July 27, 2008

Sisters Drop 100 Pounds Each

By The Associated Press

CHARLES CITY (AP) - Sisters go through many ups and downs together, and now two siblings are celebrating a big low - a loss of 100 pounds each.Marlene Marth, 68, of Floyd, recently was awarded the Century Medallion Award from TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) for shedding 100 pounds and keeping it off for 52 consecutive weeks. Sister Karla Thomas, 62, of Charles City, has lost a little more than 105 pounds and kept it off for two years."I can't believe it yet," Marth said recently.Her sister added, "She can't believe she's as small as she is."For Marth, her smaller figure is taking some time to get used to. She began her weight loss journey at TOPS at 288.5 pounds."Sometimes I'll go by the mirror and I think, who in the world is that?," she explained. "I walk into a store and go right to a 2X or 3X and then realize I have to go to the regular sizes."Thomas' weight loss was a challenge she's been facing for more than a decade. Her highest weight recorded when she joined TOPS was 267.5. The Charles City woman lost the weight in 1990, but after a serious car accident, the death of a family member and treatment for depression, she began to gain weight.In 2006, Thomas, at 221 pounds, vowed to reach 160 by her 60th birthday in August. Not only did she reach her goal, but she hit the mark earlier than hoped on July 13. Last year, Thomas traveled to Ames for the TOPS state rally and was named the state queen runner-up. She is now considered a KOPS (Keeping Off Pounds Sensibly) and focuses on maintenance."It felt great," she remembered. "It felt wonderful. I was on cloud nine when I got my award in Ames."The sisters said they offered each other support while working toward their goals."I think as I got down, she started losing too," Thomas said.Marth said their partnership is about having someone to talk to and knowing someone cared, not competition."But she did beat me out for Loser of the Year (in 2006). She lost 40 pounds and I lost 38," laughed Marth.The women said ideas from Dr. Phil's book, "The Ultimate Weight Loss Solution," and support from their husbands, Robert Thomas and Dave Marth, and other TOPS members were key to their success.

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