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2005 State King


Fred Hilliker

TOPS®#MI202, Jackson


151.0 pound loss to goal

To start with, I don’t like the word obese. I’d rather be called fat.  Obese sounds like a dirty word.  I had been overweight for many years.  I was an over the road truck driver. Fast Food was a way of life. When I was home, my wife Marion ( a real good cook) fixed my favorite foods and I slept a lot.  I was very inactive. There were many things I could not do with my family. Food was my God.  When I retired in 1995 I became more sedentary. I could not see how big I was!!!

Marion and I spend our summers in Northern Michigan. In the summer of 2003 while shopping, she had a flat tire and called me to come and change it. I just couldn’t budge that tire.  A lady came out of the store and she changed the tire for us.  You can never imagine how little I felt.

Upon returning home two months later, I went to the Doctor for a routine check up. I was using a walker; huffing and puffing, and had trouble breathing. The Doctor ordered his nurse to do an oxygen level check.  It was real bad. When he weighed me in the scale said 391 pounds. WOW!  Even I was shocked. He just shook his head and didn’t say a word about diet.  I’m sure he figured it wouldn’t do any good. He had told me that many times before and it seemed to fall on deaf ears.  I do have a thyroid problem and take a high dose of thyroid medicine. BUT NO EXCUSE!

As we left his office, I told Marion I was going to TOPS®with her.  She was surprised as she had tried over a number of years to get me to join TOPS®. She has been in TOPS®since 1998, is Leader of TOPS®#MI 202, Jackson and has been a KOPS®for two years with a loss of 95.50#.

I joined on October 13, 2003 and was the Chapter’s best loser that year with a loss of Thirty-nine pounds.  Marion graduated as a KOPS®at SRD 2004. I was so proud of her, that I presented her with a huge bouquet of red roses. Maybe she wasn’t state Queen, but she was my Queen. Seeing Marion and all the other winners, inspired me and made me more determined to lose!

The next year at SRD in Port Huron I was honored for first place in Division One with a loss of 97 pounds.  Our Chapter also was the State’s Best Losing Chapter with a average weight loss of 16.2 pounds per member.

TOPS®has taught me that to succeed: you need to attend every meeting, especially if you think you have a gain; keep a food chart; the importance of eating healthy; to keep track of what’s in the foods we eat; to read labels; watch the fats and sugars; and to drink lots of water.  TOPS®has taught me the importance of exercise. I ride a stationary bike one to three hours each day. TOPS®has helped me to understand that sometimes when I think I’m hungry, I’m only bored.

My wife, Marion should receive a lot of credit for my success. She made healthy meals and encouraged good eating habits. She helped me to make lifestyle changes. I now use sugar substitutes and I’m getting used to low fat milk. I eat more fruit and vegetables. I have made a joke, that if I blink while I’m eating–Marion makes my plate disappear.

I want to thank TOPS®INTERNATIONAL for all the tools that they have given the TOPS®Chapters...thus enabling them to help myself and all other members.  I also want to thank my chapter TOPS®#MI  202, Jackson and my summertime chapter TOPS®#MI  1623, Mancelona  for all their encouragement. My Jackson chapter voted me Mr. Inspiration at our Fall Fun Day in Eaton Rapids in October of last year.  I like to encourage everyone I meet, who might need help with their weight loss to seek out TOPS®. It’s affordable–you are never made to feel out of place and TOPS®is there for the long haul.

In December 2005 I reached my goal weight. It’s hard for my Doctor to believe that I have lost 151 pounds. All without the aid of pills or a special diet. Just by cutting back on what I eat and exercising.   I have made a commitment to myself that one night a week is reserved for my TOPS®meeting.

I couldn’t have done it without my TOPS®family.

 Thank You.

Frederick Hilliker                                             

April 2006

2005 State Queen


Sandra Oakland

TOPS®#MI1660, Battle Creek


141.0 pound loss to goal

I can’t believe that I am standing in front of this group.  I reached my goal weight at 165 pounds and haven’t weighed so little since the age of 19 when I was pregnant for my son.

I have struggled with a weight problem all my life. Looking at myself in pictures and mirrors as well as hearing ugly comments from people, really made me depressed.  When I shopped for clothes years ago, I found that they didn’t make pretty clothes for fat people.  I didn’t like myself and when things happened in my life, I would use food as my comfort tool.

I had back surgery May 11th, 2000 and lost my Dad on July 17th, 2000 which was also my daughter Theresa’s birthday.  For medical reasons, I knew I had to get serious about my weight problem.

Over the years I have tried other diets and lost weight, only to put it right back on. I knew I needed to do something different this time. I heard about TOPS®through a friend and I joined in February 2002.  Even though I had made the decision to do something about my weight, I still dreaded walking into that first meeting.  I just knew all eyes would be on me and no one there would be as fat as me.  I just wanted to crawl in a corner. However, I was greeted with love and smiles and that made me feel welcome.

I couldn’t believe it when the scales showed I weighed 306 pounds. It was the most I’d ever weighed in my life.  What an eye opener!  I really needed TOPS®at this time in my life more than anything. 

The first year I lost 77 pounds. I continued to lose and at SRD 2005 in Port Huron, I received my Century medallion for maintaining my 100 pound weight loss for one year.  Wow what an awesome honor.  As I looked out into the audience, what did I see but my TOPS®group holding up a banner and shouting “Way to go Sandy”!  They were so proud of me and made me feel so honored to be a part of TOPS®.  I felt so much love.

In October 2005 I reached my goal weight.  I wasn’t sure how I would handle the pressure of maintaining my weight, so I waited a few weeks and I then became a KOPS®on December 13th, 2005 with a loss of 141 pounds to goal.

By nature I was a quiet and introverted person but now that I’ve lost weight and feel good about myself I’m able to encourage and show love to others.  Who would have believed I would end up two years in a row as my chapter division winner.

Learning portion control and drinking 8 glasses of water a day was a big one for me. I didn’t like water, but I’ve drank 8 glasses a day since joining TOPS®.  One big problem I have is, I don’t like but only four vegetables.......so eating enough vegetables has been hard for me to do.  Eating the correct amount of fruit is very easy as I like most fruit.

Exercise is very important.  I take an arthritis class two to four days a week in water aerobics.  Pool therapy and walking are my two exercises. After my back surgery, I started walking 15 minutes at a time and now some days I can walk one to two miles depending on my back.  Pool therapy is my number one exercise.

 I have a sister Carrie, that would call me every week on Tuesday after our TOPS®meetings to see how I did and she would send me little gifts to encourage me.  I also had my husband, family, friends and especially my TOPS®Buddies.  I couldn’t have made it without each and everyone of them and I’d like to thank them for all their love and support on my journey to success.

My decision to join TOPS®is one of the best choices I have made in my life!

Thank You,

Sandra Oakland

April 2006


2005 Michigan State

King & Queen Runner-Ups


State Queen Runner-Up


Gretchen Ostrander 



131.50 pound loss to goal







State King Runner-Up


Robert Bush



106.0 pound loss to goal






Division 1


1st place

Ernest Hall: 70.50 lost!



2nd place

Chris Gleason: 53.75 lost!

TOPS®#MI1526, Hart


Division 2


1st place

Steve Paling: 67.50 lost!

TOPS®#MI1681, Flint


2nd place

George Livingston: 32.50 lost!

TOPS®#MI1492, Lake Orion



1st place

Robert Bush: 55.50 lost!

TOPS®#MI1049, Utica


2nd place

Tom Miles: 47.75 lost!

TOPS®#MI911, Greenville

Division 4


1st place

David Berlin: 25.00 lost!

    TOPS®#MI1766, Clio


2nd place

John Werkema: 13.75 lost!

TOPS®#MI373, Sparta


Division 6


1st place

Karl Heinrich: 17.50 lost!

TOPS®#MI53, Westland

Division 7


1st place

David Bohn: 13.50 lost!

TOPS®#MI794, Merrill


Division 9 (surgical)


1st place

David Reynolds: 29.50 lost!

TOPS®#MI227, Commerce





Division 1


1st place

Janet Ellis: 84.75 lost!

TOPS®#MI1542, Sandusky


2nd place

Karen Wood: 71.00 lost!

TOPS®#MI1318, National City


Division 2


1st place

Valerie Bayer: 70.50 lost!

TOPS®#MI646, Waterford

2nd place

Arlene Terrill: 52.75 lost!

TOPS®#MI433, Muskegon


Division 3


1st place

Rebecca Jenkins: 72.25 lost!

TOPS®#MI380, Belleville


2nd place

Linda Nelson: 62.00 lost!

TOPS®#MI607, Ravenna


Division 4


1st place

Laurie Paling:  52.00 lost!

TOPS®#MI1681, Flint


2nd place

Judith Volz: 50.00 lost!

TOPS®#MI1543, St.Johns


Division 5


1st place

Rita Green: 19.50 lost!

TOPS®#MI459, Eastpointe


2nd place

Diane Cupp: 18.00 lost!

TOPS®#MI1695, Roseville


Division 6


1st place

Brittany Spangler: 32.25 lost!

TOPS®#MI1002, Clare


2nd place

Megan Dean: 14.00 lost!

TOPS®#MI324, Burton


Division 7


1st place

Emily Bila: 54.00 lost!

TOPS®#MI1126, Chesaning


2nd place

Brenda Seiz: 32.25 lost!

TOPS®#MI903, Holland


Division 8 


1st place

Emily Philipp: 21.75 lost!

TOPS®#MI1320,South Lyon

Division 9 (surgical)


1st place

Joy Gonyo: 120.00 lost!

TOPS®#MI1320, South Lyon


2nd place

Lynn Sprague: 113.50 lost!

TOPS®#MI1667, Traverse City


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