Get in shape for the new year with TOPS
By PAMELA GRANT
Every new year, people make resolutions, and getting in shape and/or losing weight is at the top of the list for many of those people.
TOPS (take off pounds sensibly) is a support group that helps people do just that.
The Copperas Cove chapter of TOPS meets Tuesday nights from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Copperas Cove Christian Church on 1908 Morrow Dr. Private weigh-ins are from 5:30 p.m. until 6:50 with the meeting coming after.
“You can visit first time free,” said Jackie Martell, Copperas Cove area TOPS captain. “We have a lot of fun and enjoy each other. It’s more like family.”
Rather than a diet or exercise plan, TOPS seeks to provide members with educational tools, information, support, and accountability. This grants the individual everything they need to accomplish their goals and keep that weight off.
Meetings vary from week to week, but one of their biggest goals is to help encourage members. Each week they hold roll call during which they recognize the ‘best losers’ and/or the ‘best monthly losers’. They also hold contests and various programs to help motivate their members to do the best they can.
The meeting itself can include games, contests, programs, chair exercises, and discussions. If anyone has problems, the group does their best to help.
TOPS was started in 1948 in Wisconsin by a woman named Esther Manz. Seventy years later, the non-profit organization is still going strong. The organization has chapters all over the United States and Canada. They also have KOPS (keep off pounds sensibly), a group for those who have met their weight goals.
The organization holds state recognitions days once a year where they recognize those with the greatest weight loss for the year, and all of those who reached their weight loss goals graduate. This year’s recognition day will be in Denton in April. Martell said that the yearly meetings usually have close to a thousand members in attendance. They also have an annual international recognition day in July.
“We don’t promise quick fixes or promote unrealistic images of the ‘perfect’ body. Instead we focus on health,” says the TOPS website. “TOPS can’t do the work for you. You only get out of TOPS what you put into it. We can’t guarantee weight loss just by attending meetings, but we can offer support through each stage of the journey, including after you reach your goal weight.”
To learn more, check out this week’s meeting on Tuesday at 5:30 or find out more on the TOPS website at http://www.tops.org