Unhealthy habits are hard to quit. Addictive habits such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and overeating can be especially difficult to kick to the curb. Every year, people all over the world make “New Year’s Resolutions” that send millions to the gym, only to have gyms slowly empty out a few months later due to lack of commitment. That’s why role models can have such a profound impact on us, to motivate and inspire our own personal journeys.
Which leads us to introduce two inspiring role models, Lexi and Danny Reed. Under Lexi’s username “FatGirlFedUp” on Instagram, over a million people have followed their weight loss journey over the course of two years. The couple’s transformation is sure to both inspire and amaze you.
1. Challenges Since Childhood
Lexi’s weight challenges are traced back since her childhood. Eating was something she always enjoyed, and comforted her every emotion. Whether eating because she was happy, or eating because she was sad, food was always the answer. Soon the extra weight was becoming a problem and put her health at serious risk.
Despite potential health problems, Lexi was happy with her body and lifestyle. She had friends and hobbies, and enjoyed indulging in food as part of her life. She was unwilling to give up all the processed junk food that comforted her and made her happy, although only for the short-term.
2. Weight Becoming A Problem
As Lexi entered adulthood, the extra pounds continued to add up. At 25 years of age, Lexi weighed just under 400 pounds, or 180 kilograms. Her family and doctors were very concerned and warned her that this path would lead to serious health problems, and even death. Despite the warnings, Lexi convinced herself that she was happy and was unwilling to give up the overeating.
However, deep inside she knew she had an enormous problem. The unhealthy weight forced her to give up the things she enjoyed doing in life, such as going for walks, traveling, or doing anything involving physical activity. Just getting up out of bed and walking short distances was getting increasingly difficult.
3. A Match Made in Heaven
While doctors and people on the street only saw Lexi for her weight, her best friend of 10 years, Danny Reed, saw Lexi with different eyes. He fell in love with her heart and soul, and who she truly was on the inside. Danny saw Lexi as beautiful, no matter her shape or size.
Danny also struggled with overeating, and it would soon become an unhealthy part of the couple’s relationship. Their date nights would include binge watching Netflix while eating junk food and takeout, or going to an all-you-can-eat restaurant and spending hours eating greasy, fatty foods.
The numbers on the scale continued to increase.
4. Dangerous Habits
With Lexi at a dangerous weight of 485 pounds (220 kilograms), and Danny at an unhealthy weight of 280 pounds (127 kilograms), the weight became an all-consuming problem in the couple’s lives. They knew the weight limited them from doing activities they would love doing, such as walking or hiking, but they were both trapped in an endless cycle of eating and sitting on the couch watching TV.
Lexi would go through short periods of time dieting, but would fail every time. She even joined Weight Watchers at one point, but soon after, she gave up. She felt she didn’t have the motivation or will power to change her habits. What would it take for this couple to finally lose the weight they desperately needed to?
5. Danny Pops the Question
Despite the huge problem with their weight, the couple’s love for each other continued to grow. They knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, no matter what challenges lie ahead. Lexi shared on Instagram, “He never saw me as my size, asked me to change, or made me feel as anything other than beautiful.”
After knowing each other for over 10 years, Danny asked Lexi to marry him and she said yes! However, she would face a new problem – finding a wedding dress in her size. After leaving many bridal shops empty-handed, she began to worry that she would never find a dress to fit her size and shape.
6. She Said Yes To The Dress
Lexi was almost ready to give up searching for a wedding dress, but something in her told her to keep going. She shared her struggle on her Instagram account, writing “Nobody knew how to make me feel like a bride, and not my size. Thank god I was strong enough to know my worth, and kept searching for my 34W dress even though I questioned if I would ever find one.”
After months of searching, Lexi finally found a dress that made her feel like a beautiful bride. She found an elegant lace, sleeveless, A-line dress that flattered her figure and made her feel like a princess. Complete with tiara and a long veil, Lexi couldn’t wait to marry the man she loved.
7. The Wedding of Their Dreams
Lexi was able to walk down the aisle in a wedding dress that fit her shape, and marry her best friend. They had the wedding of their dreams that honored their love and commitment for each other in front of their friends and family.
After such a beautiful wedding day, some not so pleasant realities would slowly start to sink in. The couple began to talk about their desire to have children. At Lexi’s weight, it would not only be difficult to get pregnant, her pregnancy would be high risk, putting both herself and baby at danger. This harsh reality began to sink in and make Lexi and Danny finally realize things needed to change.
8. New Year’s Resolution
The desire to have a healthy baby gave Lexi that surge of motivation to finally make the step towards a healthy lifestyle change. On New Year’s Day 2016, the couple finally decided together that enough was enough. That decision would change their lives forever.
They didn’t take the decision lightly. They made a strict set of rules for themselves that they committed to follow: No take-out, no “cheat” meals, no soda, and no alcohol. They also committed to exercise at the gym for thirty minutes, five days per week. This was it. Either they make the change, or they’re literally on their way to the grave.
9. Sharing the Journey
The couple decided to make their journey public to help keep them accountable, and also to inspire others who are overweight or morbidly obese. Lexi made the account “FatGirlFedUp” and Danny called his “DiscoveringDanny” to share their progress on Instagram. They shared this photo of one of their first days at the gym.
At first, the gym intimidated Lexi. She wasn’t sure how to use the gym equipment and could feel people staring at her. But she knew she had to start somewhere and mustered every ounce of courage to begin her weight loss journey. With her husband at her side, she bravely conquered her anxieties.
10. First Steps
The first month was the hardest. It was almost like an entire detox of the body done cold turkey. They previously lived off soda and junk food and lived a completely sedentary life. From one day to the next, they cut out all the junk and started daily gym workouts.
Needless to say, their bodies were aching like never before, especially Lexi who was substantially heavier than her husband. Her joints were in pain, and muscles were activated that laid dormant for years. Without a personal trainer to guide them, they had to rely on each other to keep motivated and positive. The couple pushed through the pain and stayed true to their commitment.
11. The Right Gym
Completely intimated by large gyms filled with fit, sporty people, Lexi and Danny were on the search for a gym that would make them feel comfortable. When they got offered a free trial membership at a small local gym, the couple loved that it was quiet with a non-intimated atmosphere. It ended up being the perfect fit for them.
“I started going there when I got a free trial and — since it was never really crowded, my machine faced the wall (so I didn’t feel like everyone was watching me), and I found a machine called the CrossRamp that didn’t hurt my joints at 485 pounds — I fell in love with it.”
12. Steady Progress
With such an extreme lifestyle change, the pounds began to drop. Lexi was losing about 20 pounds (9 kilos) a month and already feeling like a new woman. Her joints were hurting less and she was able to get out of bed and walk short distances without being completely out of breath. But most importantly, her self-esteem improved as she began taking better care of herself.
Only about a month in, you can already see some progress. Something that helped keep the couple motivated was reminding themselves of why they started this journey in the first place. “We were fed up with the life that we were living and all the things that we weren’t able to do together as a couple,” shared Lexi.
13. Cooking Together
Lexi was also learning tons of new information about food and nutrition. She fell in love with cooking healthy meals for herself and her husband, getting creative in the kitchen. “I started taking the foods I loved and making healthier versions so I no longer felt like I had to give up something or deprive [myself],” shared Lexi on Instagram.
Lexi and Danny formed a new shared interest of cooking together, something they had never done together before. Cooking together daily was a massive change from eating out at every meal. Not surprisingly, their bodies reacted positively to the new healthy food.
14. Results Are Showing
Eight months into their weight loss journey, Danny is looking great, and Lexi is almost unrecognizable. At this point, Lexi has lost a remarkable 160 pounds (75 kilograms). They have made amazing progress!
Lexi’s mental health has improved immensely, as she is now able to feel and process her emotions without food as a constant companion. She is experiencing freedom, finally able to do all the things she missed out on for years now because of the weight. The couple even travelled to Florida for a beach vacation, something that Lexi’s weight held her back from for years. Their dreams are beginning to come true.
15. Danny’s Transformation
Lexi was not the only one making progress. Danny’s results were also starting to show. Not only was the fat steadily shedding, his body was gaining muscle mass and strength. He’s looking like a new man!
What started as a commitment to support his wife, was becoming something he got quite passionate about for himself. Danny was feeling healthier and stronger, and an overall better version of himself. Instead of pushing himself to go to the gym, he became excited and passionate about his daily regimen. And the hard work would continue to pay off for both of them as the months passed.
16. Lexi’s Incredible Transformation
It’s hard to believe these two images are the same girl, just 18 months apart. Lexi Reed lost an astounding 312 pounds (141 kilograms) in just 18 months time, all through diet and exercise.
Lexi describes her journey as an experience of freedom. “Every day is a non-scale victory and a reminder of how far I’ve come. 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,” writes Lexi on her Instagram account.
17. A New Future In Sight
Lexi has an entirely new perspective about the future. She lives every day with a heart of gratitude for how far she’s come. “I am grateful for every single day and I am enjoying the journey,” shares Lexi on Instagram.
Without her weight holding her back, any dream is now possible. The couple has plans to travel and see the world. They have plans to start a family in the near future. The weight loss has brought a world of hope and aspiration to Lexi’s eyes.
But Lexi isn’t the only one looking amazing. Just wait till you see Danny’s transformation.
18. A New Danny
Who is this stud? Danny started at 280 pounds (127 kg) and now weighs a healthy 185 pounds (84 kg). That’s a hundred pound weight loss in 18 months time. Quite impressive!
Through this experience, Danny has discovered a passion for working out and eating right. Through social media, he teaches others how to do the same. Lexi and Danny even have a YouTube channel sharing their knowledge. Inspiring others to lose weight and live healthier has fulfilled Danny in a way he didn’t know was possible. But even more exciting things were in store for Lexi and Danny Reed.
19. Sharing Their Story Live on TV
With an Instagram following of 1.2 million on FatGirlFedUp, the couple caught the attention of TV news programs. The Today Show invited Danny and Lexi to share their story live! They were thrilled and incredibly honored for the opportunity to reach millions of viewers with their story.
Lexi and Danny were flown to New York City to sit down with Megyn Kelly for an interview. Together they shared how they were able to lose a combined weight of 400 pounds, all naturally through diet and exercise – a truly inspiring story for millions of people across the world. A dream come true!
20. Walking the Red Carpet
Just when the couple thought things couldn’t be better, Lexi and Danny had the prestigious honor of being invited to attend the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2018. Lexi was sent by TNT and L’Oreal as way of honoring her as a strong woman. Needless to say, Lexi was incredibly humbled and thankful for this recognition.
The couple was flown to Hollywood and setup in a fancy hotel, all expenses paid. It was the trip of a lifetime, and one they could have never imagined doing just two years prior. Walking that red carpet was a fairy tale moment that the couple will never forget.
21. What’s Next for Lexi & Danny?
What’s next for this power couple? Maintaining their new lifestyle is at the top of their list. Their other mission is to influence and inspire as many people as possible. They want to continue to share their weight loss story and give advice about nutrition and exercise through social media and news outlets.
A personal dream of theirs is to start a family in the next few years. Lexi shared in an interview with Life & Style magazine, “In 5 years, I see us starting a family as well as finding ways to help more people change their life the same way that we have with diet and exercise.” The future is bright for Lexi and Danny Reed.
22. Half a portion
This picture says more than a thousand words. It represents how incredible the young woman’s success was. Lexi now fits into a single leg of her old jeans. Besides the beauty that Lexi now radiates, it is above all the health she won. Belly fat in particular is dangerous for the body!
23. Forever fit
Lexi still posts photos from the gym on Instagram. A healthy lifestyle can become just as much a habit as eating fast food and sitting on the couch. The body gets used to the new lifestyle. Sport is now an important part of her day for the rest of her life, she is sure.
24. Hiking together
The success also helped the couple to make some appearances on television. For example, they talked about nutrition and sport on “Rachel Ray”. Nevertheless, the couple always emphasized that the most important thing for them was to have fun during their time together. This was much better possible slim. They love to go hiking together.
25. A look back
Today, Lexi often looks back. It was incredible, when she got engaged to Danny she could hardly breathe after only a few steps. What would have happened to her future if she hadn’t changed her life? What would her life expectancy have been? This thought sends shivers down Lexi’s spine today.
26. Radiant in the amusement park
Here you see Lexi and Danny beaming in Florida. It had been Lexi’s dream to visit the Harry Potter theme park there. She is beaming because she could ride every carousel. Overweight people often don’t fit in the seats and their health doesn’t allow these people to ride roller coasters.
27. Joy of Life
For Lexi it is an incredible feeling of happiness to move freely. She used to feel like she was in prison in her body. Now she can travel wherever she wants, have fun and do whatever she wants. What a gain in joy of life! We only have to look at her face to see that.
28. You can do it too!
On her Instagram page, Lexi tries to motivate other people every day. The beginning is the hardest part, she knows today. Standing in the back row at a Zumba workout and feeling out of place is no reason not to stay on the ball, she says. All beginnings are difficult!
29. Healthy food
The amazing thing is that Lexi has lost so much weight without diet pills or surgery. A healthy lifestyle is much more sustainable than quick fixes. Today, Lexi often shares photos of her meals on Instagram. Sushi with salad is an ideal snack. Above all, she knows, it’s important to always make sure you get enough protein.
30. The first push-ups
Instagram is full of fitness pages. However, perfect athletes are not the right role models for many. Lexi was not afraid to show how far down she had started. Today she laughs about the fact that she broke down crying during her first push-ups. She is proud that she never gave up despite everything.
31. Positive thinking
Lexi knows exactly what is important when losing weight. For many people she is the perfect coach. The most important thing is to talk to yourself in a positive way. If you tell yourself I’m fat and it will never work, you’re preventing yourself from success. Everything is possible! Believe in yourself!
32. Her first band shirt
One of the great things about having a slim figure is that you can fit into any piece of clothing. Lexi bought her first concert T.shirt in 2018. Just buying it, putting it on, and it fits, that’s an amazing feeling. Anyone who has ever weighed too much knows the frustration of choosing clothes.
33. New adventures
Recently, Lexi shared a photo of herself in a kayak on Instagram. She had been afraid of the rickety boat. After she got over it, she had great fun. Enjoyment of life is the most important thing you can have next to health, Lexi knows. Just look at how the young woman smiles.
34. Always on the move
Lexi knows that the right diet is the most important thing to lose weight. However, sport is still unbearable for your health. Everyone should find what they enjoy, is the motto. Cycling, swimming, dancing, it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re moving. Lexi and Danny like to go to the gym.
35. Joy in nature
Hiking and exercise in the fresh air is also an elixir of life for Lexi. She takes incredible pleasure in scrambling up mountains or running across fields. She reminds herself and her followers again and again that this was not possible for her for many years. A walk alone is good for the whole body.
36. Daily routine
The time factor keeps many people from leading a healthy life. When should I exercise if I sit at a desk for 8 hours a day? Lexi is often asked this question. The young woman knows how important daily routine is.
She starts her work out every morning at 6 am. When exercise is part of the day, like eating breakfast, it’s easier.
37. Restaurant food
Like all of us, Lexi goes to a restaurant with her family sometimes. It is not always easy to find healthy food on the menu there, Lexi knows. But it is possible to leave out greasy sauces. Fish and salad, steak and vegetables, there are many things in restaurants that are not completely unhealthy and that you can eat without a guilty conscience.
It is perfect when the partner has the same goals. Danny shows off his new body on Instagram just like Lexi. He loves going to the gym. He does cardio every time and exercises with the dumbbells, he shared with his friends on Instagram. The photo speaks for itself. Bravo Danny!
39. Danny’s Meal
Danny has got used to his new diet. He fancies chicken and vegetables. Proteins are important for the body and muscles. The vegetables provide you with vitamins, Danny shared with his followers. It is unbelievable how much joy Lexi and Danny have in their new life. They are both a great inspiration.
40. With love
Danny and Lexi have managed to inspire and motivate each other. Together they are strong, they now realize that. Their lives have changed completely. Their bodies have lost weight, but their love has increased. If you want to see what is possible, scroll back to the first photos. Love can do anything!