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), 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

 

 

 

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

What a ride!

WOW, guys…

A few days ago I had the worst depression episode of my entire life when my partner and I decided to have a conversation regarding the potential of opening up our relationship a bit more because maybe.. things just weren’t happing at home?? These types of relationships are common in our world and I’ve just found that being in a committed relationship for the past five years has kinda worn thin on me and really made me question why I’m even with him if I’m so unhappy..?
Friday night was the end of the last five years of my life with my partner. I wish he understood me more. I feel like in order to fully be free inside a relationship your partner must understand you 150% and vice versa. It’s a two-way road and requires equal emotional input. I couldn’t give it to him, and he couldn’t give it to me either… Guess what? That’s totally OK.

No relationship is perfect and mine certainly wasn’t.
I am thankful for the last five years of our lives together. I have learned so much about my life and what I want to achieve in this life.

We’re working out the custody arrangements of my husky. It breaks my heart to even have to move out soon but none the less separate myself from the dog that kept me so happy despite a turbulent relationship. At the end of the day I am 32, soon to be 33 in two weeks and I’m single. I got together with my ex when I was 28 and it ended when I was almost 33. What a ride.
For something that I didn’t think would last more than six months, it proved to be an experience from around the world. Selfies in Mexico. Selfies in front of the Eiffel tower. OMG. Selfies with our beers in London. What fun we had! I have zero regrets over what happened in our relationship Colby. This was an amazing experience to be a part of and you have taught me so much. I am sober now and as I soon enter my eleventh month of sobriety I must be on my game and continue to achieve success.
My depression over the breakup comes and goes. I have random fits of sobbing, and asthma induced laughing of the memories we’ve shared. Thank you, Colby, for teaching me how to do manual labor. I can say that I’ve scrapped popcorn ceilings before! I can say that I’ve ripped the carpet up! Fuck, what fun we had. I’m going to miss enjoy our friendship. I’ve been told I’m better at friendships than relationships anyways. That’s not true. I just haven’t met you yet.
I’m going to be single for a really long time. I’m thinking two years at least. I have so much shit I need to work on. Pay of mounds of debt, student loans, everything. I need to fix me before I allow myself to open up again to someone else.
Life is good. I have no complaints. Depression doesn’t live here anymore.

PS.  I’ve been back at the gym working hard on my fitness and my Weight Watcher goals.  I’m down almost ten pounds and I’m definitely feeling a LOT better.  I certainly feel a lot sexier.    Amazing!  Single looks good on this mug.

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

Alexa! Keep it up! I feel great!

Good Evening my WordPress followers and everyone that tonight reaches.
What a fantastic day today has been. Full of energy, life, love, and happiness. I happily enjoyed my career today, and I even made it to the gym today and powered thru an hour of HIIT. I feel like I’m finally in control of my life and learning how to love yourself is such an essential step in self-love.  I got to hug my dog tonight and I just realized how lucky I am to own such a beautiful dog and give him an amazing home.

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Denali the Great!

As I live my life through blogging, I have realized that there are challenges in my life that I have ignored for a long time and now that I am in control of my life I am facing those issues head on and not backing down.

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Everyone loves a gym selfie!

My health is worth it! I am SO proud of myself for achieving my goals for today! I earned 45 Fit Points on Weight Watchers today. I’ll be SKINNY in no time!
I look at myself in the mirror, and I see this incredibly genuine person who is destined to inspire and lead change in this world.

PS.  I’m taking my meds every day and my depression score on Feelin Good is at an all-time LOW.  I can’t wait to tell Chris tomorrow!

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.

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Daily Prompt, Depression, Nature, Nourishing the soul, Suicide Prevention, Uncategorized, Weight Watchers

Alone & Vulnerable. You'll never guess what I found.

Today I needed to send out a powerful message that I’ve been harnessing in my soul when I made a discovery earlier this week that if I was weak or didn’t have skills in place I would have been an easy target.  I decided to clean the pantry and I found about .5 of a tall bottle vodka that was from Costco.  It was Kirkland signature and half gone.

 

NOOOOO!!

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I actually wanted to prove to myself that I could pour everything down the train, so I pulled out my phone and started recording the profound moment.  I now have a video that I can go back to my weakest moments and recount the reasons that I announced why I was doing this.  I posted this on Weight Watchers because I made it for the Connect tribe and it was a force of positive force that came with it.

Well – It was the easiest decision I made.

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Every day that I do not drink is every day that I am stronger.  I’m stronger now than I was 12 hours ago when I made the video. NSV = Non Scale Victory.. For WW followers, we’re big on NSV’s! They’re HUGE for us.


 

I don’t want to die young.  I don’t want to be depressed.  I don’t want to be manic. I don’t want this life but I have no choice.

Suicide is not an answer.

I am thrilled to announce that I will be featuring two guest bloggers on my site between now and the end of February.  I’ve chosen these individuals because of the path of freedom they have pursued and how their faith keeps them tied to the ground.

Oh yeah. Here is my progress I’m making with my weight management.

 

 

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Daily Prompt, Debt, Depression, Finances, Nature, Nourishing the soul, Suicide Prevention, Weight Watchers, YNAB

Redemption is here

44!

Remember the number 44 I’ll come back to it soon.  As many of you know I’ve been practicing the methods of CBT in David Burns ‘Feeling Good’ handbook.  I am also in therapy weekly with Chris and tonight was easily the best session to date because I was entirely focused on self, and setting up processes and routines are the key to keeping me on success.

About the 44:

Last week at my session I had to do the same survey (we do it weekly to track progress) and last week I scored a 20/25 score.Which put me at ‘Severely Depressed’ and indeed I was.  Over the course of November and December was a very dark period in my life.  I became self-obsessed with the tiniest thing in life that would just set me off and before I knew it I would focus so much negative energy in my heart into my head and it would cause me to either have a mental breakdown or a manic episode within no time.

Today before my apt I did the test again and I didn’t think about the questions I just checked it off as I went down and I scored an 8.  “Normal, but mildly depressed.”  LOL.

Well shit!  I’m not normal.

I am so excited for my blog.  I’ve been working on my YouTube channel and I need to learn how to edit videos!  I want to become good at this and learn a new skill.  I follow some really cool people on YouTube like Brian McDuff who owns a YouTube channel specializing in awesome tech and he’s a fantastic photographer and he makes really good videos.  This is the type of work I want to get involved with next.  I am fortunate to have access to Lynda.com through my local public library,.. <–AMAZING PERK!!  I was shocked when I found out that I could get that for free…. wait .. yeah free!

I’m going to go to the Library this weekend and sit down in a corner and sift out my ideas and start learning a new talent.  I absolutely admire librarians.  They’re the best teachers ever.

Thank you all for the kindness that you have shown me.  I am beyond blessed to the moon & back for all the love and courage that you’ve shown me.  You’ve allowed me to be my most vulnerable and being able to share my life with you and the struggles I face is a very rewarding experience.

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.

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

Accepting what you cannot change.

I saw this tonight and just started laughing.  I love you, Mom.  Whenever you find this post know that I love you to the moon and back.  Nothing will ever change that.

 

I own my disorders.  I own my mental illness.

I own my actions.  I own all my flaws.  I own my history.

I owe it to the world to blog and share my spark with the Universe.  If I have 500 million voices in my head then I can give 500 million future depressed souls my energy and ignite a storm of discussion and positive affirmations in a safe environment.

 

May Monday be forever in your favor.

 

Accepting Yourself! Anxiety, depression, and any other “gifts” you may have. (Don’t blame your mother. It’s not her fault or yours either!)

via Anxiety, Depression, And other “Gifts” You May Have — Psychology Today – Depression