In 2015, Danny and Lexi Reed decided it was time to start leading a healthier lifestyle with the purpose of strengthening their relationship and their lives. And after just two years of hard work and putting their health first, the couple lived a more fulfilling life together. How did they accomplish this?
By making some simple changes in their daily routines, the Midwestern couple lost almost 400 pounds! The couple hasn’t been secretive about their road to success; just keep reading to find out all about how they made their weight loss a reality!
Through the Good Times and the Bad Ones
Danny and Lexi are a great example of a couple who’ve been with each other through the good times and the bad ones. Now, they’re married and they live in Terre Haute, Indiana. Even though, they’ve always been supportive of each other, they decided it was time to change their lifestyle and make some changes to their physical and mental health. We’re so inspired by the choices they’ve made that have gotten them to reach their goals.
The couple’s transition into a healthier lifestyle, may have been challenging at times, but they managed to reach their destination together.
Weighing In at Over 700 Pounds
On their wedding day, the couple weighed over 700 pounds combined; Danny weighed in at 280 pounds and Lexi was 485 pounds. It was after this very special day that they figured out it was time to make some changes if they wanted to live together for a long time.
Like many of us in committed relationships, Danny and Lexi got too comfortable with each other. Danny told The Today Show, “As we got comfortable in a relationship, we gained more weight.”
The changes to their bodies didn’t happen overnight as they were together for 10 years before they weighed over 700 pounds. Being able to lose over half your body weight is nothing short of amazing.
So, how did the couple become this weight to begin with?
Takeaways and Fast Food
The couple’s eating habits and lifestyle definitely didn’t do them any favors. We all know that much of making healthier choices is about taking into consideration what we’re eating. Danny and Lexi often ordered take away food and went out to eat. Many of the places they dined at were fast food establishments, which aren’t exactly known for having the most nutritious food.
Danny and Lexi were eating between 4,000-6,000 calories a day while leading an inactive life. Lexi realized that if she continued living this way, she wouldn’t even get to celebrate her 30th birthday.
What did the couple decide to do?
A Dangerous Path
Making lifestyle changes when you’re in your 20s is never easy, but Danny and Lexi wanted to spend the rest of their lives together and they wanted to live long ones. Ordering fast food and overeating is so easy to do and it was taking over their lives. The couple was going down a very dangerous path.
Their habits were becoming more than just eating bad foods, they soon began taking over every part of their lives. Things that we take for granted like fitting into seats on a bus or being able to ride roller coasters at amusement parks, were becoming more difficult for them.
“Binge Watching Television and Mindlessly Eating All Our Calories”
Like many other couples who go on weight loss journeys together, it wasn’t just their eating habits that caused them to lead an unhealthy lifestyle. Not only were they eating unhealthily, the couple was also inactive, which led to a repetitious cycle of bad habits.
Lexi told The Today Show, “It was exhausting basically just to have to overthink every single thing I did in my life. I think we were just fed up with spending so many nights on our couch. Binge watching television and mindlessly eating all our calories… we wanted to able to go to theme parks and go to movies and fit comfortably in our seats.”
Dreams of Riding Rollercoasters
Can you imagine having difficulties going to the movie theatre?
Well, Danny and Lexi definitely could. Things we often take for granted were becoming harder and harder for the couple to do. Eventually, they weren’t the only ones affected by their lifestyle choices, their living habits started affecting their relationships, as well. But, this wasn’t enough for the couple to make the changes they needed to. “Even walking was a chore,” Lexi said on The Today Show. “We couldn’t ride rollercoasters.”
Lexi so desperately wanted to be able to ride the rollercoasters like the rest of us and she was persistent on making that dream a reality.
Marrying Your Best Friend
Danny’s love for Lexi wasn’t impacted by her weight and after over 10 years of being together, he proposed to her. They tied the knot on October 3, 2015. Even though getting married is one of the happiest times in every couple’s lives, it’s not always the easiest and for Lexi she had her fair share of challenges.Luckily, her body-image wasn’t one of her main concerns, “Skinny or heavy I was getting to marry my best friend after 10 years… I knew it was going to be a day I’d never forger & one of the best days of my life,” Lexi wrote on her Facebook page.
This wasn’t what made the wedding planning difficult, there was another thing getting in the way.
The Big Day
October 3, 2015 couldn’t come soon enough for the excited couple and after 10 years of knowing each other, the couple exchanged their vows. They agreed to be by each other’s side for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. And at the time, they had no idea this would ring so real for them. When Lexi began planning the wedding, she started realizing that she needed to make some major lifestyle changes and that they needed to happen fast. Although Lexi was confident with the way she looked, there was no denying that fact that life is much more difficult when your overweight and this was the case when she went searching for the perfect wedding dress.
“Nothing about shopping for a wedding dress at 485lbs was glamorous,” Lexi wrote on Facebook in 2017.
Planning a Future
For Lexi, losing the weight wasn’t about wanting to feel prettier; she loved herself regardless of her size and she found a partner who loved her for who she was, not how she looked.
Getting married is more than having a picturesque wedding; it’s about planning a future with your partner. When Danny and Lexi began considering their future together, they decided that they wanted to have a family. Deciding it’s time for a change and taking the steps to make those changes are separate things.
Actually, the changes happened as part of a New Year’s challenge. A friend challenged the couple to work together towards a healthier lifestyle.
New Year’s Resolution
Now that the couple was finally married, they were ready to start planning their life together and part of that was wanting to have children. It’s important when carrying a baby to be in great physical shape and Lexi just wasn’t there yet. Danny was also far from being able to look after a baby.
After considering their lifestyle, they soon realized that they weren’t ready to have kids. This is when Danny and Lexi chose to make their friends challenge their New Year’s Resolution.
January 1, 2016
What was this New Year’s resolution? “A friend challenged us to 30 days of no eating out, cheat meals, soda or alcohol,” Lexi told People. They were ready to kick their old habits behind come January 2016. Choosing to eat nutritiously is just part of leading a healthy lifestyle and losing weight, so the couple decided to come up with another challenge for the new year.
What else did Danny and Lexi decide to change?
Fitness and Exercise
Making lifestyle changes is always easier when you have a support system behind you helping you every step of the way. And that’s exactly what Danny and Lexi had. Their friends challenged them to start eating better and they provided them with the comfort they needed during their journey.
But, leading a healthier lifestyle is about more than changing your eating habits, it’s important to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Danny and Lexi wanted to become stronger and leaner and for them, the way to accomplish this was by working out 5 times a week, for 30 minutes.
Resistance to Change
When you’re in a couple and trying to make lifestyle changes, there’s often one person who’s more ready and willing to make changes and in this case, Lexi was ready to start as soon as possible. On the other hand, Danny was a bit more resistant. With the start of the new year fast approaching, the time had come for Danny and Lexi to start making changes. The couple was well aware that they had a problem, but taking the steps to fix it was easier said than done.
Danny was hesitant about taking on the challenge.
Motivation From Within
As we mentioned before, Danny and Lexi were together for 10 years before they got married. They developed their unhealthy habits together and they grew used to eating junk food and lounging on the couch. Understandably, following through with this lifestyle shift, was a big deal and Danny really felt it.
Part of losing weight is about finding motivation from within yourself to make the changes and while Danny and Lexi decided to work on the goal together, they had to find their own reasons to make improvements to their lives.
What were the couple’s personal goals? “I knew that losing weight wasn’t going to make me love myself. I knew that I had to love myself before I lost weight. And I just fell in love with taking care of myself through the process and being healthy,” Lexi told People.
Self-love doesn’t automatically happen when you lose weight, it’s something that comes from within and clearly, Lexi knew this. Rather than focusing on the weight loss, Lexi wanted to use the time to make herself the best Lexi she could be.
It’s clear that Lexi’s motivation for starting the journey was to better herself, but Danny had to find his own reasons to make the lifestyle changes. “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. But the more I thought about it, I said, ‘It’s a new year and something to work toward while helping Lexi out as well,’” Danny told People.
How sweet, Danny wanted to make sure he was the best partner he could be to Lexi and in this case, it was being as invested in the process as Lexi was.
From 30-Days to 730-Days
At this point, the couple finally knew what they wanted to achieve over the next month, and now they just had to follow through with it. But, they never expected their 30-day challenge to last 730-days! We’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves. First, we must talk about how it all started. Danny began the journey at a size 46M and Lexi was a size 28W and they chose to begin with smaller goals instead of setting ones that seemed unachievable.
So, what goals did the couple set?
Losing weight is as much mental as it is physical. It’s about changing your mindset when it comes to food. Lexi put it perfectly when she told People that your relationship with food becomes learning “to eat to live and not live to eat.”
This means that serving sizes and eating foods that provide nutritional value instead of consuming empty calories becomes extremely important. Eating foods because they’re tasty becomes less relevant. Besides, the couple learned that healthy foods can taste good too.
What exactly was their New Year’s challenge? The couple was supposed to try cooking healthier meals, stop taking “cheat” days, and to abstain from alcohol and soda. In order to achieve these things, they started tracking their caloric intake and preparing meals together. The first few steps are always the most challenging and Lexi told GMA that “The hardest part of our journey was changing our relationship with food. To go from eating out for every single meal to teaching myself how to cook every single day… It was a very drastic change.”
This wasn’t going to get in the way of the couple reaching their goal.
Not Letting Weight Stop Her
One of the hardest steps in leading a healthier lifestyle is getting up the courage to go to the gym. It’s a daunting experience stepping into the gym for the first time, and it’s even harder when you’re out of shape. Lexi’s way of looking at it is super mature, she told People, “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.”
Now, that’s impressive!
It’s no small accomplishment losing a total of 400 pounds together. In fact, there were only three steps the couple followed and what’s important is that they did it together. What were these three steps? It was as simple as meal prep, hitting the gym, and living an active lifestyle. It wasn’t long until making meals and working out for a half hour a day became part of their life. These changes no only helped them lose weight, but it strengthened their relationship.
They also started to feel that by staying active together, their relationship was strengthening, too.
The couple decided to take it one day at a time in order to reach their goals. “When I walked into the gym at 485 lbs., I told myself that it was basically going to be the first day of the rest of my life,” Lexi explained.
Lexi and Danny soon started seeing results of their new lifestyle and they couldn’t have been happier. By the end of the 30 days, they were enjoying their new ways of living so much and they haven’t turned back since.
Starting to Exercise
By this point, the couple was leading an active lifestyle and eating healthily. Still, things are never easy in the beginning. When they started focusing on exercising, it wasn’t as easy as hitting the gym, they were super achy after they began working out. “We would be tired and sore because our bodies weren’t used to it,” Lexi told People.
But, this didn’t deter them, they kept on going with it, and the longer they worked out the more they began enjoying it and the easier it became.
The Reed Family
If you recall, we talked about the couple’s individual goals as well as their goals as a couple. We also mentioned that one of the reasons they decided it was time for a change was because they wanted to start a family. “We also had a mantra of Baby Reed 2016 because we wanted to be parents but we knew it wouldn’t be healthy when I weighed my heaviest,” Lexi told People,
The couple was always thinking about their future, which was their long-term goal. Their personal goals kept them focused on a daily basis, but their main goal was to expand the Reed family.
The Ups and Down
During a weight loss journey, seeing results is one of the most exciting things and it makes all the sacrifices you took worth it. Hopping on the scale and seeing the number go down from week to week is something to look forward to. Losing weight in the begging is easy, it’s keeping it off and continuing with the weight loss, that’s more challenging. When you get stuck in a rut and the weight doesn’t appear to be coming off, it can be really upsetting. All the time and energy you put into the process seems to go right down the drain.
This is when having a support system comes in handy and Danny and Lexi had that in each other.
An Extra Push
Having a gym buddy to encourage you to hit the gym when you don’t feel like it is always a good idea and when Danny wasn’t feeling up to going to the gym, Lexi gave him the extra push he needed. When Lexi felt like steering off her diet, Danny was there to stop her.
Emotionally I would have to say, starting the journey, starting eating healthy, working out, it was tough at first. But we got through that. She’d be my support and I’d be her support” Danny said on Rachael Ray.
Although their first month of the changes were crucial to their success, their support system was the most important.
Danny talked about their buddy system on The Today Show, “Just having each other was the biggest key in this. I think that helped us tremendously.” In regards to their support system, Lexi told People, “We had a buddy system, so every step of the way, every pound, we were there to motivate each other.”
Falling in Love All Over Again
The more time they spent together, the closer they became. Their lifestyle changes were not limited to their eating habits and hitting the gym, they soon traded sitting on the couch and watching a movie for taking nightly romantic walks and communicating with each other. They fell more in love over time! Over time, their walks turned into hikes and bike rides. We’ve already mentioned how helpful their buddy system was, and Lexi found a new way to hold the couple accountable. Can you guess what it was?
If you guessed social media, you’re right! Lexi posted their progress on social media and in no time, she had thousands of loyal followers.
What set Lexi’s social media account apart from all the other ones documenting weight loss stories? In 2016, after Lexi decided to make the changes to her lifestyle, she started documenting the journey on her social media account “Fatgirlfedup.” Lexi didn’t stop at one account, she made three, an Instagram, a Snapchat, and a YouTube Channel. In social media, she found a way to help keep the couple accountable. The accounts helped her share her story, while she could learn about other people’s journeys.
“I never expected to have such an impact on so many people by losing weight. I just wanted to get healthy,” Lexi told Good Morning America.
By 2017, their story had gone viral and talk show host, Rachel Ray, wanted to hear more about the couple’s incredible transformation so she invited them for a feature episode. At that point, Danny and Lexi had already lost 300 pounds and people all throughout the world were loving their story. In fact, during the episode Danny jumped on Lexi’s back to show her just how much she’s changed since they began the process.
“How does it feel to know that you used to carry my 218 pounds plus some?” Danny asked. Lexi said while trying to catch her breath, “Crazy, physically exhausting… It’s hard to walk.”
Eating healthily isn’t always an easy task; especially when the cravings start to hit and if you’ve ever tried dieting, you know just how difficult this is. And because of the couple’s 30-Day challenge, they stopped going out to eat. Instead of this holding them back, Danny and Lexi found new ways to enjoy food, but in much better ways.
Managing cravings became easier for the couple because they learned how to cook their favorite foods in much healthier, more satisfying ways.
Eating Out Again
When most people decide to start a weight loss journey, they turn to fad diets or fitness programs, but Danny and Lexi chose to find a method that fit into their lifestyle. Their method was as simple as changing their eating habits by portioning out their food and being mindful of their caloric intake. With their new mindset, they were finally able to start eating out again!
This was a stark change, especially for Lexi, who used to order herself two burritos for just one meal, but after changing the way she approached food, Lexi and Danny shared one meal together.
The amazing couple’s weight loss journey, didn’t stop at the 30-Day-Challenge, it went on for 730-days! The changes were due to accountability, maintaining a proper diet, and staying active and exercising every day. Can you believe that Danny and Lexi lost 400 pounds! Lexi went from 485 pounds to 173 pounds and Danny went from 280 pounds to 190 pounds. Now that’s simply incredible!
Now that the couple lost all the weight, they were finally able to live the life they dreamed of.
Lexi was extremely open about what the weight loss journey meant for her, “I was a prisoner of my own body at 485 pounds. I couldn’t do hardly anything,” she told People. It’s not always easy to see how badly you need to make changes, until you’ve actually made them and you can look back on your progress. As soon as the couple started seeing the weight come off, they decided to start a “bucket list” of thing they could now do.
Danny and Lexi were more than just happy with their results, they realized what being healthy meant for them.
So, what did the couple have on their “bucket list?” Of course, there were amusement parks on the list, as well as biking, hiking, and canoeing. “I wasn’t able to go to Harry Potter World for a long time. That was my favorite, hands down, bucket list adventure that we had this summer. We went there and rode all the rides,” Lexi told The Today Show. The big adventure they mentioned was their trip to Universal Studios, which was huge because before their journey, they couldn’t even make the trip since they weren’t able to fit in the airplane seats.
“Our relationship’s better, our life is better. There are so many things that we can do that we weren’t able to do before,” Lexi said on The Today Show.
“Now we’re just we’re happy we’re alive. We’re living in our lives instead of just existing,” Lexi said on The Today Show. The couple’s interview with The Today Show happened after they accomplished many of the fun things on their bucket list over the summer.
The transition was much more than a weight loss journey; not only were their bodies healthier, but their mental-state and relationship was stronger than ever. They no longer lived just to live; they were now enjoying their new lives.
What About Danny?
The challenge literally saved the couple’s lives. Lexi revealed on The Today Show, “There are no words that I can say to describe saving my own life, basically, and I just sometimes, I don’t realize how far I’ve come in such a short period of time. Two years to go from 485 pounds to 173 pounds, it’s amazing.”
And let’s not forget about Danny. He didn’t even think the couple was going to make it to see their 30th birthday and he can’t get over how much their life has changed and all that the they’ve been able to accomplish together through mindfulness and self-care.
It’s amazing how their lifestyle change has strengthened the couple’s relationship as a whole. Their stronger mentally, physically, and their health is better than it has ever been. Switching to an active lifestyle has really impacted their relationship. “From not talking and then going on romantic walks, and talking at night… it just really brought us closer together,” Lexi shared with GMA.
In addition to the impact that all the changes have had on the couple, Danny can’t get over the impact Lexi has had on others.
Danny and Lexi’s relationship is beyond inspiring as they have supported each other through the entire process. Interestingly enough, they both don’t think they could have accomplished what they did without the other by their side. The couple’s love for each other has helped them get through it all and they’re finally ready to live their lives to the fullest.
hey had no idea their story would go viral and the amount of people all over the world, that would be positively affected by it.
From Social Media to “People” Magazine
What do people love most about this couple’s story? It would have to be how real and authentic Danny and Lexi are. Zoe Ruderman, the Executive Director of People Magazine said it best, “We’re always looking for people who lose the weight without gimmicks, without surgery, it’s just hard work… It’s really incredible, and often enough it’s just one small change.”
And when she caught wind of the couple’s story on social media, she knew she couldn’t just simply keep scrolling and move on with her day.
The key to Danny and Lexi’s success was in their buddy system as they were not only accountable to themselves, but also to each other. Your buddy system doesn’t have to be a romantic partner, it can be a co-worker, a parent, a neighbor, or a friend, but it’s just important that you have one.
Living a healthy and active lifestyle is really all you need to feeling better and Danny and Lexi have some final inspiring words from their life-changing experiences.
Advice From the Couple
Even though the couple began their changes in January 2016, they’re still posting on social media for people who are on their own weight loss journeys. They may have started and completed the journey together, but Danny and Lexi each have some pieces of advice for those who wish to begin their own process. Danny’s advice is to “Set yourself small goals for yourself… and also bigger goals for down the road,” which he shared on GMA.
Lexi took to Facebook to share hers, “I’m super proud of the girl who fought to get where i am now. I chose to get healthy for me, not anyone else… Love yourself enough to live your best life – start today!”