Waukesha's biggest loser hoping to inspire others
Carole Meekins reports Video by tmj4.comvideo
WAUKESHA- After two years of dieting, Mark Leipski is basically fat free.
He lost 226 pounds in two years. Leipski once weighed more than 400 pounds.
He shed pounds the natural way, no surgery or drugs. Pictures of Mark at his heaviest are astonishing. He remembers wearing pants as big as a size 60.
Back in February, TODAY'S TMJ4 told you how Mark was battling his insurance company to pay for skin reduction surgery. His drastic weight loss caused excess skin prone to irritation
Cigna Health Insurance originally denied his request for plastic surgery. Cigna sent TODAY'S TMJ4 a statement saying, "We encourage each of our customers to make full use of the formal appeal process..."
Well, Leipski did and after three tries, and after TODAY'S TMJ4 told his story, Leipski won his appeal. Leipski recalls, "I was excited. The first thing I did was call the plastic surgeon.."
But as Leipski gets ready for his operation, it's bittersweet. His twin brother Matthew who also battled an eating addiction died this past May. Matthew Leipski was only 41 and weighed 500 pounds. Mark says sadly, "I worked so hard to come this far, I wish he would have done the same thing."
While remembering his brother, Leipski reflects on his progress. Leipski did not just change his life, he changed his family's life. Now they're all committed to fitness. They spend a lot of time at the American Dojo Family Martial Arts Academy in Waukesha. Mark is even an assistant there. Leipski explains, "It's two hours we spend with our children that we have fun doing with each other as a family."
Now, the father of two can hardly wait for the plastic surgery that will remove 10 to 20 pounds of excess skin from a former life that he never wants back.
His suggestion to others who have been denied insurance claims? "You have to be persistent! They hope after that first denial that you just go away. "That's want they want you to do. Don't give up."
It's a lesson he learned in the appeals process and in life. Leipski admits, "It takes me feel proud because I did accomplish what I set out to do."