In 1985, she joined TOPS, lost 85 pounds and went on a cruise. "Needless to say, going on a cruise to reward yourself for losing weight is not the greatest idea. ... After the cruise, I did not put my heart back into it." In 1999, she joined, lost 100 pounds and was Georgia TOPS state queen in 2001. In 2002, an automobile accident caused severe injuries, multiple surgeries and weight gain. "I finally returned to TOPS for the third and final time. When I stepped on the scales on Jan. 2, 2014, at 264 pounds, I was mortified, disappointed and very depressed." She also had congestive heart failure.
I (drank) seven 12-packs of real Coke a week." Now she drinks a gallon of water daily. Breakfast is an egg-white omelet, cheese and bacon. Lunch and dinner are lean protein, veggies and fruit.
She walks 5 miles daily. At her local senior citizens center, she takes Hula Hoop and line dancing classes. She's a member of the line dancing group, "The Silver Slippers." On weekends, she does 5Ks, where she usually wins her age division. "When you find the exercise for you, that you really enjoy, that is the coolest thing ... it's almost like an addiction."
She joined Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS Club Inc.)
It was hard returning to TOPS in 2014: "Are they really going to accept me?" She felt like she let people down gaining weight again, but she was overwhelmingly welcomed.
In June, she flew to New York to be featured on the "Today" show as part of the Joy Bauer Fit Club segment, a goal of hers. Her health has improved: "I've not had any more issues with congestive heart failure.