cheers to you and your success in life,

Mark

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Nourishing the soul, Suicide Prevention, Weight Watchers

Summer colds and rest days. Rest Mark!

Today is a rest day from the gym and quite honestly I hate rest days because I feel like I’m being lazy if I dare eat a donut in fear of gaining weight, or giving myself shame over enjoying perhaps the second donut… What gives?  I logged it right!?  Of course, you did, and that’s what you were supposed to do.  Even in the smallest moments of enjoying tasting good, the guilt sneaks in and wants to rob the taste right off your buds in fear that everything you worked for at the gym was for a waste.  Was it?  Of course not!  It tasted good damn, and I’m glad I ate it.

The end of the start of a depressive episode.

I have lived with depression my entire life and I know my way around my head pretty good in terms of what my surroundings are like when I fall into a trap and it typically revolves around food, and self-shame for enjoying junk food.. like ice cream, or candy.. you name it.  I am so good at self shame.  I constantly have to work on ways to keep my mind from entering shame mode.  It’s painful once you’re there and it takes a lot to climb out of it because when you are dealing with shame it brings your why into question and if you’re why is being questioned then your identity might as well be up for grabs as well.

I’ve started this new routine whenever I start to feel danger is near I’ll just call out to Jesus in my head and ask for guidance and it seems to work.  In fact, when I find myself in situations where I need an instant morale boost I can call on Christ my king to strengthen me from within.  My mind, loves to play games and in past times it would win and I would be depressed.  It was a common occurrence.

I’m battling off this summer cold that decided to make an ugly return into my life this past week.  I’ve picked up a gnarly nail biting habit and I seriously need to stop because it’s disgusting.  It’s especially gross knowing that gym equipment isn’t always the most sanitary…  Even since the armpit issue a few weeks ago I’ve been extra sanitary at the gym and taking care to make sure I clean up my sweat as well because it’s equally as gross if I do not up.

Weight Training is going terrific.  I absolutely love the path I am on for the gym and I can see big-time results. Which is weird because I’ve only been doing this for.. according to the app I’m using called Fitbod I’ve had 23 workouts of all time with the program and I love it!  Fitbod Weight Lifting Tracker is the iOS program I am using right now and I love it.  Fitbod shows me the reps I need to strive for, and suggests the weight to shoot for.  I hit it every time and I push my limits hard.  Fitbod will use AI (Artificial Intelligence) to predict your muscle rate of recovery and assign you to do exercises that target that specific area.  It’s an excellent app and I give it my stamp of approval!  It’s in the App Store and I think you get 30 days free of it, but $7.99 a month or $49.99 a year.  Honestly, though, personal trainers are so expensive.  $50.00 a year for equal results if not better, and in YOUR control is totally worth it.   Like I always say in my Connect videos on Weight Watchers. You have to invest in you.  You have to be smart about your fitness.

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Thank you, Jesus, for granting me this bipolar life so that I could learn how to inspire when the odds are against you from the start.  I am fighting against the statistics of bipolar depression related to suicide and I will fight until my last day on earth.

I’ve successfully had two days off of the gym which means tomorrow is Saturday and I can resume chasing my bodybuilder goals!

What doesn’t challenge us doesn’t change us

Yours truly,

 

Mark

 

 

 

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Nourishing the soul, Suicide Prevention, Weight Watchers

So much for a “Rest day..”

I have a pretty slick work out schedule these days.  I go to this gym across the street from my career which means I am out of excuses for why I cannot go to the gym today.   This is especially true since I no longer own a car and have to walk by the gym every day just to get home. 🙂  Pretty reMarkable huh?  I think so!  Why would you want a gym membership across town if you have one right next to your career land?  I’m happy about that!  Plus it’s a full gym and offers these sensational views of Puget Sound from the treadmills.  I often time get to spend my others rush-hour in traffic on the weight bench, glancing out the window and seeing the ferries leave from Seattle and sail away to the various islands of Puget Sound.

It’s been six days also without diet coke!!  It’s been pretty easy, except for every morning I’ve woken up at 3AM to an excruciating headache.  I’ve been taking some Aleve and nodding back to bed, but I know this too will pass.  I just have to remember what my dad told me when I quit smoking eight years ago.  “Marko, you’re the only goal for today is to not have a cigarette.”   He was right.  When you break down a habit that you want to break you can simplify it and make it easier to work with.  “Marko, your only goal for today is to not drink any soda.”  Notice any.  It’s not about diet coke anymore, it’s about any, and ALL soda is being rid from my system.   As an aspiring bodybuilder, I decided that it was time to give up the diet coke if I want to achieve a better body.  Plus the chemicals in Diet Coke are terrible.  But I get it.  It’s addicting and delicious.  I’ve been settling on sparkling water lately.  La Croix is old news.. Pepsi makes bubbly, and it’s equally delicious and often half the cost.  The 3 for $10 at local grocery stores is not a good deal when you look at the other brands newer to the market.  I hate drinking water, always have. In fact, I drank diet coke over water. Ugh. No more… Six days sober of Diet Coke & most importantly six days since Aspartame last entered my body.  Side note, I got 15K steps today.  I didn’t plan on it. In fact, I purposely bussed everywhere I could because I’m monitoring my muscle gain and cardio rate.  15K is much more sensible. I often think of 20K-25K steps a day I’m burning muscle when I don’t want to be.  IDK, it’s a mixed bag of arguments on that topic.  Oh well, I’m just gonna keep pushing and pulling and doing my best every day.  It’s why God put me here.  Do your best and love your neighbor.

As a manic depressive, and bipolar type 2 individual I have to keep my life in routines or else I run the risk of breaking down into a manic episode.  When I have a manic episode, I’m not shouting at the top of my lungs on the street corner, or going psychosis.  Instead, I’m lined up at Best Buy buying everything I can lay my hands on because my self-moral is in the toilet.  If I ever tell you I went to best buy, ask me how my depression is going.  I tend to shop when I have a depressive episode.  I will often try anything to feel better.  Ice Cream. Ben & Jerrys. When I am depressed, I will empty a pint a night of Ice Cream and the next day be sick to my stomach in regret.  Except now, I know that I work so hard at the gym for the results I want to drive that eating the ice cream just isn’t worth it anymore.  Instead, I’ve been grabbing those Outshine bars that are like 60 sweet calories and being 95 in Seattle, it’s delicious.

I’m so happy to be back blogging!  Oh, I’ve missed it, but I’ve been focusing on my videos.  To all my Stigma Unraveled fans welcome to the new generation of self-happiness.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving me the inspiration to do this and to follow my dreams.

Have a reMarkable Thursday

Mark

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Nourishing the soul, Suicide Prevention, Technology, Weight Watchers

WOW.. 2018

Well hey, stranger!

You found me!  I’ve only been planning this secret project for the last year, and I’m finally ready to merge the two together!  For my previous bloggers who followed me here, thank you for finding me here.  I’ve missed blogging a lot. I needed a break from life, and I started to do videos instead, and I love it.   Now at 23 months sober, I can say I’m doing daily Vlogs on WW Connect, @Remarkablevlog on Instagram, and I’ll be on YouTube soon!

Since October 2017 when I joined Weight Watchers (for the 25th time) is right when Freestyle was introduced, and it immediately appealed to me because the focus was on protein and keeping fruits and vegetables to be mostly zero allowed better freedom for me to work on my ultimate goal.  I want to be a bodybuilder.  I am 6’5,” and I have the body for it.  I have the stamina, and I have the commitment to myself and my savior Christ to be the strongest warrior that I can be for the world we live in.    What a beautiful name it is,  Jesus.  Thank you for giving me this life.

My depression has been at its lowest since I started therapy again in 2013.  I couldn’t be happier about that.  Winters still suck in Seattle, but that’s why gyms exist and Weight Watchers Connect to inspire on.  I love to share my journey and to reach out to the ends of the world and show love to everyone.    I have worked so hard on my life in the last 12 months and often times my depression wants to rob me of the joy of celebration. But you know what?  Depression is only as strong as you make it, and YOU CAN REDUCE IT!  YES, you can!  I am bipolar and manic-depressive, so while I’ll never be able to stop taking my antidepressant medications, I know that I am working against the odds in which my SSRI tells me that I may be affected by.

Gained Weight? Nope!  I mean, food tastes scrumptious delicious, but nope I fought back constantly!  Depressed Libido?  Wouldn’t know. Celibate.  Sleepiness: You betcha.  I love to snooze.

The point is that if you take a medication that is known to cause side effects which including gaining weight or lack of sex drive, you can indeed fight back.

Join Weight Watchers.  Join a Gym.  Follow me on Connect @ AV8R007 and give your life to Jesus and you’ll be so happy you did!

Thank you to all who have supported me through my roughest moments yet.  I am stronger today then I’ve been in my entire life, and I’m not speaking physically.  I’m talking mentally.  In the last five years I’ve spent in therapy I have absorbed so much CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) knowledge, and I’m putting it into play every day and into every thought and it’s reversing everything negative!

Feeling Good Handbook by Dr. David Burns is terrific.

I’ll be on meds for the rest of my life, and that’s OK.  I’m turning out to be just fine physically.  I just had to work for it.

Yours truly,

Mark

 

P.S.  I’m going to be posting my Connect videos here as well in a couple weeks.  If you miss it on Connect you’ll be able to find them here, as well as YouTube when that channel launches later this year.

PPS… Seriously, thank you for being my friend.  143

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Daily Prompt, Depression, Finances, Nourishing the soul, Suicide Prevention, Weight Watchers

6-months of awesomeness!

I remember October 24 of last year so much. I felt trapped, I felt alone, and all I wanted to do was cry and eat whatever I could because I felt like I wasn’t worth shit and felt like my life was completely falling apart.

Since 10/24/17 I have worked fearlessly on myself and I couldn’t be happier.

I’m single!

I’m sober! #16months without ONE sip of alcohol!

And I’m down 35 lbs!

This is the life I’ve always wanted and I finally am getting what I deserve!

HAPPINESS!

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Nourishing the soul, Technology, Weight Watchers

Zero excuses.

When I think about all the changes that I’ve made since October 24th, I’m nothing but absolutely stunned at my success.   What do I mean?

Oh gosh, well!  I’m down 35.7 lbs for starters and tonight’s post is about how I had some weakness earlier this morning coming off of the weekend fun I had, and I felt a panic this morning, and I felt the need to share it with you because it’s impactful to me.

I’m very hard on myself.  It’s often the bi-polar part of me that shines through when you the excessiveness that gets applied to my life and my goals… Like my fitness moments.. speaking off..28,000 steps again..  I did the same thing on Saturday with a friend from out of town.  It was great.  I love hosting out of town guests and showing them the fun of Seattle. It was a total hurricane here on Saturday, I’ve never seen or felt so much water in my life.  Despite the rain, my friend and I clocked in 28,000 steps and made a profound statement of self-worth.  AH! YES! I CAN!

The problem with depression is that despite having the most significant gains, I still find myself falling short and indulging myself more than I can “afford.”   This weekend was a complete trainwreck with my eating patterns because we ate out so much. However, we made the commitment to track every bite.  Being a recovering alcoholic, I don’t drink anymore!  So I don’t have to worry about drinking my points away or do I?

Not drinking, but binging entirely.  I find that when I am with others that do not necessarily follow the same lifestyle as I do, I can liken to their style very quickly and if I’m not careful I can totally wreck out and end up in depression and self-misery.  It was beneficial that my friend follows the lifestyle too, so we were accountability buddies, but still, we indeed didn’t behave ourselves in our food aspirations.

 

Oh well!  It tasted good.  I worked my butt off at the gym today and came very close to throwing up after my cardio session.  It was amazing!

For now, the depression is gone.  Tomorrow is another day, and more of those thoughts will flood my mind.  Just because they’re there doesn’t mean that there correct. My brain is on constant awareness for depression and I’ve instructed my recruits it’s survival mode from here on out.  Do not be intimidated.

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Daily Prompt, Depression, Nature, Nourishing the soul, Suicide Prevention, Weight Watchers, YNAB

Email to my therapist

Hey, Favorite therapist ever!

Just wanted to pass along an update to you that I’m doing AMAZING, and very happy!  Zero depression!  Zero credit cards! On top of my budget, and I’m soaring in my job.  I am more than ever focused on self-love, blogging, and continuing to lose weight is just making me happier because I am finally focusing on ME and my entire health.

16 months sober and never looking back.

See you on the 19th 🙂

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Daily Prompt, Depression, Nature, Nourishing the soul, Weight Watchers

Me First.

It has been roughly two months since the breakup and despite the occasional tirade of delusional thoughts, I have developed a great sense of knowing when my depression thought strike and I have adapted ways on dismissing them.

A routine:

While in the shower I will start a conversation out loud with myself and focus on self love and self acceptance.

“Hey Mark, Good Morning!  You look great today, and confident.  Don’t forget to smile bright today. Work hard today because you can.”

“Keep your why handy and pull it out when you feel weak or that you’re losing a grip on life.  Remember, just because a food is there doesn’t mean that you have to eat it.”

“Remember Mark, you need to be strong today and be a warrior today. You are a smart and talented individual and people are drawn to you because you demonstrate love and acceptance daily.”

Now, I don’t have this verbatim.  But you get the idea.  Do it in the shower. Or stand in front of the mirror when you’re brushing your teeth and just talk to yourself.  Don’t be shy.  It’s perfectly OK to praise YOU.

It’s one change that I’ve implemented since I started to believe in my CBT and it really helps me throughout the day remember why I’m here.  Why I’m 16 months sober, and why I want to look good naked.

I’m fucking worth it dammit.  My life depends on it, and my job is to BE AMAZING at it!

Fuck PERFECTION.

P.S.  You’re down 30 pounds!  Way to Go Buddy!  #MEFIRST

 

 

 

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Nourishing the soul

What a fun day!

Depression? Who are you? You don’t live here anymore.

I cannot begin to share with you how better if I feel knowing that I am controlling my emotions now and I regulate what comes in and what goes out. Only positivity is allowed to pass through the gates into my life. Misery and self hate do not live here.

I’ve just had the best weekend with friends and family.

Happy Easter! I feel great!