BILL Goldsmith is ready for a double hip operation after losing a quarter of his body weight.
The former squash champion was told he had to shed some pounds before he was suitable for the vital operation.
But Bill, of Cinderford Close, Boldon Colliery, lost five stone in just 20 weeks, and is now ready to go under the surgeon’s knife.
The 58-year-old said: “I was in America last summer and I was so heavy, and disabled because of my hips, I had to use a mobility scooter and it absolutely horrified me.”
Weighing in at 19st 2lb last August, Bill joined Weight Watchers at Boldon Village Hall, in North Road, Boldon Colliery, and instantly impressed after he lost between three and four pounds each week.
Now, after following a healthy eating plan and avoiding junk food, he weighs just 14st 2lb.
“You have to have a positive attitude, and you have to want to do it. You have to resist takeaways and if you are disciplined, you can lose weight.”
The dad-of-two found himself overweight after suffering medical problems.
In his 20s and 30s, he was captain of the county squash team in Northumberland.
But his sporting career was cut short when he developed the hip disease, Perthes, and was forced to have both hips replaced at the age of 34.
He said: “At the time I thought I had a groin strain, but it was something much more serious.
“My hips were worn out, and I had gone from being one of the fittest people in the North East to being virtually crippled.”
Mr Goldsmith, who has two grandchildren, had to take early retirement from his senior management job at the former Whitburn Colliery.
He added: “I had to stop work at the age of 39 and it was a big blow because I loved my job.
“It’s now 16 years since I had my hips replaced, and now they need to be replaced again.
“I am on the waiting list for an operation. But I’ve had to lose weight first, otherwise there could have been problems with breathing and other complications.”
Bill says he will keep going to Weight Watchers. He said: “I find going to the sessions very inspiring.”
Lindsay Brennan, Weight Watchers leader at Boldon Village Hall said: “Bill has done fantastically well. He has inspired a lot of other people and has become a popular member of the group.
“Bill’s dream has come true and he has shown that other people’s dreams can come true.”
For more information about Weight Watchers at Boldon Colliery, call Lindsay Brennan on 07958677463.