When it comes to losing weight, establishing a healthy network is a major key to success. If your family is on board with your weight-loss goals, it can making dropping the extra pounds that much easier.
Meet five couples from the Joy Fit Club who teamed up to get healthy and fit — and dropped serious weight while completely changing their lifestyles. Not only have they lost the weight, in most cases, they've managed to keep it off for years.
1. Donnie and Kelly Sorah lost 257 pounds combined.
Donnie, 42, grew up overweight, but the weight continued to pile on as he got older. He was in graduate school when he met Kelly and was weighing in at more than 300 pounds. Kelly, 32, was always a chubby kid and a habitual emotional eater. When she met Donnie, she weighed 265 pounds.
After the couple got married and had a baby boy, they decided to get serious about losing weight. They downloaded the free app, Lose It!, to track their exercise and food intake. Kelly bought Donnie a bicycle, and she started running, following a couch-to-5K program. In two years, they lost a combined 257 pounds and have been able to keep it off for three years now!
2. Willie and Angela Gillis lost 383 pounds together.
Angela, 34, never thought about her weight and ate large quantities of unhealthy food. Willie had similar bad eating habits. On their wedding day, Angela weighed 340 pounds and Willie weighed just under 500 pounds.
On their first wedding anniversary they made a "get fit" pact. They started going to the gym together, researched healthy recipes and cooked together — today they run marathons together! Their advice: Take small steps. This duo started by just tracking what they were eating.
3. Josh Steel and Christine Strange found love and lost 401 pounds together.
A few years after college, Josh Steel, now 31, weighed 579 pounds. He was depressed and his body ached. He submitted his story to many weight-loss TV shows and when he was rejected, he decided to do it on his own. He started exercising regularly and eating healthier foods and in two months, he lost 100 pounds. Ultimately, Steel wound up losing 300 pounds!
Steel shared his weight-loss journey on social media, which led him to meet Christine Strange, 25. Strange was waging her own weight-loss battle. At her heaviest, she was 231 pounds. Her mother suggested weight-loss surgery, but she decided she could do it on her own. To date, she's lost 101 pounds!
4. Heather and Rich Dieffenbach lost 300 pounds together.
Rich Dieffenbach, now 42, was healthy as a kid, but that all changed when he went to college — for him, the freshman 15 was more like 50 pounds. He continued to struggle and eventually his weight ballooned to 350 pounds. He and his wife, Heather (pictured below), teamed up to motivate each other to lose weight — and it worked! Diffenbach lost 200 pounds in a year.
Heather Dieffenbach, now 43, had been a healthy eater until she went to college and was eating a lot of fast food and pizza. Thanks to motivation from a co-worker and support from her husband, she lost 100 pounds!
How'd she do it? Greek yogurt with bananas every day for breakfast and lighter dinners consisting of four ounces of lean protein and one side of vegetables. She also doesn't beat herself up, "It's just one bad meal, nothing more, nothing less," she told TODAY.
5. Brandon and Megan Anderson lost 291 pounds combined.
Brandon and Megan Anderson, started dating right after high school. They loved to eat junk food and party together. After having two kids, they both weighed in at over 300 pounds. One weekend, Brandon went to Las Vegas and truly indulged: unhealthy food, alcohol and cigarettes. When he got home, he felt awful and the couples' daughter said, "Daddy, no more cigarettes, they're bad for you and they're stinky."
That was the aha moment they needed. The couple immediately cleaned up their diet, Brandon quit smoking and they started exercising together. Today they're in great shape!