Mum loses four stone during lockdown after her long-term relationship ended

A mum has explained how the end of her long-term relationship shocked her into losing four-and-a-half stone and four dress sizes in lockdown.

Before Renee Sumner decided to overhaul her lifestyle, the 35-year-old weighed 15st 9lb and wore size 18 clothes.

Consumed by low moods for many years, the 5ft 7in council manager says she used to comfort eat.

But in March, when she split up with the father of her two children, daughter Kiana, 11, and son Karmani, nine, and the first Covid-19 lockdown started, she launched a mission to “find herself.”



Renee has lost more than four stone
(Image: PA REAL LIFE)

That’s when she joined the 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, slimming down to 11st 1lb and a size 10.

Renee, of Harrow, west London, who had tried and failed with numerous diets in the past, said: “People ask how I managed to keep to it over lockdown, but for me it was easy.

“After so many years of trying to lose weight, I was finally doing it for the right reasons – for me.

“If I’d have been doing it to look good at work or for someone else, it might have been a different story.”



(Image: PA REAL LIFE)

She continued: “Sure, it was tempting to turn to food for comfort, as the world felt like it was falling apart – but every time I looked in the mirror and saw myself, I knew I had to keep going.”

A size 12 throughout her late teens and early 20s, Renee had problems shifting her baby weight after her daughter Kiana was born.

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By then a size 16, she was determined to lose the extra pounds before returning to work, but failed miserably.

“I carried a bit of extra weight after the birth of my daughter,” she said.



Renee began losing weight at the start of the first lockdown
(Image: PA REAL LIFE)

“But it was after having Karmani that my weight began spiralling upwards.

“I wasn’t huge by any means, but I was the biggest I’d ever been and, try as I might, I couldn’t keep it off.”

She continued: “From then onwards, I’d lose a stone or two, only to put even more on.

“Looking back, I underestimated how hard it was to be a young mum, raising two children and working full-time.”

Reliant on quick and easy food she could eat on the go, Renee started relying on supermarket meal deals every lunchtime and had takeaways several times a week.

On top, she grazed on sweet and savoury snacks throughout the day.

“Every day was the same,” she said. “I’d skip breakfast and have a ham and cheese baguette for lunch, with a packet of crisps and a fizzy drink – never water.

“I’d buy a four-pack of chocolate bars and secretly eat them in the car on my own.”

She continued: “Looking back, I was suffering with low-moods and depression, but at the time I didn’t realise.”



Renee weighed more than 15 stone at her heaviest
(Image: PA REAL LIFE)

Always putting her family, friends and work before herself, sadly, by March 2020, Renee’s relationship with the father of her two children reached a natural end, as their love fizzled out.

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“The relationship had been on the rocks for a long time, but I’d had my head in the sand,” she said.

She continued: “I’d spent so long putting everybody else first, I ended up losing myself.

“That’s ultimately what led to the breakdown of my relationship.”



(Image: PA REAL LIFE)

For the first time ever, newly single and with lockdown signalling a massive change in the way we live, Renee took a long look at herself for the first time in years.

She had a body mass index (BMI) – used to gauge a healthy weight – of 34.3, which far exceeded the NHS recommended range of 18.5 to 24.9, meaning that she was obese.

“I’d spent years losing myself,” she added. “I realise I didn’t recognise myself.”

Determined to change, in March she signed up for e-consultations over phone and text with experts at the 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan.

And soon, instead of skipping breakfast and gorging on takeaways, Renee kickstarted her day with protein shakes and was making homemade, healthy salads for lunch.



Renee now
(Image: PA REAL LIFE)

Losing a stone in her first month, she continued to make such good progress that by July 2020, she had shed an incredible four stone.

“It felt amazing,” she said. “It was just wonderful.”

She continued: “I’d spent years hiding behind my weight and now I finally felt like I’d found the real me.”

Still gradually losing weight now, but at nowhere near the same rate, she is an 11st 1lb size 10 and wants to reach her 10st goal weight by Christmas.

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“In the past, I would hide myself from the world in baggy clothes,” said Renee.



Renee began losing weight in March
(Image: PA REAL LIFE)

She continued: “Now I’ve got a closet full of clothes that hug my figure and show off my weight loss.

“There’s not been much opportunity to wear them out yet, but I feel great in them all the same.”

The boost to her happiness and confidence since her transformation has been more important to Renee than her appearance.

She said: “For me, the biggest difference hasn’t been how I look, it’s been how I feel.

“I want to keep feeling better in myself and be the best mum I can be to my two children.

“We look through old photos and we’re all so shocked at how big I used to be. Now I couldn’t be happier.”

She concluded: “Friends and family have said I finally look like the real me.

“And while I’ve had to stay strong to achieve this weight loss, I have no plans on stopping yet.”