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When Lexi and Danny Reed visited a Chinese restaurant, it wasn’t unusual for them to make trip after trip to the buffet, heaping food on as many as eight plates. The couple loved going out to eat, noshing on fried and fast food, pizza, chips, candy and soda.
But these unhealthy habits meant they both were overweight and they realized they needed to change. On New Year’s Day 2016, the married couple vowed to lose weight and since then, they’ve undergone a dramatic transformation — Danny lost 62 pounds and Lexi lost 236 pounds.
“I just felt happier. I felt proud of myself,” Lexi, 26, of Terre Haute, Indiana, told TODAY. “I was accomplishing something and I was finally doing something.”
Lexi has been overweight her entire life and when she and Danny, 28, started dating in 2007, they frequently went out to eat, or watched TV and mindlessly ate. Throughout her life, she tried losing weight; sometimes she’d drop some, but she’d always gain it back.
When Lexi and Danny considered their New Year’s resolution, 5-foot-6-inch Lexi weighed 485 pounds and 5-foot-8-inch Danny weighed 281 pounds. Lexi worried that being so overweight would shorten the amount of time she had with Danny. The couple — who married in October 2015 — had talked about having 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.
After making their resolution, a friend dared them to go a month without drinking alcohol, going out to eat or having a cheat meal — and the couple took that dare. They also started going to the gym. Lexi felt determined to do a half hour of cardio, four times a week.
“I tried to do high-intensity cardio, but I wasn’t able to,” she said.
Instead, she focused on simply doing 30 minutes of cardio. She walked until she was winded, then took a break. Then, she would start again and walk until she needed a break. Through this stop-and-start method, she completed 30 minutes of cardio. It was hard, but she kept returning. As time passed it, became easier.
After the first month, Lexi and Danny took a different approach to their diet: they added vegetables and lean protein, such as salmon and chicken, and ate healthy carbs.
“We just switched the fast food for healthy choices,” Lexi said.
Each month, Lexi has lost about 20 pounds. She hasn’t hit a plateau yet because she constantly re-evaluates what she is doing.
“My weight loss has slowed and I have picked up the intensity of my workouts and adjusted my calories to continue losing consistently,” she said.
She now works out for an hour, five or six days a week, doing a mix of cardio and weight training along with Danny.
While losing weight helps the couple feel better physically and emotionally, it has also had an unintended impact.
“This helped our relationship a lot and that is pretty cool,” said Danny. “Us being able to do stuff together has brought us closer together.”
Here are a few of the couple's tips for people hoping to lose weight:
1. Make your workout a meeting on your calendar.
A few months ago, Lexi was working 10-hour days, but she still went to the gym. While it seems amazing that she made exercise a priority, she says it’s because she tells herself she must.
“I just kind of try to set it up like a business meeting. I am my own boss and I can’t cancel,” she said.
2. Use the buddy system.
When Lexi didn’t feel like working out, Danny encouraged her. When Danny wanted to take a break, Lexi convinced him to go.
“It’s awesome because we have each other,” said Danny.
3. Find your motivation
The Reeds wanted to have a long healthy life together and become healthy examples for their future children. This kept them focused.
“I just tried to remind myself the things I was doing it for and my goals,” said Lexi.
Lexi also feels inspired by looking at pictures that show how far she's come, which she tracks on Instagram.
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For more weight-loss inspiration, check out our My Weight-Loss Journey page!