Posted on October 11, 2020
Winning by losing: Bishop woman sheds pounds with help of close-knit group
A lifelong resident of Oconee County, Dillard has worked at Grace Fellowship Church in Eastville community for about 20 years and raised three children, all who attended Westminster Christian Academy in Watkinsville.
Several years ago, she began putting on weight to the point she became overweight.
“I discovered I was an emotional eater. I knew I needed encouragement and support, and the accountability of a small group,” she said, adding that a friend had invited her to a meetings of TOPS, which was formed in 1948.
Another motivating factor was also added to the mix.
“My mother passed away about six years ago and I now have a new grandchild, who is 2 years old. I think becoming a grandmother makes me realize the importance of my own good health,” she said.
Dillard became disciplined in her effort to lose weight.
“As I began to have success, it became something I wanted to continue because I could see the success, not only in weight loss, but I was feeling better about myself,” she said. “I still have a ways to go, but I do feel more energetic and better in general.”
Dillard has implemented changes in food and exercise.
She watches her portions of food and eats a more balanced diet with more vegetables. She also drinks about a gallon of water a day.
“I joined a gym this year and I hired a personal trainer, and she has certainly been a game-changer for me, too,” Dillard said. She combines muscle toning along with cardiovascular workouts.
The TOPS chapter she attends meets every Thursday night at Grace Fellowship, but there are other chapters in Watkinsville and Athens.
“The chapter I’m in feels especially close and kindred. We are excellent supporters of each other and not just on Thursday nights — throughout the week we stay in touch,” she said.
“We are a close-knit tribe of friends that keeps each other accountable,” Dillard said. “A lot of us have been overweight for a long time, so it helps break bad habits and establish new habits. It’s important for us to keep ourselves on the right track.”