TAMPA (FOX 13) - Whether you're a football fan or not chances are you've seen images of the Big Nasty - the Tampa Bay Bucaneer’s most iconic fan.
We met Keith Kunzig, the man beneath the rhino-inspired persona, and his wife Debbie in 2007. It was a year after they both underwent lap band surgery. Now, 10 years after their procedure,s we decided to check back with them.
"I definitely ballooned up to 426 pounds," Keith recalled of his pre-band weight. "How I feel now is phenomenal!"
We recently met him at the office of his surgeon, Dr. Ernest Rehnke.
"I got down to 275, but I had that sunken-in raisin look, and I just didn't feel comfortable about it," Keith said.
Today, at 325 he says he still feels better.
"Before I was taking six shots a day for insulin. I'm off complete insulin. I take the metformin, but for the most part it's a lot less stressful and this might be funny, but Big Nasty's terrified of needles," he admits.
His goal now is to lose 25 pounds.
Meanwhile, Debbie originally weighed 276 pounds, then lost 120.
"I'm not as thin as I originally got. I got to that weight where I was really thin, to the point I wasn't looking good. I was looking a little ill in the face," Debbie said
She dropped down to a low of 135. Today, she says the lap band is helping her stay 100 pounds under her original weight.
"That band is there, it's a constant reminder. One day you can have something for lunch, the next day it won't let you, so it's always there," she explains.
While she'd like to drop a couple of dress sizes, she's now more confident.
"There was a time when I would hate to get dressed and go out... Now I'm happy and ready to go and it's definitely changed my personality," she says.
Keith believes, without the lap band, he wouldn't be able to cheer on his favorite team
"Being the alter ego, Big Nasty, going to the games and its 105 degrees, you put some extra work on the heart, you gotta figure. Somebody told me a while ago, it's like having three extra people at 426 pounds, that you are carrying on the heart," Keith says.