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Depression after the death of a friend pushed Craig Welsh to the breaking point in February, 2012. Now, at 43, he’s in the best shape of his life.

Craig Welsh

43, Iqaluit, Nunavut

Pounds dropped: 65

My turning point: The weight had been creeping on for years and moving to Nunavut didn't help. I gained an additional 40 pounds after moving to the great North. It's cold; your body is screaming for carbs and when it's minus 40 C outside, you don't want to go outside, let alone go to the gym.

When Tim Hortons finally opened here, I packed on an easy 20 pounds.

When my friend died in February, 2012, I became very depressed. I was hurting every day, and after a few months I was desperate to feel something different.

I went to the gym – and it worked, I felt much better whenever I finished a workout.

My method: I quickly became addicted to the high I felt at the gym – I started going five days a week for about 60 to 90 minutes at a time.

About half that time was spent on an elliptical, the rest doing different weight exercises. After gradually building up intensity over several months, I realized I could do a 45-minute stretch on an elliptical at its hardest setting: that was a proud moment.

But the exercise alone wasn't going to cut it. I also began making changes in my diet, which was the hardest part.

So I restricted myself to eating only three meals a day – breakfast, lunch and supper. No eating after 7 p.m. I tried cutting out as much processed food as I could and upped the amount of fruits and vegetables I ate.

I went from eating two or three doughnuts for breakfast to having cereal and yogurt. Dinner used to be macaroni and cheese or nachos; and now it's veggie-packed. I love stir fries.

It wasn't easy; I was hungry a lot the first couple of months. But once my body adapted and I settled into a dietary routine, similar to my workout routine, I was hooked.

No diet in the world is going to work for me if I can't have some chocolate every day, but I am no longer eating like I'm a 20-year-old university student.

I lost the 65 pounds in about 10 months. I'm still trying to lose another 10 pounds – but really, I'm in the best shape of my life, right now, at age 43. Go figure.

My Kryptonite: I have a rule that any time we travel "down south" to Ottawa the diet can be suspended.

Still, the bakeries in ByWard Market and The Works (burgers and shakes and onion rings, oh my) can do serious damage to my will power if I'm not careful.

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