Losing weight is never easy, but it's a little better with a partner.
Just ask Lexi Reed. At her heaviest, she weighed nearly 500 pounds, and she knew that if she didn't make a change, she would soon face serious health risks. She also wanted to become a mother, and she knew that her size would make that difficult.
“I knew I could never be a mom at the size that I was, and that was one thing that motivated me,” she told Today.
Lexi decided to make a New Year's Resolution: Lose the weight by any means necessary. Her husband, Danny, agreed to join her, and they began documenting their journey on Instagram.
Just over a year later, they've lost nearly 300 pounds (Lexi has lost 234 pounds, while Danny has lost 58). In the process, they've collected more than 200,000 Instagram followers, becoming social media sensations.
So, how did they do it?
1. Make diet bets.
Their journey began when a friend dared them not to eat out for an entire month. Lexi and Danny knew that it'd be difficult, but they took the bet anyway—and it turned into a fundamental piece of their dieting strategy.
Today, they challenge their Instagram followers to sign up for their monthly "diet bets," leveraging the power of their community to create positive motivation.
2. Set time for exercise...and don't make excuses.
"We traded in our lazy nights on the couch, eating terrible foods & binge watching netflix[sic] for the gym & healthy meals," Lexi wrote on one post.
Lexi says that she initially treated exercise as an obligation. By adding exercise time to her calendar, she prevented herself from skipping a workout session. At first, she was only able to manage a few minutes of cardio, but she gradually expanded the length of her workouts.
"I just kind of try to set it up like a business meeting," she told Today. "I am my own boss and I can’t cancel."
3. Enjoy a more adventurous lifestyle.
For Lexi and Danny, the hard work quickly paid off. They kept each other motivated by trying new things, and Lexi says that they grew closer through the experience.
"We now have a more adventurous relationship & can do more active things together such as hiking, walking, bike riding, etc.," Lexi wrote. "This journey has brought us closer together & we have changed our lives as well as the lives of our children one day."
4. Surround yourself with supportive people.
"Losing weight is hard & even harder when those you love don't support you," Lexi wrote. "I'm one lucky girl to have someone who always loved me no matter what size & saw who I could be."
For her, that was Danny.
"We're looking forward to a much longer future together & are still working hard on our goals daily," Lexi wrote. "Surround yourself with those who see the greatness in you, even when you don't see it yourself."
Follow the couple's weight-loss journey on Instagram here.