TOPS Healthy Lifestyle: Follow the Signs – Alternate Routes

In a TOPS TALK presented on July 15, 2023, Dr. Nia Mitchell stated five ways to achieve weight loss: low-calorie diet, low-carb diet/keto, meal replacement, medication, and bariatric surgery. All are viable ALTERNATE ROUTES and benefit from the support provided by TOPS. 

Most of us understand the first three ALTERNATE ROUTES. Most likely a majority have tried all three at various points on their journey to gain a better grasp on their health. 

While some may believe that medications for weight loss are new, I know they are not. Weight loss drugs have been available since 1930, long before TOPS came into being. Growing up in the 1970s, I remember my mother taking a weight loss candy called Ayds.  

I appreciate the SAFETY FIRST approach that is at the core of the TOPS mission. Unfortunately, some misconceptions take place when it comes to the way one loses weight. There is no easy route to weight loss. 

An example of a misconception is when I attended a breakout session at a conference on bariatric surgery. We all shared our weight loss in percentages. Mine was a 31% loss from my highest weight. The moderator asked how long ago my surgery was. He was surprised to hear I hadn’t had surgery. However, he said that no matter how one loses weight, there is an expectation that they will gain at some point, though the percentage of the gain varies. It was sobering to hear that some of his patients battling obesity needed surgery to save their lives. Not only that but they had to battle a misconception that surgery was an “easy” way to lose weight. 

I’ve never really bought into the belief that we are programmed to take the path of least resistance or find the easy way to solve an issue.  

I now know that one path to a healthy lifestyle does not fit everyone. There is no right way or wrong way, provided we abide by the tenet set over 75 years ago: follow a sensible path with a healthcare provider as a guide. 

We need to find an ALTERNATE ROUTE, realizing that some INFORMATION may cause us to STOP and change direction. Changing direction, following a YIELD or DETOUR sign and adjusting our SPEED LIMIT are necessary based on what fits our health status. 

Seek alternative routes. We need to find an alternate route, realizing that some information may cause us to stop and change direction.

My routes are different than my wife’s routes. Despite the differences, we both support each other and constantly remind each other that we are always UNDER CONSTRUCTION.  

Since the beginning, TOPS has instituted a support system as a key element to success. Members are encouraged to seek individual advice from healthcare professionals because weight loss can be challenging but is achievable. 

Studies show that losing 5-10% of body weight can lead to positive changes in various aspects of one’s health. I am currently maintaining a 16% loss from my highest weight. I appreciate the TOPS support I receive while I follow my route, and I will support you on any ALTERNATE ROUTE you choose.  


1 thought on “TOPS Healthy Lifestyle: Follow the Signs – Alternate Routes

  1. TOPS – The Obesity Problem Studied by Thousands Of Positive Supporters!!!

    As a Support Group we are HERE FOR YOU whatever route you choose.


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