MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A Montgomery county woman is sharing her massive weight loss journey, hoping to help others start their own.
Tina Cole Campbell lost a whopping 340 pounds! She’s been named a TOPS weight loss queen and wants everyone to know that anyone can do it.
“At one point, I was up to 500.6 pounds,” Campbell remembered she was fighting a number of health issues. “I have asthma, emphysema, COPD, chronic bronchitis,” she explained. “They told me I wasn't going to live to be 40.”
That was enough to scare her into losing some of the weight.
“I have done diets my whole life. I have yo-yoed up and down, I’ve gained and lost probably 800-1000 pounds,” Campbells said, but she knew the road ahead of her was too rough to go it alone.
“I joined TOPS in April of 2016, I reached my goal weight in April 2018,” Tina explained. “June 4 of 2019, I reached 100 pounds lost with TOPS.”
TOPS stands for Taking Off Pounds Sensibly. “TOPS is the longest, non-profit organization for weight loss,” said Yvonne Carrigan, an Alabama Area Captain for TOPS.
“It wasn’t a diet, it was a lifestyle,” Tina said, describing how her new lifestyle still reminds her of who she used to be.
“I deal with a lot of joint and arthritis and aching problems from being so heavy for so long, I need dual knee replacements,” Campbell described. “I also have some herniated discs in my neck and back and chronic back pain."
“I still have a lot of self-esteem issues, and I still look in the mirror and see someone that’s extremely obese and overweight.” Tina said.
So, Tina focuses on the small steps that turned into big steps and got her this far.
“It was walk 50 feet, walk 100 feet,” she described the beginning of her journey. “I started out on this track, it’s a 1/4 mile loop, and I could maybe get to a station and then come back...the first time I walked a mile, I was like YES! I walked a whole mile’, now I walk five to nine miles throughout my day.”
Alabama tips the scales as the fifth “heaviest” state in the U.S., where 36.3 percent of adults are affected by obesity. Alabama TOPS chapters combated this statistic by collectively losing 3,798 pounds last year. TOPS offers an individual approach to weight loss and overall wellness. Consistent group support, health education and recognition are all key components to successful weight management.
Tops memberships are $32 per year, plus chapter fees. Visitors can attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. To find a local chapter, view www.tops.org or call 800-932-8677.