Weight Loss Winners: Couple loses a combined 380 pounds, find each other

A beautiful bride in white with teal on her toes - the shoes are just one unforgettable part of this day.   

Before Crysta and Bill found love they lost something - a collective 380 pounds thanks to weight loss surgery. 

FOX 2: "When did you have your surgery?" 

"May 21, 2008," Bill said. "I call it my second birthday, because it kind of gave me my life back." 

The life the Allen Park man  wanted back included a time when he was active and healthy, he was a  high school and college athlete. 

"I stopped playing basketball, 20 pounds became 40, 40 became 60 until I was 460 pounds,"  he said.

In his 30's bill is frustrated by failed diets- but  in 2007- he makes his dying grandfather a promise. 

"I told him that I was going to change my life and I did," he said.

At the same time Crysta Danaher of Windsor is thinking the same thing. she battled her weight for years, starting with childhood.

"Food was love and you always had to eat all your dinner," she said.

As an adult her weight continues to get in the way. 

"It was acceptable for a man to be heavy and successful," she said. "But not acceptable for a woman to be morbidly obese and respected.

"They look down on you like you're not taking care of your body, how are you going to do your job right. It's sad, but it's the society we live in." 

Both Bill and Crysta end up at the Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital for gastric bypass surgery - a procedure that divides your stomach into a small pouch. 

In support group meetings they become friends, then a romance blooms.  As Bill loses 200 pounds and Crysta 180, they find each other. 

"It changed my whole outlook on life altogether," Bill said.

On November 1, 2014, the two return to the room at Henry Ford Wyandotte  where they first met, to say their I do's - and Crysta's 4-year-old daughter was an important part of the ceremony. 

Now they are a lifelong partners in every way, supporting each other every day. 

Bill has even become an avid marathon runner, who believes without the surgery his life would not be the same. 

"There is nothing easy about weight loss surgery," he said. "It's a commitment. It's a tool. I just needed that tool."

There are several options for bariatric surgery - usually to qualify you need to be considered morbidly obese. You have to weigh at least 100 pounds over your ideal weight. For more information, CLICK HERE.
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