Name: Dani Holmes-Kirk
Location: Boston, MA
How long have you been a health nut in training (and what does that look like for you)?
I have been working on trying to lose weight for what feels like my whole life. But it finally stuck starting in November 2009 when I joined Weight Watchers. Attending Weight Watchers meetings for me made the difference. The program itself isn’t complex – working on making healthier choices, moving more, but still allowing indulgences – but the meetings set it apart. It was the first place where I felt accepted. There is no judgement and I can share my struggles and know the people in the room “get it.”
What motivated you to begin your journey to health?
I was absolutely miserable and hated how I felt in my own body. It was time to finally make a change and do it in a healthy way.
Who have been your biggest supporters?
There are too many to list (which I am so thankful for). But the list always starts off with my wife, my parents and my friends. When I first started Weight Watchers I would text a small group of 5 or 6 people to let them know how I did then over time the text group grew in number as more people wanted to support me. Finally I started the Weight Off My Shoulders blog in May 2011 to share my journey with even more folks.
How has your choice to get healthy impacted other areas of your life?
The biggest change has been my confidence level. Now that I am a Weight Watchers leader, I share with my meetings that without WW I wouldn’t stand in front of the room each week helping them change their relationships with food. The confidence has also revamped my fitness journey. I am pushing my limit on such a new level. Thanks to my lifestyle change I have now completed six marathons, 20 half marathons and five triathlons, including my first Half Ironman. I wouldn’t have imagined that would happen if I hadn’t made that fateful decision in 2009. Now I did run a marathon before WW, but I was dealing with eating disorder and depression at the same time so the training wasn’t done properly (and after 1.5 years of running it made me stop for 4 years). Since 2009, my running and training has vastly improved.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
Find a support system. If friends and family aren’t available, go to Twitter/Facebook/Instagram. Social media has played a huge role in my journey and my success. The folks on social media have become my family and I have had the honor of meeting many in real life.
Thanks for sharing, Dani! As a long-time follower, it’s been a lot of fun watching you train for and accomplish your goals. And congrats on your first Half Ironman! If you’d like to follow Dani, you’re in luck because she’s all over social media! Check her out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or head over to her blog!
If you’d like to share your own story (regardless of your current chapter!), we’d love to hear about it! Check out this page for more details.