August 05, 2013 12:00 PM

Gina Neely decided last year that she was no longer comfortable with her size 8 body: “My high school reunion is coming up. I don’t want my classmates to see me look anything like this!” And when her annual checkup revealed that “my cholesterol was up, and I have a blood-pressure issue,” the TV chef, 48, mustered the willpower to start a diet. In November she began a weight-loss challenge with George Foreman Grills (for which she is a spokeswoman), purging her comfort-food-filled kitchen by swapping ice cream for Greek yogurt and burger buns for lettuce cups. “My daughters (Shelbi, 18, and Spenser, 24) were like, ‘Mom, you’re taking away all the good stuff,'” she recalls. “I told them that we’re just replacing it with better stuff!” Eight months later Neely is 30 lbs. slimmer – and a size 0. “I don’t want to be Miss Prancey, showing my body off,” she says, “but now I wear size 25 jeans!”

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