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About Me

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TX, United States
I am a 39 yr. old stay at home mom to 3 girls ages 10, 9 and 7. My goal is to be fit by 40! I want to lead a healthier lifestyle. I was banded on 4/5/2011. I tend to be a bit on the sarcastic and cynical side. I love to read, hate to excersise (but am learning to tolerate it!), love to shop and want to smack anyone who is a size 2 (not really!). I am learning to work with my band and my new self one day at a time!

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Please feel free to e-mail me at brendamyers@msn.com

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Friday, March 9, 2012

My Secret

I have had a lot of people e-mailing me lately.  They want to know the secret to losing weight.  The secret is.......there is no secret.  You have to want it.  You have to want it bad.  You have to be ready.  Emotionally ready.

 I had finally hit the desperate spot.  The spot when you know either you change your ways or you will die fat.  Fat and sad. Fat and perhaps alone.  You know at that point, it is do or die.  That is what motivated me. I didn't want to die.  I didn't want to be sad anymore.

It started 6 years ago. It will be 6 years exactly on April 24th.

Something out of my control happened.  I had a vertebral artery dissection.  The main artery in the back of my neck dissected.  It caused me to have a stroke.

This was nothing hereditary.  Nothing I did.  It was a traumatic injury.  Could it have been prevented?  Perhaps.  But that is beside the point now.  It did happen.  It changed everything.

People who have vertebral artery dissections usually don't survive.  Those that do are usually in what is called a "locked-in syndrome".  They are the same in every mental capacity but they can not communicate or use any of their body. 

But I did survive.  Very miraculously.

They said it would take me months, even years to walk again.  It took me 3 weeks. 

They told me there was a slim chance I would be able to drive my oldest daughter to the first day of Kindergarten.  I did.  I drove her to school.  By myself.  Because I needed to prove them wrong.

I still have some numbness on my left side.  I have neurological pain on my right side.  I can't feel any temperature on my right side.  My left eye goes blurry and I tend to forget words when I am tired.

But, if you look at me.  You would NEVER know that something so traumatic had ever occurred to me.  Only my close friends and family could EVER see any difference.

I don't tell most people.  I don't want anyone ever looking at me differently.

But that is what makes me different.

It makes me a survivor.

It makes me want this all the more.

I didn't always feel this way.  It took years to get to this point.

You see, when my VAD occurred, I weighed around 215 lbs.  Was I skinny?  No.  But, I was a size 16 at the time and very in shape. 

And when I did survive people told me how lucky I was.  I knew I was.  Not lucky.  Just meant to be here.  To do something with my life. 

You go through all the stages of grief when something traumatic occurs.

I went through denial.  It couldn't have happened to me.  No way.  Something like this doesn't happen to someone like me. 

The anger.  Mad at the reason it occurred. Mad at my family.  Mad at my friends.  Mad at myself.  Mad at God.  Just pissed off in general. 

Bargaining.  Please God.  Please just make me the same as I was before.........I will do anything you want. 

The overwhelming depression.  Filled with so much grief I didn't even want to live anymore.  I just ate to numb the pain.  I was breathing but not living.

And during the depression state, I gained 100 lbs.  100 lbs!!!  And that just made the depression worse.  Because now, look at me.  I was disgusted with myself.  318 lbs.  I was filled with self hate.  I didn't care.  I didn't care about myself.  My girls would be better off without me.  Everyone would be better off if I wasn't here.  That is what I thought.  I truly believed I would be better off dead. 

And then something happened.....................

My husband came home from work (he is the IT director at the hospital) and said they were going to start doing Lap-band.  He asked if I wanted to meet with the surgeon.

And just like that I had hope again.

From a tiny piece of plastic I found hope.  I found my will to fight again.  I found my will to LIVE again.

So, when people ask how I have done this.  When they want to know my secret, I tell them this:

The secret is:I am the secret.  It is my determination that has made me successful.

I am not going to waste this gift I have been given.  I wasted too much time after my stroke.  This time I am fighting for my life because my life is worth saving.


  1. Wow. Thank you. I'm sitting here crying - with pride and admiration, and with the feeling that your determination and strength is amazing. And with the feeling that, like you, *I* am my own secret, too.

    Thank you for posting this!

  2. All I can say is WOW...you are an amazing woman! And you are so right...you ARE the secret. So many people go into surgery thinking that it is the answer to all of their problems...they will have surgery and voila' everything will get better. Not so much.

    I believe, with ever fiber of my being, that you have to be in the right place mentally in order to be successful (both in the short-term and in the long-term). It isn't always easy and it takes determination to get you past the bumpy parts.

    I'm so impressed by your story and by your determination and I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am that I've gotten to know you through our blogs and emails. We are so much alike and you truely are my band sister!

  3. GREAT POST :)

    You are one of a small group that I see on the blogs who actually "gets" it. It's a huge mental game and it IS up to you.

  4. Your post was very inspiring and meaningful, but 4 most important words I took from it are: I AM THE SECRET. I'm going to keep this in mind as often as possible. Thank you!

  5. Damn right you're the secret! I love you, lady - you absolutely GET it. :)

  6. This post really touched me. Kudos to you for being able to pull yourself through this. You are so right - it is a ll about the mental readiness...once you're ready, you can be unstoppable! You are a real inspiration. Thank you for posting.

  7. Such a good post! Thank you for sharing with us. We are all different and somehow we can all relate in some way. You are inspiring!

  8. Oh my gosh!! Thank you so much for this awesome post. I had no idea of all you've been through. I had never even heard of what you described or knew that could happen to someone. I am just so overwhelmed right now and I am so happy that you survived. And you have really inspired me!!!

  9. Incredible post. Thank you for sharing your story and providing inspiration for all of us who are struggling or have struggled in the past with any of the many hurdles life has given us.

  10. Wow,what a crazy and horrible situation to of been through... no wonder you're so strong. You had no choice, you either lived or existed and you chose to live! Amazing woman you are Brenda!! :)

  11. I read your blog but I had no idea of your story.

    Thanks for much for sharing it. You are definitely an inspiration.