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.

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, 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, 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, Suicide Prevention, Weight Watchers

I forgot.

I ask myself… when did I last take my meds?  Ok last night.  What about before that?  I don’t remember.  Why do I feel so different right now?  What’s happening around me?

It is critical to take my meds every day.  I work too hard in life to have setbacks if I can have in say in it.   I told my psychiatrist whom I had already had scheduled (coincidentally) and he was fucking floored with my progress.  He said I should be so proud of myself.  He’s right.   I completely lose myself in my flaws and completely forget about the positive.  Oh hey, depression.. you suck.

He told me some great advice today.  “Don’t be so rigid Mark.”

LOL… right.. You know me best.  You’re my doctor.

I am so hard on myself to be perfect at everything I do.  I am a workhorse and I know that I’m good at what I do.  I just tend to max out my efforts early on and find the hardest time trying to sustain myself long term.  This applies in every aspect of my life.   When it comes to taking my meds every day I will just become so rigid in my life that I will forget to take my meds.  I even have an app to remind me!

RELAX MARK!  Remember your why.

-You haven’t had a sip of alcohol in 16 months.

-You’ve lost 35 pounds in six months and you did it the healthy way!

-You just got out of a five-year relationship.

CHILLAX dude.  You’ve got this.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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