Man weighing 515lbs who struggled to walk loses 280lbs after surgery

Man weighing 515lbs who struggled to walk loses 280lbs after surgery

January 28, 2021

I was too fat to walk: Overweight man who had weight loss surgery and lost 280lbs after being forced to spend $100 in a day on Uber rides because he couldn’t walk from A to B

  • Dalton Musselwhite, 27, weighed 515lbs and struggled to walk and sleep
  • Doctors in Florida said he should have been dead at 18 due to his weight 
  • He underwent vertical sleeve surgery and had part of his stomach removed
  • His appetite has been massively reduced and he now weighs 235lbs 

A man weighing 515lbs who had to hook himself up to an oxygen machine at night to survive has lost 280lbs after undergoing life-saving surgery.

Dalton Musselwhite, 27, from Pensacola, Florida, decided to shed his weight after spending $100 on Ubers a day while struggling to walk.

The audio visual technician had struggled with his weight since childhood and underwent vertical sleeve surgery in 2019, where part of his stomach was removed to reduce his appetite.

Dalton Musselwhite, 27, from Florida, weighed 515lbs before life-saving surgery saw his weight drop by 280lbs

Dalton’s biggest challenge has been to break his reliance on using food for comfort and adapt mentally to his physical changes

Dalton had to hook himself up to an oxygen machine at night to survive and could barely walk at his heaviest

The audio visual technician from Pensacola decided to shed his weight after spending $100 on Ubers a day

He has since dropped to 235lbs and has an intake of around 1,500 calories per day

He has since dropped to 235lbs and has an intake of around 1,500 calories per day, below the recommended 2,700 for men in the US. 

By the age of 12, Dalton weighed 300lbs and was regularly enrolled in weight loss programs, suffering from an addiction to snacks and fast food, regularly gorging on muffins, burgers and fries.

At school, Dalton was bullied for his size and was labeled ‘fatty’ by classmates, leaving him depressed and turning again to food for comfort.  

He said: ‘No one wants to be the fattest person in the room, and 99 per cent of the time, that was me.


The audio visual technician had struggled with his weight since childhood and underwent vertical sleeve surgery in 2019, where part of his stomach was removed to reduce his appetite

Dalton still allows himself the occasional treat, but limits his portion size to stay in shape

‘I remember being called fat constantly throughout my childhood. And it hurt, of course it did.

‘I would go home after school, with such a motivation to lose weight, but then get so upset about being fat, that I would turn right back to food to comfort me.’ 

At 25, he weighed 515lbs and barely fitted into 8XL shirts and 68 inch trousers. 

Dalton suffered from sleep apnea, meaning he stopped breathing throughout the night and would wake up gasping for air. 

He even had to use a CPAP machine to pump oxygen into his lungs and was told by doctors that his weight would kill him if he didn’t make immediate and drastic changes to his lifestyle.

By the age of 12, Dalton weighed 515lbs and was regularly enrolled in weight loss programs

Dalton suffered from sleep apnea, meaning he stopped breathing throughout the night and would wake up gasping for air

One doctor even said Dalton should have been dead at 18 with the stress his weight was putting on his body.

The turning point came on a visit to New Orleans in 2018 when Dalton realized he was unable to walk for more than a few yards at a time without feeling enormous pain in his back and joints.

He spent $100 on Uber rides a day whilst only travelling a few miles.

He said: ‘I had to change my life and fast because I was heading for an early grave.’ 

The turning point came on a visit to New Orleans in 2018 when Dalton realized he was unable to walk for more than a few yards at a time

Since then Dalton has lost 20st 1lb and now weighs 235lbs, fitting into medium size shirts and 36 waist trousers

Dalton then looked into options for weight loss surgery and after he was put on a six-month diet program, he underwent vertical sleeve surgery on April 8 2019.

Since then Dalton has lost 280lb, fitting into medium size shirts and 36 waist trousers. 

He said: ‘I can’t even begin to describe how much my life has changed in the past year.

‘I never realized how much being overweight holds you back in life. I can fly on a plane, I can ride a roller coaster, I can fit in a booth.

Before his weight loss, Dalton’s diet consisted of fast food, eating multiple muffins, burgers, tacos and burritos a day

Now Dalton typically eats an egg, a slice of toast and a cup of milk for breakfast, a ham and cheese whole grain tortilla for lunch and a small portion of whatever he likes for dinner

‘I had previously written off ever being able to do these things.

‘It’s amazing how much nicer people are to you, and will take time to converse with you just because you aren’t morbidly obese.’

Before his weight loss, Dalton’s diet consisted of fast food, often eating multiple blueberry muffins for breakfast, three or four burgers with fries for lunch and a family pack of tacos for dinner with three or four burritos on the side totaling upwards of 8,000 calories per day. 

He avoided exercise altogether due to the pain in his joints.

Now Dalton typically eats an egg, a slice of toast and a cup of milk for breakfast, a ham and cheese whole grain tortilla for lunch and eats whatever he wants for dinner as long as it is a small portion.  

He now enjoys taking long walks and running, something that he was unable to do before his weight loss surgery.

He said: ‘I saw some old friends from high school recently.

‘One of my friends came up to me and apologized for making fun of me for being big during school.

He now enjoys taking long walks and running, something that he was unable to do before his weight loss surgery

‘He told me how amazing I looked, and couldn’t believe how different I looked.’

Dalton’s biggest challenge has been to break his reliance on using food for comfort.

He has also suffered from body dysmorphia since his surgery and finds it hard to believe that he has lost over half of his body weight.  

He said: ‘The hardest thing for me, has to be the mental side of it. The hardest thing was to break that relationship with food.

‘It had been my comforter in my time of need. It was my drug and I had to get my fix.

‘I am currently learning how to love myself and it is an everyday battle. I hated myself for so long because of all the weight issues.

‘I am beyond happy to see where I have come from, however, I am not done yet.

‘I still wake up from time to time and have to check to see if it’s a dream.’

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