Actress Marissa Jaret Winokur recently lost 60 pounds on a 1,200-calorie-a-day diet, and insists that health — not vanity — was the motivation behind her stunning weight loss.
"My motivation was simple: I did it for health," Winokur blogged on People. "I had a doctor's appointment in April, and my cholesterol was high (220). My doctor mentioned I should lose some weight. He actually said, 'Do you need help? Do you know how to lose weight?' I laughed out loud."
Marissa, who has lost and regained weight many times before, says making health a top priority has made all the difference in her successful slim-down this time around.
"A few years ago, I spent 12 weeks blogging and trying to lose weight for a swimsuit photo," Winokur recalled. "In the end, I spent 12 weeks NOT losing weight in front of all the readers and NEVER doing a photo shoot!"
What Marissa learned from that experience is that sticking to a diet and workout regimen is easier when she made health, not vanity, the No. 1 driver for weight loss.
"You have to lose weight for yourself, not for a man, not for a job and definitely not for a blog!" she says. "Truly, the hardest part of dieting is getting started. Getting started for me was slow. To be honest, the first thing I did was download a free app that counted my calories, and for one week, I literally counted my calories without really changing my diet."
The 4-foot-9 Winokur eventually lost 60 pounds and slimmed down from a size 14 to a two by eating less and exercising every day.
"I became very strict about sticking to a 1,200-calorie diet," says the "Retired at 35" star. "Mostly veggies and protein, but when I stuck my hand in a bag of [Pepperidge Farm] Goldfish I would count out 49 to have a 'serving size.'
"The truth is if you can eat just a serving size, you can eat anything. But we all know how those harmless treats can call out your name all night long, and rationalizing in the middle of the night is very easy."
Winokur says remaining vigilant about portion size and calories has helped her stay slim. Still, the mom of one admits she's fearful of gaining the weight back.
"I am eight months in on my journey," says Marissa. "Yes, I am a little scared I will gain it back, and in the same sentence I am scared I will never eat a full piece of birthday cake again.
"I turn 40 in February, and I want to live the next 40 years as a healthy person. I want my son to never know the mommy who would rather watch him play basketball than play with him. I loved my life before, but am much more excited about my future now."