Local woman named ‘TOPS Tennessee State Queen’

Published 5:44 pm Wednesday, April 26, 2017

An Elizabethton woman who made a decision to live healthier is now receiving state-wide and national recognition for her weight loss accomplishments.

Through the Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) organization, Janice Stout lost 100 pounds and reached her weight loss goal. Earlier this month, Stout attended the TOPS State Recognition Days event in Murfreesboro and was crowned TOPS Tennessee State Queen for seeing the most successful weight loss across the state with the group.

But despite winning the honor, Stout is quick to credit her fellow TOPS members, her husband Pastor Bobby Stout, and God with her success.

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“I feel my TOPS Chapter family should be privileged to wear the crown instead of me because without their support I would not have succeeded in this endeavor,” Stout said. “My husband was my biggest cheerleader along my journey, always asking me when I returned from my weekly meetings how much weight I had lost. He knew how important that was for me.”

Stout also attributes much her success to God for giving her the strength she needed and putting the right people in her life to encourage her and help her reach her goal.

“God has been so good to me,” Stout said.

To find the strength she needed, Stout turned to the Bible and adopted Philippians 4:13 as her personal motto: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Stout had been a member of TOPS in 1995 and lost an incredible amount of weight at that time. However, after a while, she said she stopped going to her meetings, and the weight began to return. In 2015, at the age of 71, Stout decided it was once again time to do something to lose the weight and improve her health.

“When my journey began, I was wearing a women’s size 2X, needing a petite but couldn’t find them in larger sizes,” Stout said. “Now my size is 6 petite. I can say, the journey was worth it.”

Following the recognition at the state level this month, Stout will now be attending the Tops International Recognition Days to be recognized as a state queen and honored by the TOPS International President Barbara Cady. This year’s International Recognition Days will be held in Little Rock, Ark., in July.

According to the organization’s website www.tops.org, TOPS is a nonprofit, noncommercial network of weight-loss support groups and wellness education organization. TOPS offers tools and programs for healthy living and weight management, with exceptional group fellowship and recognition. TOPS was established in 1948.

For those who want to lose weight, Stout said she recommends they join a TOPS chapter near them.

“It’s very affordable,” Stout said.

The annual fee to join TOPS is $33 for membership in the program, and the local chapter has dues of $3 per month. The Elizabethton chapter meets on Monday nights at First Baptist Church, located at 212 E. F St., Elizabethton. Weigh-in is held from 5:30-6:30 p.m. with the meeting to follow.