This article was originally published on ParentMood
It won't be wrong to say that obesity is a worldwide pandemic. In the USA alone, there are millions of obese adults. Lexi and Danny Reed were battling with obesity, and when they decided to change their lives, they achieved the unimaginable in just 18 months. They made some serious changes in their lives and became role models for many people around the world. So, if you want to make changes in your life, take inspiration from the amazing transformation story of this couple. Let's get started.
Early Weight Issues
Lexi Reed was a happy extrovert person who loved to share happiness. Ever since childhood, she had faced issues with her weight. Although she tried different weight loss regimens, the weight always came back to affect her life in one way or another.
She was just 25-years-old and she already weighed 392 pounds. The weight was getting in her way of achieving her dreams of living a good life.
Finding True Love
Regardless of Lexi's increasing weight, she tried her best to live a happy life. She felt like the luckiest person in the world when she found her true soul mate, Danny Reed. She was her best friend for 10 years and he always loved her for the person she was, without thinking about her shape or size.
Although Danny always supported and loved Lexi at every turn of her life, there was one issue: he was also living an inactive lifestyle that revolved around many unhealthy eating habits.
Both Lexi and Danny were battling with weight issues. Danny weighed in about 280 pounds. Unintentionally, both of them started to live an even more sedentary lifestyle. So, unhealthy food became a major part of their diet.
As both of them enjoyed to eat a lot without taking care of themselves, they used to spend hours at all-you-can-eat buffets. Their common activity was going to restaurants and eating their favorite foods. If they couldn't do that for some reason, they would order food at home. Unsurprisingly, all the extra pounds started to affect their health.
The Cycle Didn't Break
Lexi's cycle of unhealthy habits didn't start overnight. It all started in her childhood. “Growing up, we never had a lot of money and my parents never cooked. Processed foods were always easier to purchase than healthy foods…” Lexi told PopSugar.
Unfortunately, the dangerous trend of eating unhealthy food didn't end when she started dating Danny. She admitted that the couple would often binge-watch TV and they used to eat a lot at that time. “I was always an emotional eater, also, and no matter what the mood, food was always there for me,” Lexi added.
There Were Limitations
As both Lexi and Danny were overweight, they couldn't do things that other people do quite effortlessly. They were happy as a couple, but they couldn't go biking, go on romantic walks, go to the beach, or go hiking. As a result of these limitations, they were spending most of their time at home, watching TV and eating lots of food.
Lexi felt frustrated because of her weight issue limiting her life. But she has always remained a positive and happy person. She knew that it was time to turn her life around, but there was one problem: NO MOTIVATION!
When Danny asked for Lexi's hand in marriage, she instantly said yes. She knew that Danny loved her for who she was as a person. “He never saw me as my size, asked me to change, or made me feel as anything other than beautiful,” Lexi wrote on Instagram. But there was one problem: it was challenging for her to find a wedding dress in her size. She weighed 485 pounds at that time.
“Nobody knew how to make me feel like a bride, and not my size. Thank god I was strong enough to know my worth, and kept searching for my 34W dress even though I questioned if I would ever find one,” she posted on Instagram.
The Magical Day
Lexi was lucky to find the right dress for her wedding day. She forgot her weight issues for that day and tried to embrace the feeling of getting married to the love of her life. Both Lexi and Danny got married, but they didn't know that some major problems were coming their way.
As they got married, it opened a door for questions about having children. They knew that if she gets pregnant then it would be dangerous to both Lexi and the baby.
Even Small Dreams Seemed Impossible to Achieve
The possibility of not having children worried both Lexi and Danny, but achieving smaller goals also started to seem impossible. Others would take those goals for granted, but the couple started to worry. For instance, they couldn't travel much.
Lexi is a big fan of Harry Potter and she had a dream of visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios theme park in Orlando. But she was too big to take the rides there. She also couldn't travel because she couldn't fit in a plane seat. As Florida is a long way from her home state of Indiana, she knew that they had to find some other way to get there.
Before the couple knew it, they were married for a year and still nothing had changed. They were still spending hours in front of the TV eating unhealthy and processed foods. But then something started to change.
Lexi knew in her gut that she needed to do something to change their habits. She wanted a change and the urge to turn her life upside down started to grow stronger with time.
A New Year's Resolution
Many people make New Year's resolution, but not many people are able to act on it fully. Lexi loved the idea of start living a better life. So, when New Year’s Day in 2016 arrived, she resolved to finally start making changes in her life that would benefit her health as well.
As Danny was always by her side, she was fortunate to see her husband's full support. But it wasn't like he was ready from the word ‘go.’ He needed some convincing before he decided to join his lovely wife's resolution for New Year.
A Difficult Decision
Danny wasn't into the idea of healthy New Year's Resolution because it felt good to go home and eat without any worry in the world, but he came around the idea soon enough because he didn't want his wife to go on a difficult journey alone.
“At first the idea didn’t sound great because it was always good going home, sitting down, eating and not having to worry about anything,” Danny said. “It’s a new year and something to work toward while helping Lexi out as well,” Danny had a change of heart because he knew it was best for both of them.
There Was A Bet
When Danny and Lexi announced their New Year's resolution, some of their friends wanted to make a bet with the couple. Both of them had to make a deal they would follow some rules in a month: “no eating out, no soda, no alcohol, no cheat meals, and working out for 30 minutes five times a week.”
Both of them were ready to take on the challenge and they knew that they had to prove to themselves they could do it. It was a long journey that required a lot of self-control and determination. They had to do it for their better, healthy future.
Lexi and her husband weren't able to fly or do things that normal couples do, not even a simple romantic walk. They were super determined. “We were fed up with the life that we were living and all the things that we weren’t able to do together as a couple,” Lexi said.
They were tired of their lifestyle and making a change was extremely important for them. “We also feared if we didn’t get our health under control, we would never be able to start a family,” Lexi said.
Joining The Gym
Lexi and Danny, with a full determined mode on, joined a local gym in Terre Haute, Indiana. They went to the gym for 30 minutes a day, five times a day. But it wasn't easy and it was only going to get more difficult for them.
They didn't have a personal trainer, but their strong-willed attitude pushed them to fulfill their promise to their friends. As Lexi had no personal trainer, she started to experience severe joint pain due to her weight.
Finding The Right Gym
It was not easy for the couple to find the right gym. Lexi, due to her weight, was self-conscious of what others would think when they saw her working out in the gym. Luckily, the couple found a gym that was less crowded. She even found the right exercise machine for her.
“I started going there when I got a free trial and — since it was never really crowded, my machine faced the wall (so I didn’t feel like everyone was watching me), and I found a machine called the CrossRamp that didn’t hurt my joints at 485 pounds — I fell in love with it.”
Heading Towards A Healthy Lifestyle
For both Lexi and Danny, the most difficult part at the start was going to the gym. As they were able to overcome their laziness, they started to work on other things as well. They stopped going to restaurants and started to prepare meals themselves.
They cooked the food together and supported each other. They ditched frozen pizzas and replaced them with healthier foods. Well, dieting isn't easy by any means!
It Was More Than A Changed Diet
Lexi and Danny didn't just change their diet, but they also decided to turn around their way of living life. It is because Lexi thought that dieting was temporary and she needed something long term. She wanted something she and her husband could stick to in the long run.
She did it by not looking at eating healthier food as a diet. “I started taking the foods I loved and making healthier versions so I no longer felt like I had to give up something or deprive [myself],” Lexi stated.
It wasn't easy to go to the gym and stop eating those foods that you have been eating your entire life. Lexi was lucky to get the strong support of her loving husband. She also supported Danny, who also wanted to lose weight. Together, they acted as a strong, motivated couple.
The journey to losing weight can be even more difficult if there is no one to support you. Both of them used each other as a support system. Keep on reading to see what happened next.
Results Started To Show
Time went on and the couple didn't stop eating right and going to the gym. They didn't notice it at first, but the results started to show. Lexi started taking classes at the gym, met new people, and made new friends. Her new friends also supported her.
“I love my Pulse class. I love dancing to my favorite music and not feeling like it’s a workout. We can do a song full of squats and even though my legs are burning, it’s so much fun that I don’t even notice,” Lexi said.
Work Hard, Reap The Rewards
All the hard work of Lexi started to pay off. She got over her fears of going to the gym. “if people were going to stare at me because of my weight, I was going to give them a reason to stare by being the hardest worker in the room,” she said.
At the start, she lost about 20 pounds a month. But then, weight loss started to become more challenging. She didn't stop going to the gym and made changes to her daily calorie intake. Her new habits changed into a new lifestyle and the results astounded everyone.
Lexi was making some serious strides in her weight loss journey. And so was Danny. He was always supporting Lexi at every step of the way and he was working on himself as well.
Within just 24 months, the couple kept up their healthy lifestyle and didn't give up despite facing many challenges. He lost about 100 pounds. He weighed in at 280 pounds before starting the weight loss journey and he got it down to 190 pounds.
The Remarkable Transformation of Lexi
In about 18 months, Lexi completely changed her looks. The difference was so unbelievable that it shocked everyone who knew her. She was rightly proud of her newfound lifestyle and of course, her body.
By May 2018, Lexi trimmed her weight from over 485 pounds to 312 pounds. As the person who is losing weight doesn't really notice the difference at first, Lexi also realized her reduced size when she went back to the restaurant the couple used to visit frequently. Back then, her stomach used to rest on the table but now that wasn't the case. It was a true moment of pride for beautiful and high-spirited Lexi.
Sharing Success Story
Lexi wanted to get more support from people and she also hoped to inspire others by sharing her story. So, she created an Instagram account in the fall of 2016 by the name of "Fat Girl Fed Up." She started to post pictures of herself along with her husband on her account on a daily basis. Most of her photos had motivational quotes.
It didn't take long before she had a huge following. By the way, now she has over 1.2 million followers on Instagram verified account. She posts her before and after pictures to show the world that nothing is impossible to achieve in life.
The incredible story of Lexi and Danny became viral on the internet. And soon enough their story was picked up by news and TV stations all over the country. The couple appeared on TV shows and even featured on an episode of Rachael Ray about healthy cooking and eating.
The couple still remained determined and they didn't let their newly found stardom to get to their heads. In fact, it had the complete opposite effect on them. They became more humble than ever and the media attention motivated them further.
Losing Over 400 Pounds
The combined support and effort of Lexi and Danny helped them lose over 400 pounds. It won't be wrong to say that they got a new lease on life. They started to do things which they couldn't do because of their weight. They started to go for romantic walks and hold hands in public.
They even went back to the beach, where Danny first proposed to Lexi. They were ready to celebrate their newfound lifestyle. Before their incredible weight-loss journey, Lexi would get tired by just a short walk. And now, she was running wildly on the beach. “We returned to that beach and ran down that beach!” Lexi declared.
Taking A Long-Awaited Trip
As Lexi could comfortably fit on an airplane seat, the couple took a trip to a place where Lexi always wanted to go. Yes, Harry Potter World at Universal Studios theme park.
They were more than happy. They had every right to feel good and satisfied because they had to go through a lot to accomplish something that was nothing short of climbing Mount Everest to them.
No More Finding Escape
Lexi and Danny worried about going out before and that's why they used to find escape in front of their TV and eating food. Now they were no longer prisoners in their bodies. “I am grateful for every single day and I am enjoying the journey,” Lexi said.
“Every day is a non-scale victory and a reminder of how far I’ve come. Like, I loved myself even at 485 pounds, but just to be able to wake up and do whatever I want to do and go wherever I want to go… I don’t feel like I’m a prisoner in my own body anymore,” she added.
Golden Words From Lexi
As Lexi has done something that is monumental, she believes that she has to inspire others who are still battling self-confidence, motivation, and weight issues.
She posts pictures of her on Instagram account to inspire as many people as possible. Her advice to people is: “Start small — small changes add up to big results — and focus on each day, not how far you have to go.”
A Helpful and Kind Person
Lexi has always been a kind-hearted, friendly person. She has also opened her YouTube channel to inspire others and help people who are planning on starting their own weight loss journey. Her YouTube channel is also growing and has over 93k subscribers.
Due to the inspiring story of Lexi, she was even invited to the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards. “I learned how strong and capable I am as a person. I thought it would take me over three years to lose 300-plus pounds, but I was so determined and hardworking that I did it in two,” she said.
Enjoying Life to Its Fullest
Lexi is in love with her life and she considers herself lucky to feel alive again. “There are no words to explain the feeling of saving your own life. Going into 2018 I have nothing but a newfound happiness for this life I am living. I no longer am a prisoner in my own body and instead of just existing in my own life, I’m finally alive,” she said.
“Every day I wake up is a blessing. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come and this new life that I’m living. I saved my own life, and for that there are no words — only gratitude,” she added.
Receiving Special Honor From Hollywood
The amazing transformation of Lexi Reed helped her receive a richly-deserved special honor. L’Oreal Paris and TNT Drama chose as one of their inspiring strong women and she attended the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Award. It was dream-come-true for her. Isn't life amazing? At one stage of her life, she couldn't even fit into an airplane seat and now she was attending a star-studded show.
The couple was not only flown to Hollywood but they also stayed at a beautiful hotel. Although they were on a vacation, they still maintained their fitness routine. Now, that's called determination.
Important Meal Tips
One of the major tips that Lexi has given to her followers is to prep the ingredients for healthy meals at the beginning of the week and to find meals that are healthy and delicious. She shares her meal ideas on her social media pages to guide others.
“I know Holidays are hard guys but practice portion control, healthier swaps, balance, planning,” she wrote on Memorial Day 2018.
Maintaining Her New Lifestyle
Lexi knows that she had to sacrifice a lot to achieve her newfound lifestyle and she does everything to ensure she maintains it. She incorporates fun activities in it as well, but she makes sure they don't go for stuff most people eat.
Instead, Lexi and Danny prepare high-protein meals before going on a hike. “Holidays, weekends, or even being out of your routine doesn’t mean we can’t still reach our goals and eat delicious food!” she wrote.
Gym Comes First
One of the main reasons behind such successful transformation of Lexi and Danny is that they always find time for the gym before doing other activities.
She shared this photo before their Friday date night. "Making the time before date night to work on our goals!” she wrote on her post. “Somedays we don’t know how we’re gonna do it, but everyday we get it done!”
Great Support From Others
Lexi got immense support from her husband, but she also admits that there were other people as well who supported her, both online and offline. She often hosts motivational fitness contests on her Facebook page via dietbet.com
She believes that the community helps a lot in motiving one another. It also helps to keep each other accountable. If you look at the comments on her social media posts, you'll notice that she has inspired many people to make huge changes in their lives and they are really thankful to her.
New Circle of Friends
Lexi Reed made an amazing transformation and one of the factors that pushed her to achieve it was her search for making friends who share the same goal as her. She wanted to surround herself with friends who also have healthy habits. That's why her best friend is also her gym buddy.
“When I started my journey I normally was more of a loner and lost people I was close to due to my new lifestyle and hobbies,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “However over time I found others along the way who helped make me who I am today and helped to make my journey more enjoyable,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
Taking Off Days As Well
Lexi and Danny Reed realized that they cannot be at the gym every day of the week. They made sure to take rest days so that they can have fun doing other activities as well. Here, the couple is with their two cute golden retrievers, Oliver and Olivia.
“Can’t wait for more walks with them this summer and we’re sure they are happy mom/dad got healthy too!” she wrote on her post.
An Adventurous Life
Lexi Reed wrote a beautiful post on April 19 that. “From 765lbs to riding dirt bikes, Life with you is an adventure & i’m enjoying the ride.” They look so cute together, don’t they?
This photo backs Lexi's tip of finding fun activities and new challenges to stay in great shape.
An Inspiration for Men
As Lexi Reed is inspiring women around the world, her husband is inspiring men. He has also opened his Instagram account called Discovering Danny in hopes to inspire men to change their lives when it is needed the most.
He has documented his weight loss journey on his Instagram account and he also shares his milestones with his followers.
Slaying YouTube As Well
Danny and Lexi not only post pictures but they also have a series of videos on YouTube where they document their amazing experiences. For instance, here they are showing Lexi's big achievement as she was honored by L’Oreal Paris and TNT Drama at the SAG Awards.
In the videos, you can see how they met celebrities, spent nights in luxury hotels, and how they were able to maintain their healthy lifestyle on a vacation
The Today Show
The couple has gained an enormous following on various social media platforms and it didn't take long before TV news started to approach them as well. In January, the couple was invited to share their story on The Today Show.
Lexi and Danny flew to New York and Megyn Kelly took their interview. They told her their story of how they lost 400 pounds to change their lives for good. They also told about how they decided to do it without taking the help of gastric bypass surgery.
A Better, Hopeful Future
Now that Lexi and Danny have lost weight and turned their lives upside down, they can reconsider the idea of starting a family.
In an interview given to Life & Style magazine, Lexi said, “In 5 years, I see us starting a family as well as finding ways to help more people change their life the same way that we have with diet and exercise.” We just wish them a great life ahead. We hope that they remain a motivational couple for people who need to find inspiration in their life.