• STV
  • MySTV

Saying goodbye: Scot walks 397 miles to shed former self

Ruth Webster is leaving roses on the road to London after her mental health battle.

Blooming: Ruth is walking to London to celebrate her new outlook on life.
Blooming: Ruth is walking to London to celebrate her new outlook on life. Ruth Webster

Pounding pavements and roads hundreds of miles from home, Ruth Webster is on a life-changing journey to say goodbye to her former self.

Leaving a yellow rose by the roadside in Northallerton, she said farewell to the girl who struggled with her relationship with food.

Days later on the steps of York Minster Cathedral, another primrose-hued bloom was left in memory of the woman who often doubted herself.

The 47-year-old from Methil, Fife, is walking 397 miles from Edinburgh to London for mental health charity Mind, having lived with mental health problems since her early twenties.

"For over 25 years I've suffered with severe depression which actually took me to the point of attempted suicide many many years ago," Ruth explains.

"I was very lucky I had very close friends and family who stood by me and guided me over the years, but I know there are many people out there who have nobody.

"I thought if I tried to raise this money for Mind who are an amazing charity, then I at least know that there is somebody out there who will reach out to them and they maybe won't go through the dark times I went through."

Ruth's journey began ten years ago following the death of her beloved father Archie.

Ruth's father was supportive of her struggle with depression.
Ruth's father was supportive of her struggle with depression. Ruth Webster

"My dad was really supportive, he didn't know about depression but he went to the library and got books and things and read up about it," Ruth emotionally recalls.

"The last thing I said to him was I was going to take control of my life and completely sort things out.

"The walk is in memory."

A decade ago, Ruth took control of her health and made the decision to stop seeing counsellors and stopped taking medication, adding "I felt within myself I had the strength to get myself back on track".

At the time, Ruth also struggled with a binge-eating disorder and at her heaviest, weighed 28 stone.

"I had tried every diet under the sun over the years as many people have, where I would lose a few stone then I would fall off the wagon and I would end up putting the weight back on, plus more," she explains.

In 2015, Ruth stumbled across fitness coach Joe Wicks, also known as The Body Coach, on Instagram and was taken with his easy recipes and workout routines.

Signing up one of his fitness plans, Ruth soon found joy in exercising and eating healthily, losing 11 stone over two years.

The 47-year-old shed 11 stone in two years.
The 47-year-old shed 11 stone in two years. Ruth Webster

"I can't describe how different mentally and physically I feel," she explains.

"How I'm feeling now is the way I've wanted to be, I can't believe I'm feeling so mentally strong and physically I feel incredible."

Going through such a transformation both mentally and physically, Ruth was determined to do something big to celebrate.

She began walking ten minutes around the block with her faithful dog Max each day and soon began to build up to walking one mile, then three then five.

Setting herself the goal of walking from Edinburgh to London to give something back to the mental health community, she left the Meadows in Edinburgh on Saturday June 2 at 10am.

Since then, she has walked an average of 28 miles each day accompanied by friends and family.

With a goal of raising £10,000, she has already raised 91% of her target.

Ruth's beloved dog Max has been by her side during training.
Ruth's beloved dog Max has been by her side during training. Ruth Webster

"This is my journey to say goodbye to the person I used to be, because I've tried for years to sort myself out and I could never get there," she says.

"Now I'm getting the chance to say goodbye to the old Ruth because the new Ruth has a great life ahead of her."

Through Instagram, Ruth has kept in touch with Joe Wicks and he will join her along with around 70 other walkers on her final day, from family and friends to her walking companions who have dedicated their time to support her on her journey.

From elder brother David, who has driven ahead of each stage of the walk to make sure roads are clear, to young neighbour Craig Thomson, who supported Ruth throughout her training and best friend Louise Van Rensberg whom Ruth cites as 'her rock', she is thankful for everyone who has helped change her life with her memorable charity walk.

"People need to realise that the journey they go on will never be an easy one, it will never be straightforward, there will be ups and downs," Ruth says.

"You have to keep going, you have to forget about your past, you have to forget about the mistakes you've made and you have to treat today as day one and you have to believe in yourself.

"This challenge has proven that I am never ever going back to the person I used to be."

You can follow Ruth's journey on Instagram and her Justgiving page.

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.