Four years ago, I joined a weight loss group called TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) with a friend. Having gone up and down over that time, I have succeeded in losing 16 pounds. My current goal is only 4 pounds away (to make KOPS- Keep Off Pounds Sensibly). Those 4 pounds are pretty elusive! I get so close and then gain a few pounds. Thankfully TOPS is a support group. If at the roll call one has lost weight, all applaud. If one has gained weight, the response is: “Glad you are here!” We have programs on cholesterol, heart disease, types of artificial sugar and their effects, exercise programs, and a number of other topics. We do not advocate any diet plan but give information on healthy eating and mindful eating. No one is made to feel uncomfortable and some of our contests are fun and encouraging. For the spring we had butterflies, and we got to sign a butterfly (which are numbered) each week we lost weight. When all have been taken, an envelope is pulled from the back and a number revealed. Whoever’s name is on that butterfly gets $10. Another contest is an extra large cardboard $10 bill with all our names on it. If you gain, your name comes off. You are allowed one absence and one Turtle (remaining the same weight as the week before) or your name is removed. The last woman, or man, standing gets $10. We also sign old calendars. One square for each 2 ounces lost. When the calendar is full, numbers are called, one number each month, and the person’s name in that square gets $1. Just fun incentives. We feel we have a really nice group of women and many of us come, not only for weight loss encouragement, but for friendship and fellowship. If anyone out there is struggling with their weight and has tried a lot of things that didn’t work, find a TOPS chapter near you and get some encouragement and support. My goal is making KOPS by the end of the month. Just 4 pounds to go!! Puff, puff.



Photo by Stuart Miles at Stockvault