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.

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

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), 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, Nature, Nourishing the soul, Weight Watchers

Finding my true identity

It’s been a crazy busy week and I’ve been living an amazing life with absolutely zero depression! I’m back in total control and I’m hitting the gym 5 days a week, and I’m down 31 pounds since Halloween 2017!

I still have my ups/downs but far less. Why? Easy. I’m putting me first. Every day. Nothing will ever come between me and my ultimate goal. My depression has always and will forever be tied to my self image and instead of hating myself for being overweight I’m going to love myself instead for who I am and be the best version of myself.

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

I really didn't expect it to be today.

Feb 5, 2018

I choose happiness over anything else.  No Exceptions.

LOVE ME unconditionally

I choose to be confident

I choose to remain sober

I choose peace.

 

 

 

 

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

CBT for the win! Omg!

Well I’ve been absent from my blog for a few days and I have a really good reason. I’ve been working on my self image, and working to improve my self love and workflow. Sounds amazing right?

Well it is, because for the first time in my life I am taking control of my life and the actions that take place in my life. I’ve spent my entire life making stupid decisions without thinking about long term consequences. I’ve often struggled with immediate gratification and I’ve come to understand the differences between a “Need” and a “Want.”

I need to get my shit together so I create a better life for my life. My life depends on it. Suicide is not an option for me. I believe that God created me to be an amazing human that is born to lead and to shine. I don’t believe God made me bipolar instead I firmly believe it was due to my childhood, and already knowing my brain was different from day 1 1985. Remember the XYY? One of the known genetic traits of XYY is behavior problems.. gee ya think?

Instead of being shameful of the choices that I’ve made in my past I am going to embrace the shame and reverse it into feeling love, and looking for divine power to rid my body of the evil within. Depression is a monster and I’m definitely hiring some exterminators to come remove the nasty beast because I refuse to let it claim habitat at my house!

Yesterday I went back to the gym. I took a really long time off from the gym and I regret it. I’ve become a house since I quit running and I’m not proud of it. However again, rather than shaming myself over my weight I will turn it into positivity and tell myself the following:

“Mark, you’re doing an amazing job with Weight Watchers and you’re seeing results! Hold steady and stay committed to this!”

I am doing an amazing job and I’m really proud of myself for how hard I’m working at getting my shit together. Thank you God for giving me the power to change my life!

❤️

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

Stigma: The silent killer.

It is now almost the end of the first month of 2018 and I’ve made more strides this month for my personal journey than I did in twelve months of last year.  I’ve continued my journey to sobriety and I’m now moving into my 10th month of no absolutely NO booze.  No slip ups, NOTHING, and I couldn’t be more proud of my effort!  My sobriety is shining through my skin and I am at the point in my life where I can openly discuss my journey with sobriety and how blogging has led to redemption in my life.

This last week was very difficult for me as I had two swift episodes of depression kick me in the ass and I was vulnerable for the attack because my partner was away on business and it gave me so much uncertainty about the future that I had a fully enraged manic episode on Wednesday night where I consumed anything in sight.  I must have eaten two pints of ice cream, bags of chips. Any junk food I could get and shove down my throat in an effort to feel better about who I was was taking place.  I am so much of an emotional eater that it stresses me out to just even think about whats for dinner?!

Part of my recovery program is getting in control of my weight gain and work on the parts of my life that trigger me to consume foods that work against me like sugar and aspartame products.. btw 10 days Diet Coke free!  I’m celebrating the small things in life..  The diet coke may only be 10 days but that’s also 150 cans of Diet Soda that I haven’t consumed.    It’s odd since getting off of the Diet Coke my consumption of food has gone way down (Except for the binge eating) I was doing really good.

Then Wednesday happened..  Thursday I felt like absolute shit when I woke up and I’ve recently met a new friend Erin who invited me to sit next to hear in my local Weight Watchers group.  We added each other on Facebook and we’ve chatted occasionally about how our week is going (Tracking our points) and it was quite nice to have that accountability partner.  I told Erin about how much I was struggling with my depression and I told her about the binge episode and she encouraged me to become more aware of my habits and to go back in and track it ALL.  So I did.  As much as I could remember because I wanted to prove something to myself.  I wanted to prove that I could do something and stick with it. Add some cute words and share it on Social Media.  I’d be stupid not to jump for a chance of Universe affirmations.  You know.. Law of Attraction.

 

I posted it on Connect (their subscriber social media tool, really neat btw) and it soared.  I felt so good after Erin encouraged me to go back in and re-evaluate my goals and I got the motivation I needed to get back to where I wanted to be.  I knew that the chances of me losing weight this week were very low because -253 is quite a bit!  It then turned into an opportunity to not obsess about it and instead focus on eating core plan foods (new freestyle plan) and I focused on that for two days until I have my Weigh In Day at Weight Watchers in Redmond, WA.  I have the best tribe there, and the best leader Pat.

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I accomplished a LOT last week and the entire time I thought I was a complete failure.

Folks, the mind will play games on you like you wouldn’t believe.

My depression has lifted and my partner and I are doing better.  No couple is perfect.

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My depression has robbed me of enjoying my life successes and I will conquer this demon and bury it alive because I will not back down from who I am and who I am meant to be.   I’ve lost two amazing people to suicide in the last month.  Tyler Hilinski and a good friend from back home that I knew since kindergarten.  I’m sorry I couldn’t save you, buddy.   It won’t end until the stigma is broken.

We need to surround ourselves with positive sources of information so that we can break down the stigma of hate and unveil the real reason people kill themselves.

People that inspire me.

Erin Callinan is an amazing friend of mine from my childhood who also struggles with bipolar disorder and has written a masterpiece that I absolutely adore. Thank you, Erin for sharing your light with the world.  Erin recently gave a speech that I’ve included below as well that she gave regarding stigma and suicide.  I found it to be very impactful because I know very well of what she speaks about because I have experienced all of it, first hand.

 

Stigma must be eliminated.  If my blog can reach you and you are feeling suicidal please reach out to your best friend, or someone you TRUST.  If you feel like you are alone and feel dark please reach out and talk to someone.  Talk to me.  Write a comment.   Share with me what you experience and let me be your voice.

Don’t suffer alone.  We can suffer together and make this world a better place.

Remember please use the following resources if you are suicidal, having suicidal thoughts or tendencies, OR know someone who is experiencing these symptoms PLEASE save their life and call 911DO NOT IGNORE IT AND HOPE THEY GET BETTER.  

Tyler Hilinski was an all-star football player and he ended his life two weeks ago and nobody knew he was depressed.

STIGMA.

 

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

Awesome! I feel GREAT! 👍

As I continue to learn more about my self awareness as a mental health blogger I have realized that I have so much more self control over myself because of this blog and the impact that it has had on my life in so many unexpected ways.  My Weight Watchers Connect feed is exploding and I feel SO good knowing that I am kicking ass on the program, attending meetings FINALLY showing up!

Most of all I’m happy that despite the mini meltdown on Saturday I recovered extremely quickly by reorganization my thoughts into better constructive words and made new thoughts in my head by reinforcing teachings from ‘Feeling Good’.  Overall I’m still at the same place I was two weeks ago in the book.. But that doesn’t matter.

I am better today than I was 3 months ago and it’s because of this blog and the impact that I have felt from it.  As I’ve explained to my therapist last Thursday all I do now is work my career, and then focus on this blog solely and building my online YouTube community.  In addition I am working on a miniseries with Weight Watchers Connect community on self help for mental health and provide a friendship to someone that is new to recovery or just needs someone to talk to.

After Tyler Hilinski’s death I’ve just thought more about it and realized just how out of touch the world is with mental illness and that it’s more important than ever before that WE the mental health community and the bloggers UNITE and make some magic happen!  We need to break down these stereotypes and destroy the stigma associated with mental health.    The system is completely broken and it must be fixed.  We cannot afford to lose these innocent children to depression and suicide.

 

Thank you Followers, Visitor, whoever you are, wherever you are for taking the opportunity out of your day to spend it with me.

 

I’m really working on daily content!  I’m happy!

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

A day of self-reflection & Universal guidance

This weekend was turbulent.  It was unexpected.  My partner and I have been fighting a lot more lately because we have some issues that we need to work on and unfortunately as humans, we can say really unfortunate things and often times many things said during arguments should be resolved within the same day preferably.  When you live together and you have an argument I recommend that you leave the situation and go for some air.

When we argue with others we contradict ourselves in our minds against the words that come out of our mouths and often times words will come out without merit and without a filter.. (Those who know me best can attest to this.). I do have a wild mouth at times.  Thanks Dad for the sarcasm talent.

Today was about patching holes and conversating further about what we want to accomplish together as a couple within the next 3-6 months. It is very important that we have these sometimes curt discussions about outstanding issues.  If we don’t talk about the issues we are struggling with then we will internalize it for weeks and if you do not find a way to release the pressure you will collapse and when that happens it’s not good.

Every day that I continue to blog I become stronger in managing my emotions and realizing and recognizing the thought of the argument wanting to make me sad but instead I converted the negative energy associated with that thought and turned it into an opportunity for us to communicate more openly and have conversations that we should be afraid of.  I have changed so much since October 2017 when I launched my blog and I am forever grateful for the shift in perception that I received.

To be honest I was soulless at the end of October.  I didn’t know who I was anymore and my self-worth was crud.  When the suicidal feelings started to pour into my brain I immediately told my therapist.  I immediately sought out help and my therapist was able to get me onto a path of continued progress and this is the project.

His suggestion was to write down your thoughts.

October 2017 – Stigma Unraveled was born and my life is forever different.

And I love it now.  My goal is to have YouTube up and running by Feb 1st.  Lofty goal but unmistakably possible.

 

I am free.