SLIMLINE Robbie Flannery is looking forward to taking part in this weekend’s Great North Run after he shed four stone in just 12 months.
The active dad-of-three was inspired to get fit after the shock death of a work pal from a heart attack last year.
After hitting the gym, Robbie, of the Headland, has said goodbye to his bulging belly and can run for miles with ease.
His weight has dropped from a hefty 18 and a half stone to tipping the scales at just over 14 now.
This Sunday, Robbie, 49, will take part in the BUPA Great North Run, his first half marathon.
He has already raised over £4,000 for the British Heart Foundation.
Robbie, an operations manager for an offshore oil and gas firm, said: “I’m not the same guy I was 12 months ago.”
His healthy new regime came about after his colleague of more than 20 years, Paul Harvey, died of a heart attack after surfing last year.
Robbie, married to Lynn, 48, added: “I started looking at myself as I was quite big.
“When I first went to the gym I was embarrassed. There were guys with big muscles and I thought ‘I don’t fit in here’.
“I started off with 10 minutes on the bike then slowly built up and then the running outside kicked in.
“I have gone from only being able to do 30 seconds on the treadmill to running eight to 10 miles no problem.
“My family are over the moon and my colleagues have been fantastic in their support.”
Robbie’s waist has also shrunk from 42 inches to 34 after he also ditched the chips, bread and chocolate.
“If someone my age can do it anyone can,” he said. “You just need to take a little bit of time out and you feel miles better.”
Robbie’s bosses have pledged £1,000 to his fundraising while The Globe pub has generously given him £100 for doing the Great North Run.
Anyone who wishes to support him can do so by logging onto: www.justgiving.com/Robert-Flannery