A MAN from Flintshire has completed a difficult backpacking adventure after first carrying out a weight loss challenge.

Gerald Davison, from Mold, achieved the remarkable double success by losing his target amount of 22 pounds before undertaking the 2019 Great Outdoors Challenge in Scotland.

The 55-year-old father of two joined Weight Watchers in December 2018 – soon after signing up to take part in the 2019 Great Outdoors Challenge - with the intention of dropping down to a weight of 10 stone 12 pounds.

Mr. Davison, a recently retired IT expert, was able to meet his target weight on April 17, 2019, and went on to complete the challenge of walking across Scotland while carrying camping equipment, food, fuel, and water less than four weeks later in May.

Speaking about his experience with weight loss, Mr. Davison said: “I have gradually seen my weight increase by almost two stone over the last 15 to 20 years.

“I know it’s not a massive increase, but it’s one that had put me into the ‘overweight’ category (according to the Body Mass Index, BMI).

“I knew the challenge would be tough at nearly twelve and a half stone, so I decided I would try to set myself a weight loss target to reach before the challenge started on.

“A realistic goal was to lose around the weight of all my walking and camping equipment (without food and water), which was going to be approximately 10kg, so I picked a 22lb loss target.

“By choosing the right foods and staying away from trigger situations, my weight dropped consistently - averaging just over a 1 pound a week.

“I’ve cut out my alcohol intake during the week, made a big change to eating more fruit and vegetables and fruit, and moved to reduce red meat.

“All in all, a move to the kind of diet that all the health experts say is better for me!”

Gerald Davison remains to be an active hill walker and mountaineer, while also continuing to do part time Outdoor Leadership and Skills instruction work, where he teaches traditional map reading and compass based navigation skills.

In a piece of advice to other people who are tackling their weight, Mr. Davison adds: Do some exercise.

“It will help to lose weight, and as you lose weight it gets easier. Then you want to do more - as you find things like knees and ankles don’t complain as much. It’s a virtuous circle!”