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A queen among us

Staff Writer | January 4, 2023 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — There is a royal among us — a queen who earned her crown by conquering weight loss.

Jeanette Langlois was given her crown by Take Off Pounds Sensibly. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to helping members overcome health and weight issues with education, group support and an individually based approach.

Each year, TOPS rewards the hard work put in by members throughout the year by crowning royalty, an honor given to those who lose the most weight by the end of the year. At the end of 2021, Langlois earned the honor by losing over 50 pounds.

When people ask her how she did it, Langlois said it was “determination.” Langlois said she was introduced to TOPS in 1986 by a friend. Attending the weekly meetings, Langlois said she felt supported on her journey.

While she “slipped” every now and then, Langlois said the meetings and friends she made helped her find her way and helped her keep going. Continuing to attend meetings even when she in a “slip,” Langlois said she even became a volunteer for the organization, from filling roles in administration to becoming an organization officer.

Starting at 201 3/4 pounds, Langlois said she set a goal for herself to get down to 136 pounds, a goal she has spent the past 36 years trying to achieve.

However, Langois said it was consistency and never giving up that truly helped her accomplish her goal. Using an elliptical machine for exercise and eating properly over the years, Langlois said it was then that she started to see and feel progress. She suggests the exercise equipment to everyone because of how well she has done.

“It’s just wonderful,” Langlois said.

Although Langlois was voted queen at the end of 2021, it wasn’t until spring 2022 that the honor was officially celebrated and she received her crown.

“I was in shock,” Langlois said.

Now the weight recorder for the local TOPS chapter, Langlois said she was aware of how well she had done but did not expect to be crowned due to how grand the scale was. While TOPS is a national organization with chapters in select cities and states, royalty is crowned by the state. In receiving the honor, Langlois served as TOPS Idaho Queen throughout 2022.

Now, with the new year passed and a new queen set to be crowned, Langlois said she has felt many emotions from pride, and surprise to sadness over giving up the crown. However, that does not mean Langlois is giving up her journey. On the contrary, she said she continues to focus on her health journey and her weight is currently under 140 pounds.


(Photo courtesy DAVE AMOROSO)

Jeanette Langlois, TOPS 2021 Idaho Queen before the weight loss.