Sunday, June 4, 2017

Colorado 2017 State Recognition Days

It has been a very busy and long weekend. I had Friday off of work to head to Colorado Springs with my TOPS group for State Recognition Days. I had to pick up one of the ladies and we were on the road shortly after 7am. Thankfully I was able to avoid the worst of morning rush-hour traffic by taking E-470 instead of going through Denver. It is not secret that I absolutely hate driving in Denver. Anyways, we made it down there and let the festivities begin.

SRD is a time to celebrate. We celebrate how much the state lost as whole. We give awards to the division winners. For those unfamiliar with TOPS you are placed in a division based on your weight. There are also divisions for teens and those who have had weight loss surgery. Those who have lost the most weight each year are recognized as is the runner up. Then there is the graduation for those at goal and now Keeping Off Pounds Sensibly (KOPS) and the crowning of royalty. The state King and Queen are TOPS who have met their goal and are now KOPS and lost the most of anyone in the state to goal that year.

Here are this year's highlights:

  • Two members of my chapter graduating to KOPS
  • One of our new KOPS was the state Queen! We are so proud of her! She lost 83 pounds!
  • Another member of our group was a state division winner with a 31 pound loss! We are very proud of her too.
  • The before and after parade where people hold up their old too big clothes then show their current size. One gentleman has gone from a 7X to an XL! He has lost about 295 pounds so far and was a division winner this year too.
  • Speeches from Barbara Cady, the President of TOPS. She is a funny and dynamic speaker to catches your attention and holds it firmly. You can't help but laugh hard at her stories, nod thoughtfully, loudly yell back when needed, and scramble to take notes.
  • Speeches from KOPS and others about their weight loss journeys
  • Workshops on engaging members of the chapter and keeping the chapter active.
  • In 2016 the State of Colorado lost 6411.75 POUNDS!
  • The men's division winners lost a total of 302.85 pounds in 2016.
  • The women's division winners lost a total of 486.00 pounds in 2016.
  • The newest KOPS had just reached goal 2 weeks before SRD
  • The longest KOPS has been maintaining her weight for 46 consecutive years.

The very last thing before SRD ends is the graduation of the new KOPS, honoring of the current KOPS, and the Circle of Lights. After every current KOPS is recognized for the time they have been a KOPS the lights in the ballroom are turned off and they light little flashlights (they used to do candles) and some inspirational music is played. It is a moment to recognize the hard work it takes to maintain a weight loss and to inspire those working to get to goal. When the lights are brought back up each KOPS is to present a yellow rose to a TOPS. The rose represents the KOPS is a mentor, a friend, and someone who believes in the TOPS member when they don't believe in themselves. Carolyn, the leader of my chapter and newly graduated KOPS gave me her rose. I hope to be worthy of it.

It is amazing how TOPS recognizes those who have maintained their weight loss and the support they provide. It isn't a case of "you made goal and now you're done." From anything I have seen, maintaining is much harder than losing. But it is so worth it.

There are a lot of things about TOPS that are very outdated to me given the nature of the organization. Some things could be modernized to really help bring in more younger people. This is most clear when we get together for SRD. For all of that though, it's a fantastic group of people and a very inspiring weekend. I am so happy to be a part of the chapter I am in now.

Below are a few pictures of the weekend. Some pictures are mine, some were taken by other members of my chapter.

My yellow rose. Thank you Carolyn! I won't let you down!

Our new KOPS and Queen with our area captain who is also in our chapter. Three amazing ladies.

Colorado Queen runner up, King, and Queen

Past state royalty

Carol being crowned by former State King John. A very sweet moment as John is in my chapter too.
Kama receiving her award from Barb Cady

Kama as her story is being read.

KOPS graduation

Those in our chapter who went with Barb Cady and Regional Director.

And a quick update about me. I am down 10 pounds so far with the new doctor I am working with. I am down 16 pounds from my TOPS starting weight, and 23 pounds from the highest weight I have seen on the scale. My clothes are fitting a lot better, and I spent all day Friday pulling my jeans up. I am feeling better and sleeping better. It is a challenge some days. I was good almost all weekend being out of town, which was hard in more ways than one. I really wanted a crepe with my breakfast-for-dinner Friday night, but I stayed with my omelette, bacon, cottage cheese and fruit cup.

I had a big non-scale victory today. Our elevator was down when we went to breakfast. When we came home I didn't have to stop while climbing 4 flights of stairs. I was winded when we got up, but I didn't need to use my inhaler or feel like I was dying. I ended up doing the stairs again when I let a friend in for our gaming session this afternoon.

I'm off to meditate and bed. Thanks for reading!