Ravenswood: Paul Mason hopes to join gym and improve fitness
A MAN once branded the fattest in the world is hoping to fight his way back to fitness by joining a gym.
Paul Mason, who lives in Ravenswood, is hoping doctors give him the go-ahead to start pumping iron after a gastric by-pass helped him to lose an incredible 46 stone.
The super slimmer made international headlines in 2009 when it was revealed he tipped the scales at 70 stone and was labelled the planet’s heaviest man.
But former postman Paul, 51, is now a shadow of his former self after having surgery in January 2010 and going on a healthy eating regime.
Mr Mason, who appeared in The Ipswich Star last year when he hit out at the NHS for failing to pay for an operation to remove folds of excess skin, said he was looking forward to getting fit.
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He said: “I enjoyed my day at the gym. It is something I can see myself getting in to.
“I want to be able to do these things again, but to help my mobility I do need an apronectomy (surgery to remove excess skin from the stomach area).”
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Mr Mason now weighs 24 stone – nine stone above his target weight.
Earlier this week he went for a tour of David Lloyd fitness centre and tried out some of the exercise machines, something which would have been impossible before his dramatic weight loss.
As he pumped a shoulder press, he said: “I could get into this. I want to come up here regularly and get really fit.
“I had been thinking of joining a gym for a while – but I only decided to go for it after my story appeared.”
Paul now wants to exercise four times a week and hopes he will soon be fit enough to use the indoor pool.
He added: “When I was younger I used to keep myself fit by cycling, swimming in the sea and playing five-a-side football.
“Now I want to work on my stamina and build up my strength so I can go swimming again.
“There are some steps so I should be able to get into the pool when I am fit enough. I just want to make sure I am strong enough to get out again.
“I don’t want to overdo things, but if I start gently at first, there is a lot that I can do in the gym.”
David Lloyd manager Jorge Fernandes said: “We have 5,000 members here and they are of all shapes and sizes. We would love to have Paul as a member.
“A lot of people are overweight when they join us, especially at this time of year when they might have over-eaten during the Christmas period. We have helped lots of people lose a significant amount of weight. One of our lady members has lost 11 stone in a year.”