Husband and wife peel off the pounds, thanks to camaraderie and determination.

Angelo Bizzarro gets a kick out of being unrecognizable.

As the manager of The Original Bizzarro, a New York-style pizzeria in Indialantic, he’ll have customers come in and ask for him, and then realize they’re actually talking to him. At a family funeral earlier this year, relatives asked his wife, Megan, “Where’s your husband?” Even though he was right next to her.

After you’ve lost 145 pounds, it happens.

“The shock is kind of funny,” Angelo said.

It’s hard to believe that a manager of an eatery known for dishing out gigantic portions of pizza could lose half his body size in nine months. But through determination, dedication and gastric sleeve surgery, both Angelo and Megan have embarked on a journey for a healthier life. Three months after Megan’s procedure, she has lost 63 pounds.

“It does feel good when people notice,” Megan said. “It does make you want to keep going.”

But it’s more than that.

“Weight loss is just one part of the picture,” said Dr. Kenneth Tieu, a surgeon with Health First NewFit, which provides weight-loss surgeries and support. “There are numerous health benefits.”

For example, with gastric bypass, 75% of patients will leave the hospital with their diabetes resolved, Tieu said. Weight-loss surgery can also help eliminate sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, fatty liver disease and hyperlipidemia 80% to 90% of the time.

“It’s about quality of life, not just the number on the scale,” said Tieu, who is part of the bariatric team that includes Dr. Nathan Allison and Dr. Peter Walker. “Everyone loves to see that number come down. When they come in, and they’re off all their medications, really, I think that’s where the success is.”

Both Angelo and Megan have struggled with their weight for decades. Angelo has dealt with back pain, while Megan has suffered joint pain and hip issues since she was a child.

“I probably started dieting when I was about 10,” Megan admitted.

Angelo has been able to lose 85 pounds on his own in the past, but it always came back, especially after back surgery and complications. He admits after going from 245 to 340, he became depressed.

Megan wanted to explore weight-loss surgery. Angelo was against it.

“Don’t do it,” Megan recalls him saying. “I love you the way you are.”

The couple hope to start a family, but knew they needed to be healthy first. So, they went to a NewFit seminar and decided they were going to do this together – all or nothing.