World's most famous yo-yo dieter who has shot back up to 558lbs is told by doctors 'lose weight now or you'll die'Michael Hebranko weighed an astonishing 1,120lbs at his heaviestHelped by fitness guru Richard Simmons he then plummeted to a trim 194lbsOver 24 years he has fluctuated by over 4,000lbs
He now suffers from heart, kidney and liver failure
Record-breaking yo-yo dieter Michael Hebranko is used to making headlines but according to his doctors, this may be his last appearance.
The 58-year-old has been told that due to congestive heart failure, liver failure and kidney failure, he may not make it to 60 unless he loses at least 140lbs and soon.
Speaking at his home in Staten Island where he is confined to his bed, Mr Hebranko admitted: 'My wife, Madeleine and I have been told to put our affairs in order.'
Home-cooked meal: Michael Hebranko, the world's most famous yo-yo dieter has been told he has to lose at least 140lbs if he can expect to survive his heart, liver and kidney failure
Over the past 24 years, the New Yorker has gained and lost a total of 4,004lbs on account of his excessive eating habits and currently weighs 588lbs – only half of his personal record of 1,120lbs.
In a candid interview, the morbidly obese husband and father confessed: 'I know eating is killing me. I am a food addict, just like an alcoholic or a heroin addict.
'I've been told all my life if I kept eating I wouldn't make it to the age of 60. Now that birthday is just two years away and doctors don't think I'll make it.'
Cared for around the clock by a nurse during the day and his loving wife Madeleine in the evening, Mr Hebranko is no stranger to feeling like a victim.
Fluctuation: Michael Hebranko married Madelaine in 1976 (left) and continued to gain weight. After reaching out to fitness guru Richard Simmons he had lost a staggering 924lbs by 1988 (right)
But now the inability to control his greed, that at one point drove him to consume a whopping 13,260 calories a day, has well and truly caught up with him.
He has trouble breathing and keeps an oxygen mask by his bedside for emergencies.
Mrs Hebranko, a cancer survivor herself, works 12 hour days in an office to support them and then returns home in the evening to take care of her ailing husband.
'He’s lost the weight before so I
have to believe he can do it again,' said the office employee who
herself weighs 224lbs. 'It’s the only hope he has of surviving.'
Mr Hebranko's battle over his weight, he explained, began at what should have been been the height of his happiness.
'I had everything,' he said. 'A gorgeous wife, a successful career at a pharmaceutical company and a lovely ten year old boy.
Officially obese: At his heaviest, Michael Hebranko weighed an astonishing 1,120lbs and considered taking his own life, asking a friend to borrow his gun
I was 1,120lbs, couldn't walk up stairs, could hardly breath because of
the weight on my stomach and I couldn't stop eating. I would eat up to
four meatball subs or turkey sandwiches at work for lunch.
I would secretly eat six Big Mac's on the way home from work. As the
chef at home I would then make an enormous meat loaf and eat that. My
wife begged me to stop eating 100,000 times.'
After considering suicide but unable to go through with it, Mr
Hebranko suffered a heart attack that inspired him to seek help from
fitness guru Richard Simmons.
to a 1,200 calorie a day diet of vegetables and proteins, the patient
lost a staggering 924lbs, winning the title of Highest Recorded Weight
Loss in the Guinness Book of Records.
Yo-whoa! After losing weight with Richard Simmons, Mr Hebranko was at his slimmest here in 1991 and looked almost dangerously thin standing next to his friends
Lighter days: Mr and Mrs Hebranko in 2004. Even despite stints in rehab over the years, the morbidly obese man has been unable to keep his weight below 350lbs since the Nineties
But his new trim 194lbs-physique was only briefly enjoyed and he soon fell off the health wagon.
Mr Hebranko re-gained the weight plus more over the next six years, at one time having to be airlifted from his home to hospital.
Despite proving that he is capable of shedding the pounds with the right attention in rehab, since 1998 he has not been able to drop below 350lbs at his very thinnest.
Now doctors tell him he must lose at least 140lbs to expect any chance of survival.
'If I can see my grandchildren grow up that would mean the world to me,' he said. 'I want everyone to know that obesity is a disease. If you’ve got it, get help straight away. You don’t want to end up like me.'