Fitness: Weight Watchers

Dani Holmes-Kirk says the program’s a positive lifestyle change.
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Photo : Dave Rentauskas Dani Holmes-Kirk
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Dani Holmes-Kirk, 29, Boystown
Public-relations specialist for pro sports team
Lost 54 pounds, wants to lose 9 more

I moved to Chicago in 2008 and just ate out a lot, went to bars, the things Chicago’s known for. I was burning maybe 1,000 calories at the gym, and then going out to Goose Island for a pulled-pork sandwich afterward: I wasn’t seeing results.

Last year, when I saw this picture of me…on Halloween [see inset], I thought, Okay, I need to do something. I did some research online and the Weight Watchers program seemed more of a lifestyle change instead of taking the diet route. The points system was pretty easy to learn. Points Plus assigns every food a number of points. Based on factors like your height, age and gender, you’re allotted a target number of points per week. I have an app on my iPhone I use to track my points and I make a food plan for the day in the morning. It helps me stay on track.

I started seeing results right away: In the first week, I lost 4.6 pounds. I started at 217.4 and, last month, I met my goal at 163.2 (though my doctor says I should be closer to 155). I lost 54.2 pounds! I thought back to writing down that original goal weight and thinking, I will never see that number. There’s no way. So when I looked down and saw it, I was speechless. Now I think I can do anything I set my mind to with hard work. Weight Watchers helped me meet that goal, but I was the one who got up to work out and made the decision not to go out to eat and to bars.—As told to Martina Sheehan

The nutritionist says Accountability and tracking food intake are two of the biggest reasons Weight Watchers works. But if you don’t want to shell out for a membership, “you can do both of those things on your own with just a little more discipline,” Shanta says. She suggests downloading an app such as LoseIt (free) or using a gratis online food-tracking program like FitDay.com.—Liz Plosser

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