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Zippi Dvir

32, Toronto

POUNDS DROPPED: 60

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My turning point: About a year ago, I began working as the manager at a physiotherapy clinic, and we were holding our very first open house. I was there greeting potential clients and offering them free consultations. One of the patrons told the clinic owner that, because I was overweight, I was a bad representation of the office. He said perhaps my position shouldn't be as public.

I was devastated and hurt: How dare he judge me! But it was true: I asked myself what kind of an example I was setting for our patients. As much as it hurt, I knew this stranger had a point.

My method: I met with a naturopathic doctor at a weight loss and wellness clinic in Toronto. We worked on a treatment plan that I could stick to for long term weight loss.

My change was completely about my diet. I started on a program called Ideal Protein, which begins with premade meals – lots of lean protein, vegetables and water – and gradually incorporates your own meals into your diet as you go. The idea is to maintain muscle as you target fat loss and stabilize blood sugars. I've tried diets in the past, but I know I will stick with this for the rest of my life. The very way I view food has shifted: It's now a fuel source, not emotional therapy. I used to eat what I wanted, when I wanted – carb and sugar-heavy fast foods such as bagels, muffins, scones, Chinese food, pizza … you name it. Now, I think about meals in terms of what's best for my body – protein shakes, hearty salads, steamed veggies, lean protein.

My idea of "treats" has dramatically changed, too. I still eat delicious goodies, but I bake gluten-free banana bread with raw dark chocolate chips, or if I want pasta, it's spelt or quinoa (which is yummy, I swear).

Now that I am closer to my goal weight – just 13 lbs. to go! – I have incorporated a vigorous gym regimen into my daily routine that allows me to tone my body. I'm down six dress sizes, and am a better person, both physically and mentally.

My kryptonite: My all-out guilty pleasure? A nice hot slice of cheese pizza – but I won't be even entertaining that thought until I hit my goal weight.

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This interview was condensed and edited.

Tell us how you lost it: tgam.ca/weightloss

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