AN ALVA man who lost more than 17 stone in a year has described his latest fitness feat as “extremely rewarding” after he walked 57km for charity.

Steven Queen slimmed down from 31 to an incredible 14 stone last year after he realised how miserable he was with life at the time.

Ever since then, the 38-yearold has joined various walking groups and within a year of his jaw-dropping weight loss, has taken to long-distance walking and hill climbing.

The latest walk was a 57km trek from Glasgow to Linlithgow, with the Alva local raising almost £800 for The British Heart Foundation in the process.

It was Steven’s own ill health which prompted him to get into better shape, with doctors warning him that he was in danger of developing diabetes and had dangerously high blood pressure.

Steven told the Advertiser: “I wasn’t in a good place mentally. I couldn’t get around very much and had sore legs from walking and lower back pain.

“I used to eat at least 24 packets of crisps a day and generally eating and drinking the wrong things. I couldn’t even fit in the bath – it was a terrible way to live, especially for someone in their 30s.

“I didn’t really want to be seen by people; I was ashamed. I had no friends and never had much of a social life. I was just so selfconscious. I used to carry a jacket over my arm just to hide my stomach – that’s how bad it was.

“I had given up on life because of my size. I was wearing 6XL Tshirts; I had two pairs of combat trousers to my name. I just didn’t want to be alive and thought: ‘What’s the point?’”

Steven, who has done a number of different events since losing the weight, said this was the hardest challenge so far.

He said: “I started training from around last October or November and I was walking at least 50 miles a week, sometimes 70 miles.

“From Falkirk to Linlithgow, it was a nightmare, it was pouring with rain, I had shorts and a t-shirt on, I got to the finish in Linlithgow and I was shaking.

"The paramedics put a foil wrap thing around me with blankets and towels and put a hat on my head to help me get warm, then got my legs and back massaged.

“I really pushed myself to the limit and more. It was extremely rewarding, I had a tremendous sense of achievement when I finished.

“I always feel achievement after each walk but this one was different as it was the longest walk I’ve ever done.

“I think back to two years ago when I couldn’t walk for 10 minutes without having lower back pain and sore legs and being out of breath, and it gives me a great sense of achievement.”

Not content with just completing the gruelling challenge, Steven managed to finish first of the people who walked it during the day.

He said: “I know it wasn’t a race but I had hoped I’d be able to get the last train back to Stirling at 11.55pm. I ended up at Linlithgow just after 6pm, so I was four hours ahead of the time I thought I’d get back.

"That gave me a tremendous sense of achievement, being first was a bonus.

“I want to thank everyone who helped and donated. Especially Donna and everyone at Slimming World in Alva for their fantastic donation.”