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In mid-2016 Doug Stewart, 57, had a sudden awakening: he was out of shape and low on oomph. 

What happened?

I just realised how unfit I was, and started a diet and walking. Today one year on I've lost 11.5 stone, walked 312 miles in the hills, got to 15 miles a day when walking, and am at my target weight. People don't recognise me which is great. I'm in 36 inch waist trousers now, I was 48 inch waist! Last time I was this waist size and weight was 40 years ago!

 Old Doug!

Old Doug!

How do you feel?

I feel so good, fit and filled with energy. I feel I can overcome hurdles and am looking to the next challenge. Happy, proud, energetic and loving being outdoors – I feel I have got a life!

How are the the walking and non-walking parts of your life connected, or how do they affect each other?

I work away from home at times. So I go on the Ramblers website and find a walk near where I am working and have days out all over the country.

How do you find the #walk1000miles community?

Humbling. So many people are on the group overcoming their demons, and doing more than they ever thought possible, it is an inspirational group of overcomeers people who are overcoming so many difficulties. And I love the messages of support, and the likes when you post images and so on.

What message would you like to send to other challengers who may identify with your situation?

Plod along, at the end of the day with fitness or weight loss it is not where you are, it is not comparing yourself to others, it is simply distance travelled and be proud of how far you have come.

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