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A life-changing weight loss for Steep Falls woman

By Nathan Tsukroff

STEEP FALLS – Losing weight has been life-changing for Tammy Snow of Steep Falls, ME.

She lost over 63 pounds in 13 months, and was named the TOPS Maine Queen for 2019. She continues to share her story with others to inspire them to make changes in their own lives.

“Little did I know how this group would change my life,” Snow said. She originally joined the group, Take Off Pounds Sensibly, in 2006.

TOPS is a non-profit weight loss program, similar to Weight Watchers. The group has been around since 1948 and has about 200,000 members in 10,000 chapters around the world. The chapters have weekly meetings where members are weighed-in and share their success stories.

After a disability caused her to lose her job, she became inactive and dropped out of the program in 2014. “I basically sat in a recliner all day and ate mindlessly without exercising,” she said. “I lost my ability to move around without joint pain.” She was also diagnosed with low-thyroid disease and high cholesterol.

Tammy Snow of Steep Falls with her husband, Bill. Snow weighed 263 pounds in this photograph. A similar photograph with her father from 2018 was a wakeup call that set her on a journey that has seen her lose over 73 pounds since then. (Photo courtesy of Tammy Snow)

Snow had worked as a phlebotomist at a research lab in Windham, drawing blood from animals at the lab.

 She rejoined her local chapter of TOPS in 2016, and has not missed a weekly meeting since then, she said. “Meetings are an important part of the TOPS program. The friendships are supportive, and the meetings informative. It was a positive approach to weight loss that kept me motivated to keep going.”

Snow said that rejoining TOPS set her on a “journey of health and fitness and wellness.”

 In 2018, “I realized that my friends and family were moving on, and that my life was not in the right place. I was missing out on the good things.” A picture of Snow and her father that year showed her at 263 pounds, the “heaviest I’ve ever been in my life,” was her wakeup call, she said.

“I realized I needed to buckle down and regain what I had lost. Something inside me clicked, and I was engaged!” Snow said.  “I was learning tough love, and I wanted to make change for the good.”

Snow said 2018 was also the year that the TOPS group revised its health magazine called My Day One, which taught her portion control and how to eat a balanced meal. “This would be the tool that would set me on my path.” The magazine is given to new members when they join the group.

A recent portrait of Tammy Snow of Steep Falls, who lost more than 73 pounds over two years with support from the TOPS weight loss program. (Photo courtesy of Tammy Snow)

The revision included visual tools and examples. “I am a visual learner, and everything just clicked,” she said. “I could visually see what a portion was supposed to look like, what a meal was supposed to look like. And, of course, I was motivated to learn the program.”

She attended her first state recognition in 2018. “I heard a lot of inspiring stories of others” at the event at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer. While still only halfway to her goal, “I left inspired . . . eager to continue my journey of health and wellness and fitness.”

Snow changed her diet and now eats “a lot of low-fat, low-salt, low-sodium and low-carb food”  and drinks “plenty of water,” she said. Her daily diet is about 1200 to 1500 calories.

She has been married for 35 years to her husband, Bill, who “has been my rock,” she said. Her 31-year-old son, Billy, and 29-year-old daughter, Lauren, also “have been so supportive,” she said.

Lauren rides horses, and encouraged her mother to get back in the saddle after years of being inactive, Snow said.

She had the highest weight loss in Maine in 2019, and has continued to lose weight for a total of over 73 pounds to date. “I’m back! I’m me again!” she said.

3 Responses to “A life-changing weight loss for Steep Falls woman”

  • Susan Noce:

    Tammy is a great example of determination. Proving that once you change your lifestyle, which is to be used in place of diet. For dieters once reaching their goal usually return to old habits of eating. But a lifestyle change is forever. That is a tool TOPS teaches in their programs. The support at meetings. In TOPS you become family.

  • Sharon I Courtright:

    Tammy is the picture of what TOPS encourages. Not just weight loss but support, friendship, knowledge and encouragement. She makes TOPS look good!

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