2018 International Division Winners (Male)

TOPS Success Stories > 2018 International Division Winners (Male)

At the 2018 International Recognition Days event in Portland, Oregon, at the Oregon Convention Center, TOPS honored the 2018 International Division Winners. Division Winners are recognized within divisions which are based on members' starting weights of each year. Winners lost the most weight within their division during the calendar year. A little healthy competition usually provides extra motivation for our members.

Looking for our female or teen winners? Check out the 2018 International Division Female Winners or 2018 International TOPS Teens.

Male Winners

First Place Winners

Steven C Before and After
Steven C. - Lost 102.50 lb.
Division 1

I have had a weight problem since my early junior high school days. I tried TOPS and had success. I would lose weight, but within a couple years, I would gain it all right back. During the spring of 2018, I noticed my feet starting to swell. My doctor had put me on medication for mild hypertension. I had ballooned up to my highest weight of 314 pounds. That much weight on my frame made me physically, emotionally and socially very unpleasant. Something had to give.

My TOPS friends welcomed me back with open arms. I finally realized I could never hope to achieve my goal without regular weight monitoring along with the nutritional and emotional support of my TOPS friends. To date, I have lost 134 pounds and reached my KOPS status.

I'm honored to be able to share my weight-loss story, and by doing so, hopefully can motivate others with similar struggles to keep up the good fight for successful weight loss and a lifestyle of healthy eating.

Alan D. - Lost 124.60 lb.
Division 2

I was looking for a way to lose over a hundred pounds. At the age of 58, with a very young son and daughter, I knew I needed to lose the weight and do it soon. In December of 2017, I joined a local TOPS chapter so I could have accurate documentation of my weight loss.

For exercise, I pedaled on my recumbent exercise bike for several hours a day. I ate lots of healthy fruits and vegetables along with lean cuts of poultry, pork, beef and fish. By my 119th day in TOPS, I had lost 123.4 pounds. I then used the rest of the year to fine tune my weight loss and my new-found healthy lifestyle.

By December of 2018, I reached my KOPS goal. I am proud to say that I am literally less than half of the man that I used to be. Thank you to all my TOPS angels for your support and for this wonderful opportunity that I have been given. I am forever grateful.

Charles Reid Before and After
Charles R. - Lost 65.6 lb.
Division 3

I tried to lose weight on my own and I had a little success, but I could never maintain it. My wife had heard about TOPS from a friend, so she decided to join the group that met every Thursday evening. I would drive her there and wait in the parking lot until it was over. I would ask her what went on and she said it was talking and sharing. I thought to myself, "How can that possibly help to lose weight?" Three months later, I went with her to the meeting.

When the meeting started, a lady called out each person’s name and they would answer, "I lost," and everyone would clap, or they would say, "I gained," and everyone would say, "Glad you’re here." What made me feel good was that no matter what—no one laughed. I decided to join TOPS and give it a try. The following Thursday I said, "I lost," and everyone clapped. It warmed my heart that they were all so proud of me. Being the only man in the group I thought I would feel out of place, but as it turned out, I felt like I was home.

Chris K. Before and After
Chris K. Sr. - Lost 39.50 lb.
Division 4

I didn't like the way I looked and decided this was the right time to get healthier. My fiancé invited me to a TOPS meeting on January 4, 2018. I didn't know what to expect but I immediately felt at ease and was inspired by the fellowship displayed during the meeting and the members made me feel so welcome.

I learned to replace my bad foods with healthy fruits, vegetables, meats and grains. I was also nominated and elected chapter Leader. Becoming Leader made me realize that I have to lead by example.

The "all new and improved me" is able to fit into clothes that I couldn't fit into before my weight loss. I can walk farther than I could before and I have fewer back problems. My pearls of wisdom for others who want to set and reach a goal weight would be to take it one day at a time. Set small goals that you can reach. It will build your confidence and fuel your desire. Lastly, rely on your fellow TOPS and KOPS members for support as I did.

Clifford C. - Lost 10.50 lb.
Division 5

I have had excessive weight gains and losses throughout my life. Keeping my weight off was something that seemed impossible. I started on this journey when my wife decided to go to a TOPS meeting. I did not think about going, but I changed my mind. Ten months and 75 pounds later, I look and feel like the person that was there all the while. I am grateful for the support from my wife, Carol, and my son, Chris, as well as my TOPS friends.

Since reaching my goal, my overall health and well-being has improved and my blood pressure is normal and my back pain has decreased. Saint Francis of Assisi said it best and I quote, "Start by doing what is necessary then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

Daniel Labowski Before and After
Daniel L. - Lost 121.60 lb.
Division 7

I was overweight most of my life. My cardiologist recommended weight-loss surgery but I couldn’t get it approved. My weight-loss journey began when my sister, Debbie, invited me to go to TOPS with her. Debbie and I encouraged each other and weighed in every week. I no longer get short of breath doing everyday tasks and I work in my yard daily and have built up stamina from five minutes to an hour. I feel like I have my life again.

There's always going to be ups and downs. Sometimes I will have a plateau and that is discouraging but I’ve learned if I hang in there and stay the course, when my body is ready I'll get moving again. When I started I never thought or believe I could ever lose weight, but I've learned I can. Stay active in TOPS, and your TOPS friends will give you great support in the low times and cheer you on to your goal. Find a weight-loss plan that works for you and soon you will reach your goal.

Brandon Roth Before and After
Brandon R. - Lost 121.2 lb.
Division 9

Despite my doctor's concern for my increasing weight, I seemed perfectly healthy. This false sense of well-being fueled my voyage deeper into self-harm. I ate anything I wanted without concern and the most exercise I got was walking between the fridge and the computer.

By the time I was 30, I weighed 497 pounds. I didn't want to be a victim of my own irresponsible behavior anymore. Then something amazing happened. My wife showed me two small blue lines. We were having a baby! I knew that I needed to make some serious lifestyle changes like: Cutting out soda and fast food, making breakfast a routine and try to avoid snacking. I also assumed the role of Treasurer because I knew that it would help me stay involved in meetings. I stayed active by walking my energetic young dog. It was impossible to deny those begging eyes.

Every aspect of my life has improved. Last December, my wife and I welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world. I am so happy to be a healthy father for her and to have found the courage to tackle new things in life that I would never have dreamed of!

Second Place Winners

Gordon P. - Lost 95.60 lb.
Division 1

I’ve been overweight my whole life. My world was filled with pastries and big meals. I never knew what I was eating was bad for me. I became a truck driver, which meant a lot of sitting and fast food. Over the years, my weight slowly climbed.

I had my wake-up call in 2012. I had a heart attack and learned that I had congestive heart failure—which is what my mother died of. The doctor told me plain and simple that I would die soon if I didn't change my diet and lose weight. It was really hard at first but I knew I had to do it. Then a friend of mine asked me to go to TOPS with her. I did and it gave me the motivation I needed. Having the support of other people was great, and having to weigh in every week gave me a goal and kept me on track.

Am I perfect with my eating and exercise? Absolutely not! But I know my new habits will last and I feel confident I'll be able to keep the weight off. I'm very thankful for TOPS for helping me get my life back.

Michael C Before and After
Michael C. - Lost 30.80 lb.
Division 4

My wife joined TOPS eight years ago and had great success. During that time I had it in the back of my mind that I should join too. What finally got me to join was two things: First, was a photo of me standing in front of the Western Wall in Jerusalem, where you can see me at 30 pounds overweight. I did not like the way I looked in that photo. My second reason was the lower back pain I was feeling while carrying the extra weight.

After joining TOPS, I radically changed my eating habits. As I approached goal, my lower back pain completely disappeared. I was excited at all the weigh-ins because I was averaging a two to three pound loss every week. I purchased a bicycle and started riding as often as weather permitted. I can now tie my shoes comfortably with ease and going up a flight of stairs is easier too. If I can do this—anybody can! You just have to take the bull by the horns, grit your teeth and just do it. It's worth it!

Art R. Before and After
Art R. - Lost 100.80 lb.
Division 7

My TOPS journey started when I was taking my wife to the TOPS meeting every Wednesday. I did this for a long time and then one day, my mother-in-law made me a deal I couldn't resist. She offered to get me a new cell phone if I joined TOPS. So I joined but I was still skeptical.

Things changed when I was voted to be Leader. I decided to participate more, because as Leader I wanted to lead by example. For a while I did really well, but I started going backward. I kept going up and down. My wife and I decided to make a lifestyle change and we started keto. It wasn't easy, but I had the full support of my lovely wife, grandma, my mother-in-law and my TOPS chapter. They all helped me achieve my goal, and if it wasn't for them I wouldn't be where I am now. Everyone can achieve their goal if you take it one step at a time. My wife and I have a motto, "With Challenge Comes Change." We will change and it will continue to be for the best. Thank you.

Steven D. - Lost 81.40 lb.
Division 9

I've struggled with weight issues all of my adult life. Over the years, I've tried about every weight-loss program that came along and I failed with every one. In October 2017, I started the process of getting a gastric bypass. After several months of struggling, my nutritionist insisted I join TOPS for the accountability.

Prior to being accepted as a surgery candidate, I had given up. When you weigh almost 500 pounds, everything you do is very difficult. I didn't have high expectations because I had been turned down before but I got the strength to persevere. And that was when I found TOPS. The accountability and the support that I got from the members of my chapter is what made the difference. I will never leave my friends in NC 0477 Wilmington. Thank you.