Workout Buddies! How 6 People Partnered Up and Lost a Combined 832 Lbs.

12/30/2015 at 03:36 PM ET

Half Their SizeMelissa Golden

When it comes to losing weight, sometimes we need a helping hand. That strategy worked for two couples and one set of roommates featured in PEOPLE’s Half Their Size issue. Here’s how the six of them supported each other and dropped a combined 832 lbs.!

Adam and Krista Kirschbaum (above) saw their waistlines grow after meeting in 2001. By the time they reached their wedding day seven years later, they were the heaviest they had ever been.

Half Their SizeCourtesy Krista and Adam Kirschbaum

“We just got comfortable and would eat indulgent meals like chicken alfredo pasta with garlic bread,” Kirsta, 37, tells PEOPLE. The weight gain continued even after they had their son Mikey, 5. “We would get winded running around outside with Mikey. We couldn’t keep up with him,” says Krista. “We were putting him in front of a TV when we knew we needed to get him outside, but we couldn’t physically motivate ourselves to get up.” The ability to run around and play with their son became a motivating factor in the Kirschbaums’ desire to lose weight.


Finally, after years of trying different diets, they found one that stuck. The couple adopted a plant-based lifestyle in 2013 and never looked back. (Krista went from 235 lbs. to 135 lbs. and Adam went from 290 lbs. to 155 lbs.) “The main reason it works for me is because I like to eat a lot,” says Adam, 33. “And you can’t overeat kale and broccoli.”

RELATED: Find Out How Half Their Size’s Casey Foreaker Dropped 105 Lbs. (Cheat Meals Included!)

For more amazing transformations and the hottest Hollywood slimdowns, check out PEOPLE’s Half Their Size issue, on newsstands now.

Half Their SizeGabrielle Revere

Half Their SizeMelissa Golden

Roommates for the last four years, Allyson Pearcy and Chantel Rohdy, both grew up overweight. “I got called fat a lot,” Rohdy, 29, tells PEOPLE.  Her best friend and fellow preschool teacher, Pearcy, 31, turned to food after losing her mom at 16. “I dealt with my emotions by eating.” she says.

Half Their SizeCourtesy Allyson Pearcy; Courtesy Chantel Rohdy

But after joining Weight Watchers in 2013, the pair lost a combined 312 lbs. – Pearcy went from 323 lbs. to 147 lbs. and Rohdy from 289 lbs. to 153 lbs. – and they were happy they could share the journey. The friends now cook healthy meals like spaghetti squash, chicken and veggies, and work out together and support each other. “I couldn’t have done this without Ally,” says Rohdy.

Half Their SizeMelissa Golden

Married for 36 years, Susan and Steven Smelser became self-proclaimed “yo-yo” dieters once their kids were born. “After Steven and I got married, I had my two children one right after the other. So from 21 on, I would just gain, gain, gain, diet, gain,” Susan, 55, tells PEOPLE.

Half Their SizeCourtesy Susan and Steven Smelser

Her husband, whose weight hit 345 lbs., followed the same pattern until their daughter’s 2010 wedding. “The thought of having all of those beautiful pictures of the family with us being the size that we were, [we thought], ‘Okay, we have to do something,’ ” says Susan, whose highest weight reached 283 lbs. The couple turned to Take Shape for Life, which relies on Medifast meals. The results were so impressive (Steven and Susan dropped down to 190 lbs. and 153 lb., respectively) that Susan is now a health coach for TSFL. “It helps me keep the weight off, and it’s so rewarding to help other people.”

–Michelle Ward Trainor

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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We are so honored to be featured and hope we can continue on our mission to get America healthy . Our page on Facebook is http://Www.facebook.com/theshrinkingpeoplehealthcoachingpage for geat inspiration, recipe and more.