Man Who Once Weighed 650 Pounds Is Training To Become A Yoga Teacher

When Richard Widmark found yoga, he weighed more than 650 pounds. While Widmark, an EMT, is trained to save the lives of others, he was struggling to save his own. After a failed suicide attempt, however, he knew it was time to at least try.

"?Even though the gun didn't go off, I was still 600-plus pounds," he told PEOPLE. "Instead of a gun for suicide, food was my suicide. I was slowly killing myself. Now, I don't want to die.”

Having battled depression and an eating disorder his entire life, he first turned to a raw food diet to help with his weight loss, then discovered yoga. Now, his entire lifestyle has changed.

“As the years went by, I started losing friends, which made me have a lot more time to myself,” Widmark told WTVR. “Then my friends are getting married having kids and here's me — a big failure at life.”

After posting a photo to Facebook that went viral, Widmark continued his yoga journey, allowing others to follow through Facebook and Instagram.

Now, after losing more than 150 pounds, he is training to become a yoga teacher.

"I see myself in the future teaching it to people who are in the position that I'm in now, people who might be scared to walk through the door," he told PEOPLE.

But it's not just weight loss that keeps Widmark on the mat. Through yoga, he also thinks more positively about himself and has found an inner peace.

"It's brought me many opportunities to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually," he told DOYOUYOGA. "Yoga is teaching me that it is okay to be exactly where I am at with life, it's still an every day struggle, but I cope with things better than I once did. I use to hold everything in and just wait to explode, now I'm more open to say what's in my heart."

Honoring the moment that brings me peace. Namaste ????

A post shared by Richard Widmark Jr (@richardwidmarkjr) on

Widmark has a GoFundMe page to raise money for his training program. "I don't have the means to pay for the class but I'm trying to find a way," he writes. "You aren't just giving me money for a class, you are investing in my future and the people I will teach futures as well." Good luck on your continued journey, Richard! Namaste.