Cullman TOPS offers hope for those struggling with weight management

Cullman TOPS members with Kimberly Harbin, TOP regional advocate, front center (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman chapter of Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) was started over 50 years ago with the mission of helping men and women in the area develop healthy lifestyles and manage their weight while developing a fellowship of compassionate friends, both new and old. 

Meeting every Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. for a weigh-in and 10 a.m. for the program, members pay a nominal fee to participate in the group. Yearly membership costs vary from $49-$79, with additional perks available for higher fees, and the additional monthly fee averages $5 per chapter. 

As in many support groups, TOPS meetings begin with participants sharing their successes, goals and what stands in the way of attaining their goals. Awards are often provided to celebrate members’ successes. 

Two local TOPS attendees won their divisions at June’s statewide meeting in Montgomery. Susan Hauk is one of those winners and has lost 70 pounds in the past year. 

“TOPS is heavy on nutrition education,” said Hauk. “Our regional advocate visits and is our liaison with the state coordinator and then the national coordinator. We’re like Sunday School. If someone misses a meeting, someone is going to call and check on them.” 

The nonprofit organization, established in 1948, provides programming ranging from nutrition, often taught by dieticians, to the importance of drinking adequate amounts of water and other wellness topics. The camaraderie found in the meetings helps the group meet its goal of helping people live healthy, quality lives. 

The Cullman TOPS group meets at 1545 Vine Circle SW, and the first meeting is free. For more information, visit  

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