Climbing up the stairs at Glasgow Rangers’ Ibrox Stadium, I looked up to see our seats at the very top of the stand. The match would be starting soon, but already puffing and sweating, my hip aching, I wondered if I’d make it. This is what being in your 60s is like, I thought. Joints wearing out, high blood pressure, and too unfit to walk up some steps…

My weight wasn’t helping. I’d been dieting on and off for 50 years, turning each time to calorie counting. As well as finding the constant weighing and measuring time-consuming, I’d be ravenous after only a crispbread with cottage cheese for lunch. So I’d soon go back to buttered toast for breakfast, sandwiches and crisps at midday, and fried egg and chips with more bread in the evening.

Over the decades my weight had crept up, and I’d spent a lot of my retirement so far sitting in front of the TV, trying to take the pressure off my aching hip. When my wife, Irene, and I went away on all-inclusive holidays abroad, we’d spend our time lying in the sun. Even after I had my hip operation, I just didn’t have the energy to be more mobile.

When Irene joined Slimming World in February 2016, I went along for moral support, thinking I’d drop out once she’d settled in. But, after losing 5lbs the first week, without going hungry once, I knew I was on to a good thing.

Irene and I supported each other, planning our food together each week. After about a month, we started going for walks – a mile at first, building up to two to three miles at a time.

When I look at this photo of me on holiday in St Lucia – a fit, happy man in his late 60s, standing on the deck of  a catamaran in shorts and a T-shirt – I realise just how much losing 4st ½lb has changed my life.

Irene has lost 1st 10lbs, too. We’re amazed by how much more energetic we feel, plus my blood pressure is now at a normal level, which is great news for my health. 

Even though we’ve both been at target for more than a year now, we still go to group each week without fail. We’re enjoying our active retirement in ways we never thought possible – and we plan to hold on to that feeling!

*Weight loss will vary due to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.