PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Before she became the literal Queen of Weight Loss in Oregon, Virginia Tackett had her ups and downs with weight.
“I grew up in a food culture,” Tackett told KOIN 6 News. “We ate for every single occasion and I was overweight from the time I was a very small child.”
But it wasn’t until 2013 when she decided enough was enough. She was done with fad diets.
“I was disgusted with myself and I knew that I was retired and had the time to devote and take care of my health.”
That’s what led her to the Hillsboro chapter of TOPS — Taking Off Pounds Sensibly — one of many chapters around the country.
In her case she lost a total of 238 pounds, including 119 at TOPS, which earned her the Queen status for 2020.
Tackett said there’s never any shaming and it works. Collectively, the Oregon chapters of TOPS lost 13,088 pounds last year.
TOPS prides itself on low membership fees and she said for each meeting they talk about what they’ve lost — or gained — and it works as a support system.
Rick Danforth, who lost more than 100 pounds, is now the president of TOPS.
“Give us a chance to give you some tools that can turn your life around, learn how to read the labels,” Danforth said. “You have to be willing to put in the work, but TOPS is willing to do it with you.”
That’s something Virgina Tackett agrees with.
“If you gain a couple of pounds it’s not, ‘Oh why did you eat that, why did you do that?'” she said. It’s more “You’re on your way, you can do this.”