Winning the weight-loss war often feels like a personal victory in a challenging war of attrition.
In TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), members are weight-loss warriors who get results through the combination of the TOPS program, their friends in the local TOPS chapters, personal motivation, and time.
The goal, say members, is to change their lives from the inside out.
One of those weight-loss warriors is Joan Savage of Payson, who has lost 90 pounds.
Joan, 74, has eight children, 33 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Not surprisingly, she leads a very busy life.
“I always seemed to have time for the family, but not much time for myself,” she says.
“I tended to eat when I was happy, sad, mad or just because the food was there. I knew I needed to lose weight. Several of my friends were looking so good I asked them what they were doing to lose weight and they told me they had joined TOPS,” she says.
Joan joined in 2006 and says, “I just love it. My chapter voted me its angel this year. I’m so happy; I didn’t know I could be so happy losing weight.”
She has been co-leader of Chapter AZ 373 twice, and last year went to the retreat in Prescott. “It really gave me a boost,” she says.
Savage exercises 45 to 90 minutes a day, walking and using the treadmill.
“My dear husband Bob calls me his trophy wife. I am only 10 pounds heavier than I was at age 19,” she says.
Also, her health benefits are multiplying.
“I had gotten one knee replacement and the doctor said I would need another knee replacement done within a year, but now my legs are better. My asthma is gone and my cholesterol is down. I love my new healthy body,” she says.
TOPS Club, Inc., the original nonprofit weight-loss education and support organization, recently celebrated 60 years of weight-loss support and success.
Founded and headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., TOPS promotes successful weight management with a philosophy that combines healthy eating, regular exercise, wellness education, and support from others at weekly chapter meetings.
TOPS has about 170,000 members in nearly 10,000 chapters throughout the United States and Canada, and several chapters in Europe.
To find a local chapter, view www.tops.org or call (800) 932-8677.