Friday, July 18, 2014

T.O.P.S. - Journey to Health

I can't begin this walk back into my diet history without talking about TOPS, short for Take Off Pounds Sensibly.

I was 16 years old when my weight loss journey officially began. Looking back I was just barely overweight, maybe 20 lbs to lose, maybe 30 at the most. I would be wonderful to be that close to my goal weight again. I had been told my whole life I was fat, and had a huge gut to lose. Thus when my mom and aunties started attending TOPS, I did too.

I managed to lose 10 lbs before my graduation.

TOPS is not a diet plan. It is a support group than encourages you to make healthy choices. I have considered starting to go again just for the accountability.

-weekly weigh ins
- support group
-education about healthy eating, sometimes with guest speakers
-prizes and incentives for weight loss (there are badges you can earn)

- monthly fee
-no official plan to follow, you just do you own thing.
-doesn't necessarily teach you how to make permanent healthy lifestyle changes.

My conclusion:

TOPS is a positive environment, and it could be a great place to find support and encouragement. However TOPS alone was not enough for me to learn a healthy lifestyle change needed. I proceeded to gain 20 lbs while randomly attending a TOPS in the city, and then another 50 once leaving TOPS.

I do feel like TOPS encourages fad diets in a way, because there are no dietary guidelines, and there is prizes for the people who lose the most weight every week. Also every week after the TOPS meeting there would be a get together which would be a cheat night filled with sugary and carb loading treats. Not exactly promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Like I said before, I would be curious to join again now that I am an adult. Plus most of my aunties still go so it would be nice to spend more time with them! :) 

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