AN ALLOA pensioner defied the odds with an enviable weight loss journey after fearing he may not live to see his grandchildren grow up.

George Stewart decided enough was enough in May 2017, after tipping the scales at 23 stones before being diagnosed with type two diabetes.

The 72-year-old now weighs a more manageable 19st and is planning to shed another four which will see him reach his target weight of 15st.

George said one of the hardest parts of being overweight was the stigma which came with it.

He told the Advertiser: “It is hard when people with excess weight are classified as lazy and couch potatoes, although sadly in a lot of cases it is true.

“But our society has much of the blame. There are so many high sugar products, fizzy drinks, fast food and cheap high-calorie foods.

“In early May 2017, I weighed 23st and contracted diabetes. No surprise then that it was a wake up call.

"I tried very hard to cut out cakes, biscuits, take away food and generally try to eat properly.”

After struggling at first, George realised that more would have to be done, so decided to join a local gym to complement his new healthy eating regime.

He continued: “It was very hard but slowly the weight came off. But I realised that at 72 years old it was taking too long.”

That initial struggle prompted George to not only join the gym, but engage with a personal trainer who he worked with twice a week for five weeks.

The hard work quickly paid off as George's overall health improved rapidly.

He said: “During that period, my blood test that previously stood at 18 to 20, now stabilised to 6.5. My blood pressure also settled.

“I was walking at least 10,000 steps every day, my favourite walk was around Gartmorn Dam, and exercised at home on a static bike. I also set myself a goal of swimming at least three times a week.”

George said aside from the obvious health benefits of losing weight, he was also motivated to change by the prospect of not being able to see his 18 grandchildren and two great grandchildren grow up.

Now halfway towards his target weight, George is optimistic and determined to succeed with words of encouragement for anyone else who is looking to do something similar.

He said: “Realise you have a problem, push yourself to do better and believe in yourself. I know now that I can do it.”