World’s Fattest Man shed 50 stone but struggles to maintain it – ‘therapy is main thing’
This Morning: Paul Mason discusses putting weight back on
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The World’s Fattest Man: 10 Years On will air tonight on ITV at 9pm. It will demonstrate to viewers Paul Mason’s rollercoaster journey with his weight.
Paul, from Ipswich, weighed only 19 stone in 2016, after undergoing surgery.
After moving to the US in 2014, he had an operation in two stages and over two years to remove excess skin.
It was the lightest he’d ever been since putting on weight due to mental health issues.
For years, Paul has suffered from addiction and depression.
The 60-year-old appeared on ITV’s This Morning today to talk to Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield about his weight journey ahead of the documentary tonight.
Speaking from his home in Plymouth, Paul explained his reasons for wanting to share his story with others.
He said: “It was pretty tough to get any help and also I couldn’t find anything on the male side of things.
“The internet was awash with ladies who had been on weight loss journeys.
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“I thought, right, this is the time for me to make sure that my journey is documented and I thought it would help other people.”
Looking back at the past few years, Paul recalled the difficulties of being obese, including an experience in the hospital where doctors had “never dealt with anyone my size”.
He said: “They brought me a form to sign that said if I died while I was in hospital at that size, they would have to dispose of my body in an abbatoir.
“Part of my journey was that you felt like you are not a human and you’re just a name on a piece of paper.”
Philip Schofield said “things were looking okay” on Paul’s last appearance on This Morning in 2013.
But they have deteriorated since.
Paul explained that even though he had the operation to remove excess skin and change his body, his mind had not changed.
He said: “It just shows that the surgeons can quickly fix your body but they can’t fix your mind.”
For Paul, to maintain his weight loss he needed – and still needs – help with his mental health.
“Therapy is the main thing for me,” he said.
“I don’t think the NHS put enough resources into the therapy side.
“You can have six sessions on the NHS and that’s not even going to touch the surface.”
Paul received therapy from 2008 up until 2014, when he moved to the US.
He thought he would no longer need help after his surgery, but things unfortunately “didn’t work out”.
Paul spends many days on his own after separating from his partner, Rebecca, and he continues to live with addiction and depression, as well as arthritis.
He said: “Now, I’ve got severe arthritis so it’s limiting my mobility and it makes things harder.
“The support Rebecca gave me was very good, but she just got to the stage where she couldn’t do that anymore.
“And I could see that, it’s very hard I think living with someone with an addiction and depression.”
The 60-year-old, who is now 38 stone, hopes his documentary will show the world that investing in your mental health is just as important as physical health as often, and certainly in his case, both go hand-in-hand.
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