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/ Source: TODAY
By Meghan Holohan

Losing weight is a challenge for anyone. One trick to make it easier? Find a buddy. Better yet — enlist your entire family: A family of five from Xiamen, China, found that the secret to successful weight loss is losing it together.

“A lot of my friends are amazed and astonished by our body shapes,” said photographer XY Jesse in a video he made documenting his family's weight loss and shared on Facebook. “Many of them have been influenced by us. They’re inspired, and they’ve encouraged people around them to work out.”

From March to September 2017, Jesse, his wife and parents became more active and ate healthier foods. The change was motivated by Jesse’s dad, who is 53. After his business folded, Jesse noticed that his dad’s health suffered. His father became depressed, staring at his phone, hiding from others and drinking too much. With his feelings of hopelessness, his weight steadily increased, Jesse said in the video.

After his father gained weight and became sad, Jesse wanted to help him improve his health. After months, the two dropped weight and added muscle mass.Courtesy XY Jesse

Jesse wanted his dad to be healthier, but didn't know how to motivate him. Jesse and his wife had a new baby and he wanted his father to be able to enjoy time with his grandson. His dad often acted like he was too old to try anything new.

Losing weight as a family keeps everyone motivated and healthy.Courtesy XY Jesse

Instead of allowing his dad to continue to wallow, Jesse took him to the gym. In the video, the two do ab exercises and run outdoors together.

Soon his father was comfortable enough to work out without Jesse. He joined an exercise group and made new friends. As he lost weight, he gained confidence, just as Jesse hoped. And the new exercise routine had a positive impact on his entire family. Everyone lost weight.

While Jesse wanted his dad to lose weight to be healthier, their quest to become healthier improved the health of their entire family.Courtesy XY Jesse

Jesse hopes that his family inspires others to focus on healthy habits.

“(We're) working together to change the status we’re not happy with,” Jesse said, in his video. “I hope more people will help (their family) and accompany them with your actions and let them be healthier and happier.”

For more inspiration, check out our My Weight-Loss Journey page, or sign up for our Start TODAY newsletter.