A Stettler woman has earned the title of 2019 TOPS Alberta Queen for losing more weight than any other female member of the non-profit, weight-loss program in the province.
On June 27, 2019, Eleanor Gorjans reached her goal to slim down to 136 pounds by losing more than 116 pounds.
Gorjans said journaling, which TOPS recommends, was key to her weight-loss success. Since 2016, she has filled four notebooks to record her daily meals and snacks.
“You have to write down everything you eat — and I mean everything you eat,” said Gorjans, 64.
“It really lets you know how many calories you eat. That way, you learn how to control your portions.”
She said journaling also made her think about why she was eating.
“Are you eating because you’re hungry? Are you eating because you’re disappointed, sad, angry about something? It really does make a difference.”
Gorjans discovered she was an evening eater and nibbled all the time in front of the television. She learned to control her snacking by drinking water.
“You’ll find a lot of times, you’re really not hungry. You’re thirsty. People do not drink enough water.”
TOPS — Take Off Pounds Sensibly — focuses on group support, health education and recognition. Members attend weekly meetings for support, whether online or in person.
Gorjans has regularly attended the weekly Tees/Clive morning meetings, where 13 members gather and have become friends.
“It’s important. They’re my support. They cheer me on when I lose weight, and they encourage me when I gain weight to do better. We’re there to encourage each other.”
Gorjans said her goal is to keep the weight off and she continues to attend meetings.
“When I started, I was using a walker just to go down the street, or around the neighbourhood. Now, I don’t use a walker at all. I feel much better. I can go farther and do more things.”
There are 156 TOPS chapters in Alberta, and last year, members lost a total of 11,850 pounds.
Gorjans has been invited to participate in the TOPS International Recognition Days conference, in Niagara Falls, N.Y., now scheduled for October.