At just 25 years old, Lexi Reed weighed nearly 500 pounds. The Indiana native knew she was putting her health — and potentially her life — in jeopardy, which is why, on January 1, 2016, she decided something had to change.
Kicking off the new year with her biggest weight-loss resolution yet, Reed teamed up with her husband, Danny, to work their way toward a healthier lifestyle. Now, a little over a year later, the couple is still going strong — and they've lost nearly 300 pounds combined!
"The first 30 days we didn't eat out," Reed told local news station WTHI-TV. "We didn't party with our friends or anything anymore; we didn't have cheat meals. We just were constantly healthy. I think after that first 30 days, it just became so much easier because we had learned what we couldn't eat. From there on, it wasn't a resolution anymore; it just became our lifestyle."
Once Reed lost her first 100 pounds, she decided to take her journey to social media, where she started her Instagram account, @fatgirlfedup. There, she posts gym selfies, meal ideas, and motivational quotes for an audience of more than 56,000 followers.
Reed never expected her weight-loss journey would matter to more than her immediate circle of friends — much less for it to go viral. But now that she has such a large Instagram audience, she hopes her weight-loss journey can motivate others.
"I just hope that if [people] do come to my page, they can find inspiration; they can find somebody to say it's possible," she said. "You don't have to have surgery, and you don't have to pay crazy amounts of money just to eat healthy or to have a trainer. Just move, start walking — all those things are just going to make a difference."
Reed says there isn't any special secret to how she lost 236 pounds. She simply credits changes to her diet and exercise routine. But there have been other benefits to her major lifestyle makeover: Reed says setting (and achieving!) weight-loss goals with her husband by her side has made their relationship even stronger, and the experience inspired her to head back to school to study nutrition.
"2016 has been one of the greatest years of my life, and I can honestly say I'm not the same person I was when this year started," she wrote in a recent Instagram caption. "You are capable of anything you set your mind to. Who will you be in 2017?"