Houstonian sheds massive amounts of skin to prove scales are no longer the measure of the man

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Man begins journey to cut away 65 pounds of skin. (KTRK)

Marcus Cook is saddled by rolls of fat that hang down from his stomach to mid-thigh, and while that may not sound like a physique you'd be proud to show off, he is proud of this body he has worked hard to shape.

"I actually did an iron man and I did it with all my skin," said Marcus Cook. "I've had a lot of scans and the scans say I have about 65 pounds of skin that just ain't going away."

The extra skin is what's left after Cook went from weighing 500 pounds to 220. He got bariatric surgery but his doctor warned him to keep the weight off he'd need to redefine himself. He did that in triumphant fashion training so much that he was able to complete Texas Ironman -- a 16 hour athletic challenge.

But then Marcus wanted to take the next makeover step so he called plastic surgeon Dr. Franklin Rose to remove the extra skin on his stomach.

"What we do in this operation is cut right down to the muscles, tighten up the muscles, then remove all of this skin and fat flap," said Dr. Rose.

Dr. Rose says the number of people getting skin removal is rising as gastric bypass surgeries become more prevalent. He estimates they are up 10-15 percent over the past few years. It costs about $13,000.

He says the typical so-called "mommy makeover" stomach tuck takes about two hours, but Cook's procedure took four and a half hours. His risks, the same as with any abdominoplasty, was mostly excessive bleeding.

Just 12 days after surgery -- even with some swelling -- Cook is shocked by his new view.

"I look down and it's gone and I cannot wait to fulfill the things that I've been pursuing. I feel great," Cook said.

Cook says he isn't done yet. He wants to remove extra skin on his arms, chest, back and thighs. And his mission isn't just personal anymore.

"Yes, he looks great and he's tighter, but he's also raised many thousands of dollars for Ironman Foundation, and so he does this not just for himself, but to give other people hope," Dr. Rose said.

Cook says he's been overweight since his teenage years, and along with shedding pounds and skin, he's also shed the way he measures his own success.

"People say, what do you want to weigh? I don't have a new weight goal. I will try to shave two hours of my marathon time from last year, so that's my new goal," Cook added.

Learn more about Cook's full story on his website.

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