Residents share weight loss successes

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Maurine Thomas, co-leader of the Clovis chapter of Taking Off Pounds Sensibly, eyes her weight during the group’s weekly weigh in.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

Kimmie Davis has done it all.

She got married, raised a family, went back to school to finish her degree. She did boy scouts and sporting events.

“I did everything but take care of me,” Davis said.

A month and 9 and 3/4 a pounds later, Davis is on her way to being healthier. She’s doing it with the help of the Clovis chapter of Taking Off Pounds Sensibly. Davis said she went to a meeting and signed up after five minutes in the door.

“The group helps you with love. They don’t tell you ‘don’t do that or you have to do this.’ We’re sisters,” Davis said.

Davis said the close-knit feeling of the group helps her gain ground towards her goal of losing 100 pounds.

TOPS meets once a week for a weigh-in and a presentation about being healthy. The group focuses on portion control, exercise and sensible eating.

“The comraderie of the group is what helps you. If you’re weak in one area, you know another lady in the group can help you,” Davis said.

Member Jean Thomas said the group encourages each other.

“If someone gains, we understand that things happen. If someone loses, then everybody is happy,” she said.

Aileen Teel joined the group in 1974. She said the group’s central goal of being healthy is what has kept her coming back all these years.

“We have all sort of the same interest and aspirations. We’re all interested in losing weight and being healthy,” Teel said.

Co-leader Maurine Thomas said that group members move on to Keeping Off Pounds Sensibly which helps them maintain after they’ve reached their goal.

“It’s just as hard, maybe even harder,” she said.

Clovis resident Kavin Catalfu chose a different alternative. When he started the program at Weight Loss Zone, he said he didn’t know what to expect.

“First I thought ‘I’m going to pay to lose weight?’” Catalfu said. “But a couple of weeks in I started to lose weight and I started to get really excited.”

Catalfu said the program looked at portion control and eating frequency and supplemented diet with protein shakes.

He said the program fit in with his life as a single father raising twin eight-year-olds.

“Some of the menu items, the kids didn’t like. But it allowed me to plan ahead so I would know when I needed to make them something different and I could cook ahead. That was a big deal for me because when you pick up the kids you don’t want to spend two hours in the kitchen,” Catalfu said.

Eighty-two pounds lighter and eight months later, Catalfu said he feels 100 percent better.

“I can buy clothes in stores. I’m not as self conscious as I was before, self-image wise,” he said. “I wanted to set a better example for my children.”

Catalfu said his children were involved with the process, calling them his little cheerleaders.

“They kept me honest,” he said.