What a super weekend I enjoyed with over 1,800 TOPS friends from all over the United States and Canada at International Recognition Days in Portland, Oregon. My gratitude goes out in waves to the dedicated Field Staff and volunteers who welcomed us so warmly and provided countless opportunities to assist us on our journeys to better health.
Kicked off with a warm-up and walk around Holladay Park near our headquarters hotel in the cool of the early morning, hundreds gathered to “Walk the TOPS Talk” with our President, Rick Danforth, greeting us and cheering us onto the walk path. He was with us every step of the way and welcomed us across the finish line.
Invigorated, we quickly showered and headed off to a day filled with seminars and workshops that provided knowledge to better inform our journeys. Among the topics were the benefits of taking a break from our everyday routines with a TOPS Retreat and a medical Q&A session from two leading researchers in the field of obesity, who also treat patients for the disease in their practices. It was extremely beneficial to receive factual pros and cons on popular medications, procedures and treatments.
We also benefitted from the return of motivational speaker Justin Osmond, who shared his journey in overcoming the challenge of deafness to lead his best life. The evening concluded with amazingly successful members sharing their accomplishments, along with some lively entertainment.
Saturday began with remarks from our reigning International King on the challenges of weight maintenance. It whizzed by as Royalty from our states and provinces showcased their outstanding losses to goal, followed by amazing accomplishments of members in various age and weight loss categories and the selection of TOPS International King, Queen and their Runners-Up. It was exciting to go through the receiving line and offer personal congratulations to each one.
The afternoon focused on honoring the successful weight maintenance of hundreds of members, ranging from ten to over 250 pounds, from less than a year to over half a century! Echoing throughout the event was the message delivered by TOPS President on Friday: TOPS is indeed “Rocketing to Success.”
We remember and have learned from the past seventy-one years and are eagerly embracing the future. We had Fun, were Inspired, were Recognized for our progress and Educated with sound advice from trained professionals in the field. The FIRE to our rockets has been ignited and we are ready to move forward, confident in our abilities to go the distance. The future looks bright! Thanks to all who helped make this celebration so very memorable and empowering!
I Care, Barb