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Shining Stars

Super Shining Star, Melinda Bernhard

Super Shining Stars may become my favorite part of this blog. I love hearing genuine, authentic stories about the journey of self discovery. We can all learn so much from each other! My plan is to post Super Shining Star entries when I receive them as regular blog posts but to also put them under the “Super Star” tab at the top of the home page. This way, all the Super Shining Star entries will be organized and easily accessible for future readers. As readers scroll down, through the tab, they will be able to go back and see all the past Super Shining Star entries in one, easy to read spot. Isn’t, Jen, my web designer, the best???? In deed!!! Speaking of Super Shining Stars, she’s 50lbs lighter herself! Way to go, Jen! Congrats on YOUR success!

I cannot thank Melinda enough for sharing her story (below) with ALL of us. As a wife and working mother of five children, she’s pretty darn busy, but when I asked her if she would share her story on the blog, she not only agreed, but took valuable time to write it herself. She is an inspiration and such a wonderful example of how carrying extra weight not only affects our quality of life but our health, as well. Melinda…You really are a SUPER SHINING STAR! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Melinda "Before"

Melinda "After"

As a nurse I knew how to take care of myself, but as a mother of five I never really took the time to do it right. In May, 2010 my occasional knee pain developed into constant pain and swelling which kept me from doing the things that I enjoy: hiking, bike riding, swimming, and walking. I could not kneel or squat down, and could not sit on the floor to play with my children. My summer consisted of x-rays, an MRI, injections, doctor visits and many hours of physical therapy with no relief. The next step was radical surgery involving 6 weeks non-weight bearing followed by 6 months of physical therapy afterward. I was actually scheduled for surgery when I got a second opinion and talked to a doctor who changed my life. His philosophy was to have his knee patients lose 10 pounds before even considering surgery; this alone was often enough to relieve pain and allow other treatments to be more effective. This was the motivation I needed to finally shed those extra pounds I had been hanging on to after all of my pregnancies.
So, last August I cancelled the surgery and walked in to my first Weight Watchers meeting, scared and skeptical. I did not really believe that I could lose even the 10 pounds my doctor had suggested. I guess it was because I had been at a certain weight for so long and had adapted to it—or had I? My knee pain and my blood work told me otherwise—I knew better and it was time to get serious about taking care of myself. But I still could not picture myself reaching my goal—I often start more projects than I actually finish! From day one my wonderful husband believed in me and encouraged me every step of the way. The weight began to come off and my pain began to decrease. I was able to move better and started exercising regularly, which in turn helped the pounds come off, which helped me increase my activity more and more. I attended meetings weekly, and would call my husband and my parents after each weigh in to report my progress. They were so supportive and helped me persevere.
The change to Points Plus happened just at the right time for me; that enabled me to reach my goal weight which was more than double what my doctor had suggested after just 4 months on the program. I can still hear my husband’s voice when I called to tell him I had reached my goal—he said “and you thought you couldn’t do it, remember?” I cried when I realized how far I had come—with the program, prayer and people behind me I DID IT!! Needless to say I avoided surgery, and I am pain free, doing all the things I love and more. I am planning to walk/run my first 5K this May—quite a difference from what I was doing last May! My blood work improved immensely and I feel 10 years younger. I am able to keep up with my children and have more energy than ever before—but sadly still only 24 hours in my day! There were other non-scale victories along the way, and I never cease to be inspired by Terra and all of the people at the meetings sharing their journeys. Thank you so much! ☺

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