The Periodic Table of TOPS: K is for KOPS

It may be hard to believe, but the last element is finally here. Potassium, symbolized by K, is both an electrolyte and a mineral. Electrolytes are needed to keep the body’s balance of fluids at the proper level and to maintain normal functions.

K is for KOPS. The final element for the Periodic Table of TOPS is K to symbolize KOPS, which means Keep Off Pounds Sensibly.

The final element for the Periodic Table of TOPS is K to symbolize KOPS, which means Keep Off Pounds Sensibly. 

Being Sensible (Sb) is essential for the journey to a lifestyle of good Health (H). It is important for me to remember and use the knowledge I’ve learned so far on my LiFe PaTh. Doing unhealthy “tricks” to lose Weight (W) totally goes against the teachings of our founder, Mrs. Manz.

KOPS status is something that every member can achieve. However, not every member must declare they have reached their Target (Ta) Weight (W). It is their choice and certainly does not diminish their efforts. They just choose not to seek official recognition.

There are many quotes from Mrs. Manz that remind members what a TOPS members’ true goal should be. In 1967, she wrote:

“The purposes for which the corporation is organized are educational and scientific. These purposes include the following: to control and correct weight imbalance and to study underlying causes; to improve knowledge of the causes of and means for corrections of the individual overweight; and to promote knowledge of and means for the formation of social environments conducive to the control of harmful weight fluctuations in individuals.”

She further stated, “You and I joined TOPS to lose weight. We did not join to win contests, prizes or recognition.”

Mrs. Manz still wanted her members’ efforts to be recognized. But her intent was indeed focused on Health (H) first. In the same year, she stated, “We love to give honor and recognition to those who lose, but it is not our intention nor desire to pay or reward people for losing weight. The loss of excess poundage is the reward in itself.”  

There are times when our focus can be placed on the wrong Target (Ta). Being Sensible (Sb) and being held Accountable (Ac) are cornerstones of our wonderful organization. Long before obesity was officially considered a disease, Mrs. Manz knew that members needed Support (S), because Weight (W) loss is challenging and should never be done alone.

When I need to explain the many rules TOPS has for recognition, I refract on these quotes and others from Mrs. Manz. I get concerned about some of the Behavior (B) I am made aware of and get curious about the potential Obstacles (Os) some of the rules may have caused in a member’s LiFe PaTh. They may be focusing too much on the tangible.

Certificates may get torn, ribbons may get ragged, pins can be lost and crowns will tarnish. However, enjoying fifteen, twenty, twenty-five years or more with our friends and loved ones is the true reward Mrs. Manz gave us. We can be happy and reap that reward by all working together to Keep Off Pounds Sensibly (KOPS).


5 thoughts on “The Periodic Table of TOPS: K is for KOPS

  1. Saved the best Element for last! This one truly wraps up what our awesome organization is about and where our focus needs to be. Thanks so much for these powerful words and awesome reminder.

  2. Yay, Rick! The original purpose of TOPS and its philosophy are alive in your post for K, the final element for the Periodic Table of TOPS. You have, certainly, nailed the focus of this marvelous, historic organization when it was started by Esther Manz. In recent years it seems to me as individual chapters and as the overall TOPS organization we are veering further and further away from endorsing and promoting Esther’s intent for members to lose weight for the benefit of their overall health and to to do so by changing unhealthy habits to ones that are sensibly healthy, sustainable and lead to permanent changes for one’s remaining life. One thing that I feel contradicts the Esther Manz way is allowing TOPS members to be members of other profit making weightloss programs in addition to TOPS. Many of these programs have a totally different focus. When such members comes to TOPS, mainly for a weigh in, their losses can be large but short lived and inconsistent. They are not training themselves for a new healthy lifestyle. Chapter contests to me are gimmicks or games for fun and have no long term effects. Actually, even short term effects are doubtful. In fact, in my chapter the majority of contests are won by KOPS as our longtime practiced good eating and exercising habits are built in so we win more points than the others. The other TOPS members, in general, are not motivated by a star or sticker or chance to get a ticket for a prize draw. More meeting time can be spent on contests and trivial matters than on educational programs based on material that comes from TOPS sources. As well, contests are an expense to the chapter and/or individual members. Many object to a $2 increase in monthly dues , yet, willingly spend $5 to $10 to provide a prize for a contest. My chapter over the summer had 4 new members join. We did have 30-40 min. meetings all summer and the new members attended quite regularly (they are friends of current members) but I did not feel that as new members they were introduced to what the authentic TOPS organization has to offer. Minimal use of educational materials coming from TOPS resources is being made. I will, certainly, do a program on this your last post for the TOPS Periodic Table, especially for our new members and, as well, for some members of the last 5-10 years who never seemed to be introduced to the original focus, operation of and guidelines of the original TOPS organization. We have 4 longstanding members in our chapter whose memberships range from 25 -45 years and have been KOPS from 15 to 23 years. I am among these 4. It is Esther’s tried and true way of thinking and living as a TOPS member that have made us 4 successful for these extended years. I did do some programs on your beginning posts for the Periodic Table of TOPS. They went over very well. Overall, this was an excellent themed series of posts. More programs of this type with proper research and personal experience from someone familiar with TOPS, I expect, are what Esther had in mind and would have made her and her friends very happy, as they do me. Thanks for providing such accessible, informative and meaningful material for our use.

  3. I agree … I did not join TOPS for the prizes or the contests. I joined because I wanted/needed to lose weight. Since TOPS has instigated the option to PASS (not to weigh in) we will not be able to ever achieve a No Gain Week … because those who chose to pass obviously gained. In our group … one of our contests has even added the pass as one of three … so out of four weeks where was is supposed to lose weight … if they have lost the (doesn’t matter how much) then a pass can get them to be a winner.
    I really don’t think that this makes any sense whatsoever.
    I am one of these people who has a hard time … but I have never used a pass in any contest that we have run. If I’ve gained … then I’m out of the running for whatever the prize is.

  4. This is a great conclusion. KOPS is achievable to everyone regardless of how much or how little one has to lose. I contribute my good health in my mid 80s to lessons learned for lifestyle changes on my journey with TOPS to reach my goal weight. I lost my KOPS status
    4 times. Now a 31 year KOPS, 20
    Years consequently. 👍🎉🎈

  5. Thank you Rick for an interesting connection between the Periodic Table and TOPS.
    And thank you, Esther, as TOPS is an amazing organization.

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