Alex Morrison, 53, had been gradually struggling with his weight over time but was 21st 4lb in the summer of 2018 when he decided to make the change following a holiday in Spain, where he found himself frustrated getting up and down the stairs.
He said: “On the holiday I was on I was having breathing problems. Our villa was upstairs and downstairs and I was getting frustrated getting up and down them. I just thought ‘this is crazy I need to do something about this.’
In July 2018, he plucked up the courage to join his local Slimming World group and make a permanent life change.
Alex said: “A routine before would be home, kettle on, cup of coffee a few chocolate biscuits followed by some crisps before having my dinner later on. All taking place on the couch in front of the television.”
His habits changed and he began trying favourite recipes like Diet Coke chicken and sticky pork stir fry.
He also joined the gym and also began to play walking football, where at most he played up to five times a week.
“I started playing walking football at Tynecastle, but when my workplace moved out to Heriot Watt, I began to play for the Oriam team.” Alex added, “As the weight started to come off, I became more mobile on the football pitch and joined the gym as well. I did a lot of walking to start with and gradually over time I was playing more football.”
Alex hit his target weight within 51 weeks of starting Slimming World and won Greatest Loser 2019 and Greatest Man of the Year 2019 at his group.
Speaking about the benefits of his weight loss, Alex said: “I really enjoyed it, there is no danger that I could have imagined myself playing last year when you’ve got the heat to contend with as well.
“We often talk about the fitness side of losing weight, but the mental health side has been incredible. When I was bigger and couldn’t get out as much I felt isolated, I missed the camaraderie with the guys, but going back to walking football I’ve made a lot more friends.
“Without the support of my wife, Lynne, who essentially did majority of cooking and keeping me going, I think I would have struggled. Her support got me to target.”
Alex hopes that his story can encourage others to decide to get fitter, more mobile and eat healthier.