By Woman's Day Staff
MICHELLE BEFORE: 300 lb
MICHELLE AFTER: 150 lb
BRIAN BEFORE: 294 lb
BRIAN AFTER: 190 lb
START: REALITY CHECK
When we got married in 2007, we were both overweight. We grew up in households where we "buttered our butter" and weren't active. Plus, we ate fast food every day. We were shocked by how bloated we looked in honeymoon photos. We thought, We're going to die young if we keep this up. In January 2008, we tried a low-carb diet, but it wasn't sustainable. Too strict! After seeing Brian's mom and sister lose a combined 120 pounds with Weight Watchers, we decided to give it a shot in December 2008.
Related: Check Out 20 Easy Ways to Burn More Fat.
STEP 1: PLAN MEALS
We learned about portion control and how to plan our meals. Every Sunday, we discussed what we were going to eat each day, made a grocery list, then shopped and prepped for the week. This ritual helped us avoid temptation during busy days and was key to our success.
STEP 2: GET OUTSIDE
We started walking outdoors in March 2009 and realized we loved exercising in fresh air. We made it our goal to hike all the 18 parks in our hometown of Dayton, OH, by the end of the year.
We went on a 5-day, 60-mile Appalachian Trail hike in Virginia for Michelle's 40th birthday in 2011. We also love to bike, kayak and run.
Related: 50 Surprising Foods Under 100 Calories.
STEP 3: USE AN APP
By January 2012, we hit our goal weights, and that September we downloaded an app called MyFitnessPal to help ourselves stay accountable. We use it to track what we eat and how much we exercise.
Now we feel physically stronger, more energetic, mentally sharper and happier. Going on this journey together has brought us even closer.
Related: 12 Foods That Boost Your Immune System
Our stick-with-it Secret: Start a social media support group!
We launched one on Facebook last year with five friends and it's since grown to 35 members! We motivate one another and share ideas about how to overcome obstacles. Several people have lost more than 10% of their body weight-and one member was so inspired that she signed up for her first triathlon.
You Might Also Like:
Our 75 Best Weight-Loss Tips EVER
10 Things He Doesn't Think When He Sees You Naked
7 Surprising Foods You Can Indulge In Guilt-Free
The Safe Doctor-Recommended Cleanse You Should Actually Try