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Brenda C.


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Drink at least 64oz of water everyday
19 People
 in progress, 
1 Person
 achieved this
find a way to pay for my WLS
2 People
 in progress, 
1 Person
 achieved this
Eat healthier and exercise everyday!
12 People
 in progress, 
1 Person
 achieved this
Surgeon Testimonial

Artun Aksade
Pre-surgical care has been excellent. Dr. Aksade has a team that is very caring and empathetic. The insurance person, Ann is like a little steamroller. She works relentlessly with the insurance companies to help every patient. Mandy, the program coordinator is kind and sensitive and helpful. Whitney, the Nutritionist, is a great teacher and an excellent resource for patients as we learn how to eat. Dr. Aksade is not a typical surgeon, he is kind, empathetic, and a great listener. He comes to support group meetings and even stops in at Nutrition classes to say "Hi". He is a genuinely nice guy who enjoys helping people and takes great pride in taking the very best care of his patients. He tells us the surgery is only 5% of our journey, we must do the other 95% to have weight loss success. A great team!
Latest Surgery Support Comments

  • Comment by Member Services 1/7/14 4:30 am
    Hello Melissa, Congratulations on your surgery! We are here to help you all the way. Be sure and keep us posted on your journey. Regards, Member Services
Click here for the surgery support page

melissa_whitener's Blog
beginner blogger journeys to better health

Down to 200 but...
August 1, 2012 4:05 am
still struggling with that plateau feeling!

I am still losing, but OHHHHhhh so slowly.  I continue to try my best to eat healthy and I'm still working, but the hunger won't abate and it is a daily struggle not to eat everything in sight.  Good news is that I am now a "FTE", full time employee of Fluortek, Inc.  Of course, I have no vacation until 2013 and no benefits until October 2012, but hey, it beats being a temp!

So, I continue with my vitamins, continue working 40 hours per week, and continue looking forward to the day when I can schedule my surgery.  The weight that I have lost still leaves me at "morbidly obese" which is a step in the right direction from when I started out at Super Morbidly Obese.  With all my co-morbidities I don't see that continuing to lose could be a problem with getting my surgery approved, especially since I have so many other issues.

This last 10 pounds has come off so slowly, I can't see any difference in how I look or feel, but my size 18 jeans are fitting more comfortably now than they did when I bought them 2 weeks ago.  I was in a size 24 last summer, so it is working, but the day to day is so hard, so depressing,  with all my health problems still kicking my butt regularly.  

I am lucky to be working and I remind myself of that every day.  I am very lucky that my job allows me to work and bring home a paycheck, and that I can do the job without causing more pain than I can stand.  Fibromyalgia pain is my number two enemy, folowing closely behind hunger.  If I could just figure out a way to block out one of the two I would be so much happier and easier to live with.   I guess I will just keep hanging on until October, when I am eligible for benefits, and then schedule my surgery.  Hopefully after surgery my old buddy hunger will be gone for good.
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It's not just a plateau....
May 1, 2012 12:41 am
it's a sub-continent!  I have been stuck between 211 and 214 pounds now for about 3 weeks. Since I am still pre-op, and in too much pain to exercise, I am  not surprised by this development.  I was actually expecting a plateau to happen sooner, and was really thrilled that the weight kept coming off.  

Where I am now, weight-wise, is where I was for many years.  My kids are 12 and 14 years old, and I was at this weight before my first pregnancy.  It seems that I am now back at my "set-point".  My guess is that I will stay here, hovering above 200 pounds, until my surgery.  The good news is that with more than 50 pounds off of my frame I do feel better and I do have more energy.  The bad news is that I'm still in a great deal of pain from my friends fibromyalgia and arthritis, so excercise seems like an unlikely step to start losing again. 

Four weeks ago I made a decision to start exercising, which I have not kept.  I am more active since I started working 3 months ago, but I am just hurting too much to exercise.  By the end of each working day I am so tired that I cannot even imagine exercising, and before work it's all about getting there with my energy a a maximum.  Maybe next month........ 

I did keep one of my little exercise resolution from early April, which was be more active around the house.  I am going up and down the stairs more, and using the kids less to be my "legs".  I have been doing ok with that, until I went a little nuts this weekend.  Instead of my usual friday night and saturday night of movie or tv show watching on Netflix, I did housework.  It was not a truly great idea, I am still sore from the scrubbing and bending and such.  So, maybe next weekend, a little housework and some movies, to keep me from being in too much pain to go to work when the weekend ends!

Meanwhile, I will continue to try to eat smart and healthy, and to try to say no to temptations at the table.  I walked right past a brownie today, it called my name and winked at me, but I turned away, slowly, but yes, I turned away.  A year ago I would have gobbled that little cube shaped beauty without a second thought, but today I am not gonna do it!

So, the plateau gets bigger every day, and I continue to toddle along, hoping to see the edge.   At only 5 feet tall, losing too much weight to be eligible for surgery is not an issue, so I'm gonna keep on trying to lose as much weight as I can the miserable and slow way..... very slow.

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Been working two months, and so far...
March 24, 2012 4:15 am
I'm able to keep a full time job!!  I have been fighting my fibromyalgia pain, and really, really hungry, but I have managed to stick it out so far.  My job is still fun and I still enjoy my coworkers, so it's all good.  Hopefully in another month they will hire me on as an actual Fluortek employee, with health benefits, and then my next countdown begins, the one to surgery!!

I went to a support group today and it was not really all that great, got a free sample of a protein supplement though, and it completes my requirement of attending at least 2 support group meetings prior to surgery.  One more thing "checked off" of my list and one less obstacle between me and my goal of a gastric bypass!

I  have been working 40 hours per week, or more, and that is quite an accomplishment for me.  I get so tired, and all I want to do is sleep.  I am getting about 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night.  I think that my way of dealing with all my pain is to "sleep it off"  and that the sleep somehow restores me so that I can go again the next day.  This is tough on my family, though, since I never feel like shopping, cooking or doing errands.  I am hoping that when my body gets used to my new work routine I will go back to sleeping 8 hours a day and will have more time for my family and other responsibilities.  It has only been two months, so we'll see.  

The weight continues to come off slowly, very slowly!  Last week I was premenstrual and SO HUNGRY!!  I think I ate more in a week than I did in the previous month.  This week was period week and I was still pretty hungry, but better able to control my behavior.  Head  hunger was my enemy this week, but I fought back by drinking a lot of water and that seemed to help, or at least make me feel better.  Even if I can't eat when I want or as much as I want, I can drink water when I'm hungry and keep myself busy that way.

I'm gonna have to work on training my family about nutrition and food choices.  I asked Bob to stop and pick up lunch today, and he shows up with a yummy selection of stuff I don't eat any more.  I understand that he and the boys are not eating as I am, but it would have been nice to have something in the mix that I could eat and enjoy.  The KFC mashed potatoes and gravy and biscuits and baked beans were all a big "no no" for me, and I peeled the skin off my fried chicken and ate the meat, but wondered just how much fat was added by the KFC fryers.  

I am really noticing a big difference in how I am feeling now that I'm eating healthy.  For the first time in more than 15 years I do not have gas, bloating, and diarrhea every day!  After about a month on my healthy eating plan I am having normal, regular bowel movements.  If I eat too many carbs or sugars, I will immediately dump and feel really sick for a while.  If I eat too much fat, I have diarrhea about 3 hours or more later, along with fun cramps and gas.  Now that I know eating healthy keeps me off the toilet, I have an even greater incentive to eat the right stuff, and to enjoy my carbs and sugars in moderation.

I can still eat carbs and sugars, but they must be with a big dose of protein, and not too much.  This is great for me, since it lets me enjoy a tiny taste of whole grains, or a lightly sweetened cereal or granola, as long as protein is dominant in the food.  Now to keep reminding myself of all the reasons NOT to eat stupid crap!

Now that I'm working I don't have the time to spend on web forums or on this blog, but I know it is a good thing to keep up with what's happening on OH and also to put my thoughts down as a way to deal with and vent.  Until next time, happy spring!
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Luck O' the Irish to you and...
March 16, 2012 4:45 pm
 to me!!  

Happy St. Patrick's Day, and go see eggface to win a very cool prize

Here's her logo, go see eggy~

 Go to the website and enter to win!

You can also see some really great recipes which are yummy and tested by a WLSer!!
Great food!

I hope you have  a happy St. Patrick's Day.  My boys will be marching in their first St. Paddy's Day Parade today, in Bethlehem, PA.  They will be wearin' the green and tooting their horns and marching down the streets while wearing green t shirts and silly hats.  Yay!

I will be shopping for for ingredients to make home made meat sauce and lasagna this weekend, gonna feed my co-workers on Sunday night.  Since I work the dreaded midnight shift from 1030 PM til 7 AM, my week begins on Sunday nights at 1030, earlier this week since I'll be working overtime!

My plan, make sauce on Saturday morning, make lasagna on Sunday morning, eat lasagna on Sunday night.  I'm using extra lean meat and low fat cheeses, and then I'll avoid eating too many noodles.  This should help me to keep it high protein, low fat, and lower carb than the typical lasagna.  Sorry, I'm not ready to use veggies instead of noodles.

Hoping that my friend the heating pad will help my back to relax and stop spasming.  It would be nice to start the work week not sore!

Luck to you all!

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Fibromyalgia pain is making it increasingly difficult...
March 6, 2012 8:41 pm
I refuse to give in to it and stop working.  My job is not hard.  I sit at a table in an adjustable chair.  I look at small pieces of plastic tubing.  I take and write down measurements of the tubing.  I get up, walk around, and sit back down.  I lift things that weigh less than a can of soup.  Why then, is my body screaming with pain every night when I have hours yet to work?  Simple, really, I have the bad luck to have fibromyalgia, also known as the mystery illness that nobody really knows squat about.  I have been working this job for about a month and a half now, and my pathetic muscles continue to cramp and spasm.  

The small, somewhat repetitive motions that are involved in my job should not be enough to cause anyone pain, and a normal person would find this job restful, even!  You get to sit, but not for too long, and there are a variety of tasks to perform so I can stand up and walk around fairly often.  There's no extended period of standing, and only a little computer time involved.  

I like my coworkers.  This is a big thing, since stress makes fibromyalgia pain so much worse.  I am fairly relaxed as I perform my various tasks, and I can take a break, roll my shoulders, stretch and walk around as often as I need to.  This is the ideal job for someone who can't stand to sit still for too long, or who can't stay on her feet all night.  It seems so crazy that I am having so much pain when this is a great job for me!

Every evening before work I get the heating pad out and sit with it against my back, then take a hot shower and have my husband rub my back down with Ben Gay.  Every morning when I get home I immediately get back on the heating pad to try to get my knotted muscles to relax.  I called my doctor earlier this week requesting something to take at bedtime to help the muscles relax, no call back, no prescription.  I keep thinking that my body will eventually get used to the job and the tasks that I am performing and this will stop.  There is no reason why I cannot have a full time job.  Really. Who am I trying to convince?

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