Heavyweight actress Kirstie Alley is crediting her Scientology beliefs and new pal Oprah Winfrey for giving her the impetus to lose her bulk in 2005.

The former model and CHEERS star has recently signed up to become a spokeswoman for American diet firm JENNY CRAIG in a bid to lose 50 pounds (22.7 kilograms) by this summer (05).

But she insists Oprah and her Scientology pals gave her the courage to face her weight problems head on.

She says, "Oprah said she knew she needed to stop (eating) when she started having heart palpitations. (After hearing that) I held up in Chicago, I stopped smoking, I decided I'm doing something, I'm going to do something about this weight and I'm going to change it.

"I had a period in the last two years... when I stayed in bed for three days. I was freaked out of my mind. I thought, 'You're fat, you're old, you're ugly, you're a loser, you're just done.'

"I'm a Scientologist, so I went over to my Scientology centre and did a little programme."

The actress has also enlisted the help of another fatty, Wilson Phillips star Carnie Wilson, as she plans her drastic weightloss.

Wilson, who underwent a gastric bypass to shed her bulk, will monitor Alley's progress on American news show ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT.

13/01/2005 21:29