The Couple That Completely Transformed Themselves In 2 Years

Lexi and Danny Reed were, in many ways, your average American couple. The two fell in love, got married, and pondered about the future. The fact that they both happened to be overweight isn't necessarily surprising as one-third of all Americans are obese, according to a survey published by the CDC.

However, what Lexi and Danny did next was indeed surprising. In just two years time, the newlyweds had shed some major pounds and completely transformed themselves in the process. Combined, the two have lost over 390 pounds, as reported by Insider. Lexi documented the couple's weight loss on Instagram and no doubt became an inspiration to her over half a million followers. Let's learn some more about this amazing couple.

Meet Lexi and Danny Reed

Although the world now recognizes Lexi and Danny Reed as the couple who lost an incredible amount of weight, the Reeds were extraordinary even before their transformation. Lexi shared a photo of Danny proposing to her in a heartfelt throwback Instagram post captioned, in part, "[Danny] asked me to be his wife on Clearwater Beach at sunset. I had no idea it was coming and cried like a baby."

Lexi continued, "He loved me enough at my heaviest to spend the rest of his life by my side despite my size. He never asked me to change or made me feel like I wasn't worthy to feel beautiful and loved." Aww! In another Instagram post by Lexi, she describes Danny as her "best friend" and "soul mate." This couple sure makes it easy to adore them! 

The plus-size wedding

When Lexi and Danny Reed said "I do," the two weighed 495 pounds and 280 pounds respectively. As many former brides can attest to, wedding dress shopping is a notoriously exciting, yet equally stressful experience. However, it was even more difficult for Lexi due to her size. In a photo many would be too embarrassed to post, Lexi shared the size 52F bra she wore on her wedding day. 

The bra fitting wasn't the only uncomfortable experience Lexi endured while shopping for her big day. She explained in the caption of an Instagram post, "Nothing about shopping for a wedding dress at 485lbs was glamorous. ... Nobody knew how to treat a plus size bride." In another post, Lexi revealed that she was subjected to stares, shock, and comments while browsing in bridal stores. Lexi had a hard time even finding one dress in her size, but held out hope for a 34W gown. What motivated her to keep searching? She explained, "I was strong enough to know my worth." 

Eventually, Lexi found her perfect dress some five hours away and her wedding was a success. Lexi added, "I married my best friend, the day was perfect, I loved my dress, & I got to feel like a beautiful princess."

Life at 485 pounds

Lexi and Danny Reed sat down with Megyn Kelly on the set of Today and candidly described their personal experiences with obesity. "For me," Lexi began, "I would wake up in the morning, my joints would be sore. I would be tired, I would be out of breath quickly." As if that wasn't enough, there were even more problems. Lexi continued by explaining all of the things she had to think about — things the average person may never have given a second thought. "My stomach touched the steering wheel, I didn't fit in booths, I couldn't ride rollercoasters. ... It was exhausting." 

According to Danny, both he and Lexi consumed a daily diet of around 4,000-6,000 calories. "We ate anything fried. We hated cooking. We ate microwaved meals — anything that was easy," Lexi elaborated. Certainly, many can relate. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, only ten percent of Americans actually love cooking and a whopping 45 percent hate it, much like Lexi and Danny. Still, the couple obviously knew that change was needed.

It all began with a New Year's resolution

Is one of your New Year's resolutions for this year to lose weight? If so, you're not alone. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, losing weight is the most commonly made resolution. Sadly though, only around nine percent of people making these resolutions seem to actually stick with, and accomplish, them.

Lexi and Danny, however, seem to have beaten the odds. According to an interview with Lexi for Insider, in January 2016, the couple made the decision to get healthy. Naturally, this wasn't as easy as just declaring a noble resolution. Both Lexi and Danny needed to make some big lifestyle adjustments in order to go from obese to good health. So, how did they do it?

Daring to change

Not long after Lexi and Danny made their New Year's resolution to get healthy, their friend challenged them to a dare. Perhaps feeling optimistic about the goal they had just set, they agreed. Just what did this dare entail? According to an interview with Today, it was to go one whole month without drinking alcohol, going out to eat, or consuming cheat meals. 

Without question, this would be a great way to jump-start their resolution. Though, for a couple who we now know hated cooking and relied heavily on processed foods, this couldn't have been easy. In spite of the challenges, both Lexi and Danny persisted and seemingly completed the dare successfully. More than simply succeeding in giving up booze and dining out, they even upped the ante. How?

"The first day of the rest of my life"

Together, Lexi, at 495 pounds, and Danny, at 280 pounds, joined a gym. "I told myself that it was basically going to be the first day of the rest of my life," Lexi told People. She continued, "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 explained to Today, "I tried to do high-intensity cardio, but I wasn't able to." Despite struggling, she didn't give up. Lexi modified her workout and set her sights on 30 minutes of cardio, four times a week.

Lexi explained that she would need to take breaks throughout her workout, but she kept at it and eventually the half-hour of exercise became easier and easier. Danny, too, persisted. "At first the idea didn't sound great," he explained to People. "It was always good going home, sitting down, eating and not having to worry about anything," he added. Thankfully, his attitude changed. 

"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 further disclosed. As of 2018, the couple still works out together and they even share encouraging post-workout selfies.

Aiming for healthy not skinny

People have all kinds of reasons for wanting to lose weight. The most common one? According to a study published by the National Institute of Health, 50 percent of people cite their health as the primary objective. This was true for Lexi and Danny as well. Insider reports that, at least for Lexi, the journey to weight loss wasn't an attempt to adhere to societal standards, nor was the end goal for the couple to become thin. 

"It's not about the weight you lose, but the life you gain," she wisely explained to Insider. "My goal was never to be 'skinny' but to be healthy." Lexi went on to share an important piece of advice for those hoping to lose weight, "I loved myself at 485 lbs the same way I loved myself at 179 lbs. If you don't love yourself before losing weight, [it] won't change that."

The secret to their weight loss

Naturally, when you hear of the couple who lost a combined total of nearly 400 pounds, you'd want to know how in the world that was even possible. Was it some special weight loss program or maybe some incredible supplement? It seems the secret is, as it turns out, not so secretive.

According to an interview with ABC's Good Morning America, neither Lexi nor Danny used a trainer, took diet pills, had weight loss surgery, or even subscribed to a meal planning service. It seems Lexi and Danny lost weight the good 'ole fashioned way — healthy eating and exercise. However, Lexi did credit starting small with eventually producing big results.

Lexi highlighted in an interview with People some of the modifications she and Danny made, "We started cooking, meal prepping, tracking our calories and reading nutrition labels." They also made healthier versions of some of their favorite unhealthy meals. Gradually, the couple also became more active. In addition to their workouts at the gym, Lexi shared, "We started going on walks, being active, hiking, riding bikes — all these activities that we weren't able to do when we were living on our couch." Isn't it comforting to know they lost so much weight without any expensive gimmicks?

It's also all about the buddy system

In addition to attributing the couple's amazing success to a series of small changes, Lexi also explained the importance of having a buddy system. 

In an Instagram post about Danny's best man and best friend of 19 years, Lexi wrote, "He's pushed me since Day 1 to try new things and been there to push us to be better. From hiking with me at 485lbs... letting me take my time hiking and being patient when I took multiple breaks." Lexi continued, "I will never take our friendship for granted and I'm blessed to have had him stand up with us at the altar and in life."

What an amazing friend he must be! Of course, Lexi and Danny also had each other. Lexi told People that, on account of their buddy system, "[E]very step of the way, every pound, we were there to motivate each other. We kept each other accountable."

Lexi and Danny's dramatic weight loss also dramatically changed their relationship

If you were to lose weight, especially a substantial amount of weight, your body would change in pretty dramatic ways. However, weight loss can also apparently alter the relationships you have with others — for better or for worse. A study conducted by North Carolina State University found that couples, while losing weight, experienced positive interactions with one another, but also negative experiences like "partner criticism." 

How has Lexi and Danny's relationship faired? Lexi said in an interview on Megyn Kelly Today"Everything has improved in my life." Megyn Kelly even boldly asks the couple, "Has your sex life improved?" Without skipping a beat, Lexi emphasizes, "Everything in my life has improved." Get it, girl!

This was the couple's biggest motivation to lose weight

Lexi and Danny have been so transparent, both in interviews and throughout Lexi's Instagram journey. Since the airing of the Megyn Kelly Today interview in January 2018, the couple's fans are even to privy to the intimate details of their relationship. However, that's not all the couple shared when they sat down with Kelly. They may have even given the audience a hint to what their future holds.

When explaining the couple's motivation to lose weight, Lexi said, "We also wanted to be parents so that really motivated us on the days that we didn't feel like working out was to have a future family." Could it be? Does this mean a Baby Reed announcement will be coming in the near future? We'll surely find out on Lexi's Instagram.

Seven pounds of skin

By October 2018, Lexi had lost a total of 312 pounds naturally. But it was losing the next seven pounds that would prove to be most difficult for the Instagram influencer. In September 2018, Lexi had shared an announcement with her followers: "We officially have a date my friends! Excited to announce that this all just got real and I have chosen [Dr. Joseph Michaels] as my surgeon after doing very much research, speaking with friends, speaking with him personally, and getting over my fear!" Lexi decided to have a lower body lift to get rid of excess skin that remained from her incredible weight loss. 

After nine hours of surgery, Lexi had seven pounds of skin removed. Lexi's surgeon revealed on Instagram (note: sensitive content) that he removed a three-foot wide and 1.5-foot tall area of skin from the 28-year-old's abdomen alone. Although Lexi admitted that the recovery has not been easy, her doctor explained that "this degree of skin removal will have an incredible impact on Lexi's quality of life."