Kirstie Alley 55 pounds heavier

Fifty-five pounds ago, Kirstie Alley came on the show to talk about her struggle to lose weight . Even though the weight she'd gained over the past several years allowed her the opportunity to star in Showtime's Fat Actress , Kirstie says it was a painful adjustment for someone who spent most of her career as a skinny actress.

"I made some good decisions simultaneously with some bad decisions," Kirstie says of her weight gain. "The good part of it was, 'I'm going to spend more time with my kids, I'm going to cook.' The bad decision was—and this is the dumbest decision I've ever made in my life—it went like this: If a man really loves me, he will not have to love me for my body. He will really love me just for me. … When did I decide I was a big fat girl?"

When Kirstie began following Jenny Craig's diet plan and working as the program's spokesperson, her weight started dropping . Kirstie also kicked her smoking habit and found more benefits to her healthy new lifestyle. "There are things that have happened that I didn't think about happening—I've lost 17 1/2 percent body fat," she said.
Kirstie and Oprah kick up their heels

Kirstie is dancing off the pounds! She works out regularly at Alley Kat Studios with choreographers Rich and Flii. In addition to being a great cardio routine, it's helping her prepare to dance in an upcoming Jenny Craig commercial. "I really wanted to celebrate that I have gotten thinner," Kirstie explains.

Oprah is so curious about Kirstie's secret weight loss weapon that she decides to try it for herself! "I'm a little nervous," she says when she arrives at the studio. "I'm not in my league. I only dance alone with my dogs."

With Rich and Flii's expert guidance—and lots of practice—Oprah starts to get the hang of it. "The more steps I take, the more I think Kirstie may be onto something," she says. "This dance thing is kind of fun."

Not only do Kirstie and Oprah get footloose—they do it in stilettos! "You never see a stripper in flip-flops," Kirstie explains. "Flat-footed doesn't make you feel sexy."
Kirstie's diet tips

Navigating restaurant menus is key for anyone who dines out often. "At some restaurants I cut things in fourths," Kirstie says. "This super-sizing, big, restaurant food is just not right." Calling ahead to ask about calorie and carb counts has also helped Kirstie make good menu choices. "Then when I get there I'm not embarrassed," she says. "I'm not sitting in a group of people going, 'How many calories is that?'"

Kirstie also makes sure to eat before any big social event. "You sit through a premiere for three hours and then here come the hors d'oeuvres … by then you're starving to death."

"The other thing about eating before [an event] is it doesn't make the event be about the food," Oprah says. "I remember when I was really, really fat I would just be going for the shrimp. That's a bad thing when you're going just for the shrimp."

Kirstie's goal is to lose 25 to 30 more pounds. "When I started with Jenny Craig, [I] was very selfish," Kirstie says. "It was all me, me, me. It was, 'I'm going to get skinny. I'm going to make some money.' Now, since I've been doing this for 10 months, so many people have lost weight on it and so many people have been helped by it. I never knew I was going to be the Pied Piper of fat people!"
Kirstie on being overweight in the public eye

When Kirstie started the Jenny Craig program, she was horrified at the results of her weigh in. "I weighed 219," she says. "For someone who spent most of her life at 130 … it was a shock. I remember I almost cried, but I didn't want to cry in front of them."

Tabloids made it impossible for Kirstie to ignore her weight gain. Looking at life-size cutouts taken from paparazzi photographs, Kirstie wants to explain her choice of an unflattering body-hugging blouse. "Somebody said, 'You know when you wear these big things, it makes you just look bigger,'" Kirstie says. "'It doesn't make you look skinnier. So you need to wear little tight things.' I said, 'All right, I'll try that.' So I wore this tight thing and then I was walking down the street [thinking], 'I sort of look good.' I see the paparazzi and I think, 'Wait till you see this shot. Yeah, this is going to be good!' And then I saw it! … It makes me want to throw up."

Oprah and Kirstie have shared the experience of living their weight issues in the public eye. Oprah wants to know—what was it like for Kirstie seeing herself overweight in a tabloid for the first time? "I went, 'Whoa, that's a really bad picture of me,'" Kirstie remembers. "Then the next week I saw another one and I went, 'Whoa, what's up with this angle? Are these people just trying to get bad angles?' Then I saw [the photos] from every angle and I was, like, 'Oh, my god. I am fat.'"
Kirstie on her weight loss reward system

"I motivate myself—with every 15 pounds, I create a new game," Kirstie explains. "I have to act like I just started over."

Her first reward was a new wardrobe. "I bought cute cheap clothes because I knew I was still going down," Kirstie says. Her next incentive was a getaway in Maine. What does she have planned this time? A "Kirstie boot camp" for friends!

Another motivator occurs to Kirstie during the show. After seeing one guest's amazing transformation from an overweight mom to Miss Bikini America, Kirstie announces she just might do a Jenny Craig commercial for the summer wearing a bikini! Can she dance her way there? Check back to find out!
Kirstie on her love life

It was recently reported that Kirstie and Al Pacino are dating—one account even said that Kirstie was seen at a restaurant stroking his thigh. Are the rumors true?

"[They're] false," Kirstie answers. "We are friends. We were out to dinner with about eight people. … It was a round table. I was on this side, he was on that side. For me to have been stroking his thigh, I would have had to have had nine-foot arms."

Kirstie may not be involved with Al, but she is looking for love. "This is the first time in my life I can say this: I know what I want and I know how to find it," she says. "When you meet someone, you become razzle-dazzled. … I've realized that I need to investigate. What I'm doing now is I'm looking at their life. Do they have a big life? Are they generous? Are they spiritual? Do they have kids?"
Kirstie's weight loss network

As part of her program, Kirstie signed up 10 friends to lose weight with her. Holding each other accountable and having a little healthy competition worked wonders—Kirstie's sister Collette lost 75 pounds and her friend Robin lost 60!

"We just were big fat girls who all were friends or sisters," Kirstie says. "Fat attracts fat," Oprah points out. "It must," Kirstie agrees. "But now skinny attracts skinny!"