To enter the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Winter Run visit: Greatrun.org/Winter

A dad has managed to lose seven stone after he ditched his sweet tooth and takeaway addiction and took up running following the death of both of his parents.

Ian Collins, from Larbert in Stirlingshire, went from 20 stone down to 13 stone after his mum tragically passed away from ovarian cancer in 2013.

Ian saw his weight increase after he started working in an office and found it easy to do less exercise and eat more.

Ian admitted he had a sweet tooth, eating cakes, treats and drinking Diet Coke every day. On his 31st birthday he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and suddenly found himself wearing XXL jeans.

When Ian's mum Mary was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, he moved into her home and the two began to learn recipes and cook together.

Her diagnosis was a huge eye-opener to Ian, who had lost his father Tim to lung cancer ten years before.

Ian, who is a dad-of-two, learned to make healthy alternatives of his favourite snacks, using fresh vegetables and meat instead of the usual takeaways.

After she passed away, he took up running as a way of managing his grief and found that he could use the headspace to help him mentally.

Ian then managed to shed seven stone thanks to changing his diet and running two or three times a week.

After building up his running distance, Ian has signed up for the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Winter Run on Saturday 13 January in the hope of raising money for Cancer Research and Diabetes UK.

Ian, who is 47, said: “I have always had an interest in sport from a young age and always enjoyed athletics at school but when I got a job in an office, my interests completely changed and I found it really easy to just do nothing.

“I have a sweet tooth which didn't help and I found myself drinking Diet Coke and eating cakes pretty much every day of the week.

"I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes but I never really took it seriously and thought that I could still eat what I wanted as long as I had insulin. I never really saw the weight creeping on and it felt like one day I just looked at myself and I was 20 stone!

“My t shirts were XXL jeans were 38 waist and all needed to be baggy or loose fit.

“My mum then was diagnosed with cancer and was going through chemotherapy. It was a huge shock to me and reminded me of when I lost my Dad ten years ago.

“I moved in with her and we began to cook together. Looking back I think she may have been trying to prepare me for the inevitable.

“I stopped eating crisps biscuits and chocolate and made sure I now had breakfast, switched to seeds and fruit as snacks.

“I started to eat fresh vegetables and meat and completely ditched the fizzy drinks and saw my body start to change.

“When Mum lost her battle with cancer I promised myself that I'd make her proud, so I kept to the diet and took up running as I had loved it so much once before.

“The weight kept dropping off me and now I am 13 stone and pretty much walk everywhere with the odd run every week.

“I keep motivated by signing up to running events and thought that a 5k run in the new year would be a great way to keep motivated.”

Ian will join 3,000 people who will kick start 2018 at the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Winter Run in Holyrood Park.

The 5k route features a scenic run up Edinburgh's famous Arthur's Seat before participants head on a downhill section and cross the finish line outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Ian hopes that he will be able to inspire other people to take up running to improve both their mental and physical health.

He added: "I absolutely love running and I am always looking for a new event to take on. I am particularly looking forward to the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Winter Run as I missed it last year and have always wanted to take part.

“Running releases any stress that I have on that day and always makes me happy and like I have accomplished something. “My life has changed a lot physically too as my eating habits are so much better but I still find time to have the odd treat!

“I can wear super skinny and trendy clothes now and my top size has gone from a XXL to a medium.

“I am proof that you don't have to be an athlete to be able to run, any one can do it if they try!”

To enter the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Winter Run visit: Greatrun.org/Winter