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, 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, 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, Debt, Depression, Finances

Half awake and almost dead

Borders and horizon lines

We’re alone but side by side

We’re yet to dream, we’re yet to dream

Nothing here is what it seems

Oh, oh

Oh, oh

There’s an animal inside

There’s a fear that won’t subside

Of all the things I’ll never do

Will I ever follow through?

There’s an animal inside

There’s an animal inside

Half awake and almost dead

Keeping empty beds elsewhere

We’re yet to bleed, we’re yet to bleed

All the time and energy

Oh, oh

Oh, oh

Could we try to reinvent

Feed the head with common sense

Through the streets and avenues

I’m climbing up the walls with you

Climbing up the walls with you

I’m climbing up the walls with you

Half awake and almost dead

Keeping empty beds elsewhere

We’re yet to bleed, we’re yet to bleed

All the time and energy

Oh, oh

Oh, oh

And if we could be still, still, be still

If we could be still, still, be still

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.