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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Local weight-loss group helps members stay focused

  • As the holiday season continues its march forward, thoughts turn to family dinners and friendly meet-ups. An invariable, and often feared, consequence of these seasonal indulgences is weight gain.
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  • As the holiday season continues its march forward, thoughts turn to family dinners and friendly meet-ups. An invariable, and often feared, consequence of these seasonal indulgences is weight gain; rich foods and larger than usual portions can put a few extra pounds on anyone. The people of Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) are open and willing to help, though.
    The non-profit organization began in Milwaukee, Wisc. in 1948. Since then, the group has spread to all 50 U.S. states, and has helped thousands of people shed pounds and keep the weight off.
    "It's not a quick fix," said Monty Bednasek, Area Captain for all TOPS groups in South Central Kan. "Our concept is to get fit, get healthy, and stay that way."
    Groups meet every week for private weigh-ins where members can chart their weight loss progress. Each hour-long meeting also has a formal program where topics ranging from heart healthy meals to exercises to strengthen abdominal muscles are covered. Members are also encouraged to meet outside of the weekly gatherings and work out together or just talk.
    "The idea is to stay in touch with each other and support one another," said Bednasek.
    There are currently 175 different TOPS groups in Kan., with Wellington laying claim to two: A morning group and an evening group. Both groups have a long history in the city and have each been meeting for over 20 years. With 35 members total, the Wellington groups are stronger than ever.
    Though most TOPS groups are made up of women, Bednasek said anyone could join. According to him, the program is designed for everyone, from seven-year-olds to people in their 70s.
    "We have a lot of husbands and wives that go together."
    Anyone interested in learning more about TOPS can contact Bednasek at 316-755-1055 or mbednasek@yahoo.com.

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