By Lauren Siebert
TOPS, a weight loss support group located in Cherokee Village, will be holding an open house Jan. 23 at the First Baptist Church in Cherokee Village.
TOPS, which stands for Taking Off Pounds Sensibly, has been established in Cherokee Village since 1985, helping individuals reach their optimum weight loss goals safely and responsibly. “We want to encourage anyone who is looking to find a support group to help them through their rough times on weight loss,” LaCount said, “if there’s anyone struggling we’ll support them and help them in any way we can, to help them reach their goal.”
According to longtime member Sharon LaCount, TOPS is a non-profit network of weight loss support groups similar to weight watchers but far less expensive. “We are a low cost program that provides tools and programs for healthy living and weight management,” LaCount said.
The average cost to join is less than $2.50 a month, and has been proven to be successful in the past. “I have been a member since 2004,” LaCount noted, “I have been able to lose 30 pounds since I first began.”
The open house will provide not only a friendly network of support, according to LaCount, but also information and advice from current members of the team. “How it works is, our weekly meetings include private weigh-ins, professionally prepared informational chapter programs, featuring up-to-date information on nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyles,” LaCount said, “Programs provide positive reinforcement and motivation to adhere to food and exercise programs.”
Weekly meetings are held every Monday, beginning at 5 p.m. so each individual has the opportunity to weigh in and track their progress. At 5:30, weigh-in ends and the actual meetings are held. “If someone is having a rough week, we try and encourage them,” LaCount said, “help them through and tell them how some of us have lost. We encourage them to write down their menus and everything they’ve eaten for the week — we’re just there for support giving advice.”
With New Year’s just barely in the past, people’s resolve is typically stronger at the beginning of the year — and having a group of peers to share accountability makes is easier to stick to the resolution of living a healthier lifestyle. “This is a great way to start the new year’s resolution, that’s why we’re beginning in January,” LaCount said, “it’s when people want to lose the weight gained from Christmas.”
If you would like to know more about TOPS, the Cherokee Village TOPS group invites you to join them Jan. 23 at the First Baptist Church in Cherokee Village at 5 p.m. If you have any questions please contact Nancy Stanley 847-9200 or Sharon LaCount 847-1129.
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