Shirley Ferreira recognized for 50-year membership in TOPS

NASHUA – Shirley Ferreira was presented a certificate signed by Barbara Cady, president of TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) in recognition of her 50 years membership in TOPS, during the Friday meeting of the Nashua NH0131 TOPS chapter.

Shirley joined TOPS while living in Waltham, Mass., in 1966. She moved her TOPS membership to the Nashua TOPS chapter in 2002 following her and her husband moving to Londonderry. The Nashua TOPS Chapter meets during the day where other chapters in the area meet in the evenings. Members of the Nashua TOPS chapter travel from 10 southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts towns to attend the weekly meetings.

The weekly meetings include private weigh-ins and informal chapter programs, featuring up-to-date information on nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyles. Programs provide positive reinforcement and motivation to adhere to food and exercise programs.

TOPS is a network of nonprofit, noncommercial weight-loss support groups and a wellness education organization. TOPS offers tools and programs for healthy living and weight management. Together TOPS members lost more than 300 tons last year.

Esther Manz and three homemakers started TOPS in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1948. By 1953 TOPS had grown to over 6,000 members with chapters located in every state. Today, TOPS chapters located throughout the United States and Canada have more than 125,000 members. In 1976 TOPS contributed $250,000 to begin the Obesity and Metabolic Research Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Today, TOPS has donated over $8.5 million for obesity research. In 2016, TOPS and the Medical College announced the discovery of two new genes that may influence obesity.

Weekly TOPS meetings help members take an honest look at the changes they need to make, show them that true health isn’t a certain pants size, or even a number on a scale and help them appreciate who they are on the inside and the outside. TOPS provides support that individuals need to make positive lifestyle changes.

Shirley achieved her weight goal in 1967, becoming a KOP (Keep Off Pounds Sensibly). She has continued to maintain the KOPS status, maintaining her weight within the 3 pounds over and 7 pounds under range. She has achieved this through giving birth to three children and dealing with cancer.

Shirley has kept her yearly TOPS memberships cards that she has received over the 50 years. Many of the early membership cards were signed by Esther Manz, TOPS founder.

The Nashua TOPS chapter meets at 10 a.m. on Friday mornings in the lower level of the Nashua Baptist Church, 555 Broad St., Nashua.