Troy man crowned ‘TOPS’ king

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Champions of everything from Tiddlywinks to a win at Wimbledon celebrate by “going to Disney World.”

And, that’s exactly what TOPS Alabama King Bill Baker of Troy will do.


Bill Baker

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Baker will be recognized along with other TOPS King and Queens from around the globe at TOPS International Recognition Days July 14-16 at Walt Disney World.

Baker said he is looking forward to joining TOPS Kings and Queens from all across the United States and Canada to celebrate those, who not only have taken off pounds sensibly in 2016 but have maintained their desired weight loss for years, some up to 50 years.

“Those in KOPS (Keep Off Pounds Sensibly) really have something to celebrate,” Baker said. “It’s great to Take Pounds Off Sensibly but it’s best when you take the pounds off and keep them off.”

Baker said the KOPS Circle of Light will be a highlight of IRD 2016 and he is looking forward to making new friends and celebrating weight-loss achievements together with them.

Baker’s wife, Shirley, has been a member of TOPS for several years and has been a TOPS queen. It was her encouragement that motivated him to lose pounds sensibly.

“I had noticed that I was getting bigger around the waist but I hadn’t thought about taking off those pounds until Shirley ‘suggested’ it would be a good idea,” Baker said, laughing.  “I set my weight-loss goal at 24.5 pounds. I was weighing 180 and wanted to get down to around 155. I wasn’t thinking about being the state TOPS king. I just wanted to feel better and look better and I liked the idea of not dieting to do it.”

Baker began to eat sensibly and found that he could still eat the foods he enjoyed.

“I didn’t deprive myself of anything I really wanted to eat,” he said. “The main thing that I did was cut down on bread and I slowed down on sodas.’

Baker laughingly said he found that eating Chinese noodles is a good way to ease the hunger pains.

“I guess those noodles fill you up and you can’t eat any more,” he said.

During the year, Baker lost weight, not drastically, but slowly.

“I began to feel better and I began to lose that stomach that had prompted me to get involved with TOPS,” he said. “I was surprised to learn that I had met my desired weight-loss and was going to represent Alabama at IRD. I was excited.”

Baker was crowned the 2016 TOPS Alabama King at the annual TOPS convention in Mobile last month.

As the state king he will have opportunities to encourage and support other TOPS members in their efforts to lose the pounds they need and want to lose and to do it sensibly.

But, next on Alabama TOPS King’s agenda, is Disney World.

“Shirley and I are looking forward to IRD and the opportunities that we will have to learn to make healthier choices one day at a time,” Baker said. “We will receive inspiration from KOPS members that will help us maintain our weight loss and lead healthier lives.”