A football-mad dad lost SEVEN STONE in weight by giving up his season ticket and replacing match day pies and binge-drinking with meditation and ultra-marathons.
William Robertson, 28, was a fanatical Celtic FC supporter who frequently drank 30 pints of lager over the course of a weekend while following his team.
Facing declining health, he made the painful decision to hang up his green and white supporter’s jersey and commit to a lifestyle of regular exercise and healthy foods like kale and wheatgrass. Having once weighed nearly 21st, he now weighs 13st 4lb.
Mr Robertson, of Glasgow, said: “I was a really big drinker in the days when I followed Celtic all over Europe. Then I gave it all up for running, and I feel amazing for it.
“I live a more peaceful life. I don’t miss the football or the drinking now. I’m calmer in my mind and my body is much healthier. I would much rather being running up mountains.”
Mr Robertson had experienced a struggle with weight gain since his schooldays growing up as a Celtic fan in Anderston, Glasgow.
He said: “I had depression as I grew up and my weight would yoyo up and down. My PE teacher told me I couldn’t run, which was upsetting.”
Mr Robertson followed his team across Europe in their Champion’s League campaigns, taking in matches in France, Portugal and Spain.
He said: “If there was a match on a Saturday I would start drinking on a Friday night and continue until Sunday evening. I had around 30 pints on an average weekend.”
A pint of lager amounts to around 200 calories, meaning that over the course of the weekend Mr Robertson was consuming an extra 3,000 calories a day on top of his daily food intake.
As the weight piled on, Mr Robertson’s health started to fail.
By 2012 Mr Roberton weighed 20st 10lbs and found he would get out of breath easily while walking to his seat at Celtic Park.
He said: “At the match I would put on a happy face, but deep down I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t healthy and I knew I needed change.”
In the winter of 2012, Mr Robertson’s doctor delivered the shocking news he had deranged liver function and an inflamed stomach – and that unless he changed his lifestyle, he could be dead within two years.
In January 2013, after the birth of Ava-Jane, his daughter with partner Karen McIntyre, 29, he decided to take charge of his life, switched to a vegan diet and began marathon training.
He said: “I looked into my daughter’s eyes and I knew I needed to make her happy, and I wanted to set a good example for her.
“All I had was a tracksuit. I wore hill walking shoes at first. I knew I had to stay on course for my daughter.”
Mr Robertson completed his first marathon in April 2013 in a time of four hours 53 minutes.
He said: “It was incredibly hard because I still weighed 19st 6lb at the time. I still managed to get to the finishing line eventually.
“I decided to stop going to the football entirely. The unhealthy food and boozy weekends didn’t fit with my new lifestyle.
“I found I didn’t miss watching the games – my time was completely filled with training and marathon runs.”
Before beginning his weight loss, he typically ate a large fried breakfast, followed by a pizza and a pint for lunch. For dinner he would often get fish and chips from his local takeaway and would snack on chocolate bars and crisps through the day.
Today, he typically eats wheat grass and spirulina with bananas and strawberries for his breakfast. For lunch he will have spinach and kale in a wrap. For dinner he now goes for the healthy option of vegan pasta. He will now snack on nuts and fruit throughout the day.
He said: “I actually eat more now – up to 4000 calories to give me energy for running – but it’s all healthy food. You don’t get fat on spinach and kale.
“Now I’m vegan I’m at much less risk of heart disease and my liver and stomach are much more healthy.
“In August this year I completed my first ultra marathon. It was 100 miles and extremely difficult but its an amazing accomplishment.
“The rush I get from completing a marathon is a hundred times better than the one I used to get when Celtic would score.”
Mr Robertson, a trainee counsellor, took on a charity challenge to run 2014 miles this year – and completed it with six months to spare.
He said: “I gave up Celtic for my new lifestyle. I sometimes see my old friends when I go for a drink of water in the pub but the laddish drinking and football lifestyle are now firmly behind me.”
More high resolution pictures are available on request. To discuss rates for using pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or email@example.com.
If you have a weight loss story to sell to a newspaper or magazine, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0117 9733730.