Embarking upon any type of journey of self-improvement, whether it be mental or physical, can often be a very solo journey. However, one couple, with the same motivating vision of walking down the aisle in good health, overhauled their diets and achieved their shared goal.

Mary Jane O’Toole and her now-husband Alex embarked upon transformation journeys together. Leaning on each other as a support system, the couple lost 200 lbs between the two of them.

After a well-documented trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the couple looked over the photographs after their safari trek. Mary Jane tells POPSUGAR, “We saw the photos and made a decision to change our eating habits.” 

Mary Jane used her dream wedding dress as a motivator to lose weight

Using their upcoming nuptials as a goal post, the couple decided that they would track everything they ate leading up to the big day. In the process, Alex lost 75 lbs in a year and has been maintaining that healthy weight, and Mary Jane lost 135 lbs in two years.

Mary Jane was also motivated by the thought of wanting to fit into her dream dress. She explains, “I decided a long time ago that I was going to buy a ‘straight’ sized wedding dress. I was determined to not have to pay more for fabric.”

Mary Jane focuses on portion control when it comes to weight loss. She says, “I just make sure to log what I’m eating, whether it’s rice cakes or Rice Krispie treats, into the Lose It! app to help keep my portion sizes under control and help me stay on track to achieve my goals.”

They don’t believe in cheat days

Mary Jane only began working out about a year into her weight loss journey, and she is surprised at how much she loves it! She enjoys yoga and includes circuit training with resistance bands in her exercise routine.

When it comes to cheat days, Alex and Mary Jane don’t believe in them. It doesn’t work for them personally and they know that, so they try and stay away from straying off track with their diet. Mary Jane says, “You need consistency and dedication. It is only going to work if you want it.”

You need consistency and dedication. It is only going to work if you want it.

Mary Jane O’Toole

On a transformation post shared on Instagram, Mary Jane writes, “Love letter to self: I loved you then and I love you now. I miss that dress and I think you looked cute in it. You’re an A+. Stay cute on the inside – it’s what matters most.” She includes the hashtag #bodypositive in the caption because at the end of the day that is what is most important.

You can love yourself completely and still hold yourself accountable

Remaining body positive no matter what your weight or size is an important mentality to nurture, strengthen or acquire. You can love yourself and still want to grow or recognize where you may need to focus some more of your attention.

Just because you are working on yourself does not mean that you have to go at it alone. Both Alex and Mary Jane struggle with overeating and decided to be proactive about their habit together. They had the same goal in mind and put a plan into action.

No matter what your goal, make sure to set it in motion with actionable steps. When you experience a wake-up call you have two choices, keep sleeping or do something about it. When you choose your health you choose yourself, and that choice will always be the right one to make.

More inspiring stories: