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Name: Dani Holmes-Kirk
Before Weight: 217 pounds
How I Gained It: I have struggled with my weight my whole life. I first tried Weight Watchers in college. I never officially joined, but instead copied my friend's points book and tried to track my calories myself. It worked for a while, until I got to my senior year. Put on 50 pounds or so. Damn beer, pizza and fries! I liked to go out with friends, and that led to a lot of bar food.
2006 marked pretty much the worst year in my life. I struggled with not one, but two eating disorders and some other personal issues and hit rock bottom. I lost a ton of weight, but did it in a horrendously unhealthy way. Looking back on those days I don't know how I survived.
I moved to Chicago in 2008 and put a lot of weight back on. Worked out like crazy, but never got the healthy eating part down.
Breaking Point: Finally, in November 2009, after looking at a picture of myself from Halloween, I made the decision to change. I was unhappy, uncomfortable in my own skin and unhealthy. I signed up for Weight Watchers on November 2, 2009.
How I Lost It: I like to say I "got rid" of the weight, since "lost" insinuates that I want to find it again -- which I don't!
I've learned that I can eat the foods I was eating before, but in moderation. I don't need to eat French fries or tater tots every day of the week. I focus on getting my fruits and veggies each day and finding healthier options for certain higher-fat foods. I always make sure to have a healthy snack in my pocketbook at all times.
In addition to feeling more comfortable with who I am, I am a much more active person. Through Weight Watchers, I rekindled a love of running. I have run six half-marathons and a full marathon in addition to a bunch of shorter distances. With running comes a lot of cross-training and moving outside of my comfort zone. I've tried (and fallen in love with) Spinning and have tried hip hop dance class, Zumba, BodyPump and even CrossFit. These are all things I would never have thought possible before Weight Watchers. I am also 100 percent open about sharing my weight loss and maintenance and my fitness journey on my blog, Weight Off My Shoulders.
One of my first weight loss goals was to be able to fit into Lululemon clothes. Once that happened, I was hooked. I am now -- proudly -- no longer the biggest size in the store. A couple of months ago, I didn't want to buy a pair of pants that I thought made my thighs looked fat. My friends reminded me those thighs have carried me through many races and a sub-4-hour marathon. Pride flowed through my body after that moment, and now I think of what I have accomplished every time I slip them on.
In January 2012, I made a drastic life change. My wife and I made the decision to up and move from Chicago to Boston (where I am from). I quit my job in sports PR and began a new path -- working for Weight Watchers. I am so happy I made the change. I am having a blast paying it forward. The dream got even better when I officially became a Weight Watchers Leader on April 5, 2012.
After Weight: 155 pounds
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