Ipswich: Love is in the air for Paul Mason who was once dubbed nation’s fattest
- Credit: Archant
They are separated by 3,400 miles and have yet to meet face-to-face.
But nothing will come beween Paul Mason and the woman who has stolen his heart – and who he says has given him a new lease of life.
The 52-year-old, once dubbed Britain’s fattest man when he tipped the scales at 70 stone, says he is head over heels for a woman who at first became a close companion and is now his girlfriend.
Rebecca Mountain was touched by Mr Mason’s story when she watched a documentary about his battle with extreme obesity – the result, he says, of a broken heart when a previous relationship ended.
At the height of his weight troubles, Mr Mason was devouring more than 20,000 calories a day – the recommended daily amount for a man is 2,500.
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The 40-year-old American, who lives in Orange, near Boston, Massachusetts, contacted Mr Mason via Facebook early last month, eager to help in his ongoing bid to undergo surgery to remove the excess skin left after he shed a staggering 48 stone.
“She watched my documentary and thought ‘I want to help to find this chap help’,” said Mr Mason.
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“She didn’t really think anything romantically to start with, she just wanted to help me find someone who will operate.
“I was a bit cautious to start with but as soon as I met her on Skype I felt at ease. We talked for four-and-a-half hours.
“I didn’t know anything about her but we talked all about her life and how she wants to help me.”
While Miss Mountain’s initial contact was as a potential friend, romance quickly developed.
“It wasn’t until the second conversation that I realised there was more there than just friends. She felt the same.
“She brought up the idea of us being boyfriend and girlfriend. I told her that I don’t look for looks but that it is personality that counts. I am more interested in the person rather than the physical side of things.
“We became really close friends and now we are boyfriend and girlfriend.”
Mr Mason, a former postman, is hoping he will meet his new love soon.
“She really wants to come over and see me,” said Mr Mason, who lives in Ravenswood.
“I am just desperate to meet her face-to-face, I am so excited.
“It is her personality, her drive and passion and she has a lovely smile that made me fall for her.
“Like me she is a very determined person, I really adore that quality in her.
“She has absolutely bowled me over. It was hard for me to accept to start with because part of me is still trapped in this loose skin and I find it hard to understand how anyone can see through that.
“We share the same ideas, interests, and outlook on life. She has made me look at life in a new way. I’m more determined than ever to get this operation and enjoy my life with her.
“For a long time I couldn’t really see light at the end of the tunnel. Since Rebecca’s been in my life I’ve got a new sense of worth and excitement.
“I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together. I can’t think about anyone else and nor can she.”