Paul Mason, once considered by British media to be the world’s fattest man, is now 644 pounds lighter. The Ipswich, England native underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2010 leading to the loss of nearly two thirds of his body weight.
For Mason, a 52-year-old former postal worker, the paths to both his weight gain and the subsequent loss were paved with hardships. Throughout his childhood, Mason suffered from verbal and physical abuse at the hands of his father. Between the ages of six and nine, he was the victim of sexual abuse by a female relative, a tragedy he kept secret for decades.
An article by The New York Times writes that Mason continued to face difficulties in adulthood. The death of his father, a bitter divorce, and his role as caregiver for his ailing mother all led him to seek comfort in eating. Mason described his relationship to food as follows:
“I still had all these things going around in my head from my childhood. Food replaced the love I didn’t get from my parents.”
Mason’s obsession with food became all consuming. When the entire amount of the social security income provided for the man and his mother was consistently spent on food items, the bank was forced to foreclose on their home. After moving to a smaller house, Paul Mason’s weight eventually reached an astonishing 980 pounds, rendering him immobile and confined to his bedroom.
According to The Christian Post, it was the need for a hernia operation in 2002 that sparked Mason’s journey toward his 644 pound weight loss. In order to transport him to the local hospital, the local fire department was forced to break through the front wall of his home and remove him with a forklift. It was this incident which caused the British press to dub Mason the “world’s fattest man.”
After spending the next few years in rehabilitation, Mason decided to make a change. In addition to the gastric bypass procedure, Mason enlisted the help of a therapist to help him address his food addiction. He still undergoes therapy but is making strides toward improving his life.
Although Mason is still considered technically obese at 336 pounds, he continues to work toward his ideal weight of 210 pounds. More importantly, he now maintains a healthier attitude about food:
“My meals are a lot different now than they used to be. Food is a necessity, but now I don’t let it control my life anymore.”
What do you think about Paul Mason’s incredible loss of 644 pounds?