Couple's weight loss journey continues in the spotlight
When an Indiana couple decided to take control of their bodies, losing nearly 350 pounds together, they didn’t know it would bring them a life in the spotlight.
Danny Patton, 28, and Kalean Duffy, 22, who are dating, started their weight-loss journey in January 2013. Throughout the course of the last year and this year, Patton has lost more than 220 pounds and Duffy has lost more than 120.
What makes their story unique is how they’re using it to inspire others.
The couple was featured not only in an article on The Huffington Post, they were part of a segment of CNN’s “Why the Health Not” that aired in June.
Earlier this year filmmakers for the segment came to Indiana and followed their day-to-day activities — from them making breakfast in the morning to their workout at Back to Nature Fitness in White Township. It also followed them down the Hoodlebug Trail.
“Filming was so awesome,” Patton said. “It was kind of weird at first to have a camera following us around throughout our daily lives, but as we got used to it, it was probably one of the coolest things.”
A recording of the segment can be seen on their Facebook page: Danny & Kalean — From Fat to Fit.
“The best part was actually seeing it on TV and seeing how it turned out,” Patton said.
Now, their on-air journey continues.
The couple will be featured during a live interview on the HLN channel between 8:30 and 9 a.m. Thursday. The producer of the series, “My Big Moment,” Patton said, gave the couple a call while they were vacationing in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Next thing they knew, a film crew was at the beach with them shooting footage for the segment.
“He emailed us again and said they were interested in flying us down to Atlanta to do a live studio update after the segment airs.”
The couple started a Facebook page in April to talk about their weight-loss journey and inspire others to reach their goals. On the page they share motivational quotes, their stories of success, and before and after photos.
Recently, Duffy posted that she finished her first 5K race, and was able to do all of the obstacles the race entailed, as well—like tire drills, rope climbing, wading through mud pits among others.Over the summer, Duffy said, she’s lost about another 20-25 pounds. An Indiana University of Pennsylvania student, she’s spent her summer vacation traveling and is excited to get back “in to the swing of things when she’s back at school,” she said.
More than 800 people follow the page, each of them not only offering the couple more words of encouragement, but asking them just “how they did it.”
“It’s so awesome to run different social media outlets that people are inspired by,” Patton said. “It’s kind of surreal because I never thought that our story would help inspire so many people across the country to get fit.”
And those that follow them on Facebook and on Patton’s Twitter account, @DPatton_34, and Duffy’s Instagram account, @KaleanDuffy, push them as well.
“They inspire us to keep going. To keep posting updates and to just never give up,” he said. “It’s crazy that a page that was meant to motivate people actually motivates us.”
The main goal of the accounts, though, will always be to help people begin their own weight-loss journeys, and “help coach and motivate them.”
“We know what it is like to want to do this and not have the motivation or the support to do it,” Patton said. “… We want to guide them each step in hitting their goals.”
And, for Duffy, it’s about motivating her peers as well.
“It’s challenging being in college and balancing everything,” she said, “but it can be done no matter what size you are. … My main goal on Instagram right now is just to really show others that it is possible.”
The next step, at least for Patton, is skin-removal surgery.
Because of the magnitude of his weight loss, Patton has about 15 pounds of excess skin on his upper body. Insurance does not cover the surgery for those that have naturally lost weight — it only covers skin removal for those that have had a gastric bypass procedure done.
For this reason, Duffy started a GoFundMe program for him, in an attempt to raise at least $15,000 of the possible $30,000 the program can cost.
You can donate to help with Patton’s surgery costs at gofundme.com/dannypatton.
What: “My Big Moment,” featuring Danny Patton and Kalean Duffy
When: Between 8:30 and 9 a.m. Thursday