Weight Loss Support - The biggest looser...........but not in pounds :(

10-07-2006, 02:05 PM
I feel terrible and this is the first place I ran to. I joined a TOPS chapter and went to my 2nd meeting on Thursday. I was totally bummed.........I gained 1 and 3/4 #. I thought our weight was a secret there until the meeting started and the leader had us all stand up and give our name and announce how much weight we gained or lost. Then on top of everything because I had the biggest weight gain, she gave me this little card stating if I loose weight next time that I get a free weeks dues, which by the way is a whole dollar. I ended up crying all the way home and was totally depressed the next day and slept all day. Is this what TOPS is all about? Can anyone tell me if it's a normal thing to do ( telling the weight loss/gain). Should I just suck it up and deal with it? I truely don't know what to do. I am still pretty bummed and humiliated. My daughters are furious and don't want me going back. I have lost about 20 # since the beginning of the year and now I exercise and my daughter said that because I am exercising that I am gaining muscle. I just need some good solid advice so please, help a girl out, ok?

10-07-2006, 02:32 PM
I've never actually heard of TOPS. But, after googling it, I don't think it is necessarily out of order to ask for everyone's weight. However, it IS out of order to make a big deal out of the least successful person in the room. One of the key elements of a support group is trust and honesty. They wouldn't work if you hid your weight from everyone, you'd just keep on hiding - your weight, your failures, your struggles and your destructive eating behavior. BUT they need to foster an environment in which you WANT and FEEL SECURE to be open and honest. Without that, honestly, weight loss support groups are just a bunch of fat women griping about their weight.

I'd find a new support group.

10-07-2006, 02:43 PM
My group announces our gained/lost each week. I've never heard of anyone getting a free week's dues as encouragement to come back. When someone loses we cheer, and when they stay the same or gain, we say, "We're glad you're here" or "we're glad you came". We don't say how MUCH we lost or gained (unless you want to).

Is the group large? Mine has only seven people, and it's intimate enough to not be embarrassed by that.

10-07-2006, 02:49 PM
From what I know (I've never been to a meeting) but they do announce the weight of everyone to keep everyone accountable. I know they use incentives and rewards for weight loss, but I think making a big deal out of who gained the most is ridiculous.

You are doing a great job! Twenty pounds is a huge accomplishment, and I bet if they were to use measurements instead of the scale things would have been completely different. When you work out, muscle is more compact than fat, so you may not lose, and you may even gain on the scale, but BF percentage probably went down, and I bet you lose in inches.

Please don't let this get you down. I would talk to the person in charge and let them know that they embarassed you and that isn't a positive way to get someone to lose weight at the scale. I myself wouldn't go back. Making a big deal over the person who lost the most is fine, I think, but the opposite is just plain wrong.

I am sorry you had to go through it.

10-07-2006, 04:28 PM
TOPS groups are pretty much self-governed to a much greater degree than Weight Watchers meetings, so they can vary alot from group to group. If there are several groups near you, try them until you find a group you are comfortable with.

I've been a member of three different TOPS groups, and they each were run very differently. Though none of them made weights, gains, or losses public unless people wanted to share on their own. In one group, we did vote (I voted against) to send a motivational plaque home with the person with the biggest gain or smallest loss each week (but never to send home with the same person two weeks in a row). Only the scale ladies knew what the exact numbers were unless you chose to share (some of us did, some of us just would just say gained, lost, stayed the same, or even "pass" if you didn't feel like sharing at all).

Even the group that voted for the "anti-prize," eventually abandoned it because it felt too much life a punishment instead of the motivation we all wanted it to be. Instead, we got a few more motivational plaques that could be taken home by anyone who felt they were going to need it that week for any reason - maybe you lost, but were having a family picnic the following week. You brought it back when you felt your personal challenge was over.

10-07-2006, 04:34 PM
We had a TOPS group in the small town where I grew up. Some of my friend's mom's were member. Whoever gained the most that week would have a big cardboard PIG placed in their front yard for a week. The mere thought of this kept me from ever wanting to join. I guess they are all governed differently, but to me this is just plain WRONG. I think a succesful week should be applauded but no one should be shamed or embarassed.

10-08-2006, 12:47 PM
A PIG in ur front yard for a week!! Now that is pretty bad and very humiliating. I would have to draw the line on that one........lol. Thanks to everyone who took the time to help me out. Since I last posted, things are going to change. No more getting up and telling your weight unless u want to. I love this website and u all are so very helpful and thoughtful. Love ya all and good luck to everyone who is on a mission :)

10-09-2006, 01:56 PM
I think they stopped all the humiliating practices, like pig cutouts in a yard. Back in the 80s I went to a TOPS group as a visitor, and they honked an obnoxious horn for every pound you gained, and they chimed a pleasant bell for every pound you lost. I think they had a massive motivational change somewhere along there, because the negative feedback is gone, for the most part, from groups I've seen recently.

10-09-2006, 02:00 PM
My SIL and MIL both go to TOPS meetings locally now and no more PIG in the yard. Even during this wt. loss journey for me, I'd have had that humiliating thing in my yard several times if I had done it. I am glad they stopped that practice.