On New Year's Day, 2016, Lexi Reed made a promise to herself: to lose weight. At the time, 26-year-old Lexi weighed 485 pounds, while her husband, 28-year-old Danny, was 281 pounds.
“There were so many reasons we wanted to lose weight, but one of the most important was our health,” she says. “We knew we wanted to be able to have children one day and live a long life together, which wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t change.”
One year later, Lexi accomplished her goal, having lost 236 pounds. Danny, who walked, exercised, and cooked with her, shed 62 pounds. Their weight loss story is going viral, and Lexi's Instagram profile, where she shares her journey, has gained over 60,000 followers, many of whom say they've been inspired by her success.
The Indiana-based husband and wife kicked off their weight loss journey by committing to go a month without alcohol, soda, or eating out. They started exercising 4 to 5 times per week using the elliptical, slowly building up endurance. “It was hard at first,” Lexi says. “But we were getting stronger every time.” They also switched up their diet by ditching fried food, junk food, and sugary sweets in favor of more veggies and lean protein like chicken and salmon.
The Reeds took the right route. “When you have 100+ pounds to lose, the best way to start exercising is to do more today than you did yesterday,” says Michael Smith, MD, WebMD’s chief medical editor. And though working out is important for long-term health, “weight loss is primarily going to come from changing what you eat,” he says.
Working toward their goals together also helped a lot, since they were able to constantly support and push each other, Lexi says. “Recent research lists plenty of interaction and support as one of the top 5 things to look for in a weight loss program,” Smith explains. “Having that support is critical to losing the weight and keeping it off.”
Now, 1 year and almost 300 pounds later, the couple keeps up their healthy habits together. Lexi and Danny work out 5 or 6 days per week, mixing it up with high-intensity interval training, weight training, and even Zumba. They also stay on track with their nutrition, eating around 1500 calories of healthy food per day -- rather than 4,000 calories of junk food.
Beyond their newfound health, the Reeds found another unexpected bonus of losing weight: Their already good relationship has become even stronger. “We’re able to do so many more things together, and we’re not wasting our nights on the couch mindlessly eating and not talking,” Lexi says. We’re out spending time together and loving life.”