A Sutherlin woman has earned the title of “T.O.P.S. Oregon Queen” as best loser of the year in the state of Oregon.
Esther Dies lost 136 pounds using the T.O.P.S. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) program which she says is not a diet, but a lifestyle change. T.O.P.S. is a nonprofit, noncommercial weight loss, education, and support organization.
She was recently crowned at the yearly T.O.P.S.International Recognition Day at the Portland Convention Center, as Oregon Queen for losing more weight than any other female T.O.P.S. member in the state. Dies says she takes a lot of pride in the accomplishment but also has mixed emotions.
“I’ve lost over a hundred pounds five times, and I’m not really proud of that because I put it all back on,” Dies said. “But this time I did it and I’ve kept it off because the T.O.P.S. club that I belong to has been extraordinarily supportive where in the past I’ve lost the weight and I was on my own.”
She had used weight loss clubs, fad diets and also done weight loss on her own, but never kept it off. This time she says she will. It’s been eight months since she hit her goal.
“I feel the success of T.O.P.S. is in the weekly meetings, along with all of the support and encouragement the chapter members give to one another each week,” Dies said.
Dies, who is now 70 years old, gives credit to the camaraderie, fellowship, and support from the group for keeping her on track.
Her journey began when she reconnected with a childhood friend who had also lost weight while attending T.O.P.S. and reached her goal 24 years ago. Dies said that motivated her and along with getting off of several medications resulting from being overweight, she now has more energy and it’s increased her excitement for life.
“And I no longer have the need for my CPAP machine,” she said. “Life is great.”
All 50 states and five provinces were represented at the T.O.P.S. International Recognition Day earlier this year in Portland. Dies attends T.O.P.S. OR Chapter 0430 in Roseburg.