For a lot of people, dealing with injuries, depression and an eating disorder would make them just want to pack it all in. Dani Holmes-Kirk is not that person. She has taken these challenges and used them to motivate herself and others as well as let people know they are not alone. We caught up with her in between rounds to answer some questions for us.
Your blog, WeightOffMyShoulders.com, is dedicated to your transformation through injury, eating disorders, racing and weight loss. How are you using your story to motivate people for a healthier lifestyle?
I never expected the blog/my little slice of the internet to touch as many people as it does. it is truly an honor. I began the blog to work though my own issues/depression from a back injury/surgery and it has morphed as I have grown and change. My goal with sharing my story is to make sure the readers know they are not alone. There were so many times (and still are) in my life when I thought I was the ONLY person suffering from X or dealing with Y. When I started sharing those deep dark secrets from the back of my brain I realized there were other people out there going through the same thing. It helped me feel the weight being lifted off my shoulders … hence the name.
You also have a weekly YouTube series called “Dani Dishes” that has an honest, confessional style to it. What got you started doing your videos and why?
The hatred of my own voice. It’s something I grapple with all the time. I thought it would be a great way for me to tackle some of that, while also allowing me to answer reader questions and share about my week outside of the normal blog post. You know you can only express so much in word. Sometimes you really need folks to see your facial reactions and hear your tone when you are addressing a certain topic. For example, I had NO idea I would burst into such huge tears talking about completing the Dopey Challenge, but I did and it was one of the more popular videos because I showed how real I am. Same with some of the posts about eating disorders, etc.
Weight Watchers has been a big part of your success at weight loss and keeping it off. What part of the program really spoke to you and how do you think it can help other people struggling with weight issues?
Two things: the meetings and having nothing be off limits. Once I hear I can’t have something, that is all I want or that is all I think about. Additionally I new Weight Watchers wold help me lose weight in a healthy manner since I had previously done it in a very unhealthy manner. The support of the meetings was unparalleled.It was amazing to walk into a group of people I had never met before, but felt accepted. I could tell that group: “hey! I ate a box of cheez-its!” and no one would judge me. It was a completely judgement free zone, where they just want to help you work through the issue/problem. It was what drove me to become a Weight Watchers Leader myself.
Let’s talk Beer! Most of your race blogs end (and sometimes start) with you enjoying a nice craft beer. What are some of your favorites?
Ohhh do you have enough space for me to talk about that? Mmm beer! I preach drinking local. So when I travel for races I love to check out the local brews and visit the local breweries if possible. Since I am a Boston girl, I do love my Sam Adams. For a smaller super local brew would be Slumbrew, which hails out of my hometown of Somerville, MA. The Porter Square Porter is my favorite!! I am mainly an IPA gal, but the porters and stouts are really growing on me.
You travel to a lot of races. What are some of your favorites and what are you looking forward to this year?
I have been honored with the ability to travel to some great spots over the past few years. My favorite race series would be the Rock ‘n’ Roll series. I have competed races with them in Savannah, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Providence, Brooklyn and Philadelphia. Savannah was a beautiful city and the race is in early November so the weather was delightful. Los Angeles held a special place in my heart because I got to meet a ton of my West Coast blogging/Twitter friends that I’ve known for years online, but never met in person.
I feel like Disney has to go in its own paragraph. It is the most magical place on Earth obviously so those races are second to none. Now the races starts at 5:30am so you are up between 2-3 every day, but it is worth it to run through Cinderella’s Castle and take pictures with the characters along the way. Plus I dress up in costume for those, which is a BLAST!!
What’s your go-to gear list?
I can’t run a race without my Garmin watch, my Sparkly Soul headbands, my Sparkle Athletic skirt, my ENERGYBits, my Zensah compression for pre/post race and my fun knee socks (usually Superman or Wonderwoman)!! Oh and obviously my X-1 Audio headphones … but those never leave my side.