Killing A Fat Guy is Becoming Being A Bad Ass

freedomIt’s been several years since I began the killing a fat guy journey. I’ve gone through a lot of personal change and growth. I’ve experienced ups and downs; in my health and fitness, in my relationships, in my finances, and much, much more. I’ve lacked a clear direction and gone into the depth of depression. Killing a fat guy was my mission and my goal, but it was so much more than that. For some reason it became more than a brand, it became my identity. And in identifying so closely with the killing of the fat guy, I made the fat guy more a part of me.

Now, I’m changing direction. I’ve decided to change my life into what I’ve really wanted to be all along; a bad ass. What do I mean by bad ass? I mean a fully realized man. A man who isn’t afraid of himself and his goals and dreams. A man who lives his life for the adventure. I’ve spent a lot of time in my life making my happiness contingent upon the attainment of a goal or the next acquisition. I’ve acquired lots of “things” but I have come to learn the true nature of things. Technology gadgets were really my “thing” drug of choice. But I’ve learned that the things are there to be a part of the experience, not the experience itself.

So where are we going with this new direction?

BeingABadass.Com will be the source of things and experiences that I think are bad ass. Everything from cars, motorcycles, and style, to philosophy, personal development, and relationships. Everything that it means to be a complete man, because being a complete man is totally bad ass.

So I thank you all for coming on the killing a fat guy journey with me, it has been a long process and, even though I’m still not quite where I want to be in my fitness, I think it’s time to put the concept of the fat guy aside and to integrate his lessons into my being so that I can become a fuller, more complete version of myself… So that I can live the rest of my days as a bad ass.

– Gary

The Role of Cognition in Depression

September 7, 2011 at 8:25pm
Identification:
The Role of Cognition in Depression
U08a1
Gary Drumm
gdrumm1@capella.edu
PSYC3002
Developing a Psychology Perspective
9/4/2011

Introduction
Depression is a debilitating psychological condition that affects millions of Americans each year with a persistent, overwhelming sense of despondency and despair. It’s more than just being sad, it’s a deep emotional sense that everything in one’s life is in a state of hopelessness, robbing it’s victim of the ability to experience joy and fulfillment.
What causes this incapacitating emotional response to life? Is it genetics, hormonal or chemical imbalances, all of which are outside of the control of the individual, or is it something else? Could it be that we cause depression to ourselves through our own thoughts, beliefs, and emotional patterns? This paper will explore these cognitive factors and seek to provide a greater understanding of how the mind functions with regards to emotion and cognition and how we can break free of depression by taking greater control of our mental focus.

Beck’s Theory
Aaron T. Beck is an American Psychotherapist and is widely recognized as the father of cognitive behavioral therapy. In 1967 Beck published The Diagnosis and Management of Depression. In this manuscript Beck described what would later become known as “Beck’s Triad”, a model for discovering persistent cognitive patterns that indicate that one is in a state of depression. The model suggests that one can identify when someone is depressed by listening to their language concerning three factors: Themselves, the world around them, and the future.

The theory states that when a person is consistently experiencing extremely negative emotions regarding any of these three areas over an extended period of time, they are in a state of depression. This theory also lead to the development of Beck’s Depression Inventory, and Beck’s Hopelessness Scale, two diagnostic tools that are still being used in the diagnosis of depression within the field of cognitive behavioral therapy.

Self Esteem
One of the key areas in Beck’s triad is that the area of self esteem, or what one thinks of oneself on a consistent basis. One study concluded that self-esteem does indeed play a role in whether or not one is going to experience depression (Orth, 2008). The study examined the differences between what is referred to as the vulnerability model, which states that low self esteem is indeed a risk factor for depression, and the scar model, which states that low self esteem is an effect of depression, meaning that low self-esteem is a psychological scar that is left behind.

The study cites numerous other research studies in support of the vulnerability model, and it specifically states that there is not as much research focusing on the scar model. It discusses numerous behaviors undertaken by someone with low self-esteem including their excessive need for reassurances from friends and family about their worth, their search for negative feedback in other relationships (in order to provide support for their negative self concepts), and their tendency towards social avoidance. People with low self esteem tend to be more sensitive to rejection, and focus on or interpret things more negatively than those with high self-esteem. So based on this and other research it seems that low self esteem does play a role in one’s experience of depression.

Negative Cognition
Negative cognition is when one generally sees the world around them negatively. Life events, personal interactions, and other stimuli are seen as damaging, threatening, or generally bad. It’s an inability to see things as generally positive for one’s life. One study examined the relationship between negative cognition and depression treatment. The study concluded that negative cognition provided an explanation as to why it was more difficult for people to get out of depression, even while in treatment (Beevers, et al, 2007), meaning that the patient’s mental focus, even during treatment, affected their outcome and even provided evidence for precursors of relapse in the future. This indicates that if one consistently chooses to focus on negative things, that it could very well lead to depression, prolong the experience, and possibly lead to future episodes.

Emotion Regulation and Cognitive Inhibition
Finally, emotional regulation is how one processes the stimuli around them. When one has difficulty letting go of negative life events, they begin to ruminate on them and this leads to a continuing cycle of negative thoughts and deepening sadness, and hopelessness, ultimately leading to depression (Joorman, 2010).

Joorman’s study also discusses the concept of cognitive inhibition, the ability to discard irrelevant information. When a person cannot block irrelevant material, especially when they are already in a negative emotional state, they are more likely to ruminate on the negative aspects of an event. The study cites another study explaining the concepts of working memory (WM) and the fact that WM is a limited-capacity system (Hasher, et al, 1999). Because of this limited capacity, if the mind is unable to let go of irrelevant information, it effectively uses up that area of WM that could otherwise be used for conscious awareness that one is experiencing negative emotions and therefore they may be unable to comprehend their condition.

Summary and Conclusion
By examining these areas, Beck’s triad, self esteem, negative cognition, and emotional regulation, and the associated research in these four areas, it becomes clear that how one thinks on a consistent basis about themselves, the world around them, and their future has a tremendous impact on their quality of life.

If one generally feels bad about the events and circumstances of their life the tendency is that the feeling effects how they feel about themselves, and traps them in a cycle of negative thoughts that spiral down into deeper and deeper negative emotional states. As these states progress it becomes increasingly difficult to break the pattern and so eventually one begins to see everything around them as a negative, leading to feelings of hopelessness and despair, and ultimately culminating into full scale depression.

So it’s clear that breaking the habitual patterns of thought that lead to depression would prevent one from getting to that state in the first place. Focusing on positive, rather than negative ideas about one’s self, one’s world, and one’s future, is possibly an effective way to prevent depression from ever occurring to begin with.

References

Jutta Joormann (2010): Cognitive Inhibition and Emotion regulation. Current Directions in Psychological Science 2010 19: 161 – Retrieved from: http://cdp.sagepub.com/content/19/3/161

Hasher, L., Zacks, R.T., & May, C.P. (1999). Inhibitory control, circadian arousal, and age. In D. Gopher & A. Koriat (Eds.), Attention and performance XVII: Cognitive regulation of performance: Interaction of theory and application (pp. 653–675). Cambridge,MA: MIT Press.

Beevers, C. G., Wells, T. T., & Miller, I. W. (2007). Predicting response to depression treatment: The
role of negative cognition. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75(3), 422-431. – Retrieved from : http://ezproxy.library.capella.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com.library.capella.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pdh&AN=ccp-75-3-
422&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Orth, U., Robins, R. W., & Roberts, B. W. (2008). Low self-esteem prospectively predicts depression
in adolescence and young adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(3),
695-708. – Retreived from: http://ezproxy.library.capella.edu/login?
url=http://search.ebscohost.com.library.capella.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pdh&AN=psp-95-3-
695&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Beck, A. T. (1967). Depression: Causes and treatment. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Mastermind VLOG – Do It Now

Today is the first installment of a new daily VLOG series I’m putting together called the Mastermind VLOG. In this series I will be uploading a new video every day for until I really have nothing left to add or I get so busy doing other projects that I just don’t have the time to do VLOG anymore. But we’re going to have lots of exciting and interesting content every day. Sometimes the Mastermind VLOG will contain instructional or motivational information, like the premier post. The times it may contain information concerning something that is going on in my life and how I apply the philosophies I talk about in the VLOG in real life situations. Either way, it’s going to fun. So here’s today post on “Do It Now”.

Mastermind VLOG – Do It Now!

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Success_and_Mindset_Secrets_2

What Is Keeping You From Your Dream?

dreamlifeYou know, as a coach who specializes in mindset I understand the importance of what I’m thinking and believing about my life. I understand why it’s important to stay focused and keep a positive attitude in every situation. But it’s not like I sit back at and look at my garden chanting “There are no weeds. There are no weeds. There are no weeds.”. No. Because as much as I can sit around and think positive thoughts about the weeds, and focus my intention and ask the universe to remove them, the reality is if I want to get rid of the weeds I have to pluck them up by their roots and get them out of my garden.

The same is true with my mental garden. I can say positive mantras over and over again. I can pray to God to remove all negativity from my mind. I can focus my intention on only positive things that I want to see happen, but if I don’t DO SOMETHING to create the changes I want to see in my life, then (HARSH TRUTH ALERT!!) nothing is going to change.

What keeps people from living their dreams is simple. They don’t believe in it enough to take action. For example, I’ve wanted to have a body-builder type of body for a very long time.  In fact you could say that it’s been a sort of “dream” of mine. But until I pull it out of the “dream phase” and into the ACTION phase, I’m never going to have that body.

I’ve also wanted to be a millionaire, but lets face it that’s been “just” a dream for me to this point in my life. I’m not a millionaire.  True, I’ve earned over 2 million dollars in my lifetime and I even owned a business that racked in over $600,000 in a year, damn near a million dollars, but I’m not a millionaire today. If you took everything I owned, sold it, and paid off everything I owe, I’d only have probably $100,000 left., if that much. A far cry from being a millionaire.

I’ve also wanted to be a full-time coach and writer. I want to spend my days conducting seminars, developing tools to help people build a better life for themselves, doing one-on-one coaching, running an online coaching community, and so on, and so on. But none of that is what I do now. In fact, my coaching is generally given away as free advice. Yes, I have a number of coaches who follow me and respect me and yes I have a lot of people who sign up for the free stuff.  But no one has forked over their hard-earned money for my professional advice as a coach, aside from maybe buying my books and let’s face it, $3.99 isn’t all that much to ask someone to invest, as opposed to $200 an hour for coaching.

So what’s keeping me, the success strategies and mindset coach, the “killing a fat guy” guy, from living my dream?  It’s simple really.  It’s my own inaction. My own lack of commitment to myself and my goals and dreams.

So recently I begin working with a coaching friend of mine to help me focus my energies and pull these weeds out of my garden. We’ve set some very specific goals and created some tiny habits to move me towards the dream of doing all of these great and grand things I want to do. I’ve also begun working with another coach/therapist to help me dig out the mindset blocks in my own mind that I may be blind to.

Why?  Because being a coach is all about is being able to see things objectively that others cannot see. Many times we cannot see our own issues and hang ups because, well, we’re in the middle of our own issues and hang ups.  And having a coach to help guide you through these things and show you new ways of thinking can be a tremendous advantage and can save you decades of pain in the process.

So the thing that is keeping you from your dream is simple; it’s you!  It’s what’s going on in your own mind that is keeping you from exploring new options and taking new actions, or from taking any action at all. See, if you don’t truly believe that it’s real, that its truly possible and possible for you, you don’t take the actions necessary to bring the dream to reality. It’s time to stop wasting energy on dreaming and start doing.

If you’re looking for a coach to help you along the way, call me. Because my dream is me coaching you to reaching your dreams.

Stop Apologizing For Who You Are

apology-clipart-k11678487You know, I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. I’ve made some poor decisions. In my career.  In my education. In my marriage. In my health. In my spiritual path. I’ve made a lot of bad decisions. And in some ways I’ve come to identify with the decisions as though they are a reflection of who I really am as a person. I’ve attached my identity to them. I’ve made the decisions part of who I am, as though they ARE me. But they are not me. Not in the sense of the real essence of who I truly am as a human soul.

My flawed decisions are a reflection of nothing more than flawed thinking on my part. They are the result of the justifications I’ve allowed myself to have for the actions that I have taken, or the inactions that I have not. It’s the justification to spend this money that I don’t have to buy this thing that I want, but I don’t really need. Or to say those words that cut someone else down or cause them injury or pain, so that they will stop injuring me. Or that extra piece of cake, or extra slice of cheese on that second hamburger. “It’ll be OK”, I tell myself, “I’ll work it off in the gym.”. Never to set foot in the gym.

With all of these poor decisions, it’s easy to think that the true essence of me, that inner spirit man, is this flawed person. That its the spiritual self that is flawed and wrong.  And I, inevitably, end up apologizing for him.  For who he is. But the problem is that bad decisions are simply the result of flawed thinking that is largely programmed into our minds from the time we are children, but it’s not WHO we are. Who we are is much more than that. And we apologize, in effect, for who we really are, deep inside, with all of our fears and aspirations, with the errors in our coding that provide damaging and destructive results.  When we do this, we acknowledge that our flaws are who we are. We fully identify with those flaws. We embrace them and they become a part of ourselves at a subconscious level.  Our flaws DEFINE us.

Stop apologizing for who you are. You are entitled to your dreams. You are entitled to your desire for love and happiness. You are entitled to living YOUR life in YOUR way.  It is, after all, yours. And you are entitled to your mistakes and your flaws. Most of it really doesn’t come from you anyway. It comes from things you’ve been told by other people.  “You’re fat”, “You’re lazy”, “You’ll never amount to anything”, “You’re a liar”, “You’re a fraud”, “You’re not a good person”, “You’re not smart enough”, “You’re not… worthy”…

These things are not “YOU”.  These are things that others have thrust upon you.  Some of them do it in frustration or anger, perhaps because you’ve made a bad decision that effects them in a negative way. Some of them do it in an attempt to protect you from what they perceive as something dangerous or irresponsible. Some do it for spite, some do it for their idea of love and protection. But when someone tells you who you are, question that assessment.

So am I saying don’t apologize?  No. When you make a bad decision.  When you make a mistake. When you do something that injures another person… Absolutely apologize. But apologize only when you truly recognize that the decision, the mistake, or the injury is the result if your own flawed thinking. Not because there is something wrong with you, as though you are an unworthy being, but because you have an error in your processing mechanism.  Then work to find the root of that error and get it out of your system. Apologize for the mistake, not for the fact that you made one, but for the fact that you recognize that it has caused someone else harm and that you need to examine the thought process that lead to the mistake in the first place.

You are love and light.  You are a child of the Creator of the Universe.  You are worthy and you are worth it. Begin there and stop apologizing because you are not perfect. Apologize, instead for the results that your imperfection has brought into someone else’s life.

A Gallon A Day – Kill The Gallon Challenge

killthegallonSo I recently had one of my awesome friends (Heather Paris) post a picture on my Facebook wall (I think she was actually kind of throwing down a challenge 😉 ) of a challenge that her and her husband (Another awesome friend, Thad Paris), are doing. They are doing a challenge to drink a gallon of water a day.  But that’s not the funny part. The funny part is they used pun on my “Killing A Fat Guy” idea and called the challenge “Kill The Gallon!  What a great idea!

So I decided to turn it into an actual challenge for my readers and followers. The idea is simple. Drink a whole 1 gallon jug of water every day! But more than that, I want you to pay attention to what this does to your body. Pay attention to who you feel before hand and how you feel 1 week in, 2 weeks, a month, 3 months… and so on. Keep a “Kill The Gallon” log.

Why?  Because a MAJOR contributing factor to obesity, ironically, is dehydration.  We simply don’t drink enough water through the day. If you challenge yourself to drink a gallon every day, you’re going to see some amazing results.

In fact, the Huffington Post recently published an article on the 10 benefits of drinking more water.  What were some of the findings?

  • Beter complexion
  • Smoother digestion
  • Prevent over snacking
  • More endurance
  • More strength
  • and many more!

So take the challenge!  And definitely post to my Facebook (KillingAFatGuy), I’d love to hear your stories and your successes.

By the way thanks Heather and Thad Paris.  For those who don’t know who Heather Paris is, check out her book on Amazon!