Oscar and Lori Balderrama knew they were more likely to get fit if they embarked on a weight loss journey together. So over four months, the California couple started exercising and following a strict diet plan — and have since shed 40 pounds apiece!

“I am actually participating in my life rather than just cheering on everyone else,” Lori, 42, exclusively told ‘Closer Weekly’ of her newfound energy. “I’m happier than I have ever been,” Oscar, 39, added.

Read on to find out how Oscar and Lori successfully lost the weight!

  • What was your life like before the weight loss?

LORI: My life was a long series of wearing only black pants and hiding in the shadows. Looking back, I realized I was avoiding old friends because I was embarrassed of how I looked. My 20-year high school reunion was a defining point for me. I was prom queen 20 years ago and there was a picture of me at one of the tables — when a former classmate didn’t recognize me, I just felt awful.

OSCAR: I was tired everyday. I wanted to do other things, but had zero energy. While refereeing one of my daughter’s soccer games, I struggled to bend over and tie my own shoe. I looked up and saw my six-year-old running around and laughing and I wanted to be a part of that, but couldn’t.

weight loss wednesday couple before
Oscar and Lori Balderrama

Oscar and Lori before their weight loss.

  • How did you get started with your weight loss journey?

LORI: Oscar noticed Nutrisystem was looking for couples who wanted to lose weight together and he submitted us… and then told me! I wanted to kill him at first!

OSCAR: I knew the only way it would work was if we did it as a team — and I was right!

Related: De Lost 131 Pounds by Counting Calories, Exercising and Eating High-Protein Foods

  • How did your diet and exercise habits change?

LORI: I’m a working mom of three, so my time is limited and valuable. The diet program made things easy for me because the food was delivered to my door. I ate the meals — usually adding salad or steamed broccoli — and ate the snacks and shakes. I added some extra walks with the dogs and some sit-ups at night, but otherwise I had no set work out regimen.

The first week was difficult. My body was used to taking in a lot of food, so cutting portions was startling. Although I wasn’t hungry while dieting, I still had cravings. Oscar became my cheerleader to help me avoid emotional eating when I was upset or stressed.

weight loss wednesday couple after

Oscar and Lori after their weight loss.

OSCAR: I kept to the food program and made sure to drink the shakes. I often went on jogs with a neighbor and on weekends we would go on outdoor family walks. We bought annual passes to an amusement park and would go and just walk around. I also road my bike to work. I made up my mind to do one active thing each day.

As a former athlete, I would have moments of wanting to lose everything at once and go hard at the gym for three days — but then I would burn out. Hanging out with my friends was a struggle because there would always be a big bowl of chips or beer nearby. I learned to limit what I was taking in. Following a diet program didn’t mean my life stopped, I just made better choices.

  • How does it feel now that you’ve lost the weight?

LORI: I feel like myself again. It’s almost like I had been living in a fog. Now, I go swimming with my kids, I wear shorts, I coach my daughter’s volleyball team. I am actually participating in my life rather than just cheering on everyone else.

OSCAR: I feel fantastic! I didn’t realize that weight loss could affect so many aspects of your life. I’m happier than I have ever been.

To submit your own weight loss story, email (jbirkinbine@bauerxcel.com).