May 18, 2023 – At the time, Baayarsaikhan — who said he’s struggled with his weight his entire life — was the heaviest he’s ever been: 500 lbs.

The married father of two said that the doctor’s appointment was a much-needed wake-up call.

“I have two kids. I was still young. I was 29 at the time. And my doctor told me that my life expectancy was like mid-forties,” he said, of the January 2021 medical visit, which was originally prompted by severe, persistent exhaustion.

“I thought, I don’t want to die in my forties. I want to see my kids grow up. I want grandkids.”

“My doctor asked me, ‘Can you really do this? It’s a long journey.’ And I said ‘I have to do this.’”

The first step: Treating his newly diagnosed severe sleep apnea, which was contributing to his persistent exhaustion.

“I learned that in a normal, healthy person, sleep apneas can occur maybe about 1-3 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. And that’s why I was exhausted all day. It was like I was never sleeping,” he told The Today Show, adding that he had been taking two-hour naps every day.

After starting medication as well as using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to help him breathe at night, Baayarsaikhan tackled the next hurdle on his path to health: His sugar addiction.