Oct 5, 2010 7:22 PM
TUCSON - Topping the scale at 535 pounds, this week's Biggest Loser Tucson contestant turned to a medical procedure to help solve his ongoing weight issues.
Mark Inskeep now weighs 213 pounds.
He says he was always a fat child and as he became an adult, his weight kept climbing.
"As I aged and got older the health problems started to pile on and it finally came to a breaking point either I lose weight or start making funeral arrangements," said Inskeep.
He suffered from congestive heart failure, diabetes, depression, and was on continuous oxygen.
In one instance, he knew he needed to make major changes in his life.
"I had a vein in my leg rupture and actually burst through the skin. I was terrified. When the vein broke I didn't feel anything. Luckily I was awake, had I been asleep I could have laid there and bled to death," said Inskeep.
He had surgery but he knew that was only part of it.
For it to work he had to completely change his eating and exercise habits.
"All it basically does is reduce the size of your stomach from say the size of a football to about the size of my index finger. It's a great tool for portion control, but that's basically all it is," said Inskeep.
If Mark had not made a lifestyle change his stomach could have stretched again.
He was a pant size 68 and went down to a 34. In July he became a certified personal trainer.
"I can't believe I have gone from basically almost a walking dead man to now helping others achieve what I have and that's the greatest feeling in the world," he said.
Inskeep's client Katy Kruse says he is an inspiration.
"You can do anything if you put your mind to it and it's never too late, never too late to do it," said Kruse.
The key to success Inskeep said is staying committed to yourself.
"You need to find that motivation and with motivation will come the dedication," he said.
With a lot of hard work, Inskeep is at place that makes him happy and lets him show others that with determination their weight loss dreams can also come true.
Inskeep said he is a hundred pounds lighter than his weight when he graduated from high school.
We are still looking for more Biggest Loser Tucson contestants.
Submit your weight loss story or someone you know to firstname.lastname@example.org.