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My Official TOPS Story

Monday, April 11, 2011

It was suggested to me to tell my story so I thought I would post the official story that was read this past weekend at the Texas TOPS State Recognition Days in Beaumont, TX when I was introduced as the 2010 State Queen. It was an incredible weekend. I have been given a great gift. I am hoping that I can do TOPS proud! Here is my story:

"My aunt invited me to go with her to a TOPS meeting in 1997. Having just moved from Maryland to Texas, I did not know anyone, so I was eager for some social interaction. For quite some time that is exactly what TOPS was for me—a social outing. Even though I weighed 260 lbs. and I knew I was obese, I was in complete denial whenever I looked into a mirror, at a picture of myself, or needed an even larger size of pants because the ones that I had bought a month earlier must have “shrunk in the wash”. I made up every excuse not to exercise. I had grown up tall and slim, and I had excelled in sports. I felt I was fat when I hit 125 lbs. (and I am 5’8”) and I ran to the store and bought a workout so I could “feel the burn”, but I hated to sweat.

I was diagnosed with major depression at an early age and in 1993 had to retire on disability. I had nothing to do but eat. I had very little money (even resorting to eating at the local soup kitchen), but I always seemed to have money for ice cream. I gained over 100 lbs. in a matter of months, and so I accepted my parents’ offer to join them in Texas.

When I joined TOPS, I would celebrate each week if I had a loss, only to have the inevitable gain the following week. (Sitting at home eating a pint of ice cream in one sitting wasn’t working!) In 2009, I decided to become a vegetarian. This lasted a few months until I admitted that I really do love meat. During this time, I lost a few pounds. I discovered that writing down what I ate was crucial. I also began to realize just how important exercise is. This was all information I had heard over and over again in my TOPS meetings, but I just had not gotten to the point where I was willing to work at really losing the weight. Then I started thinking about how I would feel in one year, two years, and five years if I lost the weight and if I didn’t lose the weight, and how my health would be impacted. I had been diagnosed with arthritis; I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and was prediabetic. I love to watch The Biggest Loser on television. Unfortunately, I loved to watch it while eating an entire pint of ice cream. One night I was sitting on my couch, eating my ice cream, watching The Biggest Loser and trainer Jillian began to yell at a contestant that she was probably one of those people who sit at home watching the show while eating ice cream. My spoon stopped halfway to my mouth. It was then I decided to give up eating pints of ice cream at one time, and to not keep ice cream in my house. It took me a long time to realize that I can’t eat what I don’t have in the house. I know that I will give in to temptation; that is inevitable. So I just work with it, not against it. What works for me is moderation, not deprivation. I made myself exercise. I still do not love to exercise, but I am finding different methods. I love doing Zumba and Just Dance2 on my Wii, and I have recently started actual Zumba classes.

Once I started losing, every time I dropped a clothes size it reaffirmed my excitement. I set goals for myself and the most exciting one that I reached was when I could buy a pair of jeans that was not in the plus-size department. I have not sat down with a pint of ice cream since September, 2009. I started my journey at size 26W and can now fit into a size 10.

I owe a huge thanks to my family and to my friends at TOPS #TX0955, Florence and TOPS #TX1066, Round Rock. I could not have done this without you!"
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What a great story! Belated congratulations!
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    116 days ago
    What a great story! My friend and I used to attend TOPS meetings together, and those are some of my fondest memories spent with her and the wonderful people I met. You really bond while sharing and listening to others in the same boat.
    I am so happy for you!!! Much continued success!!!

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    3255 days ago
  • BRENDAF761
    I enjoyed reading your story. Thanks for sharing! TOPS has totally changed my life for the better! I enjoy meeting new TOPS friends & sparkfriends on this site! Best wishes for continued success. emoticon
    3255 days ago
  • MOM4407BECKY
    What an amazing story. You have accomplished something that many just dream of. You did it without the stress of the Biggest Loser. Just think you are amazing. Really amazing. I look forward to meeting you at IRD.
    3557 days ago
    Congratulations on your big loss! I had to learn to eliminate those trigger foods from my home. They always won when I battled temptation. I can't even use my husband as an excuse for having them around since he rarely eats those things.
    3565 days ago
    Wonderful story! Congratulaions! I am going to my first meeting on Thursday. I only have 10 pounds to lose and I hope I don't feel out of place!
    3567 days ago
    That is a terrific story. I was a district queen but only had 52 pounds to lose so any others lost more than that. Isn't SRD wonderful?

    3568 days ago
    That is a terrific story. I was a district queen but only had 52 pounds to lose so any others lost more than that. Isn't SRD wonderful?

    3568 days ago
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