Dubai: A Dubai-based Jordanian engineer who ballooned to 166 kilos after becoming addicted to junk food has lost nearly one third of his body weight in just four months.
Mohammad Al Mousa, 39, shed an astonishing 50 kg after undergoing sleeve gastrectomy and kicking off his unhealthy lifestyle.
"I am rediscovering the joys of life. It feels fantastic. My family is also happy with my new avatar. But I am not done as yet. My target is to lose another 20kg in the next few months," he said.
Father-of-two Mousa grew up on a dreadful diet of fattening snacks, sweets and cookies tipping the scales at 116 kg when he was just 15.
The habit stuck when he relocated to Dubai from Jordan about six years ago and took up a job with a multinational company in Dubai Media City. "Besides the food my wife cooked for me, I would devour just about anything I could lay my hands on. My meals comprised extra large portions of rice and potatoes. They would be invariably topped with cake, zataar cheese bread, crispies, mammoul, chocolate cookies and soft drinks.
"Soon it got to the point where I would struggle to walk and do my daily chores. It was terrible. My waistline expanded to 70 inches. I used to get my trousers especially tailored because there weren't any available in my size. Fortunately, I did not develop any medical condition, but I knew I was at risk from a host of obesity-related diseases. As the pounds piled on, I got more and more miserable. My heart ached when my daughter would ask me to play soccer with her and I would have to turn her away."
In December 2011, Mousa decided to change his life and ate his last fast-food meal. A few days before New Year's Eve he visited Dubai's Belhoul Hospital on the advice of his brother-in-law and underwent sleeve gastrectomy — a surgical procedure in which his stomach was reduced by 70 per cent of its original size — (see box).
"It cost me Dh40,000 but it was worth every penny. I have ditched my unhealthy lifestyle for good. Now I am able to do things I wouldn't have even dreamt of. I could never do sports in school, but now I regularly play soccer and bask-etball with my daughter. It's so gratifying. There's a newfound buzz in my family and I am determined to keep it that way. I am a totally different person now. People walk past me and don't recognise it's me." said Mousa, whose new diet regimen is in stark contrast to the fattening food he had been living on.
"I have a glass of apple juice and some yoghurt for breakfast. Lunch is mostly salads and fruits. Dinner is early, but comprises very small portions. I do miss those Jordanian sweets sometimes, but I don't feel sad about not having them.
Mousa's healthy eating is combined with one hour of vigorous exercise daily. "My waistline has come down to 52 already. My wardrobe is always changing. I have discarded most of my old clothes except for a pair of trousers. It serves as a reminder."