Sixty pounds and counting!

When Retired at 35 star Marissa Jaret Winokur headed into the doctor's exam room in March, she was faced with a tough decision: Go on medication to treat her high cholesterol, or shed weight. The 4-foot-11 Hairspray vet, who beat cancer at age 27, made the decision to diet -- but kept her expectations low.

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"I thought I'd try to lose 20 pounds and see what happened," she tells Us Weekly's Ingrid Meilan. Seven months later, Winokur has dropped a whopping 60 pounds -- and seven dress sizes thanks to a revamped diet and workout plan. "It was the little steps. I think it worked because I was genuinely doing it for myself," the 39-year-old mother of 4-year-old Zev (with writer-producer husband Judah Miller) says.

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To whittle her middle, Winokur used the tried-and-true calories in, calories burned formula -- and tracked her food intake using an app called My Fitness Pal. Among her healthy 1,200 calorie-a-day eats: Salads, 100-calorie bags of popcorn, egg whites and turkey-apple sausages.

Once she added in thrice-weekly sweat sessions with L.A. personal trainer Keith Anthony, Winokur quickly saw results. "My cholesterol went from 220 to 149," says the actress. "I was crying like a Biggest Loser contestant when my doctor gave me the news."

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Intending to drop "maybe five pounds more, just for vanity," Winokur has also reaped non-medical benefits as a result of her slimdown. "At Bloomingdale's recently, the sales guy brought me a size 2 dress," Winokur recalls. "He eyeballed me and thought I'd fit in that!"

Beams the star: "If I can [lose weight], anyone can!"

This article originally appeared on Marissa Jaret Winokur: How I Lost 60 Pounds!