New Retreat Director Ashley Fizer

With enthusiasm, determination and a delightful sense of humor, 36-year-old Ashley Fizer is ready to kick off her first retreat season with a bang! As a Girl Scout troop leader, professional photographer, dance fitness instructor and social worker, members can expect her retreats to be as eclectic as her resume.

 

Q: What first brought you to TOPS?

My grandmother joined TOPS when I was 8 years old. I knew from a young age that TOPS was a special organization. As a TOPS member in my 30s, I’m often the youngest person in the room at meetings and events, but my age has never been a barrier. TOPS is more than a weight-loss organization; it really is a family.  If you’re looking for kindness, love and support, TOPS members will provide all of that (and more), regardless of your age. 

Q: What made you want to become a Retreat Director?

When my grandmother came home from retreat, she always had newfound motivation and was eager to continue her TOPS journey. I remember thinking, “I want to be a part of that. I want to be the reason that people are inspired.”

But it wasn’t until I attended my first retreat that I knew I wanted to be a Retreat Director. You always remember your first one! Mine was in Wirtz, Virginia, with Retreat Director Terri Ord. I felt like she was speaking directly to me the entire time and telling me exactly what I needed to hear. I met one of my dearest friends at that retreat, and we stay in contact with each other almost daily.

Q: What are you most looking forward to in regard to your new role?

As a social worker, I feel I can offer a unique experience to those who attend my retreats. While we’ll be having plenty of fun, we’ll also discuss those pesky topics that are holding you back from being your best self.  

Q: What can members look forward to at one of your retreats?

I think one of the best things about retreat is that it’s never the same experience twice! Members can look forward to enthusiasm, fun activities and time for personal reflection at my retreats. A lot of my sessions work on things that are holding you back from reaching your goals and learning to love and accept your “perfectly imperfect” self. There will be daily crafts, journaling and plenty of time to get to know your fellow retreatants. I also incorporate daily exercise in my retreats, but don’t be nervous. I make sure my exercise sessions are easy for everyone to do! 

If you’re worried about the amount of food you’ll be eating, I promise you won’t go hungry! Worried that you won’t know anyone? You’ll have dozens of new friends within the first few hours of retreat, and everyone will be family by the end of the week. If you have a unique concern that is holding you back, reach out to the Retreat Director to talk about it.

Most of all, I want those who attend my retreats to leave with new friendships, lasting memories and the motivation to continue on their TOPS journey. You are worth the investment! Remember, it’s not selfish to take time for yourself. That’s called self-care, and it’s very important.