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

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, av8r007 @ WW Connect, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Suicide Prevention, Technology, Weight Watchers

Routine is key​

In February, shortly after Valentines Day’s this year, my life changed.  The breakup I knew was coming.  It was still winter in Seattle and I really just wanted to curl up into a ball and sleep into eternity because my depression was so thick I couldn’t see more than 2 inches in front of me.  It was a horrible time in my life, and it wasn’t until the following week I had moved out and into my own apt.  My personal sanctuary where I can find my own peace and meditate without fear or distraction.    I just had to remember that after Valentines Day when it was over (after 5 years) that when I quit drinking two years ago, I remember being told to take it one day at a time.

As a bipolar individual, it is incredibly difficult to take life one day at a time when you have a manic episode.  In fact, the world is rushing by you at 12,000 MPH and find it impossible to stop.  You feel invincible, like nothing, and nobody can stop you from anything.  The question that I begged to answer was, how do I prevent this from happening again??? What can I do RIGHT NOW to avoid another repeat hell winter??

Establish your routine:

My mother always told me it takes 21 days to build a habit.  Perfect.  21 days.

So I committed myself to walk to work for 21 days when during the summer months when the weather was clear.  It was so lovely and refreshing, extra steps!   I would bus to my job and then hit up the gym right after and walk home from the gym.  During the summer months, I was averaging close to 20K steps a day.  How cool right?

Until FALL hits like a rainstorm and you just don’t want to walk 2 miles uphill soaked.  So I compensated after the gym and took the bus home, so therefore I didn’t get as many steps.  Rather than feeling lazy about not getting enough steps, I increased my loads at the gym and found new exercises to continue to challenge and push me.  When I did this it told me two things 1.) You can still get just as much benefit as you were if you commit to just a bit longer at the gym.  Do 15 minutes more and then bus home.  Remember, PUSH yourself.  If you want to quit, think about your why.  Think about why you signed up for this.

Now it’s fall, and I’ve gone from 17K steps daily July 2018 to 13K steps Sept 2018.

Is my bipolar mind obsessing over it?  Not today. :). Instead, I’m looking at it this way.  I work my butt off at the gym, and I am driving home results.  I’m proud of my efforts, and I’m making sure that I treat my body right nutritionally to make sure that I’m getting the optimum nutrition I need for a healthy life.  I remember about what I learned after I quit drinking.  One Day at a time.

21 days to start a habit.  Unfortunately, it’s a habit.  Good/Bad depends on you and the choices that you make.

Btw today was my weigh in day on WW, and I lost another five lbs.

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12 months now.. down 85 and counting!  If you are on WW, find my Connect home @av8r007

Live your best life!

Mark

 

 

Automatic Thoughts, av8r007 @ WW Connect, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Nourishing the soul, Suicide Prevention, Weight Watchers

Dear Lynn, I’ve got your back!

Dear Lynn,

Last Thursday I had posted a vlog in which I asked my followers on WWConnect (@av8r007) what you struggled with in life, and I chose your question for today’s video as well as I wanted to include a note of gratitude to you for opening up and being vulnerable with the community. You wrote: “Struggling with depression. 45 years, never found a med that helped, just muscled through and distracted enough to be ok. Going through a bad patch again and wish there were some new drugs around.”

Lynn, my friend you are loved and you are worth it.  I’ve been on anti-depressants and antipsychotics to treat my own bipolar/anxiety disorder and have found to have the same path as you. My psychiatrist has had me on numerous drugs all thought to treat the same, but no matter what happened, it just got worse. It never got better. It turns out though that it wasn’t the medications that were preventing me from being happy; it was the physical barriers that were standing in my way. I had to play leapfrog and skip right over them because life is short.

You have one mission in life, and that is to love thy neighbor as you love yourself. The issue with depression is self-love can be incredibly difficult to find. I don’t know what struggles your facing personally; however, I do identify wholeheartedly with your struggles, and I want you to know three things in closing.

1.) Jesus loves you just the way you are

2.) You are worth it! Believe it! The tribe does!

3.) Take your meds everyday.  Even if you feel perfectly fine.

Cheers to you and your success in life,

Mark

Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Suicide Prevention, Technology, Weight Watchers

Binge eating and how I’m beating the hell out of it.

Depression is rotten.  It is a rotten disorder that often haunts me with food indulgences and lack of responsibility in portion control and accurately tracking my points on Weight Watchers.  I wonder why I do things the way I do sometimes however for binge eating I am rather curious how my thoughts form that give myself permission to indulge in XYZ?

I work out a ton.  I am proud of that.  What kills me though is when I do binge I feel like I am ruining my efforts at the gym.  I feel like I’m purposely sabotaging myself by consuming candy at the movie theatre or eating a pint of Halo Top on my bed while watching Black Mirror on Netflix.  What is it that causes me to do this?

For me I believe it comes down to two things:

Am I eating any aspartame?

Where is my Weight Watchers app?  Have I checked into Connect today?

Since giving up Diet Coke four weeks ago I have witnessed sensational changes in my appearance and my outlook is better.  I definitely look less bloated in tight muscle shirts and I like that.  🙂 A lot.  My muscles are definitely growing during sleep.    I’m just learning to be patient and learning everything in time.  I often remind myself it’s not a race, or a marathon Mark so slow down!  I hope I have many many years left on Earth and I want to enjoy my bipolar life.  I want to continue to spread awareness on mental health to everyone I encounter.

“Hi! Is everything ok?”

Just ask.

 

Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Suicide Prevention, Technology, Weight Watchers

Discounting the good times

Good Evening!

Well, what an exciting day it was!  Where should I start?  Ah yes, oversleeping!  Never a good idea on a Monday!  Would I call in that I overslept and I’d be in shortly and take the next bus, or do I need to take a Lyft and get there on time?  By the time I wake up I’m really not ready to make any big decisions until I at least get the opportunity to choose happiness before my feet hit the floor.  I needed to take a Lyft, so I called one up and I got to work on time, despite oversleeping.  Victory for me, yet it was a casual $10 fare which I didn’t really expect that I would be forking over first thing Monday AM before my morning coffee.  What can you do though?  You have 2 minutes to decide your method of transport and you have places to be!

As I’m heading down the stairs to fetch my ride, I am finding that I am in a self-destructive mood in terms of remembering some of the highlights that I experienced over my long weekend and discounting them because I was feeling pissed off, but I didn’t know why yet.  I got to go on a date which was really lovely and I saw Mission Impossible yesterday and it was terrific.  It was an excellent weekend however as soon as I sat down in my Lyft I felt the happiness start to slide over and misery began to push me over and slide me off my chair.  Misery loves company.  I didn’t allow myself more than 30 seconds until I ate so much over the weekend, but I also worked my butt off at the gym… Why do I feel so angry?  What did I do that I don’t know about?  Something is wrong.  I can’t choose happiness.  Why can’t I prefer happiness?  This isn’t right.  Something is off.

… the weigh in?

I weighed in this AM before I left the apartment and I gained 4.6 lbs over the weekend.  Did this set me off for a self-destructive AM mood?  Credible.  I wasn’t wearing my glasses when I weighed in today either so I couldn’t see what it was telling me, I figured my phone would just tell me I was the same (Withings Body Cardio Scale) which measures your stats to your mobile.   I’m up 4.6 pounds yet!  What the fork is that about?  4.6 is a lot. AH OK… Now we now why Mark is off… Now to be fair, I do lift heavy weights, but with bodybuilding, you have to eat an immense amount of protein, and for 6’4″ 220 I need to eat 276g of protein a day.

Finding 276g of protein a day can be tricky, however, I am finding clever ways to make it work.  I am sticking to my WW Freestyle foods which give me the most bang for my point.  Chicken is zero, and unlimited but I still portion it because I am tracking my macronutrients in a separate app because WW doesn’t allow you to see your protein grams.  I have yet to reach 276g of protein daily.   I have met 250g as my farthest. You have to be careful though about your protein sources.  I can’t eat junk food.  That’s not Freestyle.  That’s burnout and zero results.

For dietary choices, I’ve switched to Egg Beaters because it’s 0 fat, o cholesterol, and all the protein because it’s egg whites.  I have 1 cup of Egg Beaters every morning scrambled which is 0 points on Freestyle and that comes out to about 24g of protein which is the same as 4 whole eggs.  I try to take in 40-50G of protein at every intake meal.  For breakfast, it’s usually the eggs and a 12-15G protein yogurt like Chobani or alike.  Watch the sugar on the yogurts though…   Like I said I’m smart.  I know I can always do a better job but I’m making it work and that’s all that matters.

I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

Depression can’t win me over.

Not even in the dead of winter can I be robbed of the joy for I am worthy.

 

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Nourishing the soul

What a fun day!

Depression? Who are you? You don’t live here anymore.

I cannot begin to share with you how better if I feel knowing that I am controlling my emotions now and I regulate what comes in and what goes out. Only positivity is allowed to pass through the gates into my life. Misery and self hate do not live here.

I’ve just had the best weekend with friends and family.

Happy Easter! I feel great!