The journey to weight loss

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It's really not that hard to lose 100 pounds, says Joeanne Fenton of Tillsonburg.

Fenton should know. She's done it.

The trick, she said, is to break it down a bit at a time.

"It isn't much if you think about losing a pound a week," Fenton explained Saturday before addressing a crowd of weight watchers gathered at the Simcoe Rec Centre. "It's 52 pounds in a year."

The 72-year-old retired floral designer said there are a few simple steps to follow: eat regular meals every day so there's less temptation to snack, don't eat anything at night, and exercise even it's just going for regular walks.

Fenton acknowledged her own "journey," as they call it at TOPS, wasn't that straightforward.

She joined TOPS 17 years ago, lost 60 pounds the first year, then put 30 back on.

Things changed, Fenton said, about two years ago after she retired. "I ended up eating three meals a day instead of snacking all day and I started walking."

That's when she lost her final 72 pounds and was declared Ontario's "queen" of weight loss by the TOPS organization.

This qualified her to attend an international TOPS meeting in Milwaukee where she was introduced on stage in front of 1,000 people wearing a crown.

Fenton was the guest speaker at the annual TOPS rally for this part of Ontario on Saturday.

The Simcoe chapter hosted the event for the first time.

People from Norfolk, Oxford, Elgin, and Middlesex drove in for a daylong event, which included a meal, awards presentations, and an Elvis impersonator.

To add some fun, participants (who included a handful of men) dressed in pioneer clothes.

TOPS is a weight loss support group.

Members attend weekly meetings, which start with a private "weigh-in" and roll call. People share their stories of success and struggle.

Announcements of weight loss result in applause.

If you reach a pre-set goal, you enter the KOPS phase: Keep Pounds Off Sensibly.

Saturday's rally was "an inspiration day," said Betty Percival of Sarnia, Ontario co-ordinator for TOPS.

"We are basically a weight loss support group," said Percival "We support whatever your doctor's plan is for you."



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