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2003 Louisiana Royalty

Frances Rushing & Larry Atkinson


Frances Rushing


It took me seven years, but I finally found in my mind what I had to do to lose weight.

My best friend read about a TOPS® group that had formed in Winnfield, TOPS® #LA 432.  She didn't want to go alone so she invited me to go with her.

I weighed in at 277 pounds, I lost very well for a long time, I got within twenty pounds of my goal.

Then my old habits set in once again.  I went up and down for six years.  I even gained more than I weighed when I started TOPS®.  I got so disgusted, I just quit for a while.  That is when I really put the weight on. And I began having problems with my blood pressure and my feet also gave me problems.  I had to lose weight of take medicines.

I joined a health program where I work and had the support of my TOPS® friends.  It is hard to break old habits after a life of being overweight.  I worked very hard on my problem and was second in Division Two at SRD 2002.  I slacked off for a while and I went up and down again where the programs I was giving as leader hit home with me.  Why are you trying to tell someone else how to lose weight and you can't do it yourself?  That is when I decided to really get down to business and set that example I needed to be.  The last weigh in of December 2003 I became that example I gained my KOPS® status.

Just because you get to a goal it doesn't mean you have to stop walking, drinking water and doing food checks, it must be kept up or the pounds will creep back on.





Larry Atkinson


Larry Atkinson


My name is Larry Atkinson and I am 59 years of age.  I have a twin brother who was having heart trouble.  Then, along with the history of heart problems in our family, I knew I had to do something.  I've always been active at work and at home raising a garden.  But then I retired and my activity level dropped.  My sister, Evelyn Ficklin was going to TOPS® and she talked me into trying it.  I went to visit and joined that first night.  The group was friendly and welcoming.  I felt at home.  The leader was well prepared with a program and gave some great advice, with for a good start.  She emphasized the importance of walking, drinking lots of water and portion control.  I took this advice and ran with it.  I walked to and from my sister's house instead of driving.  I also walked during the day just for exercise.  These three steps have changed my life.

Since starting TOPS® I have won several awards; Division winner twice, member of the year and several others.  What an honor when my group voted me Chapter Angel.  I had never been called an Angel before.  Then with determination and much support from my Chapter, I achieved my goal, "KOPS®" on September 18, 2003.  I am sure, that my TOPS® family was just as excited as I was.  What a celebration, with tears, excitement and most of all, lots of TOPS® HUGS.

The group has been such an inspiration to me that I told my son Joshua (17 years old), my twin brother Harry, and my wife Nelda, all about the group and of course they could see how well I was doing and they are all taking time to take care of themselves every week by attending with me.  I believe, when something works, share it.

You can lose weight if you have the will power to do it on your own, but most go up and down in their attempt.  For me it was the group support along with facing the scales and the advice and tips learned in our programs.  My health is better and my outlook on life is brighter.  I can enjoy my grandson without getting long-winded.  I am so glad I joined TOPS® and that I have my TOPS® FAMILY.  They are a great bunch!






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