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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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My name isXXXXX am 31 years old and I work for the railroad.

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My name isXXXXX am 31 years old and I work for the railroad. Until a year ago I was very physically active. Almost every night after work I would go to the gym and work out. I was on my feet all day at work as well. A year ago I was given a great promotion to an excellent paying job as the Employee in Charge of track construction. Imagine an air traffic controller in a pickup truck and you get the idea of what my job is like these days. The trouble is I work on average 15 plus hour days and I'm stuck in the truck all day. I cannot leave my post. We travel the country constantly. I eat like crap because all I have to choose from is fast food and gas stations. I have not gone to the gym in months. I've gained 30 pounds in one year. I feel like crap physically and mentally. I do not know how to break this funk that I am in. I can not leave my job because of the cut in pay I would take. HELP.

Hi, Bruce! I'll be glad to be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be for you. You are clearly stuck in a difficult situation here. But Bruce, I'm hearing also some self sabotaging going on. What do I mean?

There are a number of practical things you can do that we together can think of right off the bat: you're in a pick up, you say, not an 18 wheeler. So you can take an extra 10 minutes to go to a supermarket or Walmart and get fresh fruits and veggies, etc. Equally important, you can stop at the side of the road and put on 2-3 pound ankle weights and take a power walk or run, right? And you can even put on a backpack with 10# XXXXX books inside. With those weights and the backpack, a 15 minute walk becomes equivalent to a 30 minute exercise session. I know because I was just discussing this very thing last week with an internist about patients who bring up your same problem.

Bruce, those two small changes in your current schedule, even with your 15 hour days, will by themselves make an amazing difference in your health, physique, and depression. And you're clearly a smart man: you can come up with a couple more ideas to supplement these two.

But this brings us to the self sabotaging. Bruce, when I was talking with the internist, our conversation quickly moved into the realm of motivation. And there's a lot of NEGATIVE motivation when it comes to exercise, eating right, etc. How does that apply to you?

I notice you said you used to work out, etc. every night. But what it meant to you was the most important thing: you had a sense of yourself, who you are, what you're about, what life's about, what you wanted from life, what life meant to you, etc.

And now it's been upended. This job has taken over your life and all those things I wrote about above. You even write it that way:

"The trouble is"; "I'm stuck"; "I cannot leave"; "I feel like crap".

Do you see the pattern here? Right. This is all negative. You can't leave the job so you sabotage it. I'm not saying that you'll sabotage it till you have to leave it whether you want to or not because you'll be too fat, too ill, or too depressed. But you're seeing all the negatives and not looking for how to make it positive. So, I don't know if that means you need to make a deal with yourself about how long you'll stay in the job before you find a new position to transfer to, that might help giving yourself an end date.

But for sure, you're such a good person, you need to recognize that you want more out of life and that you have to treat this job as part of your journey and to make it work with the suggestions I made and maybe an end date. And I would like you to commit yourself to apply the principles in the following videos and books to your worries about anxiety. So that you can be yourself with more confidence. Coach yourself. Be your own life coach! I want you to get really into motivational videos and books. Here's a simple YouTube search I put together on "motivational speakers":


http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=motivational+speakers&aq=f



Some like Tony Robbins are the classic big guys. Some are newer. Watch them all. Get inspired. Buy a book or two. Here are some possibilities, but they are only suggestions as there are so many good ones.

The first book is the father of all these type of books. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. There are classes in these books now! It was written in the 1930s and still has something to say to us today that is very worthwhile.

I think very highly of the second book on my list, which is a real classic: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It is the book that has helped more people than probably any other.


The third book is by Anthony Robbins. He's one of those speakers who fills up huge auditoriums. For a reason. He's a terrific speaker and writer. The particular book (if you like it, try his others): Awaken the Giant Within. I really like this book.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Dr. Mark, first I would like to thank you for your response. You are focused in the right direction for me. Let me make a few excuses, I hate vegetables and fruit that are not fresh. So I would have to go shopping ev ery day at 3am. Also I cannot go for walks because I must monitor the two way radio and computer screen in my pick up. I know that where there is a will there is a way so if i try harder I will find a solution. I crave the feeling of being on my feet all day again, I feel so bogged down, like I am locked in a cell all day. Maybe I could turn the radio up and do laps around the truck. I am making more money then I ever dreamed and my family is happy. So I guess my question is, is there a way for me to learn to except this or just get comfortable with it ?

Bruce, again: I'm hearing you not using your positive motivation, rather your negative motivation (refer to my discussion on this above).


So let's just keep thinking strategically in a positive way and see if you're still resistant. If you are after these attempts, then you need to take the time either on your own or with a therapist, maybe through Skype since you're on the road so much, to find out why you're resisting solutions, okay?


Food: I worked via Skype for a few months in therapy with a long haul trucker. I never knew where he would be! He would put his smart phone on the dashboard at night and we'd work in therapy. Amazing, right? Well, he was working on other issues, but he used to have a plug in car refrigerator to keep his fruits and veggies fresh. They sell them online. And there are 24 hour supermarkets in metro areas when you land near one.


Exercise: Bruce, there are apps that will do the most amazing things now with your phone. You can exercise sitting, do strength training (push ups against your pick up door looking through the window into the computer screen). You can indeed do laps around the truck: try backwards and then forwards, then do punches and kicks around the truck. Then find an app to do sitting exercises. Do squats, carry weights in the truck. We can keep going on and on, right?


And now the clincher: your family is happy but you're not. If that's really, really, really true, then something is wrong here. We're now closer to what the trucker was working on in therapy. But in any case: your family by definition cannot be happy if you're away all the time and miserable. See the point?


So it seems we're getting closer to the heart of the problem: you're doing this as a sacrifice. Okay. For a year, maybe 2. But then that's it. Sacrifices are not how life is lived. Agreed?


I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You are 100% correct. I am resisting solutions ! I'm not sure why though. I will pick up a plug in cooler and resistance band. By the way I have read how to win friends and influence people, I loved it. Thanks Doc.

Bruce, You're the best! Our railroads are lucky to have you.



I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

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