Kirstie's Triumph

updated 01/09/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/09/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

I want to be at a weight,” Kirstie Alley told PEOPLE in August, “where everything I put on, I feel good, I feel flirty.’” Gone is the body-hiding “Amish” look, as she called it, that she wore at 219 lbs. Today, at 164 and still losing, Alley is flaunting body-conscious outfits and declaring, as she recently did on Oprah, “I think I look so hot!”

“Her energy is so much higher, and she's so much more confident,” says Patti Larchet, CEO of Jenny Craig, which Alley, 54, endorsed. “She's extremely proud of what she's done.” Though few are paid to diet, as Alley was, she did work hard, limiting herself to 1,300-1,500 daily calories of Jenny Craig food, plus fresh fruit and vegetables. For exercise she first started making up fun dances at home and later enlisted choreographers Rich & Fly to create cardio routines, which she did four times a week. She also endured naked weigh-ins on a digital scale, monitored by a counselor. Cheating, she says, was not possible. “It's a regulation scale—it's not willy-nilly!” To keep motivated, Alley set a series of small goals. “I took it in 10-lb. increments. Don't look at where you were years ago,” says the actress, who weighed about 130 lbs. in her Cheers days. “Just look at where you are right now and 10 lbs. into the future.” For every milestone Alley hit, she rewarded herself with new clothes or a trip to her vacation house in Maine. Her latest incentive? “She's realized she's an inspiration to others,” says Larchet. “I met three people who lost over 100 lbs. and thanked me,” said Alley after a Jenny Craig speaking appearance. Says the frank-talking former Fat Actress star: “I was just telling the truth.”

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