‘Weight Watchers, Zumba, Orangetheory Helped Me Lose 107 Pounds’


My name is Kiana Daniels (@kaywhydee_wlj), and I’m 35. I’m from Detroit, and I work with graduate students and families at a university. My weight was causing me issues with sleep apnea and low energy, so I decided to start Weight Watchers (WW), count calories, and do Zumba and Orangetheory HIIT workouts.


Before I began my current weight-loss journey, I felt tired and depleted all the time due to my weight. Any time I ate food, I felt out of control. I started multiple weight-loss attempts in the past but always gained the weight back because I lacked discipline and self-control. I knew I had to get my weight under control because it was stopping me from being the type of mother and woman I truly wanted to be. At my highest weight, I was 267 pounds.

After I had my daughter, I hit rock bottom. I gained weight rapidly and lost myself in the process. I also had a severe case of sleep apnea, and I could not keep up with my daughter. Due to my weight, I snored all night and did not sleep well. I had very low energy, which impacted my day to day life.

At a doctor’s appointment for my sleep apnea, my doctor encouraged me to lose weight. I had gained about 35 pounds in less than nine months, and she was concerned for my overall health.

I made a decision to address my weight in October 2018.

I knew that I needed to get my weight under control to improve my health and to improve the quality of life for myself and my daughter. I made a promise to myself that I would never quit my weight-loss journey again. I was 33 years old when I started to take my weight seriously.

I decided to go back to WW. I had been successful with WW in the past, so I decided the program would be the best path for me.

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WW gave me the tools I needed to succeed. Now, I simply count calories to manage my food intake.

I pride myself on eating foods I love while eating healthy. I believe it is important to have foods in moderation (or modified) instead of ditching all your favorite foods altogether. Balance is important for my journey to ensure I can stick with it for life.

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Here’s what I eat in a day now.

  • Breakfast: Peach cobbler overnight oats with carrots on the side
  • Lunch: Jerk chicken, sweet potatoes, and string beans
  • Snacks: Grapes, protein bars, or cheese and crackers

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    • Dinner: Ground turkey tostadas, broccoli, and salad
    • Dessert: Clio bars or angel food cake with whipped cream and fruit

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      I started working out at the beginning of my journey three times a week.

      I began with Zumba for 20 minutes. Now, I work out five times a week. I still do Zumba, but I also do HIIT workouts, kickboxing, weight lifting, and Tabata.

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      I’m also in love with Orangetheory. At the start of my journey, I hated intense workouts. Now I absolutely adore intense workouts because I have an opportunity to challenge my body and my mind. My 6-year-old daughter also works out with me as well. She is a Zumba fanatic!

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      These three changes made the biggest difference in my weight-loss results.

      • I drink at least 160 oz. of water a day. Prior to my weight-loss journey, I’d drink juice, pop, alcohol—but very little water. Now, I crave water, and I know my water consumption has been a game changer in my journey.

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        • I include veggies at every meal. It’s important for me to eat healthy vegetables. To ensure my veggie intake remains high, I include them at every meal—sometimes two per meal. I can remember times when I’d go months without consuming any vegetables. I enjoy including new vegetables in my rotation and finding new recipes to cook.

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          • I made sleep a priority. Most people believe you only need to work out and change your eating habits—but sleep is an integral part of losing weight. When I get at least seven hours of sleep, I am at my best mentally and physically. When I’m at my best, I can manage my weight-loss journey excellently.

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            Since October 2018, I have lost nearly 107 pounds.

            Weight loss is possible if you stay consistent and dedicated. If you do the work, you can change your life. You can’t get results without work. The most important piece of my transformation is not what you see on the outside—the gains I’ve made mentally and the boost to my self-esteem and self-confidence are far greater than the number on the scale. I am proud that I worked on myself inside and out. My life has drastically improved!

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