MONTERREY, Mexico – When critically obese, bedridden Jose Luis Garza pleaded for help in shedding a few hundred pounds, he landed the world's biggest weight watcher.
Garza is getting diet advice from Manuel Uribe, a fellow Mexican who has been fighting to lose his title as the world's heaviest man.
Both men live around the Monterrey area in Mexico. Neither can get out of bed.
Although Garza has not been on a scale in years, doctors estimate he could weigh about 990 pounds. He got a call from Uribe after going on national television to plead for help.
"Manuel inspires me with courage and the will to live," Garza told The Associated Press. "I understand that this is matter of life and death and that I have to follow the instructions that are given to me."
This year, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Uribe, who tipped the scales at 1,230 pounds in 2006, the world's heaviest man.
"I have no interest in reaching that record," Garza said.
Uribe, 43, has since shed about 550 pounds with the help of his girlfriend Claudia Solis. The two are getting married on Oct. 26.
Uribe sent Solis to Garza's home on Friday night with kiwis, grapefruit and pears, along with protein supplements recommended by his diet doctors. He said he would also help Garza get a wheel-equipped iron bed similar to his own.
"I spoke with him and I really want to give him a hand and give him the benefit of my own experiences," Uribe told AP.
Garza, who used to work as a chef at a bowling alley, said he has always been overweight and blamed a diet of junk food and greasy tacos.
But he said his condition drastically worsened nine months ago when both his parents died within 13 days of each other, leaving him alone in his home and plunging him into a cycle of depression and binge-eating.
He said he had been unable to get out of his bed for four months. One of his sisters has had to move in to take care of him.
• Click here for photos of Uribe.