Blacksburg’s Mary Reed was recently crowned as the Virginia TOPS Queen for 2020, recognition that she lost more weight in 2020 than any other TOPS member in the commonwealth.
TOPS is the short name for TOPS Club, Inc., and TOPS itself is an acronym for Take Off Pounds Sensibly, the original nonprofit, noncommercial network of weight-loss support groups and wellness education organization. TOPS has hundreds of chapters in the United States and Canada.
To help Reed and the local chapter celebrate this special event, TOPS Advocate Kathy Eanes came from Martinsville, Va., and State Coordinator June Byers came from Evington, Va. Also in attendance were several chapter members.
Reed was introduced to TOPS while living in Ft. Myers, Fla., where she was a member for four years. Then she and her new husband moved to Virginia, and when routine and lifestyle changes, it’s easy to regain weight lost.
Reed was working at Mountain Lake Hotel when she met Suzie Jones and joined the Blacksburg
TOPS is a physician oriented international weight loss support group. A member’s physician sets his/her weight goal. In Reed’s case, that meant 71 pounds, more than any other Virginia female member of TOPS in 2020, and thus she became the Virginia Queen for 2020.
“I am very proud and grateful of my accomplishment,” said Reed. “If it weren’t for my TOPS VA 0464 Blacksburg family’s support, this would not have been possible. I’ve had many ups and downs during this journey. My struggles with food mostly include my love for pasta and potatoes, but occasionally sweets.
“As a result of being retired, I have struggled with a change in my routine, having to adjust my meals, and the times of day that I eat because of my husband’s schedule,” Reed said.
Reed says she gets around so much better since losing weight.
“I’m not always looking for a chair to sit down in everywhere I go or a door frame to lean against,” she said. “I am so much more mobile, and this has increased my quality of life. And I feel my health is much better.”
Reed said one way she stays motivated is by attending her weekly TOPS Chapter meetings.
“Knowing that I have to face the scale each week keeps me motivated,” she said. “Also, I feel so much better since losing weight, and I do not want to regain the weight I’ve lost. It’s also so encouraging when I receive compliments that people give me. I try to stay active with activities including hikes, bowling, and taking trips with the recreation center. There are so many things I can do now that I couldn’t do before.”
Through her years in TOPS, Reed has held several offices, including leader, co-leader, secretary, and weight recorder.
“Now I’m trying to encourage my chapter with contests and awards,” she said. “I feel it’s important to get involved with my chapter, rather than just simply attending. When I see my reflection in the mirror, I can hardly believe it’s me, and I like what I see.”