ADHD, av8r007 @ WW Connect, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Nature, Technology, Weight Watchers

Foggy, wet conditions ahead

Wow… What did I wake up to today??? It was so dreary outside!  Winter must be here… Nope! Just Fall.  Right now more than ever I need to be sitting in front of my happy light.  This needs to be part of my routine STAT.  I can’t expect improvements until I finish what I started.  I did it last week which means I can still get it done this week.  🙂

“Alexa – Remind me tomorrow at 730AM to use my happy light for 20 minutes.”

I love you, Alexa! You continue to make my life easier to manage…

Fall Revised Routine:

5:45AM – Awake

6:00AM – No seriously, ass out of bed Mark.

6:10AM – 10 Minutes to get ready Shower/Get Ready/Go

6:20AM – Leave for work

7:00AM – 7:20AM (Alexa reminds Mark to use happy light for 20 minutes a day)

7:20AM – 4PM – Career

4:30 – 6:00PM – Gym

6:30PM – 8:30PM – WW Vlog, YouTube editing, Blog publishing

8:30PM – 10:30PM – It’s Hulu time!

10:30PM – Lights Out

 

Keep your eyes on the prize Mark.  You’ve got this!

 

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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. 

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

Change is in the air

I cannot express to you how different I feel this year compared to last.  As I look back in the past year, I see and find so many vast differences in my mood, my outlook, my body, and most importantly my dedication to lead a happy life.    Previously I held a blog stigmaunraveled.com, and while I loved it, I didn’t enjoy the content of it because I felt that it was very dark in nature.  I felt like I’ve really worked on becoming a new person since my relationship with my ex-ended so about a month ago I decided to let the URL run out and close it out.  I imported my content into this blog so it’s there if you so desire, but it’s in the archives.

I am doing daily vlogs on WW, and I absolutely love what I do because I know it works and I know that I am inspiring millions to chase their goals and become their best version of themselves. Just like I have done.  Everything I do I do for Jesus.  I won’t lie.  It’s easy to forget who I do this for.  I remind myself constantly that I do this for Jesus because I know that he is proud of me for the work I do in the mental health community in person and within my online communities.  I included a video I did last night for you below.  If you have WW, you can find me on Connect @av8r007.

I have been working very hard on myself lately, mostly what I think of myself in the mirror and also working on my confidence when interacting with others, especially handsome men that I might be interested in getting to know. :).   I still have a hard time bringing up that I don’t drink anymore.  It’s odd.  My friends are out drinking on the weekends, and I couldn’t be happier at home either working on my YouTube channel (upcoming) or working on this blog. Writing/Recording/Vlogging brings me great joy in life.  Drinking alcohol brings me nothing but pain and suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

It wasn’t that I had a problem with alcohol, well maybe heavy pours. It was the fact that after a night of drinking I’d want to buy a gun the next day and blow my head off.  Why? Alcohol is a depressant.  I am bipolar.  I cannot drink. My life is highly valuable compared to the cost of what alcohol would cost me.  I sometimes get worried about when I go on holiday about drinking.  Oh well, my why matters more.  I’ll just take it as it comes to me.

I’ve been hard at work in the gym, and I couldn’t be happier with the results that I’m driving.  My training schedule is pretty routine which I love because routine should have been my name!  I train as follows../Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday.  My growth days are now Thursdays and Mondays.  Thursdays because I have weekly therapy now with my therapist Chris.  It’s hard to believe I’ve been seeing my therapist Chris for six years now.  It was just yesterday I was being diagnosed.  My how my life has changed since my diagnosis.  No regrets

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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.

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

Live your best 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), 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), 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), Depression, Finances, Nature, Suicide Prevention, Technology, Weight Watchers, YNAB

Are you OK?

If I could collect $1.00 from every person that asked me if I’m doing okay since the breakup I’d be a millionaire… But I still wouldn’t be able to afford to live in Seattle..  It’s just fucking expensive here.. There is no other way of saying it.  $1200 a month for a shared kitchen, but I have my own space entirely and my private bathroom. Thank you JESUS!  I don’t have to share a bathroom anymore!  The things we look forward to at 33.

Speaking of 33, I don’t feel 33 in the slightest.  I feel like I’m 26 again.  I moved to Seattle when I was 28 from Phoenix and man was it a change.  Moving to Seattle, I was so eager to be in the cold weather, but I severely underestimated how much it really rained in the Northwest and how many gray days we would have each year.  226 days a year of clouds…. seriously..  I’ve learned that to love the Northwest and live here year after year, you must know how to make your own sunshine.

So I ask myself.  What am I doing now at 33 that makes me feel 26 again?  Easy.

I put me first every day.

Mental, Physical, Body, Spirit. I come first.  No exceptions.

I am working hard on everything I touch in life.  I will succeed in this.  I’m all I have, and I need to make this work.   I’ve graduated to bi-weekly therapy now that Spring has sprung and the sun is out more.  I see it as a huge win.

My ex and I are even hanging out together as friends, and it’s working out really well for us.  We both knew our relationship was over and we both knew that our happiness mattered more in life.  Five years was a long time for being my first real-life relationship.   You ask ‘Are you OK?’  and I remind myself that if you’re only asking because you love me.  I love you too.  Always and forever.  We can be great friends.  I’m great at that. 🙂

I’ve also lost 35.7 pounds since October 24th, 2017.  I follow Weight Watchers online, and I fucking love it.  I finally own my journey, and I love it.

Zero depression! 16 months sober too!  WHATTTT!