Arlington woman TOPS in weight loss

Rita Harris before she lost 143.25 pounds. -
Rita Harris before she lost 143.25 pounds.
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ARLINGTON Rita Harris had never been to the East Coast before.
After 19 years, the Arlington native had finally met her weight-loss goal, and as a reward, she got to see the sights of the Northeast coastline, while taking part in the TOPS 2007 International Recognition days in Providence, R.I., July 12-14.
TOPS stands for Take Off Pounds Sensibly, and Harris is a member of the Century Club of Arlington Chapter 433, since she lost more than 100 pounds through the program. When she first joined the group, she weighed 260 pounds, then gained 40 pounds, but by this year, shed lost 143.25 pounds, including the 40 pounds she gained after joining.
It took 19 years to get to my goal, Harris said. My medical problems made it hard.
Harris suffers from asthma, arthritis, migraines, Reynards disease and pulmonary hypertension. Because she reached her goal within the past year, she became one of the groups 2006 Kings and Queens for Washington state.
Since Im on disability, my group took up a collection to pay for my round trip, Harris said. I met people from all 50 states and all four provinces of Canada.
Harris was inspired to join TOPS when her mother joined and spoke highly of the groups supportive atmosphere. As a graduate of TOPS, shes now a member of its partner program KOPS, which stands for Keeping Off Pounds Sensibly.
In the meantime, she appreciates the positive affirmation shes received, as well as one unique travel opportunity.
My sister and I drove up to Cape Cod and went to Mystic, Conn., Harris said. The trees come right up to the road until you reach the coastline. Their countryside isnt like ours.
Arlington Chapter 433 of TOPS meets Fridays from 8:30-11 a.m. at the Arlington Boys and Girls Club.

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