ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, av8r007 @ WW Connect, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Debt, Depression, Finances, Suicide Prevention, Technology, Weight Watchers

Feeling Good! It’s October!

Good Goblin Evening to you!

What a reMarkable weekend it’s been for sure!  I think I’ve felt every emotion this weekend and I didn’t lose my crap either.. Well made Mark!  🙂

Let’s break it down:

Friday: Worked out extensively after work, felt depression lurking.  Not sure why.  Lack of clouds?  Not at all, it was a sunny day.   Depression can sometimes hit us for no reason.  Out of the blue sky.  Is something wrong with me?  No, not.

You’re just a different kind of brain. A unique brain that requires a particular type of care and can entirely lead a fulfilling life filled with dreams and desires just like an anyone else.

Saturday: hit the gym especially hard, and it was a terrific upper body workout if I do say so myself!  My shoulders are exploding!  Woot!  I then met up with my buddy for lunch post workout, and we chowed down on some delicious five guys grub.  Man protein is so critical When I left I felt like I ate a cow, which I did. However, I rest assured knowing that I earned that burger and it was every bit delicious as I thought it would be while ordering it!  But I compromised and got a small fry because I don’t need chips.. Just a taste Mark.  You don’t need the whole buffet Mark.  🙂

Sunday: Today I was supposed to hit the gym hard, but during my walk today in Volunteer Park I felt my lower back start to ache. I fired up the FitBod app that I use for bodybuilding and realized my back recovery percentage was at 43% and I knew today should be a rest day because I’ve been pushing myself extra hard lately.  Not because I’m manic, but because I have a goal in mind of who and what I want to be.   There is nothing irrational about that.

So what’s with the depression?  Why do I feel depressed?

Oh! Dave Ramsey arrived!  You received this gift from your parental units who felt that you could use this and learn from it.

Yes.  You’re right.  I became super defensive when I unboxed the material and saw the various elements.  It was new, it was overpowering, and it was causing me high anxiety.  Instead of racing for the vodka I went to the grocery instead and got some junk food to carb load on AKA binge.  That’s my heroine.  Food.

But hey it’s been over two years since my last drink!  That’s pretty groovy, and a HUGE achievement!

It may be October, and on November 4th we’re turning back our clocks back however my motivation and dedication to staying fit and healthy will only charge forward!

Last, the other day on CNN there was an article written about a recent study that well.. I don’t want to give it away.. All I can tell you is it’s eye-opening. 

12E53E2A-294D-44A3-8180-419F7B2AA85A032C1602-FCFF-43BF-81AA-77A3A4669E41A+kXaq83Ra6lBGZ5Umi+aw

 

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, av8r007 @ WW Connect, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Suicide Prevention, Technology, Weight Watchers

Routine is key​

In February, shortly after Valentines Day’s this year, my life changed.  The breakup I knew was coming.  It was still winter in Seattle and I really just wanted to curl up into a ball and sleep into eternity because my depression was so thick I couldn’t see more than 2 inches in front of me.  It was a horrible time in my life, and it wasn’t until the following week I had moved out and into my own apt.  My personal sanctuary where I can find my own peace and meditate without fear or distraction.    I just had to remember that after Valentines Day when it was over (after 5 years) that when I quit drinking two years ago, I remember being told to take it one day at a time.

As a bipolar individual, it is incredibly difficult to take life one day at a time when you have a manic episode.  In fact, the world is rushing by you at 12,000 MPH and find it impossible to stop.  You feel invincible, like nothing, and nobody can stop you from anything.  The question that I begged to answer was, how do I prevent this from happening again??? What can I do RIGHT NOW to avoid another repeat hell winter??

Establish your routine:

My mother always told me it takes 21 days to build a habit.  Perfect.  21 days.

So I committed myself to walk to work for 21 days when during the summer months when the weather was clear.  It was so lovely and refreshing, extra steps!   I would bus to my job and then hit up the gym right after and walk home from the gym.  During the summer months, I was averaging close to 20K steps a day.  How cool right?

Until FALL hits like a rainstorm and you just don’t want to walk 2 miles uphill soaked.  So I compensated after the gym and took the bus home, so therefore I didn’t get as many steps.  Rather than feeling lazy about not getting enough steps, I increased my loads at the gym and found new exercises to continue to challenge and push me.  When I did this it told me two things 1.) You can still get just as much benefit as you were if you commit to just a bit longer at the gym.  Do 15 minutes more and then bus home.  Remember, PUSH yourself.  If you want to quit, think about your why.  Think about why you signed up for this.

Now it’s fall, and I’ve gone from 17K steps daily July 2018 to 13K steps Sept 2018.

Is my bipolar mind obsessing over it?  Not today. :). Instead, I’m looking at it this way.  I work my butt off at the gym, and I am driving home results.  I’m proud of my efforts, and I’m making sure that I treat my body right nutritionally to make sure that I’m getting the optimum nutrition I need for a healthy life.  I remember about what I learned after I quit drinking.  One Day at a time.

21 days to start a habit.  Unfortunately, it’s a habit.  Good/Bad depends on you and the choices that you make.

Btw today was my weigh in day on WW, and I lost another five lbs.

sSffiQw6nUpBuf9CehA

IMG_0644

12 months now.. down 85 and counting!  If you are on WW, find my Connect home @av8r007

Live your best life!

Mark

 

 

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

Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Suicide Prevention, Technology, Weight Watchers

Binge eating and how I’m beating the hell out of it.

Depression is rotten.  It is a rotten disorder that often haunts me with food indulgences and lack of responsibility in portion control and accurately tracking my points on Weight Watchers.  I wonder why I do things the way I do sometimes however for binge eating I am rather curious how my thoughts form that give myself permission to indulge in XYZ?

I work out a ton.  I am proud of that.  What kills me though is when I do binge I feel like I am ruining my efforts at the gym.  I feel like I’m purposely sabotaging myself by consuming candy at the movie theatre or eating a pint of Halo Top on my bed while watching Black Mirror on Netflix.  What is it that causes me to do this?

For me I believe it comes down to two things:

Am I eating any aspartame?

Where is my Weight Watchers app?  Have I checked into Connect today?

Since giving up Diet Coke four weeks ago I have witnessed sensational changes in my appearance and my outlook is better.  I definitely look less bloated in tight muscle shirts and I like that.  🙂 A lot.  My muscles are definitely growing during sleep.    I’m just learning to be patient and learning everything in time.  I often remind myself it’s not a race, or a marathon Mark so slow down!  I hope I have many many years left on Earth and I want to enjoy my bipolar life.  I want to continue to spread awareness on mental health to everyone I encounter.

“Hi! Is everything ok?”

Just ask.

 

Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Suicide Prevention, Technology, Weight Watchers

Discounting the good times

Good Evening!

Well, what an exciting day it was!  Where should I start?  Ah yes, oversleeping!  Never a good idea on a Monday!  Would I call in that I overslept and I’d be in shortly and take the next bus, or do I need to take a Lyft and get there on time?  By the time I wake up I’m really not ready to make any big decisions until I at least get the opportunity to choose happiness before my feet hit the floor.  I needed to take a Lyft, so I called one up and I got to work on time, despite oversleeping.  Victory for me, yet it was a casual $10 fare which I didn’t really expect that I would be forking over first thing Monday AM before my morning coffee.  What can you do though?  You have 2 minutes to decide your method of transport and you have places to be!

As I’m heading down the stairs to fetch my ride, I am finding that I am in a self-destructive mood in terms of remembering some of the highlights that I experienced over my long weekend and discounting them because I was feeling pissed off, but I didn’t know why yet.  I got to go on a date which was really lovely and I saw Mission Impossible yesterday and it was terrific.  It was an excellent weekend however as soon as I sat down in my Lyft I felt the happiness start to slide over and misery began to push me over and slide me off my chair.  Misery loves company.  I didn’t allow myself more than 30 seconds until I ate so much over the weekend, but I also worked my butt off at the gym… Why do I feel so angry?  What did I do that I don’t know about?  Something is wrong.  I can’t choose happiness.  Why can’t I prefer happiness?  This isn’t right.  Something is off.

… the weigh in?

I weighed in this AM before I left the apartment and I gained 4.6 lbs over the weekend.  Did this set me off for a self-destructive AM mood?  Credible.  I wasn’t wearing my glasses when I weighed in today either so I couldn’t see what it was telling me, I figured my phone would just tell me I was the same (Withings Body Cardio Scale) which measures your stats to your mobile.   I’m up 4.6 pounds yet!  What the fork is that about?  4.6 is a lot. AH OK… Now we now why Mark is off… Now to be fair, I do lift heavy weights, but with bodybuilding, you have to eat an immense amount of protein, and for 6’4″ 220 I need to eat 276g of protein a day.

Finding 276g of protein a day can be tricky, however, I am finding clever ways to make it work.  I am sticking to my WW Freestyle foods which give me the most bang for my point.  Chicken is zero, and unlimited but I still portion it because I am tracking my macronutrients in a separate app because WW doesn’t allow you to see your protein grams.  I have yet to reach 276g of protein daily.   I have met 250g as my farthest. You have to be careful though about your protein sources.  I can’t eat junk food.  That’s not Freestyle.  That’s burnout and zero results.

For dietary choices, I’ve switched to Egg Beaters because it’s 0 fat, o cholesterol, and all the protein because it’s egg whites.  I have 1 cup of Egg Beaters every morning scrambled which is 0 points on Freestyle and that comes out to about 24g of protein which is the same as 4 whole eggs.  I try to take in 40-50G of protein at every intake meal.  For breakfast, it’s usually the eggs and a 12-15G protein yogurt like Chobani or alike.  Watch the sugar on the yogurts though…   Like I said I’m smart.  I know I can always do a better job but I’m making it work and that’s all that matters.

I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

Depression can’t win me over.

Not even in the dead of winter can I be robbed of the joy for I am worthy.

 

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Finances, Suicide Prevention, Weight Watchers

Depression can piss off!

Hey there Folks!

What a beautiful Saturday it is in Seattle!  I woke up this morning after feeling pretty sour going to bed last night due to a mixed bag of emotional distress.  Mostly about my ex, my past drinking addiction, and my commitment to maintaining my sobriety above all us.

Instead of waking up and turning on the TV as I typically do, I looked at my watch and said ‘I need to prioritize my day.’  If I sit here and do nothing except wallow in my self-misery then I’m going to start binging more than I already have on junk food, and worse I’ll just sneak farther away into depression and when depression gets really bad it can trigger a manic episode and that is the last thing I want to have to happen.  I will do whatever it takes to prevent a manic/mania incident from forming and lashing out.

I grabbed a protein shake and I headed to the gym.  For all the anger that I have in this world, nothing feels better than to bottle it up and let it explode on the barbell.  For every time I complete a rep of 10 bicep curls with every breath I can see the demon leaving me.  With every push up I can feel the demon trying to sit on my back and push me down, but I say Piss off Depression, you’re not welcome here.  You never were.

I am fearless.  Depression does not own me.  Depression does not control me.  The demon will never win.  Jesus Christ is on my side and that’s the way is gonna be!

 

 

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.

G6jc61pDSueq9JV1I1zV%w4FFdIhCsSvOPZYLpj5OFBgALjhQMWnSSeYVlIuV2QBLw

 

tAfob+NtRr2hB3ZiA+f5RA

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