Before I get too far into the list of signs, I must post the SAFETY FIRST sign.
The message that the journey to a healthier lifestyle needs to be done sensibly has been ingrained in my brain since I joined TOPS over twenty years ago. Understanding that it was for SAFETY FIRST seemed very smart.
I will admit, prior to my TOPS life, frustrations may have led to some very unhealthy choices. The fact that I was told my healthcare provider needed to be part of my process was very powerful and has been beneficial in my discussions with my doctor.
SAFETY FIRST is at the core of the TOPS mission. This statement found in the 1952 Articles of Incorporation explains that mission well: ”The object of TOPS Club shall be the health of the public through education and group stimulus, with the primary aim of control and correction of weight imbalance and for the study of underlying causes.” This was re-stated a little differently in 2000, however, the key points remain.
There are many quick fixes (snake oil) that promote weight loss. There are also many safe ways to lose weight and as long as the SAFETY FIRST sign is followed, it is each individual’s choice. I have used the education TOPS provides to guide me on my journey and learn how to ask the right questions. With the explosion of weight loss medications now hitting the market, reading the SAFETY FIRST sign is crucially important.
In a TOPS TALKS held in 2023, Dr. David Macklin stated there are three pillars to treating obesity: behavioral, medical and surgical. Applying the SAFETY FIRST process, a person may need to use all three treatments or a combination of two or three. TOPS in part can be supportive and helpful with the behavioral piece but the other pillars must be under the guidance of a healthcare provider. It does not matter how the desired results are achieved as long as the SAFETY FIRST sign is followed. Also, no matter what pillar is used, a member needs to be recognized and supported. Having battled obesity all my life, let me categorically state that there is no easy way or shortcut.
I encourage all to practice SAFETY FIRST by examining your journey and always seeking professional advice. SAFETY FIRST is one reason to discuss with your doctor various goals for the journey.
If I did not follow the right signs, there is a high probability I could have done more harm than good. I now follow my daily regimen no matter what day it is. I no longer treat my TOPS meeting day any differently than the day before or after. Yes, I eat and drink on the day I weigh in because of SAFETY FIRST.