My name is Daniel Peed, from Dallas, Texas and this is my story. Growing up I’ve always had some very deep emotional issues that always pushed me to bury myself in food. Ultimately I have always had a very unhealthy relationship with food. I was always in denial about this until 2017 when I ended up in the hospital. I have tried to lose weight many times, although never very successfully. The reason why I could never lose weight was because I was never really committed to it. I would do good for a little while, but as soon as something came up that got me emotional or sent me back into depression or anxiety, I would dive right back into food. A big contributing factor in my life as far as emotions goes has always been loneliness as well, while I have always had family around and I do love my family dearly, I am a strange person. I have a personality trait known as Avoidant Personality which means that I will do my best to try to avoid situations where I have to be in public or around people because it makes me extremely nervous, anxious, uncomfortable, etc. On the other side of that same coin while I have this same desire to not want to be alone and to want to connect with people.
I know there are many people who have stories similar to mine. Unfortunately as a society we create this image of health and beauty that stigmatizes people that are larger, and most people do not realize that the vast majority of people who are overweight or obese are large not because they are lazy, or because they are pigs, it’s because we’ve been taught wrong about food, or because we’ve got mental or physical issues that we’re dealing with that have pushed us to that point.
I started my weight loss journey at a record for me of 617lbs, at least that’s what the scale said at my doctor’s office in I believe it was July or August of 2017. I hate admitting to myself that I ever weighed this much, because I’ve seen the show my 600lb life, and I never did see myself as being that large or out of control. I was always able to get around, walk, do for myself for the most part. It wasn’t until I landed in the hospital for several months and lost that ability that I really had to stop and examine where things were and how they were going for me. It wasn’t really the weight that had caused the hospitalization necessarily but it certainly didn’t help things.
It was on September 13th, 2017 I had fallen in my bedroom. It was the latest of a series of falls where unfortunately I did not have my cellphone. I was on the floor for about 5 or 6 hours without being able to get up, and I was alone. All I could do was continually rock myself back and forth into somewhat comfortable positions and try to keep myself calm because the pain was excruciating. Due to the number of falls I had at this point and how little I had been getting up and moving around for fear of falling again, my legs had really weakened so I couldn’t really do much with them. I ended up going to the hospital, the primary reason I was taken was severe lower back pain, but upon admission was only really treated for a cellulitis infection in my left leg because the hospital did not have machine(s) large enough to really get any imaging on my back.
I stayed at that particular hospital being treated for the cellulitis infection for a few weeks until September 27th, where I was then transferred to a rehab facility. The Doctor’s idea was that maybe the rehab facility could help me regain enough mobility so that I could ‘self transfer’ between like say a wheelchair and an MRI machine and find an outpatient facility that would be able to get the imaging needed to find out what was wrong with my back to proceed forward with any type of healing needed.
At the rehab facility, they worked with me as best as they could but due to the amount of pain I was in, it took them about 3 ½ weeks to finally get me on a pain regiment that actually worked well enough to allow me to begin decent therapy. By this point, my insurance was tired of not seeing any ‘results’ so they decided they didn’t want to pay for rehab anymore. Having no real choice at that point since going home wasn’t really an option, I asked the rehab center to transfer me to the county hospital for severe back pain. So they took me about 30-40 minutes across town to a different hospital than the first one I went to. This was actually the hospital I wanted to go to the first time, but the paramedics wouldn’t take me there the first time I had asked. With the CT imaging they didn’t get a very good image, but they did manage to find some stenosis in my back, and so they put me on a pain management regimen that ‘somewhat’ helped a little, I wouldn’t say it really worked. But with that and with physical therapy got me at least up on my feet and walking very slightly. Keeping me on that and putting me through physical therapy, they finally managed to get me up to their rehab floor so they could keep working with me.
After a month in rehab at the hospital I was up and walking with the aid of a walker, but only for very short distances. At this point they felt I was capable of going home because I was able to at least get up and move from chair to bed, bathroom so forth and so on, even though I would still have a lot of difficulty performing a lot of the basic tasks at home. By that point I had been in hospitals for roughly 4 months, it’s around January 25th at that point and I’m finally going home at 535 lbs.
During my stay at both the rehab facility and the second hospital, they wrapped my left leg with compression garments which encouraged fluids to push up through my body, allowing me to discharge them normally. This is what helped bring me from the 617 down to the 535 that I ended at, along with hospital food and exercise in rehab. While in the hospital I had a lot of time to think, research, and just in general re-evaluate my life and I decided that I wanted things to be different. I had also spoken with a psychologist, that helped a little but I had already decided for myself that I wanted things to change, and I never wanted to end up in that situation again.
When I got home, my sister who I’ve lived with for awhile understood what the new lifestyle I wanted to do was and she was willing to cook that way for me, as she understood it was rather severe for me to lose weight and it was urgent. Fast forward a month to March, I had lost about 20lbs in that first month I think, just eating very simply. Up until March she hadn’t quite been fully on board, she’d kept to some of her old ways when she wasn’t at home. But after seeing my results, she fully embraced it and decided to fully embrace it and joined me.
I have since been diagnosed with Severe Spinal Stenosis, Retrolisthesis, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and General Anxiety Disorder, and ADD/ADHD, and of course chronic lower back pain. Prior to being hospitalized I had an A1C hemoglobin of 6.4, my last blood glucose A1C was 5.7, but that was only a month after I had switched to this way of eating. I am curious to see my blood tests in another month from now before my next Dr’s appointment.
As of this writing my blood glucose has dropped to 5.5, though my cholesterol is up slightly nothing in dangerous levels just something my doctor wants to monitor and keep an eye on. I just want to let everyone out there know, no matter what obstacle you have to overcome.. yes it’ll be hard, but the journey can be educating, filled with new friends, and extremely rewarding. I am still working hard on changing myself, I am now at 410(ish) lbs, working my way down, I will continue to post progress updates, and let you know my journey.. if you have a journey of weight loss to share, please do. If you have a journey that’s not related to weight loss, or a low carb lifestyle, please by all means, comment or inbox me, I’d like to hear it!