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

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!

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, 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, Depression, Suicide Prevention

ESPN: Hilinski had no signs of depression before death

“Washington State coach Mike Leach says there were no outward signs that would have alarmed coaches or teammates before Tyler Hilinski took his own life.

Leach spoke extensively about Hilinski’s death for the first time on Saturday. Hilinski died Tuesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”


Unbelievable. This could have been prevented except for the stigma behind depression prevents the conversation from happening.

Period of moping around??? Seriously. Learn how to understand depression. Every depressed child will confide in at least one friend regarding his depression. If he was suicidal it’s his friends responsibility to report that immediately.

There is no time for error in judgement when dealing with suicidal thoughts

I wish you were still with us. The government failed you. Mental health is never talked about until after suicide or violence. Even then it is mentioned for five days before falling forgotten. Deaf on the ears of those who need their voice the most.

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/22162989/washington-state-coach-mike-leach-says-tyler-hilinski-did-not-appear-depressed

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Depression, Nourishing the soul, Suicide Prevention

When will the stigma behind depression be destroyed?

Beyond Devastated

Last night was very difficult for me as I heard on the news that WSU (Washington State University) had a death from their football team.. The star quarterback for WSU didn’t know up for practice and despite his upbeat attitude Tyler was victim of depression and killed himself last night via a gunshot wound to the head and he’s gone forever…

As a mental health advocate and blogger I am absolutely heartbroken over the news. I never met Tyler.. He’s only 21! What the fuck could be so wrong with a football quarterback to kill himself at 21? Was he popular? Absolutely. Even the most popular student may struggle with depression and/or voices in their head and unless we give them a voice to speak up we will continue to see this affect our young kids and the heart break will continue. At 21 I had no idea who the fuck I was. Did he? Probably not either. Could it have been prevented? Yes, in a hot minute. I wish I could erase time and have reached out to him so he could feel my voice.

I dedicate todays post to you Tyler Hilinski

You are not alone anymore. You are at peace. I never knew you existed until yesterday but when I see your name and what you were associated with and your upbeat positive outlook on life it fuels my anger that mental illness is something that is still in 2018 hardly mentioned and this proves that even the most popular person couldn’t escape the demons in his life and he ended up killing himself over it.

I will never give up on you Tyler. I will fight for you. I will give you a voice. If a life can be saved it’s a win.

If you know someone who is contemplating suicide. Please call 911 and report this. Do not be silent. Our lives depend on YOU.

I have had suicidal thoughts before.. It’s a horrible place to be in. Nobody should ever feel so alone and abandoned.

Automatic Thoughts, Debt, Finances, Technology, YNAB

Need some advice

As we know when I’m manic and/or not being responsible I tend to purchase items in which I cannot afford.

As you know to support my healing I uninstalled all apps from my iPhone that allow me to be impulsive. Amazon being the #1 app. Well I need a new case for my iPad Pro because I’m fed up with the back cover I got not syncing with the smart connector right. Outside the case and it hits no prob. If I throw the protective case on it never works right! Rather than being a warranty I think it’s just pour design.

Manic check: No I am not feeling manic

Depression check: mild depression (feeling WORTHY)

Alcohol consumption: Zero

I have money for a new case and I want a new case but am I being impulsive for wanting something to fix an outstanding issue?

I see this as a productivity issue. Half my posts are written on my iPad so I am thinking this is a rational thought.

Curious for your thoughts. I won’t do anything until you convince me otherwise!

PS.. I’m not spending more than $20. I refuse to spend anything over $20 on an accessory to something I’m going to use and abuse daily. Apple products like cases and alike are pretty but not durable by any stretch.

PPS: If you support me doing this I refuse to download the app! I will go onto their website and buy it. No apps!

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Debt, Depression, Finances, Nature, Nourishing the soul, Technology, Weight Watchers

Stigma Unraveled: Defining our successes within depression

Today is day 2 of No aspartame drinks and so far I’m feeling good. After much thought in my head.. OK 5,000 to be exact trying to second guess my best interest! My own health… Who would have thought that a schizophrenic brain would cause us to think that we’re gonna fail at trying to improve our health??

Thanks Brain for trying to be against me! Is this my depression trying to sabotage a positive thought? Or is just the Universe telling me to back off of myself and to let God lead the way to my happiness?

So yesterday I wrote about how I was going to stop drinking diet soda AND fake sugar products all together and that was that, and there was NO room for in between.. Remember for bi-polar folks..we have no middle ground.. It’s either ALL of it, or NONE of it. This is often the hardest part to accept when we think that it’s either I’m fully committed to this, or if I slip up just once I’m going to be a total failure..<—What thought process does that sound like??

ALL OR NOTHING.. I swear I should rename my blog ALL OR NOTHING because as of late that seems to be my entire thinking patterns. However distorted they appear they can look so real. Almost like I’m hallucinating that stuff is happening or that stuff is there that really doesn’t exist. I’m still coming to terms with all these diagnosis and as much overwhelming as it may be I know two things. 1.) God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle 2.) Rome wasn’t built in a day.

For being 2018 all of us have New Years resolutions that we want to achieve. In reality though how often to we actually succeed in the resolution to lose weight?? Is that not at the top of everyone’s? This is why gyms are so busy in January but come Feb 1st, gyms are empty… Why? Is it because it’s so easy to give up on ourselves? Well for me, absolutely. For the kid with zero self confidence I would say Yes. I gave up on myself long ago and this could explain why I’m addicted to drinking and smoking. What is it that is causing me so much pain and grief?

It’s my wild mind at the end of the day. Despite having so many medications in my system.. Zoloft, Adderall XR, and Ambien I find myself at the pharmaceutical drug lords hoping to stabilize my mind. One of my fellow bloggers (Joseph Emerson – What’s inside a Madman’s hat) wrote a marvelous poem that shows the struggles of medicating in the mental health system and blogs about how when we approach our doctors regarding our continued depression, we are often thrown more of the medication in hopes of stabilizing our minds. His post really resonated with me how often our doctors are prescribing these drugs like they’re handing out candy and then I started to think… John Oliver of ‘ Last Week Tonight’ Have you seen it? Amazing show.. Oliver did a spot about pharmaceutical anti depressant drugs and how overused and abused they are by doctors and staff. The monetary benefit alone that doctors receive are absurd just for recommending the drug! I’ve included the video below. It’s definitely worth a view.

If you don’t mind John Oliver slightly offensive monologue then I want you to watch this and understand me when I’m saying the entire situation in America is fucked up with pharmaceutical drug companies. I couldn’t stand to be on Seraquel.. I had the WORST nightmares on that and I had horrible side effects including night sweats.. Side effects are never fun. Yet Seraquel is one of the primary antipsychotics on the market. Ugh no!

It is my ultimate desire one day to not have to take these drugs to survive mentally but until then I had no choice and I will not voluntarily stop taking these drugs either just because I’m “feeling better.” Remember folks, in order for any drug to be effective and to work for you you have to take your meds everyday, SSRI’s especially. SSRI’s have to build up in the body before they take effect. If you only take it once in a while it will be of zero help to you. It took a good 8-10 weeks before Zoloft (what I currently take) took effect and there was no lightbulb that went off either than said “It’s working now!” It was trial and error for me and honestly learning how to slow down my emotions and thoughts really took some time to learn. CBT is the savior for this.

There are so many videos out there on YouTube regarding depression and every video I’ve ever watched about depression always show’s one primary reason why the fight is worth it… STIGMA.

My entire soul purpose of this blog is to help break down walls and eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health. There are so many people in today’s society that are completely inept and bigoted to the mental health community and god forbid I’m not like him… You know what dude? Fuck you and your ignorance. I am perfect just the way I am.. If you don’t like it.. Here you go. I made this just for you.

Everyday we are better. Every post we make.. Better.

-Mark Taylor

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Debt, Depression, Finances, Nature, Nourishing the soul, Technology, Weight Watchers

Facing addictions head on

Today was a weird day. Did you have a weird Monday too? Well on the way to the train this morning at 5am I was tired of feeling like shit when I wake up and I started to think about what I did the previous day and the previous days that I’ve felt similar:

Diet Coke. You are killing me.

For my entire life, all 32 years of it I have been drinking Diet Coke everyday multiple times a day. In fact I would drink more Diet Coke than water everyday because I hate the flavor of water and I’m tired of peeing all the time when I drink tons of water.. but even Diet Coke is a diuretic so it would do the same thing!

Naturally I said, I’m done. Today I’m giving up Diet Coke entirely. If that wasn’t enough I then decided to include energy drinks (diet) and also include ALL fake sugar products to he banned effective immediately. Did I go too far? Maybe.

I wasn’t even having a manic moment this morning to trigger an All or Nothing reference.. I felt like I wanted to vomit this AM so naturally I associated it with my Diet Coke consumption. Because that makes so much since Mark. Or does it?

There have been in mind-numbing out there berating Diet Coke and it’s affects on the body. Most importantly Aspartame effect on the body. Diet Pepsi recently removed aspartame from their product and maintained the taste. Well that’s just great! But it’s not Diet Coke. I have a preference! Had a preference.

So it is now 5:03pm and I’m on the bus ride home and I managed to not drink anything Diet today and I stayed within my points today for WW but I am getting hangry fast! It’s a a process. Maybe I should have done Diet Coke for two weeks and then take out energy drinks (diet) but knowing me and my patterns that wouldn’t have been a good idea either because it would still be TOO MUCH for me to handle and my stresses would barrel out of control and would cause me to fall into a manic episode. Im not fortune telling either (which is another thought pattern in David Burns book) as by me indicating my future would be an assumption that I know may not be true.

As far as the Diet Coke consumption AND the diet products are gone. Now that I am blogging I am expecting my followers to hold me accountable. Ha no kidding. I’m sure you’ll hear about this a lot because like Alcohol, Diet Coke is an addiction.

I think about the science research they say about artificial sugars and aspartame in the body and as much as I don’t want to agree I have to. This shit is disgusting as to what it does to our bodies.

https://aspartame.mercola.com

All it takes is a google search for “aspartame” and if you’re feeling lucky just let Google fill in the rest of the prediction.. Aspartame..kills, depression, causes manic, causes schizophrenic episodes..etc all of it.

There are a bunch of other habits I’d like to get rid of now including:

Leaving the seat up

Going to bed by 9 every night

Waking up at 5am with no snoozes

Doing dishes

Hanging up my towel. (You’re welcome babe)

And many many other things that I can’t even think of.

Where does it all start?

Easy: Be removing Diet Coke from my life I am confident that it will give me a sense of power over my thoughts and what I put in my body. In addition I will look sexier, slimmer, and maybe my teeth will get whiter.

I don’t see any negative consequences yet?

Except for being an irritable bitch.

I know that I will be successful at removing this from my life once again. A few things are different this time that gives me better chances of being successful including:

Blogger

Being stable on medications

Not doing everything overnight

Follow Weight Watchers

All four of these are on my side and should not get in the way of me attaining what I want out of life. As I mentioned in earlier posts. I want to get my physique back. I’m tired of being overweight. Being overweight contributes heavily to my self esteem and mental health.

Everyday that I continue this journey of sobriety, and as I remove these substance battles from my life I will only improve greatly. There is no negative side effects with improving your life. I’m ready to change. I’m ready to feel good again. When I don’t feel sexy, I eat terribly and feel like a sloth in the mirror.

No more! Just Diet Coke no more, AND fake sugar products. If I just gave up Diet Coke and continued to drink fake sugar products I wouldn’t be improving my chances. If anything i would worsen my chances of remaining free from soda consumption. God I make it sound worse than giving up the sauce but I drank diet products 10x the amount of alcohol I drank.

If someone cut me, I’d bleed Diet Coke.