- Our Town
TOPS: taking off pounds sensibly
Starting a new year often means starting or renewing plans to lose weight and get fit.
One lakecity mother-daughter team has found TOPS to be a great way to — Take off Pounds Sensibly — and just as importantly keep the extra pounds off.
Club leader Claudette Schafer and her daughter, Laurie Klekowski, are members of the Monday night TOPS BC Club 1286 that was established in Williams Lake in 1971.
With 19 members, she says the Monday night group is the largest of the three TOPS Clubs in Williams Lake.
With support from club members and her daughter, Schafer says she successfully lost 40 pounds and has kept the weight off for the past six years.
“It is not about diet, but learning to make the right choices in nutrition and learning to change,” Schafer says.
Schafer says her daughter Laurie moved from Cranbrook to Williams Lake last August on her birthday, so as a present she bought her daughter a membership in TOPS.
“Laurie always was and still is a great supporter for me,” Schafer says. “In the past when visiting me, she always came as a guest to our TOPS club. She has travelled with me endlessly to our out-of-town workshops and supported me through these functions.”
Klekowski joined TOPS with a goal and permission slip from her doctor to start the program. By Dec. 26, 2011 she had reached her goal of losing 51.5 pounds.
She will be graduating at the regional ceremony in Penticton this May and will be the TOPS chapter queen if she can keep her weight within the 10 pound lee-way of her goal weight.
The Monday night TOPS group meets at St. Andrew’s United Church.
Weigh-in time is from 6 to 6:45 p.m. with the meeting following from 7 to 8 p.m.
Encouragement and health related information is provided during the meetings.
Schafer says they also try to have speakers each week on various topics such as nutrition, diabetes, make-overs, and other health and fitness topics.
Recently she says Cindy Nelson from Dockside Haircuts presented a terrific workshop on hair style do’s and don’ts.
“The members were impressed and some who had never thought of doing anything differently to their hair did go to see her and were surprised on the new look she gave them,” Nelson says.
Incentive awards are presented to the best loser of the week, best loser of the month.
Similar incentives are presented to KOPS members who have reached their target goal and continue to — “Keep Off Pounds Sensibly.”
“The incentives encourage members to keep going,” Claudette says. “The monthly winner gets either the mug of the month or sometimes a member will buy something out of their own pocket and donate it as a gift.”
Fundraising such as raffles, and donations help to pay for the member incentives and rent on their meeting room at the church.
Membership fees are $8 a month or members can also pay for a full year up front which gives them two free months. Schafer says the club holds an open house once a year and participates in Clubs Day in Boitanio Mall.
Last July, Schafer says she also took the food safe course so the group could host a fundraiser at Save On Foods.
Schafer was the club leader for three years before taking a year off to take care of her husband who had suffered a stroke. She was voted back in as leader in 2011.
While it has been difficult caring for her husband, who has been disabled by the stroke, she is happy to be back in the role of club leader.
“I find it very rewarding, the challenges, always looking for ways to have fundraisers, trying to better the club, getting new members, helping others to reach their goal as I have,” Schafer says. “Taking on a position on the executive, a person gains a lot of knowledge and learns to be assertive.”
For more information about TOPS contact Schafer at 250-398-2093.