Love Has No Obstacles
We all hope to one day meet someone who loves us just the way we are. Lexi was lucky enough to find that person in Danny Reed. By the time Danny decided to propose, Lexi was 25 years old. However, despite her young age, she found swimming or riding a bicycle virtually impossible thanks to her 485 lbs weight. Danny was a couple of years older and weighed 280 pounds. Lexi was a happy person and Danny loved her just the way she was, but both of their weights were not sustainable, and neither of them wanted to see her health deteriorate.
For Richer or Poorer
While their marriage was a celebration of life and love, if it was going to last and give them the opportunity to become parents, things had to change. Like many courting couples, Lexi and Danny spent an inordinate amount of time eating out and enjoying each other’s company. After they married, however, their perspectives changed, and they realized the importance of supporting one another through the hard times. Lexi had tried losing weight before, but it always seemed to return.
New Year, New Us
Like many people, the newlyweds had found themselves slipping into a rut of unhealthy living and, in January 2016, nearly a year after their wedding, they resolved to make some changes. Many of us make New Year’s Resolutions, but not many of us manage to stick to our guns. Danny and Lexi took their decision seriously and started off taking small steps in the direction of a new, healthy lifestyle. Through doggedness and persistence, they managed to change both their lives and their futures.
Friends Like These
Sometimes friends just know how best to motivate, and a close friend of Lexi and Danny’s certainly knew which buttons to press. On hearing that the couple was embarking on a healthier lifestyle, one of their friends dared them to spend the next 30 days avoiding alcohol and unhealthy meals. One rogue takeaway would be the end. Danny and Lexi accepted the challenge and soon joined the local gym as part of their commitment to a new life. It wasn’t going to be easy, though.
Breath of Fresh Air
The main motivating factor behind the couple’s decision wasn’t associated with their looks, but rather with the problem of ill-health and the desire for children. “I knew I could never be a mom at the size that I was and that was one thing that motivated me”, Lexi said. For Lexi, the extra weight was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. “I would wake up in the morning, my joints would be sore, I would be tired, I would be out of breath quickly”. Things had to change.
Limits of Flesh
In a television interview with the chat-show host, Megyn Kelly, Lexi said, “We were just fed up with spending so many nights sitting on our couch binge-watching television, mindlessly eating all our calories”. The supersize couple didn’t feel comfortable or able to go to the cinema to watch a movie or seek an adrenaline rush at the local theme park because their bodies simply couldn’t comfortably fit into the seats provided. Instead, Lexi explained, “We would order a whole pizza, breadsticks, wings and a liter of soda”.
Problems With Food
Although Lexi had been overweight since she was a child, when she met the love of her life, things only got worse. The two spent hours together eating out or ordering takeaways that they would devour in front of the television set. Their lethargic lifestyle was only made worse by growing health concerns, and it seemed that being in each others’ company only made it easier to continue this way. They then started questioning their life-choices and wondered if the decisions they were making were the right path.
Something’s Gotta Give
Initially, Lexi’s weight restricted what she was able to achieve at the gym, “I tried to do high-intensity cardio, but I wasn’t able to”. Lexi changed her approach, doing as much of the cardio workout as she could before stopping for a break. “When I walked into the gym at 485 lbs., I told … 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”.
Pain and Persistence
Lexi had no choice but to do a little at a time. She would start on the cardio session but, if she became too breathless, she would stop and take a breather before taking up where she’d left off. She would keep going until the 30-minute session was complete, no matter how long that took. Even more amazingly, Lexi was doing this while working a 10-hour day. “I just kind of try to set it up like a business meeting. I am my own boss and I can’t cancel”.
Unsurprisingly, Lexi and Danny’s commitment to their weight loss and their subsequent success has made them internet sensations. In a period of just 24 months, the couple managed to lose 400 pounds between them which, for Lexi, meant losing more than half her body weight. The photographs they posted on Instagram showing their progress garnered them much attention and resulted in them appearing in the “Half Their Size” issue of People Magazine. Since then the couple has been seen on numerous talk shows and had many articles written about them.
Size of Celebrity
Danny and Lexi have inspired hundreds of people with the combination of their story and the drastic changes they have made to their appearances. Unlike many people who are motivated to lose weight because of appearances alone, for this couple, it went a little deeper. Not only did they want the opportunity to enjoy a long marriage together, they also wanted to become good examples for their future kids. Lexi added, “I just tried to remind myself the things I was doing it for and my goals”.
No Pain, No Gain
Taking on a different lifestyle and embarking on a new exercise regime is never easy, especially when you’re carrying as much excess weight as Lexi was. Nevertheless, she worked hard at it, pushing herself to meet her daily, weekly and monthly goals, and dropping around 20 pounds a month in the beginning. After a while, Lexi says, “My weight loss has slowed and I have picked up the intensity of my workouts and adjusted my calories to continue losing consistently”. Thankfully, Danny is always there to encourage and offer support.
Having a partner to work out with can be a real asset and Danny and Lexi work out together nearly every day. They do a combination of cardio and weightlifting and, if one of them feels like taking it easy, the other is always there to motivate. Similarly, if one was craving an unhealthy snack, the other would be there to remind them of their mutual goals. “It’s awesome because we have each other”, said Danny. That mutual support paid dividends as the next images reveal.
With Lexi having the biggest battle to overcome, Danny’s achievements sometimes get swept under the carpet, but he has also achieved great progress in attaining a healthier lifestyle. When they began their new regime of exercise and healthy eating, Danny weighed a whopping 280 pounds but now he’s a mere 190 pounds, having lost nearly 100 pounds over the past 24 months. He admits that, initially, he wasn’t too keen on the idea. Keep reading to find out how things changed for him.
An Uphill Battle
When Lexi and Danny first discussed the idea of losing weight and adopting a healthier lifestyle, Danny was dubious. They were happy as they were, and, for him, he says, “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”. One of the biggest factors for Danny was being able to support his wife, he says, and he realized that “It’s a new year and something to work toward while helping Lexi out as well”.
An Appetite for Advice
Since starting to record their progress on Instagram, the couple are frequently asked for advice from others trying to reach similar goals. According to Lexi, the most important this is to start small. “Small changes add up to a big result”, she says. Initially, it’s crucial to set small, achievable goals in the short term otherwise the big, long-term objective is merely a pipe dream. Starting by replacing take-out meals with home-cooking, the couple began to revamp their entire lives.
Food for Thought
In an interview, Lexi explained how they first tackled their unhealthy habits and how the small adjustments they made lead to even bigger changes in their lives. “We started changing the foods that we were eating… we stopped eating out for every single meal and we made healthy versions of the food that we were craving. We started moving more and walking and going the gym just five times a week”. It wasn’t long before their whole lives had changed, along with their relationship.
It wasn’t only her husband that helped keep Lexi going when things got tough. Her Instagram account soon attracted a lot of attention, both with the images of her progress and her inspiring posts. Her account, entitled Fatgirlfedup, now has over 700,000 followers and she relies on those people, even now, to get her through the days when she doesn’t feel like sticking to her diet or going to the gym. Her determination has paid off and now, Lexi says, “I was accomplishing something and I was finally doing something”.
Potential Parents of Purpose
After making their marriage vows, Danny and Lexi knew they wanted to have children together but, without losing weight, that wasn’t going to be feasible. Even if Lexi survived the pregnancy, which was unlikely, neither of them would be in a position to run around after a toddler. It was this ambition that kept them going in the early days. “We would be tired and sore because our bodies weren’t used to it”, says Lexi. “But we had a buddy system, so … we were there to motivate each other”.
While parenthood may have been the ultimate goal, Lexi had something more immediate to keep her focused and pushing through the pain barriers. She had always wanted to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Studios theme park. It was on her bucket list but there was no way she could enjoy the experience if her weight meant it was difficult to get on the rides or even squeeze into the seats. Now, Lexi can visit a theme park any times she wants.
Hefty but Happy
Even when she was tipping the scales at nearly 500 pounds, Lexi was happy. “I’ve always been a super happy person”, she says. “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”. Both Danny and Lexi enjoy their newfound freedom and make the most of it by taking long walks together and reveling in one another’s company.
New Lease of Life
Looking back at the first photographs of the newlyweds, it’s hard to believe these are the same people who now look so slim and healthy. Having put their lethargic lifestyle behind them, the couple now enjoy life to a much greater extent than was possible before. Not only has losing weight given them the freedom to enjoy more diverse activities but, as Lexi wrote on her Instagram page, “It’s not about the weight that you lose but the life that you gain”.
Going the Distance
It’s easy to look at the photographs of Lexi and Danny and think they had it easier than most, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyone brave enough to commit to such a substantial life change has to have the dedication to see it through to the end. Lexi often reminds her Instagram followers that the benefits don’t happen overnight. “I am human”, she posted, “and it’s so important to remember at the end of the day this is a journey, not a sprint”.
Although they may have been decreasing in size since they first met, the couple have only grown in terms of their self-confidence, self-belief and in their relationship with one another. The love was always there but working through the hard times and helping one another put an end to their unhealthy lifestyle has helped them to cement their relationship. According to Danny, “This helped our relationship a lot and that is pretty cool… Us being able to do stuff together has brought us closer together”.
Partners in Pounds
Although embarking on a diet and fitness regime together has strengthened their relationship, the excess weight never got in the way of their love. Lexi values the fact that Danny never made off-putting comments about her weight, even when she was at her biggest. “He never saw me as my size, asked me to change, or made me feel as anything other than beautiful”, she says, “He treated me the same way at 485 lbs that he does at 182 lbs. Love doesn’t have a size or weight limit”.
While the initial decision to make so many drastic changes to her life was intimidating, once Lexi started on the journey, she never looked back. In one of her many interviews, Lexi said, “Once I saw the results, it kind of became more of an addiction for me”. Not only could she see the changes happening to her body, she could also feel the improvement. Now more energetic and more confident, she says, “By changing our minds, habits, and emotional triggers we changed our lives”.
The Cost of Weight Loss
The weight loss industry brings in millions of dollars every year but, according to Lexi, you don’t have to spend a fortune to gain the body you want. “You don’t have to have surgery”, Lexi says, “you don’t have to pay crazy amounts of money just to eat healthy or to have a trainer like just move! Start walking”. And the rewards are unmatched, according to Lexi, “The best gift I’ll receive this year is my health.” The one thing no one can sell you is determination.
Bye Bye Buffet Binges
The Reeds have certainly come a long way since their early courtship when a visit to the local Chinese restaurant would see them make as many as eight trips to the buffet, returning each time with a heaped plate. According to Lexi, “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 to meal prepping together, it was a very drastic change”.
Although many people congratulate Lexi on her achievement of losing 137 kg, she is quick to point out that dieting isn’t all about numbers. As a naturally cheerful and positive person, Lexi avoids negativity and believes too much focus on the reading on a scale can demoralize people. When she posted this photograph on Instagram, she wrote underneath, “Always remember to love yourself because at the end of the day the scale is just a tool & you are worth more than a number”.
Although most of us look in a mirror several times a day, we don’t always register what is looking back at us. Just as those suffering from conditions such as anorexia see fat where there is only skin and bone, many people experiencing obesity, simply don’t notice. According to Lexi, “I don’t think we realized in actuality how large we were because I look at progress pictures and I’m like, ‘That was me. That doesn’t even look like me. We didn’t feel like it was a problem”.
Fed Up Fat Girl
Since her Instagram account has attracted so much attention, Lexi and Danny have set up their own YouTube channel, dedicated to helping others achieve their weight goals. The channel has been running for just under a year but already has 30,000 people subscribed to it. In their vlog-style videos, the couple emphasizes that quick-fix solutions are not the answer to a sustainable, healthy life. Lexi and Danny have shown that losing weight doesn’t have to cost a fortune and you don’t need a personal trainer to achieve your goals
Dishing the Dirt
Lexi and Danny give diet supplements and surgery short shrift, saying that there is no quick fix or magic pill that will help you to achieve your goal weight. At the end of the day, it takes hard work, blood, sweat and a few tears, but if your best friend is beside you, helping every step of the way, even the seemingly impossible is doable. As Lexi says, “[My husband and I] didn’t have a meal plan, surgery, personal trainer, but what we did have was each other”.
Danny fell in love with Lexi when her weight was still hovering close to 500 pounds, but what was on the outside didn’t matter – he loved her for who she was on the inside. In one Instagram post, Lexi wrote, “He saw the person I was on the inside and supported me while I made that person on the side match my outside”. As a result of their support for one another, they have been able to transform their entire lives and become the people they always wanted to be.
Although they now both look slim, Danny and Lexi’s story is far from over. Every day, they still have to motivate themselves to work out and maintain their healthy diet. Their new regime means they live life with more energy and vitality, rather than living on the couch as they used to. As Lexi says, “We all deserve to live a life we are in love with and have people around that make it worth living. We hope others will hear our story & decide not to give up!”
Reaping the Rewards
These days, Danny and Lexi take time to enjoy activities that were previously impossible because of their weight. They recently went canoeing, as well as jumping on a roller coaster or two. The couple also went back to Panama Beach, where Danny proposed, so they could enjoy the shell tour that had previously been too much for Lexi. “We returned to that beach and ran down that beach!” she says proudly. Not only is their dedication to a healthier lifestyle inspirational, so is their unfailing support for one another.
No More Diets
After nearly two years of exercise and healthy eating, the routine has become normal for the couple and Lexi says, “We don’t feel like we are on a diet anymore. We feel like it is a lifestyle”. The slimmed down pair can now enjoy new activities and, although they have the occasional cheat day, fatty foods aren’t as tempting as they once were. According to Danny, “It kind of slows you down and is not a good feeling at all”.
Since dropping a lot of their weight, the couple have discovered the delights of activities and hobbies that they couldn’t begin to contemplate at their heaviest. Lexi and Danny now spend more time outdoors, hiking, walking and exploring the countryside. They’ve also been on an airplane and discovered the thrills and spills of rollercoasters as well. Lexi proudly says, “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”.
Rather than cut their favorite dishes from their menu entirely, the couple uses their imagination to come up with healthier alternatives. For example, if they feel like chicken parmesan, they’ll replace it with eggplant or, instead of pizza, they’ll create a delicious dish that uses a wrap rather than a fattening pizza crust. “We make a healthy version, so we don’t feel like we are deprived”. Lexi said. Even if they over-indulge at the weekend, they get back on track first thing Monday morning.
As Lexi and Danny have slimmed down, so they have started to vary their workouts, with Danny introducing weightlifting as a way of shocking his body back into losing weight. Lexi also found that working out on the treadmill became boring, so she started attending different classes to give herself more variety. “I’m learning every day,” Lexi says, “trying new things.” Food wise, the couple have also changed their perspectives, eating healthier carbohydrates and leaner meats than they did previously”… I basically saved my life”, Lexi said.
A Chubby Childhood
As a child, Lexi admits her parents weren’t that keen on cooking and would often opt for processed foods which were easier to prepare. As she grew older, Lexi fell into the same trap and it her emotional relationship with food make it even worse. Previous attempts at dieting had failed for Lexi, even though she tried frequently through her teenage years. In the end, it took a complete life change to turn her into the person she’d always wanted to be
Long Road to Slimness
Since Lexi and Danny made their New Year’s Resolution at the beginning of 2016, Lexi has become a frequent visitor to her local gym. She says it’s never particularly busy which made it easier when she started out and selected a machine that faced the wall, “… so I didn’t feel like everyone was watching me”. The Cross-Ramp machine was comfortable to use even when Lexi was nearly 500 pounds and she fell in love with it, improving her fitness without causing too much pain in her joints.
Finger on the Pulse
Later on, along the road to her target weight, Lexi started doing Zumba classes and found the combination of music, dance and cardiovascular exercise was perfect for her. These days, Lexi goes to the gym six times a week and works out for anything up to an hour each time. She is still doing the Zuma classes and says, “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”.
Website Weight Warriors
In addition to her exercise regime and new meal plan, Lexi joined a website called DietBet to keep herself accountable on a weekly basis. The site offers a variety of challenges and each contestant bids a certain amount of money, effectively betting on themselves. This income generates a pot that the person who has lost the most amount of weight over the week will win at the end. Many people find this a successful route and it certainly helped Lexi.
Every new weight loss goal is a new discovery for Lexi. She’s never been as slim and fit as she is now, so her body is a constant surprise to her. She recently said that she’s aiming to get down to 175 pounds, just so she can see what it looks like. With the support of Danny and the motivation from DietBet, Lexi also used a free online calorie counter to keep track of exactly how much she was eating. This simple process helps dieters all over the world.
One of the highlights for Lexi was returning to a restaurant where she and Danny had eaten when she was at her largest. At that time, her stomach rested on the table but, on her return, she says”, this time I was healthy, with lots of wiggle room!” One thing that’s never changed is Lexi and Danny’s relationship and their loyal support of one another. “We meal prep together, work out together, and reach our goals together”, Lexi says.
At the height of their weight, the Reeds were consuming almost 8000 calories a day – each. That’s over three times what a male should consume and four times over what a healthy female should eat every day. Also, the quality of those calories made an impact too as the majority of it came from bad fats and sugar – all found within highly processed food. Pretty shocking right? Keep clicking to find out more facts about this incredible weight loss story.
Whilst Lexi and Danny don’t believe in putting too much emphasis on the number on the scales, instead just concentrating on how they are feeling in their bodies, this shouldn’t detract from the fact that Lexi was a size 28 when she embarked on her weight loss journey. She is now a healthy size 10. But she maintains that chasing numbers wasn’t helpful to her. The aspiration of living a longer fuller life with her husband and love of her life was what kept her going.
No More Fear
One of the changing factors in their minds when they started losing weight was also realizing that they could no longer make any more excuses for their weight. That they could not, and should not, put off losing weight for another day. They told each other “no more fear” and resolved to be stronger together. Taking ownership for what they put into their mouths and the level of exercise they did each day made a huge impact on them and their weight loss success. Amazed? Keep reading
Now that Lexi and Danny are at a healthy weight, they say one of the keys to maintaining that weight is to go easy on themselves once a week with a cheat day – but to make sure that on those cheat days not to go completely off the rails. And if they do find that they eat more than they should, they don’t beat themselves up about it. They just reset and ensure they’re good for the rest of the week.
The longer the Reeds stay slim, the easier they say sticking to a healthier way of life is. They notice how sluggish they feel after a day of eating processed food heavily laden in salt, fat and sugar. They realized that this was the vicious circle that made them gain weight in the first place – the food they ate made them feel lethargic, so they did not do the necessary exercise to keep weight off, making matters worse for them. Inspired? Keep clicking for more weight loss ideas.
Mental vs Physical
Lexi and Danny have often admitted on their Instagram feed that keeping on track to their goals required just as much mental determination as physical prowess. Whilst they definitely needed to workout in the gym to get more calories burnt, they still needed the strength of mind to make it to the gym in the first place. In the past they had found such establishments intimidating but also, they had so many bad habits encouraging them to stay at home on the sofa.
Listen To Your Body
When Lexi first started working out, she had to take it easy. She admits now that by listening to her body she was actually able to go for longer as she didn’t push herself too hard, too fast. That meant small bouts of cardio, little and often. Now she manages to go to her beloved Zumba classes twice a day if her diary allows. She loves how much more energy she now has that she has not only lost weight but become stronger too.