An obese couple have lost a staggering 432 pounds (approx. 196 kg) to become parents after they struggled to conceive for seven years.
Dustin Hall, 37, shed a phenomenal 317 pounds (approx. 144 kg), and his wife Raquel, 34, lost 115 pounds (approx. 52 kg) after doctors told them that slimming down was their only chance at parenthood.
Luckily, the couple, from Lathrop, Northern California, became parents to Presley on Dec. 20, 2020, and insisted that their weight-loss journey made parenthood possible.
“The only reason we can have kids is because we lost a significant amount of weight and we kept it off,” said Dustin. “I couldn’t be an active father at 534 pounds (approx. 242 kg).”
Raquel, who works at a nonprofit, agrees with her husband. She said: “Being a mom is worth every second of weight loss, every calorie burned, every sweaty moment in the gym.”
Dustin’s doctors had warned him that if he did not shrink his bulky frame, he could die within six months.
“I was having a hard time breathing in the middle of the night, I couldn’t tie my shoes, I couldn’t walk more than 100 yards without having to sit down,” Dustin, who works in insurance, said.
Dustin was consuming close to anywhere between 13,000 and 15,000 calories a day at that time.
“I would go to Taco Bell and have 2,500 calories for lunch,” Dustin said. “I drank two or three 2-liter bottles of soda a day.”
He added that he was really “uneducated about food.”
However, he admits that it was the conversation with his doctor that scared him to finally get into shape.
In July 2016, Dustin underwent gastric bypass surgery, a procedure in which the surgeon creates a small pouch in the stomach, restricting how much food it can hold. Following that, Dustin drastically overhauled his diet, ditching fast food to adopt a high-protein, low-carb diet. His meals then were centered around chicken, fish or seafood, fruit, and vegetables.
In addition to making changes to his diet, Dustin did HIIT workouts and adopted mindful meditation as a part of his routine.
“I also looked at why I used food as a coping mechanism,” Dustin said. “Mindful meditation was really important for me—just taking a few moments to practice breathing.”
In two and a half years, Dustin went from 534 pounds (approx. 242 kg) to a svelte 217 pounds (approx. 98.4 kg).
When her husband weighed less than her, Raquel was motivated to lose weight herself.
“He already had a six-pack by the time I started,” Raquel said.
Raquel suffered from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that makes it harder for women to get pregnant.
“I never ovulated even with medications and so my doctor said that my chance to become pregnant was to lose weight,” Raquel said. “I followed what Dusty did.”
In December 2018, Raquel went through a gastric bypass too. She also adopted a low-carb diet.
Soon, the couple’s dates involved exercising together instead of going out to eat.
“We stuck to our program and I worked myself up to going to the gym six times a week,” Raquel said. “We’d go hiking together—our dates began to look different.”
Raquel’s exercise and diet regime took her from 298 pounds (approx. 135 kg) to 183 pounds (approx. 83 kg).
After their weight loss success, the couple were astonished when Raquel became pregnant in April 2020.
“We randomly took a test and it showed a very faint second line,” Dustin said. “We decided to get a second test and it popped up saying pregnant.”
“My eyes lit up, I looked at my wife and I was speechless,” he added.
Dustin is convinced that he and Raquel are parents thanks to their staggering weight loss.
“My pursuit of getting healthy was so that I would be able to pick up my child and get down on one knee to play with her,” he said.
Raquel said: “Losing weight allowed me to get a life I didn’t know I could have. It is still the most amazing dream and even better than I imagined.”
Epoctimes Staff contributed to this report.