Support key to KOPS weight loss success

Guest comment

American Falls
TOPS chapter

It is the end of April and most of our New Year’s resolutions have already bit the dust. If one of your failed resolutions was the latest diet attempt, maybe it’s time to try a healthy eating lifestyle instead of “another diet”.

The American Falls chapter of Take Pounds Off Sensibly (TOPS) wants you to know that they don’t believe in diets. Diets are usually designed to fail! After a month or two of limiting you meals and snacks to only “good foods” we all tend to say forget it. TOPS believes you have to change your entire lifestyle to be successful.

TOPS focuses on health. True health isn’t a flat stomach, a certain pants size of even a number on a scale. Health is having the energy and stamina to so the things you love with the people you care about. It is about enjoying the live you are living in the body you work hard to take care of, no matter how “imperfect” that body may seem. Weekly TOPS meetings, led by volunteers, focus on making small steady lifestyle changes that provide lasting weight loss and better health.

The American Falls TOPS chapter has three members of Keep Off Pounds Sensibly (KOPS) that are constant inspirations to TOPS members. These three members have learned to control their weight by changing their lifestyles. They no longer starve themselves constantly to maintain their weight. They know they are able to eat anything, if they eat in moderation.

Betty Joyce Scherer struggled to maintain her weight loss for over a decade before changing her lifestyle rather than her diet plan.

“In 1974 I decided I did not like weighing more than my husband. I lost 20 pounds as a Weight Watchers member. That lasted about a year. I gradually gained back the 20 pounds. Then I tried Nutri System. As before I lost weight and kept it off for about a year. I had had enough. I don’t even remember why I decided to join TOPS. At that time there were only women members. They were very nice to me. In 1986 I started to pay attention, and in 1988 I reached my goal. At that time it was a weight loss group, now we think of it as a support group. As the time went by I realized if I state eating right all of the time I wouldn’t have a weight problem. A lot of people are looking for a quick fix. There are no quick fixes! Eventually we had a man join the group. The support system worked so well for him we had other men join. They have been a great inspiration to us,” said Scherer.

KOPS member Teresa Nickles needed to change her eating habits after retirement changed her level of physical activity.

“After retiring in the fall of 1987 I never changed my eating habits. I gained over 215 pounds. The doctor told me ‘if you don’t lose weight you are going to be in a wheelchair’. That scared me! I joined TOPS in 1991. By the end of 1993 I had lost 69.5 pounds. I have reached my goal of 150 pounds. I could not have done it without the help of God, the encouragement of the other TOPS members and those tattle-tale scales,” Nickles said.

Karen Lehman is a KOPS member that struggled to maintain her weight loss when the support program she was using went away.

“My journey all started when I joined Weight Watchers. Immediately I lost 10 pounds and then Weight Watchers moved out of American Falls. I quickly gained back the weight and then some. Someone told me about the TOPS club in American Falls. I joined and lost the weight again, got down to my goal, and became a KOPS member. I need the support of this group of people to keep my weight down. We weigh in and have a good program on tips to lose or maintain our weight. We share low calorie recipes with each other. The support we give each member is great,” said Lehman.

The American Falls chapter of TOPS meets every Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the Willow Bay Baptist Church located at 246 Lee Street. TOPS is an inexpensive way to gain the support needed to make your healthy eating lifestyle successful.

Anyone interested in TOPS can attend a free meeting or contact Norman Neu at 226-2580 or Arlene Kaufman at 220-0233.

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