We all need heroes, right? People we can look up to, people who inspire greatness in us in different aspects of our lives. This includes, of course, the people who influence our decisions to live healthier lives, to lose weight, and to stick to it, no matter what. These people, the ones who keep me on my diet even when that cheesecake is calling my name, are what I can weight loss icons. Here are a few of them.
1. Kirstie Alley
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I loved Kirstie Alley long before she lost 38 inches on her stint on Dancing with the Stars, but now she’s one of my favorite weight loss icons. Will she keep the inches, and the weight off? I hope so. But even if she gains some of it back, I’ll adore her just the same.
2. Florine Mark
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Here in Michigan, 77-year-old dynamo Florine Mark is an icon, period. For the rest of the country, she’s a weight loss icon, heading Weight Watchers since 1996. She’s petite, always smiling, and an inspiration to anyone, of any age, who wants to stop dieting and start living!
3. Jenny Craig
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More than just a weight loss program, Jenny Craig is a real person, a happily married woman who launched the now-global company in Australia in 1983. Her programs are tailored to different people, including men, women, seniors, and even diabetics, proving that anyone, at any age, can make healthy choices.
4. Carrie Fisher
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Speaking of Jenny Craig, one of their new spokeswomen, Carrie Fisher, is another of my weight loss icons. While she may not be trying to fit back into that gold metal bikini from “Return of the Jedi,” she is trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, and I think it’s marvelous. She’s marvelous!
5. BL Sisters Hannah and Olivia
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Having a close relationship with my own wonderful sister, I loved watching sisters Olivia and Hannah on this past season of “The Biggest Loser.” To see them both as finalists was amazing, and to compare them when they first started, to how they finished… they’re heroic, and beautiful, and I hope that never changes. They’re such an inspiration!
6. Joe Weider
While Joe Weider may not be included on anyone else’s list of weight loss icons, he’s one of mine, and not because he’s probably ever struggled with his own weight. Rather, he’s a role model for the millions of older men and women who want to be fit, but didn’t think it was possible. In my opinion, he made fitness accessible (though way over-the-top), and even at 91, he’s still in better shape than most people I know.
7. Robert Atkins
While I have definite issues with the no-carb weight loss diet Robert Atkins made wildly popular, I do grudgingly admit that he is likely to have started millions of people on their path to successful weight loss, even if for no other reason than opening their eyes to the changes that can happen by making a small adjustment in your diet. Again, I don’t think the Atkins Diet is a good idea, but for some people, it made such an impact, and started them thinking about their choices. (Any diet that makes it okay to devour three hamburger patties but not the bun can’t be good for you in the long run.)
Oprah Winfrey is an icon for so many, but to me, she’s an example of the struggle we all have with our body image. We’ve watched her through her ups and downs, when she was too skinny and when she was painfully overweight, and love her or hate her, she’s helped so many women with their perception of healthy body types.
With so many marvelous examples, so many wonderful weight loss icons, I know I’ll be better as resisting the calorie-rich allure of dessert, even that raspberry cheesecake. Which of these weight loss and fitness icons inspires you? Or is here another healthy hero you admire? Do tell!
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