Running has become the salvation of a Lothian Bus driver who will now tackle a tough ten-mile run after he and his wife shed a mammoth 23 stone between them.
David Lawson, 45, from Wallyford, who also suffers from depression, lost 11 stone and will take on the Great Edinburgh Run on April 23 to help others.
He was inspired by his wife Jay to swap takeaways for trainers and help raise money for a family friend diagnosed with cancer.
But at 30 stone his challenge was considerable. “I was tipping the scales at over 30 stone and I was suffering from really bad depression,” said David, who has driven buses across the city for 13 years.
“I tried to just put up with it and fight it every day but that only made me push my family and friends away. Jay was at her wits’ end and had done so much for me.
“She was raising money for various charities even though she was sitting at 29 stone herself and could hardly walk.
“One day she asked if I would be interested in signing up for a 5km fun run to help her raise money for her friend who had a severe form of cancer.
“It made me realise how much she was doing to help me and others even though she was going through a struggle herself, so I thought ‘I need to do something’.”
David now views running as the perfect way to not only keep his weight down, but his mind clear. He said: “I look forward to running and taking part in challenges such as the run in April. It is good to get out and, as I suffer from depression, it is the perfect way to free my mind.”
David pounds the quiet roads of East Lothian to train as well as joining up regularly with the Meadowmill JogScotland group. He said: “The biggest step I made was asking for help at JogScotland and ever since then, I haven’t looked back.
“The group has helped me keep myself grounded with my running pace as well as deal with any mental barriers and injuries.”
David has now raised £1000 for charity and completed more than 15 running events as well as scaling 25 Munros – topping Ben Nevis first in aid of Cancer Research UK.
And his new-found healthy hobby has motivated the whole family to keep fit, including his eight-year-old son, Jamie, who has hit the Tarmac in a number of races.
“My 23-year-old daughter Ashley Taylor wanted to join the police,” he said. “I started running with her during her training when I was initially trying to get fit. We’re all in it together.”
And Jay, who faithfully supports David at each of his events, has lost 12 stone. “We ditched the takeaways, cut out sugary drinks and began to cook with fruit and vegetables,” David explained. “Jay’s weight dropped dramatically.
“I help my wife with eating healthier, which she struggled with at first, and she encourages me with my exercise and is always waiting for me at the finish line.”
The Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Run will feature a ten-mile tour of Edinburgh through the heart of the Capital.