The Intelligencer: Ontario & International TOPS Queen Mollie appears in the newspaper
Half the girl she used to be: loses 190 pounds
Posted By CARY CASTAGNA, SUN MEDIA
Posted 5 days ago
Mollie Kamm is less than half the woman she used to be.
The 45-year-old mom tipped the scales at 350 pounds just four years ago.
Now the five-foot-five inspiration weighs a svelte 160.
Do the math. That's a whopping 190-pound weight loss.
"I feel like a whole new person," Kamm tells Sun Media from her home in Dryden, Ont. "A lot more energy, of course, and I'm a bit more outgoing."
She should feel like a new person. After all, Kamm shed the equivalent of a slightly-larger-than-average-sized man.
"My brother weighs 190 pounds," she says with a laugh, putting her dramatic metamorphosis into perspective.
The married mother of two -- a 23-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter -- admits she had been a big gal all her life.
And until late 2005, Kamm was only getting bigger.
"Before, I never thought I'd go over 300," she recalls. "Then you think you won't go any higher than that and then you do."
The self-described couch potato hit 350 pounds in October 2005.
Too big for her bathroom scale, Kamm witnessed the weighty milestone on the industrial-strength scale in her doctor's office.
But not too long after that, something just suddenly "clicked" and Kamm started to lose weight.
She insists it wasn't a momentous turning point.
"I didn't think it would actually go anywhere because I had lost weight before but always gained it back," she explains.
This lifelong yo-yo dieter had been there, done that. She wasn't about to break out the party hats, streamers and confetti.
Besides, Kamm had been a member of TOPS -- a nonprofit weight-loss education and support group also known as Take Off Pounds Sensibly -- since 1987.
With cautious optimism, she th her weekly TOPS meetings as she had been doing for almost two decades. But she was obviously doing a better job of cutting back on portion sizes and exercising -- usually walking -- three times a week.
By late January 2006, Kamm was down to about 335 pounds.
"I was more stunned than anybody that it actually kept going off," she says. "Once you get to a point where you are losing, then you think, 'Can I do a bit more?'"
Slowly but surely, Kamm kept peeling off the pounds sensibly.
And in December 2008, she not only reached her goal weight of 160, but TOPS crowned her its 2008 International Queen.
She received her crown and sash at the organization's three-day celebration last month in Orlando, Fla.
Now required by TOPS to keep her weight between 153 and 163, Kamm has maintained the status quo for the past eight months.
But the savvy diet queen knows her battle of the bulge isn't done yet.
"It's not over by any means," says Kamm, a part-time cashier at her local IGA. "It was one struggle to lose it. Now it'll be a struggle to keep it off because a lot of people regain it, right? And I really don't want that to happen."
Although she was fortunate enough not to have any health ailments 190 pounds ago, Kamm admits her life was definitely weighed down by obesity.
"I didn't lead much of a life," she says. "Now I'm out doing things that I would never have done."
That includes taking water-fit classes.
"In a bathing suit -- woo woo!" she says with a laugh.
She and her husband, who lost 60 pounds himself prior to her journey, walk at least 4-6 km each day. Some days they'll do that twice.
Kamm has also dabbled in jogging, and lifts weights three times a week. Life, it seems, has never tasted better.
So what's her secret?
Kamm credits the supportive friendships she has made through TOPS for helping her hang in there for so long.
But, she says, the decisive factor came from within.
"It's all me. It doesn't matter what you hear at your weekly meetings. You either decide to do it or you don't."