He tried many ways to lose weight; but soon after he shed a few kilograms he would then put it back on again.
He even adopted desperate measures.
"Somebody told me that staying up late at night could help lose weight, so I kept doing that for 10 days. Finally, my friends took me to hospital."
He was at his wits' end when last November, he entered a national competition for "charming fat people", where one of the prizes was free treatment at Changchun Kangda Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital.
He hasn't been the same since.
"We worked out a special treatment plan combining acupuncture with 'fire treatment'," said Yu Shuzhong, a doctor who explained the process
"We place a wet towel sprinkled with fat-reducing herbs on the belly. Then the herb is burnt, which produces heat and spreads into Yang's skin through the towel, helping reduce fat little by little.
"Meanwhile, we forced him to go to bed and wake up early everyday. We controlled his diet, devised a nutrition menu and cut his food intake to the amount eaten by normal people, and gradually increased his exercise," Yu said.
"Yang is a determined man. Our treatment wouldn't have been such a big success without his collaboration," Yu said.
Symptoms which usually accompany obesity, such as angina, high blood sugar and fatty liver have also eased greatly, and Yang's organs are functioning normally, the doctor aid.
"Losing weight is a painful and boring task, I almost gave up when I spent the Spring Festival alone in the hospital this year. But after a rethink, I decided to stick to the end," Yang said.
Now that he has almost succeeded, Yang has raised the bar. "I plan to continue the treatment for another six months to cut my weight to 90 kg," he said.
Yu said the goal is realistic and practical, and could even be 70 kg.
To share his experience and help provide hope to more people like him, Yang set up a QQ chat group and made many friends.
During his long and lonely struggle, Yang said one piece of news brought him great cheer.
Mexican Manuel Uribe, listed the world's fattest man in the 2007 Guinness Book of Records, got married last month after shedding 230 kg from the original 590 kg.
"I hope I am as lucky as him and find my love," Yang said.
China's overweight population has reportedly doubled in the past 11 years, and stands at 325 million this year.
(China Daily November 13, 2008)