About Rick

& his blog with the funny name

I’m a science guy. I like numbers and facts and formulas. I like things that can be seen and proven—not the latest shiny promise about this or that weight-loss miracle. When I’m speaking at events around TOPS Nation, I like to tell the audience, “You’re not going to hear anything new today.”

We all know what we’re supposed to do. I just hope to make you think about things differently—see them in a new light so you can turn information into an action to propel you on your healthy living journey. That’s what I aim to do every other week in “Refracted Fridays.”

Why refracted?

Well, refraction is just what happens when light waves pass through a transparent medium—a lens of some sort. When the light hits it at an angle, it bends and changes. Suddenly things look different.

It may seem academic—like some overly complicated weight loss plans—but you already know what it is. Like so much else in life, even if you cannot name it, you know it when you see it. For instance, refraction is what turns a dreary sky into a canvas exploding with all the colors of the rainbow. Refraction makes things look different in the water.

Refraction in action
Straws in a glass of water show light refraction…
Modern stylish black sports bike sun glasses
which causes us to see things differently…
revealing something new that’s already in the air…

Seeing something old and familiar in a new way is the very definition of growth. It’s the essence of the “Aha! moment.” In a way, it’s the essence of TOPS, where we share our insights into what’s working for us and what’s not. It’s not necessarily that we’ve learned something new about weight loss. It’s that we’ve learned something new about ourselves, or how we see ourselves, or what we think we can do.

Shedding light. Sharing support.

Just as light can transform through refraction, we can bend and change, painting our own beautiful life canvas in rainbow colors. More than that, we can be the light for someone else. My wife, Anne, is a prime example. She was the TOPS member who first brought that glimmer of hope to me by encouraging me to come with her to a local TOPS chapter meeting in 2002.

So began an amazing journey. In my first year as a TOPS member, I lost more than 100 pounds to reach my goal weight and join the ranks of our KOPS members, who Keep Off Pounds Sensibly. Later, I felt privileged to serve as TOPS Coordinator for the state of Maine and to represent TOPS in the media and at health fairs until 2018. At that time, I hung up my lab coat after 20 years as a microbiologist in the public health sector so that I could become your TOPS president.

A continuing adventure

Thanks to TOPS and my wife, I have a richer, fuller, more active life today. I’m here, able to serve as your president, because TOPS is a Life Saver—it saved my life. I’m grateful for the added time with Anne and our family, especially my eight grandsons. I love taking them to the water park and on other adventures. When I was 320+ pounds, I never could have shared that experience with them or our new grandbaby, who will make her entrance into the world very soon.

When I’m not busy being Grampy, or sitting on the town board in my community, or serving TOPS members (which is rarely since I’m a bit of a workaholic), you can find me reading in the study of my Maine home. I am a news junkie and history buff but also an avid collector of comic books, especially Superman! Balancing hard work with fun is important, so I try not to take myself too seriously.

It’s also important for me to continue to attend my own TOPS chapter regularly. I know the struggles of being overweight and have learned much on my journey to a healthier lifestyle. I am not ashamed to say that I still struggle sometimes. At various speaking engagements over the years, I have joked that I like being a KOPS so much that I have done it six times now and am working on my seventh! No, I don’t pretend to be perfect or have all the answers, but I do promise that in TOPS, we can find the answers together.