A local weight management organization held an indoor sale at the Moose Lodge in Kittanning this past Saturday.
“Taking Off Pounds Sensibly” (TOPS) sold clothing and merchandise at low prices and attracted quite a crowd through advertising in the Kittanning Paper. TOPS Leader MaryAnn Bowser said that anything left over went to a good cause.
“We have Mechling-Shakley veterans come in and take whatever clothing they can use. The rest is clothing is donated to Planet Clothing and then the other stuff we donate to the TLC Shop,” she said.
Bowser said that anyone can come to one meeting of TOPS to see what it is all about.
“We’re all there with people who are having struggle with weight. We meet every week, on Thursday, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Kittanning. We tell everybody to be there about 5:45 PM for weigh-ins until about 6:00, then we have a brief meeting from about 6:15 until 7PM.”
Bowser said that although there are many different weight management groups, there are some differences with TOPS.
“First of all, our dues are very cheap. It’s 50 cents a week and it’s $37 to join for a year, which is, as far as other weight-options, a very inexpensive way to do it. We have regular meetings. We follow what TOPS headquarters, which are out in Milwaukee. And, also, I think it’s the companionship that we all need. (Other options) may enable the person to do it on-line, but we all meet on a weekly basis and talk about our struggles. I think it’s more about companionship – we all have and we fight the same battle so I think that’s what makes it stand out among everybody else. Our local club has been there for over 50 years.”
Jean Lisitis of Ford City started TOPS nearly 17 years ago when she weighed 215, and has continued with the program all these years. She now continues to hold her weight at 135.
“I walked two or three miles per day when I first started, and that helped me lose the weight. I kept my diet down, but I didn’t go by calories. I went by eating less,” Lisitis said.
Bowser said members have the option to watch fat intake and carbohydrates or count calories. She said the secret is to write down what you eat each day and keep accountability.
“When we have our meetings, those are the kind of hints we talk about. Let’s say you go buy a stalk of celery. You would cut that celery up into pieces and you would know how many pieces would equal like a 100-calorie snack. If you would go buy Gold Fish crackers, you would put so many gold fish crackers in a baggie that would have 100 calories and that’s how you would keep track too. It’s not what you eat; it’s how much you eat,” Bowser said.
Bowser said that money raised at their sale will be used to fund transportation costs to various state and national events held by the organization.
“This year in October, we have 15 people going to a Fall Rally. In 2020, TOPS groups from all over the world will attend International Recognition Day” in Niagara Falls.”
People considering the program are welcome to come to one meeting at no cost. For more information, you can research the organization online at www.tops.org or call Bowser directly at 724-664-4055.