By Jane Nambi
The former world’s fattest man, Paul Mason weighed 70 stone, equivalent to 444 kilograms and 980 pounds has lost 45 stone or 630 pounds (285 kgs).
Mason has lost almost two-thirds of his weigt after undergoing a gastric bypass operation on the NHS that reduced his stomach to the size of an egg and now weighs 24 stone equivalent to 152kgs and 336 pounds. The ex-postman, of Ipswich, Suffolk however wants to drop to 14 to 15st equivalent to 210 pounds and 95 kgs.
“I still have a way to go,” he admitted. His medical bills are so far thought to have cost taxpayers £1million.
Despite the success, Paul is fighting the NHS to fund surgery costing up to £30,000 to remove folds of loose skin left after his epic weight loss. “I was ashamed to be called the fattest man in the world because I knew I’d got myself in a hell of a state. Now I guess I could well be the biggest slimmer in the world, but I still have a way to go. I want to get down to between 14 and 15 stone which is the healthy weight for someone who is 6ft 4ins. I am proud that I have shown to other people with weight problems what can be achieved,” he said
The 51-year-old used to eat 20,000 calories a day which is about ten times more than the recommended level. He used to walk around using an electric wheelchair but has since ditched it and has changed his diet to vegetables and small portions. “The NHS says my weight must be stable for two years before they will consider operating on me to remove the loose skin. But I want the surgery as soon as possible as it will enable me to become more mobile — and that will help me keep the weight off.”
Since the operation his breakfast consists of a single slice of toast with jam or peanut butter, lunch a small spaghetti bolognese, and dinner a jacket potato with cheese. “The other day I went to the cinema and had a meal in a Harvester. I had roast chicken and just ate a bit of the breast with about five chips and a bit of salad. Once I get rid of the spare skin I also hope to be able to go swimming and cycling and join a gym — and find a girlfriend.
Mason had the operation two years ago and it has changed his life since. He is currently writing a book about his experience and looking into the prospect of consultancy work, talking to people about eating disorders. He has already started his own jewellery business but would like to learn how to drive, go on holiday and settle down with a partner. “I’ve always been interested in the jewellery. Eventually, when I’m a lot more mobile and don’t need the wheelchair, I will have a proper work shed and a kiln and will melt down scrap silver – and make my own custom-made silver.”
Talking about the excess skin, Mason said, “My skin splits. The skin behind my knee tears because of the weight of the excess skin. When you get your life back under control it’s rewarding, you can do what you want and look at things in a new angle.”