What’s up Goal Crushers
I was once told that finding great weight loss blogs were like finding three needles in a hay stack.That’s because words like “weight loss,” “lose weight,” and “weight loss journey” has become the new buzz word for marketers to push their products down your throat. I decided remedy the task of looking for needles in the proverbial haystack and introduce you to some great bloggers in the weight loss/ healthy living niche. My aim is to spotlight great bloggers who are inspirational, motivational, and informational. Furthermore, I want to give you a taste of who the blogger is and what they stand for…. In today’s blogger spotlight, I would like to introduce to you, Dani Holmes-Kirk from Weight Off My Shoulders.
Dani, tell us a little about yourself?
I like long walks on the beach … sunsets … and puppies! Okay the puppies thing is 100% accurate. My name is Dani Holmes-Kirk and I live in the Boston area with my wife and two pups. I have shed 80lbs. (64 with Weight Watchers) and I blog about my journey of going from a couch potato to a marathoner to a Half Iron(wo)man.
What moment or event started your weight loss journey?
There were many times where I attempted to start my weight loss journey, but it finally stuck in 2009. On Halloween 2009, a friend and I dressed up as the Silver Snakes from the Legend of the Hidden Temple (go Nickelodeon). It was a Saturday night and the pictures appeared on Facebook the following day (thanks Internet). After seeing those pics online, I walked into my first Weight Watchers meeting on Monday, November 2009 and have never looked back.
Finish What You Started
What was your starting weight? What weight are you at now?
Well I stopped weighing myself for a while, but the highest I remember seeing is 235. When I started Weight Watchers on November 2, 2009, I was 217.4. Currently I am living in my happy weight decade of the 150s. My goal weight with Weight Watchers is 155. But as someone that used to spend too much time in the 200s, I am happy with any number in the 150s.
What would you say is the most important factor in your weight loss? Changed eating habits? Exercise? Changed thinking? Something else?
Recognizing how much more there was to weight loss than just the food you put in your body. For me, I worked to curb my emotional eating/boredom eating/etc. So yes, my eating habits were the most important thing I had to focus on. I was a gym rat before joining Weight Watchers, but my eating was out of control. I lacked balance. I really struggled with eating disorders off and on for years and it came to a head in 2006. It is something that is still in the back of my mind on a daily basis. But Weight Watchers taught me that I could lose weight in a healthy way and I am grateful for that.
What is your current fitness or exercise goal?
I am looking to cross a Ragnar Relay off my fitness bucket list in 2015. I am wicked excited to share the journey with my team – Running Down A Dream. The team is made up of 12- weight loss success stories, who have combined to shed over 1300 lbs. Amazing, right? I know. This year I completed my first Half Ironman, which was on my 2014 Fitness Bucket List.
Are there any obstacles you had to overcome to begin exercising / keep exercising?
In December 2010, I herniated a disc in my back, which resulted in back surgery in January 2011. I was in the middle of my weight loss journey and out of exercise for five months. I was so scared I would gain weight back or lose the fitness I had already gained. Thankfully as soon as I was cleared to exercise I was back at the gym walking on the treadmill. I ran a half marathon in August of that year and it was the accomplishment I needed to rekindle my love of running.
How do you deal with boredom in your exercise/running program?
I try new exercises/classes at the gym when I am feeling in a rut. I have done Zumba, Hip Hop, Spin, Yoga, etc all to try and get out of a funk. I will also reach out to fellow bloggers and friends to join me for a workout to help me over the hump.
Describe the diet or healthy eating plan you’re following.
I am a Weight Watchers member. Weight Watchers isn’t a complex program at it’s core – we are just trying to gear ourselves towards those healthy foods, move more and attend the weekly meeting to get the motivation, support and inspiration to keep going. It is the first place I felt accepted when talking about my food issues.
What is one cardinal rule of nutrition you have learned that you always follow or never break?
Water. Water. Water. I have learned that the body doesn’t know the difference between thirst and hunger signals so now I always sip on water before reaching for a snack just to check whether it is real hunger or not.
Is eating healthy expensive for you? How much do you spend on food in a given week / month?
I don’t find it any more expensive than now I was living before. Now instead of eating out so much I use that $$ for healthy foods to cook at home.
How did you first become interested in blogging and can you tell us a little bit about your blog?
I owe my blogging life to my wife. She suggested I start a blog to release the many emotions I was feeling when dealing with my back injury at the start of 2011. Weight Off My Shoulders was born in May 2011. I love to share my journey – ups and downs – of weight loss and now weight maintenance. In additional to my weight loss journey, I also share my training, race recaps and general tidbits about fitness that I have learned along the way. Plus there are plenty of pics of cute puppies and delicious local beers.
What can a new visitor expect to find from your blog?
Authenticity. I pride myself on being the same person I am in real life online. There is no sugar coating anything. Why lie to my readers because it means I would be lying to myself … and nobody has time for that!
What are your top 5 favorite weight loss/fitness blogs?
Oh c’mon! How can you limit me to just 5!!! That is just cruel. There are so many that I read on a daily basis. Let me list 5 in no particular order.
Do you have any favorite sayings, quotes, or mantra that inspires you to be better, train harder or be more diligent with your eating?
Biggest one is “Finish What You Started!” I love it so much that I got it tattooed on my left foot as a constant reminder. ☺
Share a song that gets you fired up for your workouts/run.
Ohhh again so many to choose from. I love “Go The Distance” from Hercules. Yes I am a Disney nut, but seriously whenever that song comes on I get so pumped to OWN whatever I am doing in the moment.
If you were to give advice to anyone considering starting a weight loss journey, what would you say?
Find a support system. If you can’t turn to your family or friends then use social media!! Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have played a HUGE part in my weight loss and fitness journeys.
What shoes are you currently working out/ running in?
Thanks to my blog I have the honor of testing out a bunch of different brands and styles of shoes. But my go to shoes are the ASICS GT-2000s. I have been wearing those for my long distance races since 2005.
What is your favorite piece of workout/ running gear?
Easy my Sparkly Soul headbands. Not only are they adorable and sparkly, but they don’t budge. I’ve worn them through marathons, triathlons, mud runs and all without them ever slipping.
Name one product that changed the game for you in your journey and why?
Sparkle Athletic Skirts. They make my racing and training so much more fun. I love the compliments I get from others on them. I feel more confident when running in one. They are great to make my race costumes around. All around FUN!
Do you use a fitness tracker? If so which one do you use?
I use a Weight Watchers activelink that tracks all of my movement. I also have a iFit tracker, which I just got.
What is one parting piece of advice you’d like to with the goal crushers?
Live in the moments. Live in each mile. You only have one first race or first 5 lbs lost so celebrate each and every one of them.
How can we get in touch with you?
I want to thank Dani for participating in today’s blogger spotlight be sure to check her out on the interwebs. Stay tuned for the next blogger spotlight.
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