A Couple Who Changes Together Stays Together

By Doreen R

This article isn’t just about Lexi and Danny Reed; it’s also going to look at why specific stories catch our attention and go viral. We’ve all heard about weight loss success stories. They’ve been written about and discussed to no end.  But sometimes, there’s that one story that captures us in such a way that everyone has a comment or something to say.  We all know people who have gained weight and lost weight. Let’s not get started on celeb diets and transformations that are splashed all over social media, the internet, and on tv. Rather, let’s try to understand what it is about this couple that had the media and the internet buzzing at length.  We’ve researched this couple in-depth and think we might have figured out why these two stand out in a sea of others who have overcome their battle with the bulge. 

To comprehend what these two went through, it’s imperative we start at the very beginning. We need to recognize why they ended up where they did. We have to delve deep into their story to grasp what it was that made them decide to take charge of their own destiny.

Please Meet Lexi

Lexi was pretty much the girl next door. She was happy and outgoing but always seemed to have an issue with her weight. All through childhood, she struggled with losing weight. Sure it was easier when it was only a few pounds to lose, but sadly, things got worse. By the time Lexi reached 25, she was tipping the scale at nearly 400 pounds. To be more precise, by her 25th birthday, she weighed in at 392 pounds.

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While Lexi was trying to live her life as best she could, she wasn’t happy with her weight. She was working in a law office, but she wasn’t oblivious to how her life was turning out. Lexi knew the weight was affecting her life and career in every way.  As hard as she tried to be accepting and okay with her life and weight, she was miserable.

She Tried Every Diet in the Book

Lexi claims her weight issues dated back to when she was a young girl. She was on diets for as long as she can remember. She tried every diet out there and was, at times, successful. Just a couple of the weight loss plans she attempted were LA Weight Loss and the ever-popular Weight Watchers. Nearly all the diets worked, but not for long.

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She almost always lost the weight on whichever plan she was on at the moment. Though keeping the pounds off was another story. She tried skipping meals but only ended up bingeing large amounts later in the day to make up for the missed meal. She didn’t even bother with diet sodas and drank the sugar-filled ones instead.

Lexi the Yo-Yo Dieter

Like many of us can relate, losing weight isn’t the issue; keeping it off is. Lexi would manage to lose a little or a lot of weight depending on the plan, but the minute she went back to her old eating habits, she put the weight back on and a few more.

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It’s a fact that yo-yo dieting is dangerous and can have life long side effects. While we don’t know how this affected Lexi’s overall health, we do know that gaining and losing large amounts of weight in short periods of time can be life-threatening. The heart is put under extraneous stress that can very well become a problem down the road, and don’t get us started on the risks of diabetes.

Introducing Mr. Danny Reed

Danny, who’s three years older than Lexi, was happily working in a company that dealt with servicing the optical industry. The two hadn’t yet met but had much in common. Danny had also been struggling with his weight for years. But unlike Lexi, it wasn’t a lifelong struggle. When Danny was younger, he had his weight under control.

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He was active for a few years and ate a healthy diet. He enjoyed skateboarding and surfing and was leading an overall active lifestyle. But like Lexi, once he stopped monitoring his food intake and eased up on the physical activity, things changed for the worse, and the numbers on the scale began to creep up.  

Danny’s Struggles

Once Danny entered his 20s, he slowly began gaining weight, but it was still manageable.  By the time he met Lexi, he was nearing 200 pounds. While Danny wasn’t actively trying too hard to shed the pounds, he was aware that he needed to watch himself.

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It didn’t take a genius to realize that Danny wasn’t headed to a good place, and changes needed to be made quickly.  Danny was comfortable at work, and while he wasn’t dating anyone, he wasn’t working on making any significant changes in his life, not even to his growing frame.

Danny and Lexi Meet

Danny and Lexi met at a coffee house where a band they both fanned over was performing. Lexi was standing off to the side but managed to catch Danny’s eye. She dropped a magnet just then, and Danny was quick to pick it up, and the two began talking. Lexi states she weighed around 385 when she met Danny.

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Danny was attracted to Lexi, regardless of her weight. It seems that both accepted themselves as they were and didn’t try to instill any sort of change in the other.  While this has its’ pluses and minuses, in this case, alarm bells should have been ringing.  

Lexi and Danny the Couch Potatoes

The two started dating soon after meeting at the coffee shop.  For a while, the duo was admittedly enjoying too many nights out at all you can eat buffets. Most of their time together revolved sitting on the couch, binging food, and Netflix. Things were definitely getting out of hand. By the time the two decided to make it formal and get married, Danny had ballooned up to 280 pounds.

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Lexi’s weight was already long past the 400-pound mark, and while they were both young, they needed to get a grip on their health asap.  Doctors were already warning the young Lexi that her heart was struggling and diabetes was just around the corner.

Danny Proposes

After falling in love and long months of dating, Danny popped the question. Lexi was quick to say yes. The planning for the big day was getting underway, and it was a happy time for both. While most brides-to-be worry about fitting in their dress and dieting till the last possible second, that wasn’t the case with Lexi.

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Lexi although happy to be getting hitched to the love of her life, still hadn’t eased up on the food, and her weight was steadily rising. Surprisingly, even shopping for her wedding dress didn’t curtail the bad eating habits for Lexi or Danny, for that matter.

Lexi Needs a Wedding Dress

By the time wedding dress shopping rolled around, Lexi was at her highest weight yet. She was now weighing in at 485 pounds and realized that finding a dress wasn’t going to be an easy task. Lexi, being active on Instagram for a long time already, was documenting her journey to the altar.

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Realizing she was now a size 34, she understood that finding a dress would be a struggle. Through suggestions from her friends and her many social media followers, she finally found the dress. While it wasn’t the dress of her dreams, it did fit, and at this point, that was all that mattered.

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Reed

Lexi and Danny tied the knot in their hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana. Family and friends were there to wish the couple luck, health, and happiness in their new life together. From posts on both couple’s social media accounts, the wedding was a happy event filled with family and friends.

The two were settling into married life, but not yet worrying about getting fit and healthy. The duo continued with their unhealthy lifestyle of eating all the wrong foods and not moving nearly enough.  Things were spiraling out of control, and changes needed to be made.

Looking to the Future

Lexi and Danny were adjusting to married life and looking forward to spending their life together. That image in Lexi’s mind included a family. The seed was planted, and the young bride knew changes needed to be implemented. Lexi predicted what the doctor would say, but she went ahead anyway and met with her General Practioner.

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It was no surprise to her when her doctors discussed her weight and the risks to her health. The doctor made it clear that diabetes was a near certainty, as were difficulties getting pregnant at such a high weight. Changes were needed and quick.

The Breaking Point

Night after night on the couch binging and watching tv and watching their weight rise; they knew they were missing out on a better way of life. The two dreamed of traveling the world, riding roller coasters, and just enjoying life. Lexi claimed joint pains, and having her stomach rub up against the steering wheel was becoming demoralizing. She was only 25.

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For Danny, his breaking point was when he was hiking with friends. He was now close to 300 pounds and unable to keep up with his buddies. He confessed in a later interview that he and Lexi were each consuming an average of 4,000-6,000 calories a day and that something had to give.

New Years 2016

For many people, New Year’s resolutions are a tradition and something we hope we can stick to and achieve. Some want to quit smoking; others plan to take up a new hobby or maybe spend more time with the kids. For Lexi and Danny and so many others, their resolution for 2016 was to lose weight and get healthy.

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Lexi was at first more gung-ho than Danny. Danny reasoned that he wasn’t as heavy as Lexi and didn’t need to be so strict. But it didn’t take long before he was joining Lexi and going ahead full force with sticking to their resolution of losing weight.

Small Changes Add Up to Big Results

At 485 pounds, Lexi knew the task of losing weight was intimidating but also crucial for her well-being. Had she focused on the number of pounds she needed to lose, she’d couldn’t imagine being able to handle such a feat. So instead, she made up her mind to focus on small goals. She became goal-oriented to tackle smaller but doable tasks such as giving up soda, moving her body for 30 minutes a day, and swapping junk food for healthier alternatives.

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Lexi adopted a go-to slogan, ‘small changes add up to big results.’ Another commitment she was sticking to was being accountable for her actions. She had begun documenting her progress religiously on her Instagram page that was gaining followers. 

Danny Decides to Get On Board

While Danny was initially hemming and hawing about joining Lexi on her journey, he was supportive and encouraging. When he saw that Lexi was serious and adhering to her new way of life, he felt it was time to make a change in his life as well.

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The two decided no more eating out at fast food joints. They joined a gym and stuck to their pledge of going at least five days a week. Danny was also faithful about documenting his progress on his Discovering Danny Instagram page. Once Danny decided to get healthy, there was no turning back.

A Couple With a Goal

Soon enough Lexi and Danny were making progress on losing weight and getting healthy. They remained strong in all their goals. They decided not to have cheat meals and stayed with that decision. They had each other’s backs at all times and were always encouraging the other.

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Their goal of attaining a better life was starting to happen. They were determined to get healthy and plan a family. There was no stopping this duo. The fact that they were gaining popularity on social media was also spurring them on. The world was watching them and cheering them on, only revved them to succeed even more.

The Pounds Are Melting Away

With all the small changes the couple was making, pounds were shed. The couple was getting in shape and things were looking up. They had made a resolution in 2016 and after two years of hard work and determination, the duo had lost a combined weight of 407 pounds! That’s right, 407 pounds.

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Let’s just be clear on who lost how much. When Lexi started her journey, she was 485 pounds, and within two years, she weighed 173; that’s a 312-pound loss.  Danny began at 280; he got down to 185. In two years, that’s an impressive feat, in anyone’s eyes.

The Five Golden Rules

Many of us who have attempted losing weight know that it’s hard. There are endless temptations, and we need to know we’re working hard for a reason. We also need to know that there’s no easy way of achieving our goal, and Danny and Lexi understood this from the start.

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The couple decided on five steadfast rules and vowed never to break them. The rules were: No eating out, no cheat meals, banning alcohol, sodas, including sugar-free was off-limits, and committing to working out at least five times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Not a Diet, But a Way of Life

Once the couple got into the routine of their new way of eating and working out, they began to realize they were making life long changes. Let’s be honest; many of us want to lose weight for an event or to fit into those favorite jeans.  For most, it’s a temporary deprivation of favorite treats. For this couple, they realized they were fighting for their lives, and they internalized that any changes they were making had to be permanent.

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They claim that they will never go back to their sedentary lifestyle. They realized soon enough that eating properly and moving more wasn’t simply a diet but a way of life. Something clicked in them while they were on their path to better health, and there was no turning back for this couple.  

Social Media Juggernauts

As we mentioned earlier, Lexi began documenting her journey that had approximately 500k followers. By the time this article was posted online, she had 1.2 million. Lexi credits her husband with her success and her followers that supported her from the very beginning.  

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Danny’s no slouch in the realm of social media and its effects on one’s motivation. Danny began posting his meals and gym outings with Lexi, and before he knew it, his following was growing as well. He now has a loyal following of 244k.

The Media is Taking Notice

People Magazine was preparing for its annual and popular issue that spotlighted individuals who had lost large amounts of weight. The yearly issue is aptly titled ‘People That Lost Half Their Size.’ When the 2018 issue was being prepared, the staff at People Magazine got wind of Lexi’s popular Instagram page, and it was just a matter of time before they contacted Lexi and Danny.

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The in-depth interview discussed the couple’s road to health. They detailed their struggles with sore bodies and sticking to working out. They spoke of how they lost the weight naturally and with hard work, and sheer will power. They didn’t use gimmicks, pills, or surgery to get where they were. This is one of the primary reasons the couple’s story went viral.

Lexi’s a Blogging Beast

Once the People article was published, her Instagram followers more than doubled. She was now a full-time blogger and influencer. She was becoming a bonafide expert in getting healthy and keeping the pounds off. Nothing like having our daily life splashed on social media to keep one accountable at all times.

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More and more attention was being given to the couple, and they were a true inspiration to others with the same struggles. Whether in print, tv, or online, the media couldn’t get enough of this adoring duo. Whether people were following to see if they failed as so many have before, we’re not sure. What we are sure of is that two years later, they have kept the weight off and continue to preach their way of life to the masses.

Buddy System

The couple is quick to admit that doing this together was a major factor in their success. The fact that they were in sync at all times made it easier than had they done it alone. If Lexi wanted a day off from working out, Danny was there to push her and vice versa.

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The two held the other responsible for their actions at all times. With the support of their followers, friends, and family, there was no way they were going to fail. This has got to be a key reason why this couple succeeded in the way they did. We applaud them for their determination.

Closer than Ever

The two admit often that by doing this together, they achieved a closeness they didn’t have even when dating. Lexi admits that while the two plopped on the couch each night together to watch movies and binge on junk food they weren’t connecting.

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When Danny and Lexi made the decision to drop pounds and get healthy, they found themselves talking more, moving more, and just relating on a completely different level. They were now invested in their partner’s success, and that brought them closer together.

Checking Things Off Their Bucket List

With the pounds were shed and the duo healthier than ever, their life changed for the better, obviously. The two were living a life they only dreamed of. They were now traveling and doing things they couldn’t do before because of their weight.

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Lexi, who loved Panama Beach, was unable to enjoy it because she couldn’t walk down to the shore at nearly 500  pounds. But now they were running on the beach, riding roller coasters, and hiking with friends. Life was good, and they weren’t taking it for granted. All the things they promised themselves they would do when they hit their goal weight were now being achieved.

The Downside to Losing 300 Pounds

While many of us can relate to Lexi’s weight loss struggles, we can’t all understand what losing over 300 pounds does to the body. While we applaud the duo on the significant pounds lost, there is one major downside, excess skin. Lexi’s significant weight loss created a serious issue of excess skin that needed to be addressed.

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Lexi’s excess skin was both uncomfortable and painful. The amounts of skin were hard to look at, and it needed to be removed. People Magazine continued to follow Lexi, even after she and Danny appeared in their annual weight loss edition. The magazine reported on her decision to have skin removal surgery.

No Pain, No Gain

With the decision made to remove the excess skin and fully embrace her weight loss, Lexi was diving into the much-feared surgery. The surgery involved lifting her lower body and removing the extra layers of skin from her thighs and abdomen. Lexi also opted to have her buttocks lifted and re-contoured.

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Post-surgery, Lexi was told that seven pounds of skin were removed during the nine-hour-long operation. Recovering was another matter. It was a lengthy and painful period after the surgery, but Lexi, always the trooper, endured. Having to take time to heal and not be allowed to workout was hard on the young woman, but she followed the doctor’s orders.

Lexi Sees Her Feet!

Recovering from the surgery took over a month. When Lexi was finally given the okay to return to the gym, she wasted no time getting back to her daily routine. She did experience muscle loss and had a hard time getting back into the groove post-surgery, but she soldiered on.

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After going back to the gym and getting back into the groove, she began posting again on her Instagram page and was happy to exclaim to anyone and everyone ‘I can see my feet!’ Her followers and husband continued to cheer Lexi on.

Lexi’s Proven Trick to Success

While the couple has kept the weight off for over two years now, they are always vigilant and are now preaching their gospel to the masses. They admit it’s a lifelong struggle but vow never to return to their old habits. In addition to documenting their journey for the world to see, it keeps them accountable. Lexi has one steadfast tip to staying honest, and she’s happily sharing it.

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Lexi is a major proponent of keeping a food journal and tracking each and every morsel of food that is consumed. She swears this is the key to keeping herself honest. We’re agreeing, and many experts have been doling out the same advice. Once it’s written and staring us in the face, there’s no denying if and when we cheat.

Why We Care

The more we researched this piece, the more we understood why this story stands out. We applaud the underdog; it’s a fact. We appreciated this couple’s determination, love for one another, and, most of all, their support of each other. We praise that they didn’t take the easy route to become healthy, like diet pills or surgery.

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These two did the work and hold themselves accountable during their journey. They are living proof that hard work and determination can go a long way in changing one’s life for the better. The attention they have garnered is well deserved, and the majority of us continue to root for them and be inspired.

Where They Are Now

The couple that lost over 400 pounds isn’t slowing down. Lexi’s become a major influencer on social media. Her large number of followers allowed her to turn this journey into a money-making endeavor. She’s a paid sponsor for health-related products and services.

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While the two haven’t yet started a family, we hope they fulfill their dream. Their story and success continue to inspire others, and they are regulars on a variety of health-related shows and podcasts. The two happily share their journey, inspiring others to gain control of their lives.