Mountain's first glimpse of her true love was when he was featured on a documentary about his morbid obesity. Like the rest of the world, she was in awe of a man who could actually weigh 980 pounds and still be alive, but unlike the rest of the world, she sympathized with him rather than judged him. She told Cosmo, "The truth, I realized, is that these people often suffer from compulsive eating or food addiction. Their weight issues stem from psychological problems that aren't unlike other eating disorders such as anorexia. People just have more sympathy for those who waste away from not eating enough."
She didn't actually reach out to him until three years after he had gastric bypass surgery in 2010. In just two years following the surgery, he had lost a whopping 500 pounds. Mountain was impressed, particularly because she recognized how difficult it must've been for him to quell his eating compulsion. She found him on Facebook and offered to help him organize a fundraiser so he could get to New York for his excess skin removal surgery. It started off very platonically.
"We emailed back and forth for about two weeks before Paul suggested talking on Skype. Face-to-face, or rather, screen-to-screen, we immediately clicked emotionally. We developed a level of comfort instantly, talking about our goals and common interests, and things quickly got romantic," she told Cosmo.
Their Skype conversations got longer and longer and more and more frequent, until they were chomping at the bit to meet in person. However, the cost was just too great, until, that is, a U.K. morning show stepped in and offered to pay for a trip so the two could be featured on it. Once she met Paul in person, everything fell into place for her.
"While a lot of people pick their partners based on looks and hope they like that person when the initial physical attraction wears off, we did things the opposite way, and our emotional attraction led to a physical attraction. I think the most fulfilling long-term relationships have this kind of strong foundation," Mountain told Cosmo. Not only is this woman beautiful on the outside, she's got a brilliant inner beauty as well!
The couple was going to be featured on The View over the holiday season, so they took the opportunity to spend the month together in Mountain's hometown with her family. By then, she knew she wanted to marry Mason, but she wanted to propose the idea in a special way.
"I wanted Paul to be able to experience that love publicly — to show people that different-looking people can fall in love. So I decided to propose to Paul on The View. He didn't know I was going to do it there and then — but he said yes."
Now the two do what all couples in love do — support each other in their efforts and keep moving forward one day at a time. Mason's excess skin is still an issue, despite the skin removal surgeries he's already had. As a result of the weight, he has lymphedema, which means fluids don't circulate through his body well and end up pooling in his legs. This makes walking difficult sometimes, but Mountain says he still makes an effort to be active.
She told Cosmo, "I have to temper my expectations because his future state of health is a big unknown. But I try to think positively and focus on his accomplishments." While she does what she can to help him be independent, she says his physical abilities don't hold her back. She owns her own business, and Mason does many little things to support her whenever he can.
All in all, it seems like what most might consider to be a big disability is exactly what allowed this couple to get real with each other right away. And since the two have already made it through "in sickness and in health," the rest of marriage should be a walk in the park.
And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .
SheKnows is making some changes!