As a high school athlete, Mark Bryant would shove down thousands of calories to keep up with his extensive water polo workouts. But even when his rigorous training stopped after graduation, the eating continued. By the time he was 32, his 8,000 calories a day landed him at 442 lbs.
The dad from Boise, Idaho was struggling under his weight, and started having health problems.
“My health was going downhill, and one day I had an episode where I thought I was having a heart attack,” Bryant, now 42, says in this exclusive clip from Skin Tight. “I was sitting on the couch one night, and I thought I was dying. Everything started getting fuzzy around me and I started getting tunnel vision and heart palpitations, so I went to the hospital.”
Skin Tight: Mark’s Heart Issue
Bryant was sent home, but he started to worry about leaving his daughter and wife behind.
“I remember looking at my little girl and thinking, here’s this sweet little girl, and she might never know me if I don’t do something, and I wanted to be a part of her life,” he says. “I realized that I needed to start making better choices for me and my family.”
Bryant started losing weight on his own, without surgery.
“I discovered that I was eating about 8,000 calories a day. I eventually dropped to 3,500 calories, and then 3,200 calories a day,” he explains. “Through diet and exercise alone, the pounds started to fly off, and I was physically able to be more active and start playing sports again. And then I started feeling comfortable enough to walk through the doors of a gym.”
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He successfully dropped 262 lbs., but was left with the weight of his excess skin.
“Now I have this body, that’s inside this skin sack,” Bryant says. “I feel embarrassed that it even got to this point, and I know that if I’d just taken care of myself in the first place I wouldn’t have had to go down this path.”
Skin Tight airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on TLC.