About two years ago, I tried a familiar weight loss group, but just didn’t feel comfortable with it. I talked to people from the weight loss organizations advertised on TV and looked at the food. It was too much money and high carbs. I was invited to check out an organization called TOPS. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly). At once I felt at home. The group was fun and friendly. There was no proffered diet, just contests and encouragement to lose weight in whatever way works for you. A roll call is taken where one announces they have either “lost” or comment “there’s a little more of me this week.” To the former, everyone cheers, to the latter, a sincere “We’re glad you are here,” is proffered. Losing weight a couple of weeks in a row after being the “star of the week” (highest weight loss of the day) entitles one to choose a gift from the gift box. There are pins for achievement, nametags for easy recognition, and various colored T-shirts that have the TOPS logo on them. We weigh in every Friday morning and the small chart we carry is filled in. We have someone do a program every Friday and that is worth 10 poker chips. We get poker chips for bringing food for the food bank, losing weight, and one for just being there. We fill out a calendar with our names. One square for every two ounces lost. When the calendar is full, January to December, we draw numbers and the winning number called for each month gets a dollar. Pretty hokey, but I wouldn’t trade the ladies at my TOPS club for anyone. They are unique and delightful. Oh, did I mention the chip auction? When we do all these accomplishments and have collected a bag full of poker chips, we have a chip auction, bring in white elephants, and sell them to the highest bidder, for poker chips of course!