She shed 228 pounds

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 24, 2010

Andalusia resident Louise Clanzy and “TOPS” success story is now queen of the world – at least in regards to her outstanding weight loss.

One week ago today, Clanzy was crowned the “International Queen of Taking Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS)” in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for losing a total of 228.75 pounds.

Last August, Clanzy, 66, told Star-News readers how in 2008, she topped the scales at 398 pounds one day and attended her first TOPS meeting that night at the Andalusia Adult Activity Center. She said the support and encouragement she received at the meetings combined with her outstanding weight loss keep her coming back to the meetings again and again.

“I walked with a cane. I couldn’t fit in a car. I just sat at the house,” Clanzy said previously. “I knew, just knew I had to do something.”

And she did by losing 190 pounds and earning herself a first place honor at the annual state TOPS competition in weight loss for her division in Birmingham, and now, for her continued weight loss, the title of international queen.

“When I joined TOPS, I didn’t join for the recognition,” she said. “Then, it started coming in, and when it did, I accepted it, and I enjoy it.

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the key to good weight loss is focus,” she said. “It’s hard, but you have to do it. I stayed focused through Christmas, didn’t eat any cake or anything, and it worked. You got to stay on your diet and get motivated. You do that, and a little bit of exercise, and the weight will fall off.”

By following that simple plan, along with a diet plan similar to one sponsored by a national weight loss chain, Clanzy now weighs 170 pounds.

“Once you make up your mind, you’re in control,” she said. “Sure, you’ll have some bad times or get in a rut. But once you make up your mind, there you go.”

Clanzy, who beat out the 177-pound runner-up for the “queen” title, said she’s on “cloud nine.”

“I’m so proud of myself,” she said. “Everywhere I went up there, they treated me like royalty. I see now what the stars go through when they go out in public. I know that because of how it was the whole time I was there.

“It was great,” she said.

As a result of her win, Clanzy will travel back to Birmingham next year to crown the state TOPS queen and then to Milwaukee to crown the new international queen.