Persevere, President's Desk, Share Support, Take Action

Are You Ready for Takeoff?

It’s often said that when something wonderful happens, it may be considered the opportunity of a lifetime. My name is Rick Danforth, and I am honored, proud and excited to be the President of TOPS. I’m here, able to serve as your president, because TOPS is a Life Saver—it saved my life.

Huge two storeys commercial jetliner taking of runway.

When TOPS first took off in 1948, it was one of a kind. Now there are so many other weight-loss programs out there, but obesity is still an epidemic. Why? As someone who struggled with weight all my life and who lost 100 pounds and is keeping it off, I have an idea.

On a plane, flight attendants repeat the same speech over and over. Have you ever watched the passengers? They’re not paying attention because they’ve heard it all before. When I speak at a TOPS event, I tell folks, “You’re not going to hear anything new. We all know what we’re supposed to do. It’s my job as a presenter to make you think about it in a different way.”

If you really feel this program is for you, and you need TOPS like I do, you need to do things at the grass-roots level. To go forward, you’ve got to get back to basics, back to the simple things—not the easy things.

We can still eat foods we love in TOPS. It’s all about portion control. If you need help in that area—and I sure did when I started—go to the Members Area of and explore all the sensible, science-based solutions to help you on your journey. If you’re not a member, look at our Weight Loss Tips and Inspiration page for a sampling of how TOPS can help you.

This weight-loss journey requires perseverance. When you’re feeling a change in the pressure around you, remember what the flight attendant always says: You must put on your own oxygen mask first. It is all right to take time for yourself by being more active and getting ready to help others so that they can help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for the help you need or to reach out to others in TOPS. We’re here to support each other.

Are you ready for takeoff? I am, and I look forward to soaring to new heights with you!

Sincerely TOPS,

February/March issue of TOPS News membership magazine

Adapted from Rick’s President’s Message column in the February/March 2018 issue of TOPS News.

TOPS News magazine is one of the benefits of an annual TOPS membership. Not a member? Learn more about joining.

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