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Marion woman honored as organization's weight loss queen for 2021

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TOPS provides an individual approach to weight loss and overall wellness.

A Marion woman has earned royal status from TOPS Club Inc. for her achievement in losing weight.

TOPS Club, the nonprofit weight loss support organization, has begun unveiling its top “royalty” from 2021 for 2022. TOPS stands for Take Off Pounds Sensibly.

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Brenda Kay Cline of Marion, who lost 154.5 pounds, is the TOPS Club 2021 North Carolina Queen. She was honored May 13-14 at the North Carolina recognition event in Raleigh.

TOPS royalty are women and men who, at the end of the year, have officially recorded the largest weight loss from their starting weight, regardless of the time taken to reach their goal. Brenda Kay Cline of Marion, who lost 154.5 pounds, is the 2021 North Carolina Queen. She was honored May 13-14 at the North Carolina recognition event in Raleigh, according to a news release.

“What a journey,” Cline said in a prepared statement to the organization. “I had been in TOPS for 10.5 years before I reached my goal. I got close a few times, but something scared me off. Maybe thinking I would mess up again. Then I made up my mind to quit dragging my feet and get serious.”

She found that the more progress she made, the more motivated she became.

“The pandemic kind of helped me,” she said in her statement. “Even though I couldn’t get out to my exercise class, I stayed busy and did more healthy cooking. I looked forward to the accountability of facing the scale at the meetings — whether a gain or a loss. If I gained, I knew I had to remind myself of the end goal and if I lost, I needed to make sure I didn’t back off from what was working. Thank you TOPS for helping me get here.”

TOPS provides an individual approach to weight loss and overall wellness. Consistent group support, health education, and recognition are all key components to successful weight management. North Carolina has an adult obesity rate of 33.6%. During 2021, TOPS members in North Carolina lost a cumulative 5,089 pounds, according to the news release.

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TOPS royalty are women and men who, at the end of the year, have officially recorded the largest weight loss from their starting weight, regardless of the time taken to reach their goal.

“Through their participation in TOPS, we are extremely proud of our TOPS members’ weight-loss accomplishments,” said TOPS President Rick Danforth, who has maintained a 100-pound weight loss for more than 15 years. “Celebrating the life-changing achievements of not only these individuals but those who have come before them is a hallmark of TOPS’ winning formula. By maintaining a commitment to personal lifestyle changes, TOPS members are given the tools and assistance to achieve their weight loss goals.”

Weekly meetings are the heart of TOPS support, whether they are held in-person or online. In-person meetings start with an optional weigh-in, with members then sharing challenges, successes, or goals, followed by a brief program covering a variety of health and wellness topics, and may conclude with awards and recognition for the week. Visitors are able to attend their first TOPS in-person meeting free of charge and encouraged to try more than one chapter, since they’re all a little different.

According to the Website for TOPS, there are two meetings taking place in McDowell County. One is held at Clinchfield United Methodist Church on Mondays starting at 9:45 a.m. and another meets at West Marion Baptist Church on Thursdays starting at 9:30 a.m.

For online membership, virtual meetings are conducted via Zoom and are offered three times during the week. The meeting starts with members disclosing challenges, successes, or goals. Next, the online facilitator presents a prepared program and sometimes includes guest speakers who share their expert views on fitness, nutrition, and more. Meetings conclude with action steps related to the program presented, according to the news release.

Membership is affordable, starting at $49 per year in the U.S. and $59 annually in Canada, plus nominal monthly chapter fees. To learn more about membership options or to find a local chapter, visit the TOPS Website or call 800-932-8677.

TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) is the original weight-loss support and wellness education organization. Founded in 1948, TOPS is the only non-profit, noncommercial weight-loss organization of its kind. TOPS promotes successful weight management with a “Real People. Real Weight Loss” philosophy that combines support from others at weekly chapter meetings, healthy eating, regular exercise, and wellness information. TOPS has tens of thousands of members — male and female, age seven and older — in its network of thousands of weight-loss support chapters throughout the United States and Canada, according to the news release.

For more information on the TOPS chapters in your area, visit www.tops.org.

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