Years of ignoring the scale had taken their toll. "I was bursting out of clothes—seams actually splitting on the air," says Good Morning America
's stunning savior. In the last year the 5'9" Sawyer lost 25 lbs. by sticking to a 1,100-calorie-a-day diet and working out with a trainer four times a week. Says her sister Linda Frankel, a retail consultant in Santa Barbara, Calif.: "She's worked hard and sacrificed a lot of goodies." Sawyer's favorite energy booster is a hit of salt. "I put it on a cracker and it wakes me up," says Sawyer, 56, who also cohosts ABC's Prime Time Thursday
. She rises at 4 a.m. in the Manhattan apartment she shares with writer-director husband Mike Nichols, but the ghastly hours have paid off. Recently GMA has gained on its rival, the Today
show, once even besting it in the ratings. Eventually Sawyer hopes to win over her 82-year-old mom, Jean. "To this day," she says, "I get messages about clothes that didn't look good or how I didn't sit in a ladylike position. She thinks that if she just says the right thing, one day I'll get it right."