Break-up in lockdown triggered a complete transformation for entrepreneur who lost four-and-a-half stone, saw her business boom and found love

·6-min read

An entrepreneur whose 10 year relationship ended in lockdown says her heartbreak triggered a complete transformation in which she lost four-and-a-half stone, boosted her business and found love.

Divorcee Kath Hill, 48, piled on the pounds by snacking on crisps and biscuits and being inactive, after a car crash in 2015 left her with piercing back pain for 18 months.

But when the mum-of-two, who lives in Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk, with her trainee carpenter son Xandar Gomes, 17, and daughter Sinead Gomes, 15, hit rock bottom after she and her partner fell out of love in lockdown and split-up in May 2020, she took drastic action.

Kath now feels she can talk to anyone in the room (PA Real Life/Collect)
Kath now feels she can talk to anyone in the room (PA Real Life/Collect)

At 5ft 6in, weighing 15st 7lb, wearing a size 18 and with a body mass index (BMI) used to gauge a healthy weight of 34.8, making her obese, she joined a slimming plan and changed her body and her mindset, saying: “I’m now fit, I can run I’m healthy and I’m happy.”

Losing over 5st in as many months, she is now a 10st 6lb size 10 and her BMI is 23.4 – well within the NHS healthy range of 18.5 to 24.9.

“I weigh less than I weighed before I had kids,” she said.

By October Kath had already met a new man online (PA Real Life/Collect)
By October Kath had already met a new man online (PA Real Life/Collect)

Kath had met her partner in May 2010, two years after moving to the UK where she already had family, from Johannesburg in South Africa, with her husband and father of her children – only for their marriage to end a year later.

Admitting she was “not in a good place mentally,” then weighing 11st 7lb, she met the man she would go on to stay with for 10 years.

During this time she tried “numerous diets” without great success, saying: “I gave up on what made me happy in exchange for an easier life and I just piled on the pounds.”

Kath suffered from a lack of self-belief (PA Real Life/Collect)
Kath suffered from a lack of self-belief (PA Real Life/Collect)

But her weight really spiralled after she was involved in a car accident in 2015, leaving her with injuries that made being active and slimming down even more difficult.

She said: “I was coming down the road doing less than 30mph as I came to a crossroads,

“A car came straight across the street in front of me and I hit it straight on.”

  • Breakfast - cereal

  • Lunch - a sandwich or leftovers

  • Snacks - a packet of crisps or biscuits eaten throughout the day

  • Dinner - A meat stew or grilled chicken with potatoes and veg

  • After dinner - a glass of wine or biscuits and tea

She added: “As you can imagine, if you’re holding the steering wheel and you’re pushing your foot on the brake and then the car impacts, that jolt went straight up my leg and twisted my pelvis.

“So my whole lower back was in spasm and it took me probably 18 months to get better from there.”

After almost two years of being sedentary and visiting a chiropractor twice a week, Kath was a shadow of her former self.

Kath, Xandar and Siobhan live together in Norfolk (PA Real Life/Collect)
Kath, Xandar and Siobhan live together in Norfolk (PA Real Life/Collect)

“At that time, I wasn’t even able to make a decision on what to make for dinner,” she said.

While she persevered, even launching a venture in 2019 that helps small online businesses organise their marketing and sales, she was not entirely happy within herself.

And in May 2020, after her relationship ended, feeling she needed a fresh start, she and her children moved in with her health development manager sister, Kerri De Lange, 34.

The weight began to fall off Kath after just a few weeks (PA Real Life/Collect)
The weight began to fall off Kath after just a few weeks (PA Real Life/Collect)

Not only did Kerri help her to “reconnect with her old self,” but she encouraged her to join a weight loss plan.

She said: “I was in a very, very bad place, I hit quite a low depression for a while but Kerri helped me with that.

“Sometimes you just need a sounding board to process what you’re going through.”

  • Breakfast - a diet shake or porridge

  • Lunch - a Cambridge diet meal such as a low calorie Chicken tikka curry

  • Afternoon snack - a diet bar

  • Dinner- another low calorie meal such as a Thai Chilli soup

  • After dinner snack - salted caramel diet bite

So, on Kerri’s recommendation, in July 2020 she started the Cambridge Weight Plan – a diet that, with help of diet shakes, bars and low fat meals, restricts calorie intake to promote weight loss.

Kath said: “My sister said, ‘Just try it for a week. What’s a week in the grand scheme of things?’

“So I did it and started to walk the dog every morning, then building up to more exercise.”

Kath felt very down after the end of her relationship and decided to turn her life around (PA Real Life/Collect)
Kath felt very down after the end of her relationship and decided to turn her life around (PA Real Life/Collect)

Soon the weight started to fall off, and what is more, Kath’s business also started to really take off.

“Slowly but surely, as the weight began to come off, I started to feel a bit more confident and my business was doing really well, too,” said Kath.

By the end of 2020 she had lost 5st and, as her waistline shrank, her business grew.

Kath is now feeling self confident and attractive (PA Real Life/Collect)
Kath is now feeling self confident and attractive (PA Real Life/Collect)

She said: “It’s amazing – if there’s one word for it it’s confidence.

“You don’t realise how little you had until you have it again, if that makes sense!

“Just the ability to go into a room and talk to people and not feel shy and not have any of that negative self talk really helps.”

Kath now feels like her true self (PA Real Life/Collect)
Kath now feels like her true self (PA Real Life/Collect)

She added: “I’m just happy, I’m content and I’m doing things that I love.”

Her new look also gave her the confidence to start dating.

And in October 2021 she met her new partner Adam Burroughs, 48, on a dating app and, sharing her newfound love for the gym, he is training to become a personal trainer.

  • Breakfast - yoghurt, granola and fruit

  • Lunch - soup, salad or vegan sandwich

  • Dinner - Balanced vegan meal such as curry or even sausage and mash (with vegan sausages)

Now looking fantastic, employing five people and turning over £15,000 a month she says she has never felt better.

She said: “I’ve even been a vegan for over a year now – something I never thought I would do, and I’ve never looked back.

“We’re expanding my business and I’m even thinking of building almost a family legacy for my kids.”

Kath, pictured here in 2018 with her son, used to struggle with self confidence (PA Real Life/Collect)
Kath, pictured here in 2018 with her son, used to struggle with self confidence (PA Real Life/Collect)

She added: “You can get into a couch potato lifestyle and I don’t want to choose that ever again.

“There’s so much life to be lived, so I would say to anyone that’s stuck in a rut, ‘Get out there, go on a walk, see the world!'”

* To find out more about The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, please visit: www.one2onediet.com

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