FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. - On his wedding day, a 45-year-old Farmington Hills man had a realization he just couldn't ignore - and made a big decision. He made the decision to save his life.
"I've been a big fella since I can remember. I think when I got to 16 I just blew up from there," he tells us. He says he can't recall a time when he wasn't considered "big." And with his size came the struggle.
"Not being able to walk from the door to your mailbox without your legs, your ankles, my back - I had sciatic nerve problems all the time - I always stayed in pain. I stayed in pain most of my life," he says.
In March 2017, Darryl got married in Las Vegas. He remembers the love, the joy - but also the burden of the weight. He was 465 pounds.
"The day we got married, we couldn't walk that strip," he says.
It's on that life-changing day Darryl decided to save his life. Words from a doctor weighed heavily on him.
"Basically hearing somebody telling me that I could die, that struck a nerve knowing that I'm about to maybe leave her after we just got married, not leaving her in the best way. Like, me dying, that sucks. I don't want to leave her," he said.
So in May 2018 he went to the Beaumont Weight Control Center and had gastric sleeve surgery. It's a procedure that removed much of his stomach and gave him a jump start to lose weight.
"The surgery reformats the shape of the stomach into a tubular shape. Your portions are pretty small. You can't tolerate heavier textures, too much food at one time, you have to eat slowly and chew thoroughly or else you do run the risk of feeling sick," said Kerstyn Zalesin at the center.
Before the surgery, Darryl admittedly loved to eat and loved to cook. He still does, but now he does things differently - lean proteins, lots of vegetables and small portions.
"It's actually pretty hard [to change the way you eat]," he tells us. "It's still hard, I can't lie and say it's not because everything still looks good."
Now almost three years after his wedding day, Darryl is emotional when he gets out his wedding suit. He remembers struggling to find a suit in his size and how snug it once was. Now, he's lost almost half his body weight.
"At my heaviest, I weighed about 490 and I lost about 210. So I lost a whole other person," he said.
Walking is now effortless, and Darryl's long list of health pains and problems are gone.
Darryl hopes to keep sharing his story and inspiring others.
If you want to learn more about weight loss surgery, you can visit Beaumont's website here.