av8r007 @ WW Connect, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Recovery, Suicide Prevention, Weight Watchers

Setting goals and the realistic approach

I’ve done a lot of soul searching the past few weeks as I have been recovering from alcoholism and I’ve caught myself setting really strict goals on myself in regards to what I can/cannot do eat/cannot eat, having a diet soda / vs a sugared coke?

I was 380 at my highest weight and I remember that when I was first setting a weight loss goal for myself I entered “150 pounds,” I felt overwhelmed by the number and felt that eating comfort food would help me feel better about getting over my weight and the losses that I expect to see vs reality. I have an ADHD brain and I have a really hard time reading books because my mind doesn’t stop racing so instead I look to Audible books and I’m listening to Oprah’s latest book. Something about Oprah reading brings chills to my soul. I love what I’m hearing so far.

After 15 years of fighting myself with my diet and lifestyle I found my tribe on Weight Watchers and lost 145 pounds. I yo-you’d like no tomorrow. I had huge negative weeklies, and I felt less guilty at the end of the day when I know I had logged all my food like I was suppose to do. Except I came from using paper trackers and now we do it all on our phones. Huzzah! I learned that learning how to loose weight and developed ways to keep it off take time, and patience. My best realistic goal is to STOP putting dates on the weight loss agenda. Dates further complicate your goal. Enjoy the ride, that’s why they call it a lifestyle.

Im 6’4″ and I weigh 235 and according to WW I should get to 205 – 210 for my frame. I accept that. So I’m in the final 20-25 pound range and it’s taking it’s sweet time coming off. I won’t deny that my sweet tooth hasn’t played a role in the lack of fat loss recently however I know what I need to do, and therefore I shall because that’s just what I do.

Making small changes LEAD to BIG results.

One Day At A Time.

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

Learning how to love me sober

Choosing to live a life of 100% sobriety is not easy.  In fact, it’s the hardest challenge I have faced in recent years.  I thought losing weight was the hardest thing ever!

Alcohol is available everywhere, just like cigarettes.  You walk to a grocery store and you see stockpiles of liqueur in the middle of the store, and you find cigarettes behind the cashier ready for sale.   The addiction is legit, and if we’re not careful then we can end up in a rut of personal hell where every goal we set for ourselves is plagued with regret and despair because all we wanted to do was drink ourselves to oblivion, or.. death.  Lord knows I did.

The silver lining in this whole sobriety thing is that I no longer want to kill myself sober.  I’ve realized that all of my suicidal ideas that came to me were because of my substance abuse and the number of drugs that were riddled in my blood.    My sponsor and I are working on the 12 steps, and I recently completed working through Step 1 “We admitted we were powerless of alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Let’s think about that for a second.. “that our lives had become unmanageable.”  What does this really mean?  Is this me?  Is my life manageable while I am using drugs and alcohol?  Absolutely NOT!  Addiction was plaguing and ruining every self-positive thing I was trying to do.  I couldn’t do anything right in my life because I wouldn’t quit spending money on things I didn’t need, and my depression and anxiety were all over the map because my medications couldn’t do their job.  I would drink as soon as I walked in the door from work, and I would smoke as soon as I sat down ready to unwind.  I did this 7 days a week 365 days a year.  Yep… Unmanagable for sure.

My sponsor and I met last week to dissect Step 1 and I ended up writing out 8 pages of raw emotions on my spiral bound notebook.  It was a highly emotional experience.

I love who I am becoming.  Stronger EVERY DAY!

One Day At A Time! ❤

34 days clean

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Depression

The struggle is real and I’ll never give up fighting.

As I continue my journey towards sobriety I have to constantly remind myself that it’s “one day at a time.” There are times that because I am bipolar that I take on too many things at once and think that I can handle it all. The truth is that type of thinking is “all or nothing” and it’s a dangerous place to be in because of you try to carry all of it at once or you risk falling down and everything is ruined.

Except not anymore! One day at a time means, sobriety comes first! Everything else in time.

Just remember Mark.. was your only goal for today is to remain sober. Everything else can wait.

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression

6 days sober& never giving up

Wow! 6 days of being without substance and I couldn’t be happier about that! Granted there are periods of my life during the day where I think “oh man, I could really have a drink right now!” Then I remember my why and glance at my wrist and say the Lords Prayer and I instantly feel the thought be dismissed.

Practicing mindfulness is a daily ritual for me and I’m constantly learning new methods so that my bipolar mind can learn how to shut down and reboot.

Yesterday I saw my psychiatrist and he was proud of me for how far I’ve come. I continue to lose weight, buff up, and my smile gets bigger and brighter every time he sees me.

We’re dropping my Zoloft down to 100mg daily from 150mg. My Seroquel went up to 200mg from 100mg and I remain on Adderall XR for my ADHD. I’ve been on meds since I was 27 and now that I’m 33 I realize just how important meds are for my overall stability. I’m very thankful for that. Thank you Jesus for always watching over me and giving me this beautiful life.

Depression

My story will never end. ;

Dear Tribe,

I cannot begin to thank you enough for all the support that you have shown me since I came clean about my addictions. Truly, thank you for standing beside me and giving me the confidence I need to be able to finally say I AM WORTH it!

When I was a child growing up I didn’t have self esteem what so ever. I was an obese child and learned at a very young age that food was directly connected to my emotions and that when I felt bad, I would just eat and eat and eat because food was my escape. Especially good tasting food like Moms Lasagna.. I just couldn’t stop because I felt so miserable in life.

I acted out a lot as a child and I did some pretty crappy things to my parents because I didn’t know who I was when I was growing up. I knew something was wrong with me but I didn’t want to take the time to figure it out. Instead I just continued to eat junk and the weight just piled on. My actions that I committed when I was a child landed me in therapy at age 7 and it continued until I was 18 years old. I had a family therapist that I saw for many years.

In 2013 one year after moving to Seattle, I had a mental breakdown and made the decision to return to therapy because my will to live was slowly fading. I’ve since been in weekly therapy since 2013 -> 2019 and quite honestly if it wasn’t for my therapist Chris, I don’t know that I would be here today. We practice CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and it really works well for treating my bipolar disorder.

One of the trademark behaviors of bipolar disorder is distorted thinking. Think of it like you’re looking at the world through two toilet paper rolls. You don’t see the color in the world, you see black/white and everything is in the extreme level. This is called All or Nothing thinking. It’s a trap and I’m really working hard on that. It’s a constant struggle but I know that I am worth it!

Addiction has haunted me my entire life and becoming clean and sober has been a daunting task, however I’m worth it and worth the struggle! Food is still my number one go to when stress hits and right now that is hard to deal with and it fuels my depressive episodes.

When I feel depressed, and I binge eat I don’t log the food in the WW app because I just don’t feel like I’m worthy to do it. It’s a terrible feeling to not feel worthy and it’s something that I’m constantly working at in life by running the mantra “Choose Happiness” because I’ve realized that at the start of every day I have a choice to make. Choose Happy or Choose a Chaos. It’s all or nothing it seems and when i get so tied down with myself, I start to resent myself and my will to live, and I really struggle in this area when I am depressed.

Thankfully I love to write and blog, and record videos for my tribe and my therapist commends me on it because he says it’s very therapeutic for me in doing so and I agree.

I have high aspirations of expanding my vlog to YouTube but I just feel lazy lately in goal setting and that’s what this post is about.

I lead with a line often that “if it’s not challenging you, it’s not changing you.” And that’s the absolute truth.

How can I get to my goals if I’m not holding myself accountable? How can I get rid of this fat on my body if I’m not logging my food in the WW app?

Ps.. I have insomnia right now.. nothing like writing a story at 4am..

The point is, I’m worth it, and so are you.

I’m worth logging my food on WW every day

I’m worth getting exercise and earning Fit Points

I’m worth loving my body

I’m worth being sober

I’m worth life.

I need to embrace that whole heartedly.

I know I can do this. I am a strong willed individual.

Thank you all for believing in me. I absolutely love my vlog on WW and I hope that my videos inspire you to seek happiness and lead a healthy life.

I’m not going anywhere either. I’m going to double down on my efforts and finally loose this fat. I will log my food daily and I will commit to fully being WW and building a sustainable life

I know I can do this. I’m worth it!

Depression

Despite the clouds I’m feeling pretty good.

It must be fall in Seattle if you can no longer see the Space Needle through the dense clouds.

Now more than ever it is time for my happy late to be built into my daily routine, which ✅ totally nailed today! Thanks to Alexa and her handy dandy technology that I use to automate my life. It is so much easier to be bipolar in 2018 then it was in 2003 when technology like this didn’t exist, and the label of bipolar didn’t really exist like it does today.

I had a good day today. I went to the gym after work and flirted with some really attractive guys. Wow.. But hey.. they can spot me anytime. Just sayin.

I’m love being single. Absolutely love it. I’m lean, I’m gaining control of my life, and I look good naked. FINALLY!

What did I do to cause this?

Well.

– I gave up drinking 2 years ago

– I joined a gym across the street from my career

-I logged into WW every day and logged my food

-I posted on WW Connect daily A) for attendance and B.) to let ppl know I’m still alive.. 2017 was a dark year for me. 2018 started out really dark, but in the end turned out to be the year of my lifetime.

I’m not perfect, and I’m not trying to be anymore. I tried chasing perfection and I ended up with nothing but debt and depression. Perfection is flawed. It’s fake.

Be well World. Chase your happiness. I’m chasing mine

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, 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), 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), 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 🙂