William Allen, 42 and Rhonda Allen, 38 of Marietta, Ga. together they lost 228 pounds

Former weight:

William: 335 pounds

Rhonda: 250 pounds

Current weight:

William: 222 pounds

Rhonda: 135 pounds

Pounds lost:

William: 113 pounds

Rhonda: 115 pounds


William: 5 feet 7 1/2 inches

Rhonda: 5 feet 7 1/2 inches


William: 42 years

Rhonda: 38 years

How long they've kept it off: The couple started May 2009. By May 2010, they reached their goal weights with William losing 15 more pounds.

Personal life: "My husband, William, and I reside in [Marietta] with our 13-year-old daughter, Alexa, and big Dogue de Bordeaux, Jade," says Rhonda. "I work in the broadcast industry and we also own a small business," says William.

Turning point: "My husband was trying to diet. However I didn't cook healthy meals so his efforts failed," says Rhonda. "I woke up one day," says William, "looked at the man in mirror and told myself that it's time to get it right, buddy. My wife arrived at that the same point as well. We prayed together and started our journey the next day."

Diet plan: "Our diet centered around lean proteins, vegetables and good fats," says Rhonda. "We cut out sugars. We ate smaller portion meals throughout the day, as opposed to the standard breakfast, lunch and dinner meal plan." Their day starts with a protein shake with almond butter, followed by several small meals throughout the day of lean protein and vegetables.

Exercise routine: They both do weight training two to four days a week, Bikram yoga two days a week and cardio two to five days a week.

Biggest challenge: "Wanting to lose fast, eating enough protein and, in the beginning, fighting off sugar cravings," says Rhonda. "In all honesty," says William, "I can't say it was hard to get started. Once my wife and I prayed about it and committed it to God, the road was made straight before us to begin our journey."

How life has changed: "My husband and I have grown closer because we did it together and we are setting a great example for our daughter, friends and family members, encouraging them to take care of their health," says Rhonda. "Our marriage bond has grown so much stronger because we did this together as 'Team Allen ,'" says William. "It helps so much to have your spouse on the same page as you. ... If we can inspire at least one person to get it right, that will go a long way in helping to fight the growing obesity epidemic."

Be an inspiration: If you've made positive changes in your diet and/or fitness routine and are happy with the results, please share your success with us. Include your email address, a daytime phone number and before and after photos (by mail or JPEG). Write: Success Stories, c/o Holly Steel, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30346-1301; or e-mail Michelle C. Brooks: ajcsuccessstories@gmail.com.