Weight loss all-star
For six months, from October of 2012 through mid-March 2013, Danni Allen, of Wheeling, Ill., worked out eight hours a day, every day, with no cellphone, television or Internet. She had no contact with the outside world, including her family. She ate, slept and worked out. Allen was on Season 14 of NBC’s the Biggest Loser.
“We watched her every week – we recorded the show when we couldn’t watch it,” said Susan Jordan, of Montoursville.
Jordan and her husband, Tim, both fans of Allen and the show, were just two of many who went to Planet Fitness, 1020 Commerce Park Drive in Loyalsock Township, to work out and meet Allen Tuesday during one of the stops on her tour. Planet Fitness members, as well as the public, had the opportunity to speak with Allen, ask for advice and tips, as well as share their fitness and nutrition stories.
“We all know eating right and working out is the way to go,” Allen said. “You just have to find your ‘why.’ Why do you want to be fit, work out or lose weight. Your ‘why’ is your motivator that will keep you coming back.”
For Allen, as most learned by watching The Biggest Loser, ‘why’ was when her father became ill at the age of 50 with weight difficulties and fluid built up around his heart. According to Allen, he now is doing well and 100 pounds lighter.
After becoming season 14’s biggest loser and winning a $250,000 prize, Allen immediately was flown to New York where she appeared on the Today Show. She has been on tour since, running several 5K and 15K races, three half-marathons and recently completing her first full marathon. Allen also makes appearances at
Planet Fitness locations and speaks to middle school students about bullying.
While speaking locally, Allen said, “The biggest thing I stress is nutrition, learning portion control, the right foods to eat, and what times to eat.”
Allen told another group of individuals to make sure they are focused on eating when they eat, and not to eat when watching TV. She said when eating while watching TV, the brain doesn’t recognize the eating. Allen stressed to a third group that everyone’s bodies are different and one has to do what works for their body.
Since appearing on The Biggest Loser, Allen said she eats as natural as possible and no longer eats processed foods, stressing that her “body feels so much better with out them.” Her favorite breakfast food is a raisin bread French toast made with Ezekiel bread and her favorite snack is celery with almond butter, topped with dark chocolate chips.
Allen also works out 45 minutes to an hour a day with a day of rest. She noted that to be successful, “You have to learn how to make a workout not a workout. You have to make it fun.”
Her favorite types of workouts are running and spin classes. If there is a nearby Flywheel class, Allen will attend.
“No matter where I am in the world I can always leave my hotel and go for a run,” she said. A typical daily run for Allen is 10K, or 6 miles, which usually takes an hour.
Allen currently is working on opening her own Yoga studio in Evanston, Ill., One2One, named after the number of pounds she lost during the show. The studio will be run with the help of several instructors when she is on tour.
“She is a go-getter with an awesome personality,” Tim Jordan said.