Tuesday, TOPS and Tangents


When is 5 pounds lost not really 5 pounds lost?
It’s when you go into TOPS, step on the scale, and they tell you you’ve really lost 8 pounds. Because I defer to all things mathematically not me, I am confident that their scale is totally right, and I was, in fact, wrong in mocking my scale with its little French accent.
Dear scale, I apologize for doubting you when you told me I lost 8 pounds in one week. While I thought you’d done lost your ball in the tall weeds, it is I, in fact, who will not be bringing the low-carb macaroni salad to the next Mensa picnic.
Your associate,
PS. Keep giving me those losses, and I will name my next pet after you. WeightWatcher Jones. It has a ring…
TOPS gives shiny things
I really enjoy TOPS. Aside from the obvious accountability factor, they give us totally cute little charms and bracelets for success and working hard to achieve goals. I have the most adorable bracelet and charms ever! And, for walking, I was awarded a little turtle pin. Well, I awarded that to myself. I’m going to tell you more about that very soon.
You can see the bracelet at the top of the page. Heck, my eyes are closed and its bright flash is etched into my retinas (sorry about the flash issues, but now you can say I’ve flashed you…and blinded you in the process).
The bracelet is given when the first 5 pounds are lost. For every 5 pounds lost after that, members are awarded further charms for the bracelet. If one wins a contest, is best loser, hasn’t gained in a certain amount of time, etc, there are charms for that as well. All in all, it’s not surprising when friends like Reese walk into TOPS with an extremely heavy necklace of charms. I told her after wearing that thing for an hour, she’ll have lost so much weight she’ll have to run around the shower just to get wet. 
I like shiny things. It’s things like that which usually pull me off course. Most people think, “Gah! A weight loss group who is going to make me weigh in each week and talk about nutrition,” and it turns into, “oooh! Shiny thing! Shiny thing! 
So, now I have a shiny thing with dangly shiny things.
I done forgot
I love eating low-carb, but I forget to eat. You don’t look at someone with a thigh the size mine is and point knowingly and announce, “Now that is a girl who needs a sammich!” Nononono. You look at me and you think, “If that’s someone who doesn’t forget to eat….”
I’m here to say, if ifs, ands, or buts were boiled eggs or nuts, we’d all have a low-carb Easter, now, wouldn’t we.

I am no good on my own

I apologize for not posting comments and my responses until this morning. I take my computer with me when I go places because I’m usually working on a piece of writing. I didn’t realize there’s a little switch for shutting the internet connectivity on and off. Now I know.

If I ever disappear, know technology probably did this to me and that I’ll be back!

That is, unless my Garmin Nuvi steers me wrong.

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  1. Congrats on your ‘shiny things’

  2. cleochatra says

    Thank you!

    Of course the shiny things aren’t important, but I was asked to show what the charms look like.

    I usually put the charms on a thing I wear at the meeting (not a bracelet)… (that’s why they’re sitting near the bracelet and not dangling from it).

  3. I LOVE SHINY THINGS! So I’m dragging my sister off to a TOPS meeting tonight. 🙂

    Do they support low carb?

  4. cleochatra says

    You’re shiny! I love you, too!

    I think you’ll have a blast! Yes, they support all weight loss plans so long as you are losing weight sensibly (which we are)!

    Low-carbers are showing up to more and more TOPS groups all of the time!

    Yay us!

    Let me know how it goes

  5. Shiny is such an awesome word

    “Everything’s shiny, Cap’n. Not to fret.”

  6. OhYeahBabe says

    You rock right out loud, Cleo!!! WTG!
    My blog: Kimorexia

  7. dangergirl says

    Hi Cleo:
    I’ve been checking your blog out for a couple of weeks as I’ve tried to make my decision about this way of eating. My boyfriend and I started last week. I have to say that I haven’t cooked or washed so many dishes in a long time! I guess this just goes to show you how poorly I’ve been eating,(I don’t really eat out, but I at a lot of frozen and convenient type foods). I just wanted to say thanks for all of your info and suggestions. Your advise was key in helping me make this decision. Congrats to you! Your success is an inspriation to us all!! I’ll let you know my progress 🙂 Theresa

  8. cleochatra says

    wifezilla– That sounds almost like something Cat from Red Dwarf would say! Only his would be “Shiny thing! My shiny thing!”

  9. cleochatra says

    Theresa– You’ve taken such a huge step! you won’t regret it. Every journey, regardless where it takes you, is worth the trip!

    Definitely keep me posted, on good on you!


  10. The charmy thing is cute!
    Thanks so much for replying to the comments – you are so helpful and sweet!
    Sorry I have been posting anonymously, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to put in a name.

  11. cleochatra says

    Tara– you are so nice! Thank you! I feel that if someone takes the time out of the day to write, I want to write back!

    It’s also why sometimes I don’t publish comments right away–or publish and then come back and comment.

    I know I’ve missed some comments, and I hope people will let me know when I do.

    Tara is a pretty name. I know how it is not being sure how to do this stuff. I’m not very technological. If everything was easy to use, like a bra, then I’d be better off. There are only two ways with a bra–frontwards and backwards.

  12. Yay Cleo!

    Great job on the recent loss – you are doing so well! Your Tops group and your family must be really proud. Enjoy your success and keep up the good work. – Dee

  13. cleochatra says

    Thank you so much, Dee! They are really surprised I lost so much so fast.

    But when I say I’m a-gonna do something, I don’t waste time.


  14. Your post made me interested in finding a local TOPS group myself. But… I checked out their web site and it doesn’t look like they support low-carbing.

    Just as a heads up so folks don’t get as excited about this as I did before discovering it isn’t a good fit.

    Here’s their exchange diet – the lowest carb option includes 2 milk, 5 starch/bread and 4 fruit exchanges. I’d need to triple my insulin to eat that!

    The only page Google could find on their site about low carb says, “We should strive to get 45 to 65 percent of our calories from carbohydrates, 20 to 35 percent of our calories from fat, and 10 to 35 percent of our calories from protein.” The page is located here and also includes this quote, “There is also a “minimum” recommendation for carbohydrates—130 grams per day, which is the amount needed to produce enough glucose for the brain to keep the body functioning.”

    I imagine some I know would agree that my brain has been running on air for over a decade. 😉

    It’s kewl your local group supports you, but it doesn’t look like TOPS overall is into low-carbing. They sound like a nonprofit Weight Watchers to me. Not that there’s anything *wrong* with that…

  15. ‘Scuse me for being, er, slow, but what is TOPS? Is it a nationwide thing?

  16. cleochatra says

    The weight loss plan that many in TOPS use is, in fact, a high-carb plan, but TOPS supports any and all weight loss plans (including those who have had weight loss surgery).

    The onus is to Take Off Pounds Sensibly, regardless of weight loss plan.

    So while the exchange plan is not low-carb, TOPS welcomes all people from various plans.

    A quick call to an area captain should allay any concerns about feeling welcome where low-carbers are concerned!

    Thank you for bringing up those concerns. They are excellent questions. Hopefully I’ve helped.


  17. cleochatra says


    TOPS =Take Off Pounds Sensibly and is a not for profit weight loss support group which meets locally in many, many areas.

    People from all weight loss plans are welcome.

    People weigh in weekly, and then there is a program discussing health, nutrition, exercise, encouragement, you name it! There are contests, and everyone is very friendly.

    I really appreciate TOPS because it keeps me accountable. Having to face the scale is pretty humbling!

    When you have a loss, folks clap for you, and when there is a gain we all say, “we’re glad you’re here.”

    It is a very kind organization, building people up while we’re slimming down.

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