Dancing Does a Body Good - Kirstie Alley "Fat Actress" No More

Dancing her way to a slimmer body, Kirstie Alley wins the best prize of all.

By , Contributor

Mr Blue/WENN.com

She may not have bagged the coveted glitter ball trophy, but Dancing With The Stars finalist Kirstie Alley certainly triumphed in her personal battle of the bulge.

This week she's been showing off her new toned physique, first at Good Morning America in New York on Wednesday in a figure-hugging little black dress, then in an equally skin-tight red number while filming the Wendy Williams Show yesterday. It is obvious how far she's come on her DWTS journey. The ten-week show has seen the actress halve in size, shrinking from a U.S. size 12 to a size 6. And as if to prove a point to the pundits who billed her as most likely to first hit the can, Alley wore the same dress in the final that she wore on the first episode: except that it had been taken in a whopping 38 inches.

KirstieAlley.jpgYes, the formerly out of shape 60-year old had pitted herself against taut young things more than half her age, and come out (nearly) on top, scoring second place in the competition. So has Kirstie Alley finally found the elusive answer to the yo-yo dieting that has dominated her adult life?

Alley's battle with her weight has been well documented. What she once described as her "never ending fatty-roller coaster ride" even became her bread and butter, so to speak, with starring roles in her own reality sitcoms Fat Actress and The Big Life. In fact her persona as the "Fat Actress" had all but eclipsed the sultry blonde who once played Rebecca Howe in '80s sitcom Cheers.

She was also signed to international slimming brand Jenny Craig in 2005, using their plan to shed 75 pounds in three years and even showing off her bikini body on the Oprah Winfrey Show. However, as with so many dieters, her success was short-lived. The actress' weight subsequently ballooned to 230 lbs, forcing the brand to ditch her as their spokesperson.

Things weren't looking up for Kirstie, apart from her weight that is. Before she started her training for DWTS, she was best known as the face (and body) of a nation of terminal yo-yo dieters. As with so many women buying into the supersized $70 billion US weight-loss market, Alley's own diet flops point to the glaringly obvious fact that diets alone don't work.

Maybe at the age of 60 she has finally discovered that there's another way to achieve a healthy body without the self-flagellation of a punishing diet regime: letting go and having some fun. Speaking recently on Twitter, Alley commented that dancing had made her feel "more and more alive ... this dancing is good for the soul."  As she rightly once pointed out, "You've got to make [weight loss] fun or else you'll want to quit. Losing weight should be at least half as much fun as having sex."

Amen to that Kirstie!

Looks like dancing her way to a size 6 has been the kick-start Alley needed to get her life back on track. The show has certainly given her a whole heap of body confidence and as she told US Weekly, made her feel "alive again."

It's also breathed new life into her career - she is in talks over a movie role, a new TV series and is even considering Broadway.

And what of keeping the weight off this time? "I'll keep dancing!" she declared to USA Today. "I wanna come back next year and get that f***ing trophy."  Don't worry Kirstie, in my eyes at least you already won.

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Ali is a writer, stylist and fast-becoming professional bride-to-be. She lives in North West London with her fiance. They have two sons, both called Max - but that's another story.

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