- When I was contemplating what to write about next, I thought “why not share something you’ve already written?” So I’m sharing a story I wrote back in November of 2007. I joined TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) in May of 2006. This is pertinent to my life today, as I’ve recently rejoined TOPS after a 9 month hiatus (I didn’t want to gain back all of the weight I worked so hard to lose.) I actually wrote the following as a program that I shared at a TOPS meeting.
My Success Story
By Janice Bates
This is the picture that was taken when I joined TOPS in May of 2006
I would like to introduce some very important people to you…these are my friends, my co-workers, but most importantly, my support. Each of these people has played a significant role in my successful weight loss.
As of this writing, I’ve lost over 63 pounds. My friend Sandy (and fellow TOPS member) has lost over 45 pounds. My friend Kelley (and fellow TOPS member and coworker) has lost over 45 pounds, and my friend Craig (and fellow coworker) has lost over 60 pounds…that’s over 213 pounds between us. We are serious about what we are doing and we are making it a priority in our lives to take care of ourselves.
In May of last year my good friend Sandy and I walked into a TOPS meeting not knowing what to expect but we were excited about losing weight and a little bit scared. I weighed 238 pounds at my first weigh in, yes I can now admit to the world how much I weighed…there was a time in my life that I thought I would be taking that secret with me when I died…but now that I am on the other side of it – I can now admit it. At this first meeting I was wearing a size 20 pair of jeans, an extra large t-shirt and a men’s size 3X long-sleeved shirt. While I could squeeze into a size 20 I was more comfortable in my size 22’s. My sweatshirt size at that time was also 2X. I remember walking to the meeting that night, that my pants were so tight that I couldn’t even bend over to tie my shoes. The reality is I was FAT. My BMI – Body Mass Index was 38, and according to the experts, a BMI over 30 is considered obese.
I have enjoyed talking about myself to others in hopes of inspiring them to take action and make changes in their life so that they can be as successful as I have been with my weight loss. I am very close to gaining my KOPS status, and I plan to take my part as a role model very seriously.
I’ve gone from a size 22 pants, 20 dress, 2X sweatshirt…to a size 12 pants and yes I can even wear some 10’s…I wear a medium size top and medium sized dresses fit me, too. No more shopping in the big ladies section of the store…and boy is that great!!! And believe it or not, my shoe size has even gone down a ½ a size.
But how did I get here? What is my secret? What am I doing that maybe you are not doing?
Well my good friend Sandy could tell you what a lazy cuss I was before joining TOPS. I admit I was lazy…lazy, lazy, lazy. But I am still lazy, believe it or not. I am too lazy to do complicated meal planning, I am too lazy to do complicated exercise programs. I am too lazy to join a gym or exercise class.
I am a firm believer in the KISS approach. And for those of you not familiar with this it stands for KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID! I keep my meals simple. And I keep my exercise plans simple.
A typical day of eating (and I strive to write down everything I put in my mouth) is usually yogurt and goldfish crackers for breakfast, a cup of fresh fruit for a mid morning snack, a taco (fresco style) at Taco Bell (and I walk there to get it), fresh veggies and fat free dip for a mid afternoon snack, and a sensible dinner (usually a chicken dish with steamed veggies and/or a salad) that I usually split with my fiancé, Nick, if we go out to eat…and no eating after dinner is over. Simple, simple, simple.
Nick & I celebrating our 1st year anniversary
My exercise plan includes walking on my lunch hour with my friend and coworker, Kelley, and walking to and from work on the days that I can. I also take walks in the evening and on weekends with Nick. Walking is simple and most everyone can do it and it doesn’t cost you anything and it saves you money on gas. It may take you a bit longer to get where you are going, but it is worth it in the long run. You just have to plan your day around it.
Sandy is the one who really inspired me to walk. She got to her goal weight before I did. And that is not only because I had to lose more weight than her — Sandy starting walking regularly long before I did. I watched the weight start to fall off of her, so I started walking, too, and I started losing weight, too.
Some of you may say, I’m too busy to walk, it’s too hot, it’s too cold, I don’t have time, I’m too tired…these are all excuses. I work two jobs…I’m on the job every day from 8:00 to 6:30 and I work some evenings too but I manage to walk 20-25 miles a week. Kelley works two jobs, too, but she manages to walk a lot, too. We walk together on our lunch hour. We’ve walked in the snow, in the rain, in the hot and in the cold. We’ve come back to work sweaty and even covered in snow. Before I started working two jobs, Sandy and I would walk to our TOPS meetings together…Sandy still walks to the meetings – sometimes with Kelley.
So, I don’t think I need to tell anyone what my secret is, as I’m sure you’ve already figured it out. I WALK! My challenge to you, is to get off your duffs and WALK! Walk to the store, walk your dog, walk to work, walk on your lunch hour, walk to your doctor appointments, walk to your friend’s house. Walk, walk, walk.
…And 4 1/2 years later, I’m still walking or riding my bike (saving tons on gas money!). And I married my fiancé, Nick, too! We celebrated our 4 year anniversary yesterday!