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A Kenton woman has been named 2012 Ohio State Queen of TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly).
The honor was presented to Helen Siemon, a member of TOPS OH 434 in Kenton, who said she has lost 112 pounds through the program.
The Kenton chapter recently received special recognition in Akron when Siemon reached her goal of 160 pounds.
She joined TOPS in Minot, N.D., in 1966, weighing over 250 pounds. “I lost a few pounds but just couldn’t give up my bad eating habits,” Siemon said.
After moving to Kenton in 1967, she joined KenTOPS, now TOPS OH 0434. “I lost 90 pounds then started to backslide gaining 60 pounds back,” she said. “For a long time I played the yo-yo game. My TOPS friends never gave up on me.”
After having knee and hip problems, Siemon returned to TOPS and lost weight very slowly. She ended up having both knees and hips replaced.
“This is when I finally knew that I had to lose this weight. I cut down on food portions – no second helpings or eating between meals. I cut down on sweets, too.”
Pound by pound, the weight came off. “On Aug. 15, 2011, my dream came true. I reached my goal. TOPS was with me on this long journey with love and understanding,” she said.
“I have learned the meaning of eating sensibly. I am now 92 years old. I attend chapter every Monday and I know that as long as I live, I will be a TOPS member.”
A volunteer-run organization, Donna Rowe is the new chapter leader of the Kenton club. She has appointed Mary Ann James as weight recorder. She records the weights of each member during weekly weigh-in and submits these numbers to the designated TOPS field staff members.
“At TOPS we understand that losing weight is a journey. It’s the consistent encouragement, understanding and strength from people who are struggling with similar issues that make this organization so successful,” Rowe said.
Weekly meetings of TOPS OH 434 are at 1 p.m. Monday at Central Church of Christ, 815 E. Columbus St., Kenton.