Monday, March 22, 2010
After gaining five pounds in two weeks, I decided that enough was enough. My weight gain has been steady since early adulthood-- at least 10 pounds a year. Gathering up my courage and my bulkiest clothing off I went to a meeting of TOPS, or Take Off Pounds Sensibly.
I was warmly greeted, given a membership packet, had a before picture taken and measurements taken, then shown to the weigh-in room. I registered at 213 pounds, the heaviest I've been in my life. My first reaction-- these people are crazy!-- quickly melted into "What I've been doing hasn't worked, so I may as well try this." I am an O.A. drop-out and the purveyor of many fine diet ideas, none of which have worked for me. (I cannot afford the more expensive commercialized programs around).
After weigh-ins, the main meeting began. First the KOPS folks stood up to recite a pledge-- KOPS stands for Keeping Off Pounds Sensibly, followed by the TOPS folks. Then we had roll call. We could announce whether we gained, lost, or stayed the same weight that week. Folks clapped for the maintainers and losers, chanted "tomorrow starts another week" for the gainers. At my name, I announced that I had gained five pounds in two weeks.
After the roll call, there were the raffles-- for the biggest loser, for those who lost, and for the KOPS folk. Then, a member did a presentation. And finally the 50/50. The meeting dispersed with lots of friendly goodbyes. I was given a telephone list for support. A couple of the members who have seen me walking with the dog greeted me. "Now you know where your friends live in your neighborhood," one of them said. There were smiles all around. For the first time, I felt hopeful about getting to a healthy weight and being able to maintain that weight.
Yes, I did go back the next week. I was indeed the biggest loser there that week-- seven pounds. Hooray for me! As I continue to strive to adjust my relationship with food, I am confident that my goal of getting down to a healthy weight is doable. And I feel pretty good about that.
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Website for TOPS: http://www.tops.org/default.aspx