Woman loses 85 pounds after joining nonprofit group

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MULBERRY, Kans. — A woman from Mulberry is sharing her story of weight loss — after losing 85 pounds.

KSN’s Steffen Reals spoke with Phyllis Polnack, the current reigning “Tops Kansas Queen.”

“It feels so great, I feel so much better than I did 85 pounds ago,” said Phyllis Polnack, 2020 TOPS Kansas Queen.

The journey to today has been a difficult one for Phyllis Polnack. For years she had been struggling with her weight.

“I have had a weight problem for all of my adult life, and I just kept getting bigger and bigger, and I knew, I knew I had to do something,” said Polnack.

Phyllis tried getting involved in a weight loss study.

She was told how much to eat, how much to exercise — and it seemed to work when she lost 60 pounds — but when the study ended, the weight returned.

“I gained my weight back, all but 15 pounds, I knew by that I could lose weight, I knew what I needed to do, but I also knew I needed to weigh every week,” said Polnack.

Her journey lead her to join the non-profit support group “Take Off Pounds Sensibly” — or “TOPS” — and she began losing weight once again.

“Everybody gets everybody’s phone number and we talk through the week or text through the week to support each other because it’s hard, whatever our struggle is, to us it’s real,” said Jovanna Brackett-Oetinger, TOPS Member.

Now 85 pounds down, she has lost more weight than any other female member in Kansas who met their goal in 2020, and has been crowned the “2020 Tops Kansas Queen.”

“I’m so excited for her because it’s a reward for how hard she worked, 2 years she worked. I know her, I know how hard she struggled, I know how much this meant to her,” said Brackett-Oetinger.

“Don’t give up, my health is so much improved because of my weight loss and because of my exercise and I feel younger than I did 10 years ago,” said Polnack.

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