Effie Smith of rural Marion knew she needed to lose weight but realized she couldn’t do it on her own. That is why she joined TOPS KS 1075, Marion, in January 2013.
She lost 30 pounds in 18 months and achieved her goal in July. Since then, she has lost another 5 pounds.
She said having the support of a group and being required to weigh in every week made her accountable.
She learned to exercise regularly and keep track of her food intake. Discussions at TOPS meetings provided information on nutrition and motivation.
“Sharing ideas about what works for other people also helped,” she said.
Planning is important, Smith said. If she knows she will be eating out, she cuts out some food items prior to going out. She has learned to cut down on sugar consumption and prepare healthy snacks for when those snack attacks happen. She also controls her portions.
Smith was honored at a special “graduation” ceremony Thursday. She now is a KOPS (Keep Off Pounds Sensibly) member.
She believes continuing in TOPS is important for those who become KOPS.
“If we want to maintain our weight after we have reached our goal, we have to have that support and accountability or we might slip back into our old habits,” she said.
Smith works part-time as an occupational therapy assistant.