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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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.

The Key To Losing Weight in 2015

new-year-resolutionCan you believe it?  2015 is almost here.  We’re just five short years away from 2020 and ten years from 2030 (and the iPhone 22 – LOL). Of course this is also the time of year that millions of people begin thinking about writing their News Year’s Resolutions. And what do you think is the #1 resolution that most people make each and every single year?  You said “lose weight”, you’d be absolutely correct! The most common resolution is almost always to “lose weight”, “get healthy”, “eat better”, “begin regular exercise” or some iteration thereof.

Every year millions of people make this resolution and hundreds of thousands join a gym.  In fact gym memberships typically swell during the month of December and into January by as much as 40%.  Think about that for a second. If a gym has 1000 members, their membership numbers will grow to as much as 1400 members in a single month! According to StatisticBrain.Com, there are an estimated 58 million gym memberships in the US, nearly 18% of the country. That’s a pretty impressive statistic. If the numbers hold, then an up to additional 23 million are likely to sign up each year.

But here’s the rub. Approximately 67% of those memberships, more than 2/3, go UNUSED!  That means that with an average monthly membership cost of $58, Americans are WASTING $2,253,880,000 PER MONTH!  That’s $27,046,560,000 per year that is wasted on gym memberships. That’s just crazy! And so, year after year, Americans resolve to lose weight… AGAIN.. and they waste BILLIONS of dollars “trying” to do it. But why?

There are three keys to losing weight, plain and simple. They are Mindset, nutrition, and training.

You mindset is what’s going on in your head.  The secret to the mindset of weight loss is actually very simple. Stop “trying” to “lose weight”. Instead come an understanding that weight loss is not actually your goal. You goal is to live a fit, healthy lifestyle.  You goal is to increase your chances of living a longer, higher quality life by loving yourself enough to take good care of your body.  It’s the only one you have.

Your nutrition is what you’re putting into your body. Fast food, candy, chips, colas, frozen meals, none of these are going to give you the nutrition your body needs in order to not only sustain you, but give you more vitality, better health, better immune response, better sex, and better EVERYTHING that makes life what it is. The food that you eat says a LOT about how you feel about yourself. Eating foods that are high in the nutrients you need, at the times when the body needs it, is the key to nutrition.

And finally, there’s training. Notice the order of these three things. Mindset comes first. Nutrition comes second. And Training comes third. It’s an important step in the process, certainly. But, as the statistics show, most people only focus on the training aspect, see some quick results, then they plateau, get discouraged, and eventually quit. It takes ALL THREE of these areas to really losing weight. If you focus on training, but ignore your mindset and your nutrition, you’re then 2015 is going to be another frustrating year of failure.

So the key to losing weight is to begin with your mindset, learn about proper nutrition and put it into practice, and then do some form of physical exercise. That’s it!  There are no magic pills. There is no magic exercise program that, alone, will give you the six pack abs you’re looking for. You can’t do it simply by going to a meeting and stepping on a scale. It takes all three key components to make it happen.

So make 2015 the year you finally stop trying to lose weight and you start living a healthy life. You got this!

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Fear Is About Avoiding Pain

Fear is about avoiding some pain, real or imagined, mostly imagined I think. So what you actually do when you give in to fear is you accept this perception that the future pain that you have identified is very real and very probable. In order to give in to fear, you have to accept a perception as a reality.

But to assume that pain will be the end result is to assume that there is no good in the universe. It is to assume that the worst will come to fruition. That your experience will be one of pain and sorrow and suffering. And to assume that the worst will be your experience is to lack the faith that the opposite wil be true for you.

That is to say that to assume fear is to deny faith. To assume fear is to yeild your creative power to thougths of pain, and loss, and sorrow, and suffering. It is, in effect using your creative power to imagine a worst possible outcome and attach your experience to it.

Once you attach your experience to something, it becomes a part of you. It does not matter whether that experience is real or imagined. It becomes a part of your thinking process, literally wiring itself into your experience and becoming a part of your mental processing.

So the when an event similar to the one you have imagined shows up in your life, your mind will actually take the imagined experience of fear and pain into consideration when deciding what action to take in the given circumstance.

Interestingly, the longer you hold on to the fear, the more difficult it becomes to overcome it because the more real it becomes to you. It creates a viscous cycle of fear and avoidance of pain. And that is a survival centric mindset.

To think only in terms of survival is to be incapable of thinking in terms of success. The two thought processes are not only different, they are diametrically opposed to one another.

How To Die Only Once

Rumpelstiltskin-rumpelstiltskin-mr-gold-28080681-2000-1500So my 12 year old son has recently begun his first TV show with an ongoing storyline. He’s watching the show “Once Upon a Time”.  For a 12 year old boy the storyline is cool because there are nights, and dragons, and castles, and kings, and magic, and pirates… It’s actually quite interesting.

One the characters on the show is Rumplestiltskin.  Yes, yes, the imp who could spin straw into gold. But he’s actually a much more central character to the story than just the fable.  In this storyline he’s referred to as “The Dark One” because he’s a very powerful wizard of sorts. Of course the story also goes into his back story quite a bit.  Back to when he was an ordinary man.

You see, as an ordinary man, he was the son of a man whom everyone branded a coward.  So, by association, he must be a coward as well, just as his father was before him. He lived his life being afraid.  Afraid of death, afraid of loss, living up to everyone else’s expectations of him.

One day he came home and announced to his wife that he finally had an opportunity to prove his worth in a war. So he goes off to the battlefield, only to return with a self-inflicted wound that he did in order to avoid the fight. There are so many facets of this character and his sad story.

Shakespeare said “Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once.”

Since my son was so into this show I thought it a good opportunity to explore the idea of the quote above. What does it mean in the deeper sense of things. As he and I explored the ideas we determined that the coward dies to himself.  He kills his own soul each time he fails to step onto the battle field. But there’s another quote my son and I have explored that goes hand in hand with Shakespeare’s statement… “Repetition is the mother of skill.”

This means that the more someone does something, anything, the more proficient and skilled they become at doing it. So the if one practices archery, one will improve over time. But the same is also true if one practices cowardice.  By rehearsing fear, and worry, and doubt, and failure, all things which we would attribute to cowardice, we become more proficient at being afraid. We get stronger in our doubt. We solidify our worries and fears and they in turn paralyze us from taking taking action that could move us in the direction of our goals and dreams, whatever they may be.

We end up living our lives experiencing one fear after another, one failure after another, and we end up being blinded to our power to change it because the more we do it, the better we become at it. But what happens when we wake up and realize that we have the power to control our lives by controlling our minds?  What would happen if instead of cowering in the corner, we stepped out and boldly proclaimed our intentions and took action to make the changes we wanted to see in our life and the lives of those we love?

I think if we did this. If we realized that life is not simply about surviving but about thriving and creating your vision by taking action. It’s about recognizing that right now is the only time you have. You will never be any younger than you are right now. You will never be further from death than you are right now. And you will never be any closer to taking the first step towards living your dreams than you are right now. To ignore these glorious opportunities. To resign yourself to living in the fear, that is the essence of dying within. And each time time you give in to the fear, you die again inside.

But if you step out on faith; faith in yourself, faith in your vision, faith in God or the universe or the Law, and faith in your ability to take action towards your dreams, you will be valiant and you will truly live.

 

Why Other People Don’t Want You To Change

reflectionHave you ever noticed how when you go to make some change in your life, to become who you truly desire to be, there always seem to be some people in your life who seem to not want you to change?   Sometimes they’ll even come out and say “You’ve changed” or “You’re a different person”, and if you’re truly applying yourself to become your ideal and to live your true self, they’re right!  You have changed.

But why all of the negativity from other people about the changes you’ve made or are making in your life? I believe it’s because what you change in yourself your reveal in others. Other people have an idea about who you are and the nature of human connection is that we tend to connect with people who’s values, thoughts, and beliefs most closely align with your own.  In other words you pick people who’s identity is similar in some way to yourself.

So when you begin making changes you will sometimes find things about yourself that you no longer wish to have, some character trait, belief, opinion, or action. When you disassociate yourself from that aspect it often can become glaringly obvious in some of those around you. It’s no that these are bad people, or necessarily flawed, it’s just that they partially identified with you and, in some cases, those traits you now recognize as disempowering in yourself.

James Allen wrote:

“As you are, so is your world. Everything in the universe is resolved into your own inward experience. It matters little what is without, for it is all a reflection of your own state of consciousness. It matters everything what you are within, for everything without will be mirrored and colored accordingly. All that you positively know is contained in your own experience; all that you ever will know must pass through the gateway of experience, and so become part of yourself.”

So if my world is a reflection of me, then that means that those I have connected to, who have become central to my world, are also a reflection of me.  And they are a reflection of me because of the alignment of our consciousness.

They don’t want you change because they don’t know or understand this new person in their life. They don’t know how to interact. They don’t know how to connect. And they don’t know how to connect because the part of you that connected them to you is now gone. If they can recognize this and accept it. If they can align themselves to your new paradigm, your new understanding of yourself; then they will eventually recognize the areas that they need to change in themselves in order to align to your new view, or they will desperately cling to their identity and all of it’s characteristics and eventually fall away from you completely.

It could be painful. You could have friends that fall away as a result. You could have family and other loved ones who’s path diverges from your own.  But in the end their s one person you must be true to if you are going to live your life to highest of your ideal: yourself.

“Do you wish for kindness? Be kind.
Do you ask for truth? Be true.
What you give of yourself you find;
Your world is a reflex of you.” – James Allen