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Bayar Bayarsaikhan doing a squat with dumbbells in a Life Time club.

Bayar Bayarsaikhan, 31, had been overweight for most of his life, at his heaviest weighing 500 pounds. He did not exercise and was addicted to sugar, often consuming 200 grams of sugar each day. His wife had encouraged him to start walking, but his energy and motivation were not there — he describes himself as merely “living day to day” without short- or long-term goals.

It was Bayarsaikhan’s fatigue that finally prompted him to see a doctor in January 2021, saying he was taking two hour naps every afternoon and “often felt so tired [he’d] have to sit down to do the dishes or tell [his] kids [he] was too exhausted to play with them.”

His recollection of that life-changing appointment and his inspiring story of what came next was recently featured on the TODAY show:

“I was diagnosed with severe high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. And then he told me I was only expected to live until my 40s,” Bayarsaikhan said.

Bayarsaikhan was also diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. “I learned that in a normal, healthy person, sleep apneas can occur maybe about one to three occurrences in one hour, but I was having 135 occurrences in one hour. So pretty much it would look like I was sleeping, but my body was never asleep.”

After the appointment, he started using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine and was on five to six medications.

“I have two kids. I was still young. I was 29 at the time. And my doctor told me my life expectancy was like mid-40s,” he said. “I thought, I don’t want to die in my 40s. I want to see my kids grow up. I want grandkids.”

That was the moment Bayarsaikhan decided he needed to make a serious lifestyle change. “My doctor asked me, ‘Can you really do this? It’s a long journey.’ And I said, ‘I have to do this.’”

To date, Bayarsaikhan has lost more than 230 pounds — nearly half of his body weight. He’s switched up his diet, learned how to control his portions, and curbed his sugar cravings. In the beginning of 2021, he joined Life Time and started walking, running, and swimming, and then added in strength training. He participates in Alpha signature group training and other classes, and is training to take part in the Life Time Chicago Triathlon.

He says he’s “never felt better” and that “it has changed [his] life.” He also appreciates the influence it’s having on his children, ages 9 and 5. When he does exercises such as pushups, for example, “they see me doing it, now they’re doing it on their own.”

Bayarsaikhan explains that he’s now going through a transition where he’s shrinking, but the number on the scale is staying the same, and so encourages others to not be demotivated by the scale. “Trust the process, keep going, stay consistent,” he advises. “Find what motivates you — that’s the key to it.”

Watch the full interview:

Life Time Editorial Team

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