(CNN) — Marriage, any good therapist will tell you, is a balancing act.
For Angela and Willie Gillis, the act is easy. They’ve been best friends for more than 10 years, married for three. Their individual strengths balance the other’s weaknesses.
They credit this sense of balance with helping them lose a combined 500 pounds.
“Everyone needs that one person to help them through, to talk to and someone who will hold them accountable. That person has been my husband,” Angela writes on her blog, WeBeatFat.com.
A few days before their first wedding anniversary, Willie woke up and told his wife, “I’m tired of being big.” He had just gotten back from visiting his newborn goddaughter and was scared he might not live long enough to see her grow up.
“For years I had been reading up on ‘This is how you lose weight — nutrition, exercise,’” he says. “I wanted to see if I could do it.”
That was January 2011. He weighed 492 pounds.
His wife didn’t have to think long about joining him in his quest.
Growing up, she never thought she had a problem. “You know how (New Jersey) Gov. (Chris) Christie said, ‘I’m the healthiest fat person‘? That’s how I was,” she remembers.
She was fairly active, but she loved food. If she was happy, she ate. If she was sad, she ate. If she had the best day of her life, she ate chili cheese tater tots.
By January 2011, she weighed 338 pounds.
Willie had recently moved to Angela’s hometown of Beaumont, Texas — a city so enamored with fried food and lazy summer days that it was named the fifth most obese city in the nation in 2012.
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