TOPS members meet once a week to share information, encourage, motivate and support each other.
Eating sweet, fatty foods is one of the ways the human brain evolved to facilitate the survival of the species. Eating when food is available is also a survival mechanism, to balance the time when food was not available. It can lead to overeating, illness and disability.
Support groups like TOPS can make all the difference for those looking to push back from the table and deal with the almost irresistible pull to sugar.
The Durango chapter of TOPS, which stands for “Take Off Pounds Sensively,” will meet Wednesday morning at the Durango La Plata County Senior Center. The meeting begins with a weighing of options, followed by a “lively” discussion, where members share encouragement, strategies, success stories, and challenges faced in fighting the Bulge.
The latest conference, featuring guest speakers on motivation, began with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the recitation of the TOPS Pledge.
“I am an intelligent person. I control my emotions, but don’t let them control me. I remember every time I was tempted to use food to help – I lose weight wisely.
When Ellen Fisher, who leads the group, greets the women in attendance individually, “I’m glad you came,” someone responds, “Me too, better than staying at home.” Guest speaker Nicole Clarke, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, then begins by asking everyone to share why it’s important to attend the conference: “Because it’s an important motivation.”
“I need to get out,” said Bayfield’s Judy Baumgardner. “I don’t want to go anywhere, especially in winter, but I have to keep trying to lose weight.”
Baumgardner says he originally joined TOPS just to lose weight, but now it’s about a healthier lifestyle, including eating healthier and exercising more. her biggest nemesis. This is the impression of all the attendees.
“It’s not easy to lose weight,” she later said. I just want to think it’s healthier.”
TOPS members track their weight loss and report losing nearly 76 pounds in 2022.
Durango’s Leslie Walsh says attending meetings helps her focus and establish a routine. About 6 years ago she was exercising a lot but her weight wasn’t dropping, she was just adding her muscles.
“And I needed so much more to lose weight, reach my goals, and be healthier,” she said. People are very supportive and if you suddenly gain weight, the people here really encourage you.”
Accountability, long-term health, and group support to maintain weight loss round out the group’s motivations.
Clark then shared motivational extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. Going down a pants size is an exogenous example, but digging deeper into the “why” that motivates you to change unhealthy habits is an endogenous example that tends to lead to longer lasting positive outcomes. I have.
Clark asked the group to think about what was most important to them and set achievable, specific, and measurable goals.
“There is nothing worse than setting goals that are too difficult and setting yourself up for failure,” she said.
Anyone can participate in TOPS.
For more information, please contact Ellen Fisher at 749-2799.