A MAN who gave up all hope of slimming when he tipped the scales at more than 20 stones has turned his life around with a dramatic weight loss.
Alan McGinley from Clydebank wrote off any idea that change was possible after years of piling on the pounds, but thanks to willpower and a careful weight reduction programme he has shed almost nine stones.
Now Alan, 57, has won the accolade of being Scottish Slimmers’ Biggest Loser Male and he picked up a prize last week at an awards day in Glasgow.
It was a New Year’s resolution in January 2016 that started the process – and since then he has gone from 20st 9lb to 11st 11.5lb.
He told the Clydebank Post: “Mind you, it took me around 10 years to finally make that commitment and actually do something about my weight.
“I’d started to put on serious weight in my mid 40s and by the time I’d reached my heaviest weight I’d all but written off the idea that change was possible.”
A routine check up at his doctors about five years ago led to an appointment with a cardiologist who advised Alan to lose weight and join a slimming class as he realised it was the most effective way to slim and manage to sustain it.
Dad of two Alan said: “Even as my ears were burning with his advice, it still took me some years before I acted on it.
“Eventually when I did decide I really had to get focused and do something about my size.
“One of the tipping points that made me do it was changing my job.
“One of my first tasks was to take part in a video ‘vox pop’ at the Arthritis Care annual conference. I talked about wanting to lose a few stone to take the pressure off my knees.
“I realised I didn’t want to turn up a year later the same size.
“This was my trigger to do something about my weight at last, so finally, in January 2016, I signed up for my local Scottish Slimmers class.”
Now a staggering 8st 8.5lb lighter, Alan says: “Walking is now more of a pleasure than a chore and any visits to the doctor are free of the usual discussion of ‘lifestyle issues’.
“Previously I’d always thought of weight loss as a short-term quick fix, two to three months of effort for some visible gain.
“With Scottish Slimmers, seeing the progress as longer term is vital and with the support of a great class manager and fellow members it makes all the difference.”
And with a chuckle Alan added: “A surprising dividend of my weight loss is the number of times I’ve been called ‘dapper’.
“As a lifelong scruff it’s certainly not something I have been called before!”
For more information about Scottish Slimmers call FREE on 0800 36 26 36 or log on to www.scottishslimmers.com.