Darrell was recently retired from the military as a slim and fit 35 year old with a 33-inch waste when he started his career with the fast food industry. As manager, Darrell worked, ate, and breathed fast food. However, his metabolism was no match for a diet of cheeseburgers and French fries and after only seven years Darrell more than doubled in size, weighing a hefty 420 pounds with a 60-inch waste. Darrell wasn’t the only one that had an easy time gaining weight at his job. Numerous people joined Darrel’s team with slim bodies and only one year and 300 hamburgers later many of these people were 40 pounds heavier.
At age 42 and weighing 420 pounds Darrell’s cholesterol was off the charts, and he had acid reflux and heart palpitations. Extremely uncomfortable in his obese body, he had hairline joint fractures in his hips and ankles. When he finally made a much needed visit to his doctor, the doc’ said, “I hope you have a good life insurance plan because you are going to have a heart attack.” This opened up Darrell’s eyes to the path that he was taking-straight to the grave. It had never occurred to Darrell fourteen years before that the success of his fast food career would mean an early end to his life. When his doctor woke him up to this reality Darrell made the decision to turn his life around.
With help from his doctor and an online weight support group Darrell was determined to make the difficult journey back to health. His first step was to change his diet; he learned that he needed to eat healthier and cut out the fast food, but that didn’t happen overnight. Because he had grown attached to the tasty, convenient meals that still surrounded him, he went through some “good” periods and “bad”, his weight see-sawing. Eventually, after a few “good” periods, he became sick when he tried to eat fast food again, an event that pushed him to make the solid step forward to a healthy diet.
In addition to a changed diet, Darrell started exercising, which wasn’t easy for a body that had an excess of 230 pounds. He started off with a simple forty minutes a day of walking and eventually, after losing almost 150 pounds he started going to the gym. Not inclined to give up, Darrell stuck with it and the pounds kept on dropping off. Eventually Darrell’s high cholesterol, heart problems and fractured joints all went away.
Today Darrell weighs 197 pounds and if you ever stop in at DTE Pearlridge you might just see Darrell in that good old green apron with a big smile on his face. Darrell is now happily working as assistant manager at DTE Pearlridge. With the change of diet came the change of a lifestyle, and it eventually became an easy switch for Darrell from fast food to health food.