'Nobody is perfect'
As they begin to move into the maintenance phase of their diet, the couple has allowed themselves to indulge once in a while. They now have what they call their Special Sunday Meal, where they will cook something they don't typically have during the week.
"This Sunday, we may have grilled turkey burgers on a whole-wheat bun with some oven-baked potatoes," Lauren said. "Typically, we do not have starches very often and do not keep breads in the house."
They still give in to cravings from time to time. Lauren says she has a sweet tooth, but she controls cravings by distracting herself with activities such as walks or naps.
What keeps her on track is understanding that "No matter how many times you slipped or messed up, you just have to start over, and eventually you'll get there," she said. "You have to stay positive and remind yourself that you're human and nobody is perfect."
Even though they've managed to lose a substantial amount of weight -- Lauren went from a size 32 dress to a size 12, and Justin went from size 58 pants to a size 36 -- the couple struggles with the psychological side effects of such a massive physical change.
Self-image has been an obstacle for both Lauren and Justin. They admit to having moments when they still see themselves as the obese people they used to be.
"I don't see myself as quite as small as what the pictures show or people tell us we look like," Lauren said.
Through both the struggles and triumphs they have found support in each other. They say that doing this as a team has brought them closer together, and they feel like they are almost newlyweds again.
Recently, Lauren and Justin traveled on a plane and were thrilled to find they could not only buckle their seat belts but needed to tighten them. They also returned to the theme park and rode the rides with no problems at all.
"It was kind of triumphant," Justin said. "We are a lot more adventurous and outgoing. Our outlook has changed almost completely."