A NEILSTON man who was determined to overcome personal tragedy is celebrating a new lease of after shedding almost four stones in under a year.

Hugh McCallister, 55, suffered the worst year of his life in 2016. At that time, he was living in Australia with his wife Kim and son Cooper.

However, in January of that year, Kim very suddenly passed away and, in May, Hugh suffered a heart attack.

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In the wake of these life-shattering events, he decided to move back to Scotland to start afresh, receiving a check-up when he registered with his new doctor.

Hugh, of Glen Roy Drive, told the Barrhead News: “She told me that I was overweight and had high blood pressure. She was very concerned because of my past medical history and referred me to WW (Weight Watchers Re-imagined) and, in May 2018, I joined.

“The doctor advised this would help me with my weight and my road to recovery. I was also attending a heart rehabilitation class and joined the gym.

“The heart attack had been a major surprise, as I had never suffered any issues with that before. I knew I had to do something to help myself and be a fit, healthy dad for my son.”

Hugh said he was nervous about attending his first weight loss workshop but was made to feel very welcome and found the advice and meal planning easy to follow.

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He added: “It gave me structure in my lifestyle and encouraged me to cook more, instead of buying takeaway all of the time.

“I used to eat chippies, especially after the school run, as well as crisps, fizzy juice, biscuits, lots of takeaways and pizzas. One of my real downfalls was I used to have up to 12 cups of coffee a day, with two-and-a-half sugars in each cup. No wonder my weight got out of control.

“With the help of WW, I am now enjoying healthy stir-frys, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and fresh cooking – something I didn’t think I would ever say.”

When he decided to take action, Hugh weighed 17st 5lbs and had a 44-inch waist.

He now weighs 13st 9lbs, with a 40-inch waist, and has dropped from an XL shirt size to an L.

Hugh said: “Its all going in the right direction. My doctor is really happy with me now as my blood pressure is back to normal and, hopefully, with this and my weight loss, I won’t suffer another heart attack.

“I must do the best I can to ensure that doesn’t happen again. WW and my new healthy lifestyle has given me meaning and structure and more belief that I will be around to enjoy my life with my son as a healthy, fitter dad.

“I just want to say a big thanks to WW for giving me back my life.”

Phyllis Templeton, Hugh’s wellness coach, is full of praise for his achievement.

She said: “Hugh is a legend in our workshop and so determined to be a healthy, happy role model to his son.

“He is an absolute credit to his late wife Kim.”