Weight Loss Support - Does Anyone Go to TOPS Meetings?
08-24-2012, 10:09 AM
I posted this over on the Calorie Counters Forum but thinking maybe I should have posted here.
I was a Weight Watchers member on and off for years (in between all the other diets I've tried!)..., but with all the program changes, I have finally decided it's just not the plan for me anymore, aside from the fact their costs keep rising and calories are so much simpler than points.
I like belonging to a group and was wondering about TOPS. I learned there is a meeting in a church within walking distance from me.
Does anyone have any experience with TOPS meetings? Thanks.
08-24-2012, 04:59 PM
I was in TOPS a few years back. It is a wonderful organization. They differ from weight watchers (from what I know of WW) is that they do not require you to follow a particular diet. They do have a book you can follow, has calories, diet plans, how many servings per food group, etc. There are meetings, weight ins, etc. I left because I got burned out, too big of a group, took on too many responsibilities, and I went from owning one business to owning 2 (and not I own 3). You can go as a guest and I recommend that. From what I remember it does not costs that much. Good luck and God bless!
08-25-2012, 09:52 AM
Thank you Tammy. I was reading about them on their website, and it sounds perfect for me. Thanks again and God bless you too.
08-27-2012, 12:29 AM
I liked TOPS when I went. Kaplods is our resident TOPS expert. She posts about it often. You can probably search messages or pm her.
08-27-2012, 12:46 AM
Must've felt my ears burning. Yeah, I LOVE my TOPS group. Every chapter is run a bit differently, because while some national bylaws have to be followed, otherwise each chapter is self-governing voting on and creating their own bylaws and practices.
National dues are $28 per year ($14 for additional family members in the same household) and includes a nice magazine/newsletter that comes out almost every month (some months are combined).
Each chapter decides on their own monthly dues, but the average is around $5 (in my area, we have chapters that charge $2, $3, and $5).
My chapter runs a lot of contests, and a lot of ways to win money and prizes for weight loss (for example, if you lose any weight, even only 1/4 lb in any month, you don't have to pay the next month's dues).
And if you can't find or don't like any of the groups that meet in your area, you only need to find three more friends to create your own chapter.
It's definitely one of the best (if not THE best) value in the entire weightloss industry (of course TOPS really isn't a part of the weight loss industry per se, because it's a not-for-profit organization).
It's an awesome organization, and I can't say enough good things about it.
If you don't know much about nutrition, or don't know what kind of food plan to follow, I'd definitely recommend buying or borrowing the group's "bible," The Choice is Mine. Most chapters have a book they'll lend out (or a member willing to loan out their own copy).
Normally I follow an exchange plan, but not one exactly like the one in The Choice is Mine. My usual exchange plan is a reduced-carb exchange plan.
Right now I've been using "The Simple Diet," (3 shakes, 2 frozen meals, 5+ freggies, and 8 glasses of water).
It's the first time in a long time that I've done a non-counting (unless you count following the guidelines as counting) food plan, but that's what is so awesome about TOPS: you can change your foodplan every week if you want.
08-27-2012, 12:51 PM
Well how cool is this, I was just thinking about rejoining TOPS, there is a meeting tomorrow night just down the street from where I live. I was attending WW and lordy me I just couldn't do it. My mind doesn't count food that way.
I loved the exchange program i did a few years ago, so today I started my journaling and meal planing again.
Can't wait for the love and support of the group. Losing weight is one thing I can't do alone, I need all the help I can get.
08-28-2012, 12:44 PM
Kaplods covered all the bases (interestingly enough, the autocorrect on my phone tried to turn "kaplods" into "happier"). ;)
I was elected co-leader of my TOPS chapter this past year and am enjoying it immensely. The weekly meetings and weigh-ins help me stay accountable on my own plan, plus gives me a chance to share victories and frustrations with RL people. Highly recommended, and so much cheaper than other organizations. :D