Today I joined TOPS. At first, I was just going to sit in on the meeting, but I decided to go ahead and sign up. I need something to help me stay motivated and energized, and I don't want to go back to Weight Watchers because a) it costs too much and b) I don't feel like the plan gives me enough energy for the training I want to do. The plan just left me too hungry and cranky most of the time. I plan to use my calorie-counting phone app, along with exercise.
The meeting took place at a church a couple of miles from my house. The members were mostly retirees. It was a 9:30 Monday morning meeting, so I was not really surprised by that. They all seemed very nice and welcoming. I could have sat in on the first meeting for free, but I bit the bullet and paid the $26 yearly fee. There will also be $5 monthly dues collected at the beginning of each month. All in all, the plan will be $86 per year, which is less than three months' meeting fees at Weight Watchers.
The meeting was about an hour. They had some friendly contests -- the top loser of the week/month wins a few bucks, and there is a "Ha-ha" jar that members put some change in when they come in to enter a drawing. If a member's name is chosen and she lost that week, she gets the money in the jar. If not, it stays in the jar for the next week. There was also a team competition going on, but I didn't join since I missed the first couple of weeks.
The programming was pretty minimal. There was a "roll call" where everyone said if they lost or gained that week. The weight recorder reported the gains and losses for the group and the number of members who weighed in. The leader read minutes from last week. One member was responsible for programming and she passed around an "ABCs of Weight Loss" for everyone to help read. It was all standard stuff: Exercise, drink water, etc., etc.
I think it will be a good addition to my plan. I don't really need a lot of information at this point, I need some help staying focused and motivated. I do feel some pressure to go in and post a loss, which is what I was looking for. I'll report back next week.