14.06.2024

I was so ashamed of my weight at 16st I’d hide behind my children

A mum who was so ashamed of her weight that she used to hide behind her kids tin family snaps has shed seven stone after ditching fast-food.

Clare Skyvington, from Brickfields, Worcester, ballooned to 16.3 stone after eating a diet of pizza, chips, burgers and chocolate when she was pregnant.

The 39-year-old office administrator used to eat up to six meals a day, washed down with fizzy drinks.

Every day she would munch through half a pack of biscuits and a family-size pizza to herself.

The single mum was so low she was too embarrassed to have her picture taken on her own.

Clare Skyvington, from Brickfields, Worcester, who was so ashamed of her weight that she used to hide behind her kids tin family snaps has shed seven stone after ditching fast-food

Clare Skyvington, from Brickfields, Worcester, who was so ashamed of her weight that she used to hide behind her kids tin family snaps has shed seven stone after ditching fast-food

She would only pose for photos if her kids were also in the snap so that she could crouch behind them to hide her figure.

Clare, who was warned she was pre-diabetic during her pregnancies, was pushed to take drastic action after she struggled to walk to a shop.

The 4ft 11in mum also wanted to keep up with her two children, Jake, seven, and four-year-old Scarlett.

She joined a gym and swapped her takeaway diet for healthy cereals, pasta and salad.

After three years of exercising three times a week and eating sensibly, she has lost more than seven stone.

She now weighs a trim nine stone and has gone from a dress size 20 to an eight.

She has got so fit she even competes in distance runs and the gruelling Wolf Run with her new gym pals.

The single-mum was so low she was too embarrassed to have her picture taken on her own and would pose behind her son Jake

After three years of exercising three times a week and eating sensibly, she has lost more than seven stone

After three years of exercising three times a week and eating sensibly, she has lost more than seven stone

Clare, said: ‘At my heaviest I weighed just over 16 stone.

‘I could’ve been a little bit bigger than that. I’m only 4’11. As you can imagine with my height and when I was at my biggest I was huge.

‘When I was pregnant with my daughter she sat on my sciatica nerve so I was limited with movement.

‘I literally just filled out with junk food, I ate my own body weight in rubbish.

‘The pregnancy was very stressful and there were a lot of problems and I just ate and ate and ate.

‘My diabetes readings were high. I was registered as pre-diabetic. I knew at that point something had to change to basically.

Clare weighed just over 16 stone six years ago and she was pushed to take drastic action after she struggled to walk to a shop

Clare weighed just over 16 stone six years ago and she was pushed to take drastic action after she struggled to walk to a shop

The 39-year-old office administrator used to eat up to six meals a day, washed down with fizzy drinks

When she was pregnant with her daughter she sat on her sciatica nerve so she was limited with movement

She was miserable and used to hide herself away and she wouldn't allow herself to be photographed without her kids

She was miserable and used to hide herself away and she wouldn’t allow herself to be photographed without her kids

‘At that point I went on a UK holiday and I found myself hiding behind my children.

‘I suddenly realised that I didn’t have any photos without my kids. I never walked, I drove everywhere and my diet was appalling. I lived on fast food and convenience meals.

‘I was miserable, unhappy before. I used to hide myself away, I wouldn’t allow myself to be photographed. I would avoid activity.’

Finally, one day in 2020 Clare plucked up the courage to join her local leisure centre and she was instantly hooked.

She said: ‘I started taking part in group exercises, like body combat. I had to get my nutrition in check so I took advice from the experts at the gym.

‘When I was big I struggled to walk to the shop and I couldn’t do a burpee.

‘It’s taking three-and-a-half years to lose my weight but that’s made me realise how to keep it off me.

‘I know how far I can go up and down, I know where my lines are. I still have treats and naughty meals.

Finally, one day in 2020 Clare plucked up the courage to join her local leisure centre and she was instantly hooked

Finally, one day in 2020 Clare plucked up the courage to join her local leisure centre and she was instantly hooked

On average, she tends to exercise five days a week and she does a mixture of cardio and weight training

‘I still do all the exercise I did to lose the weight now.

‘You have a naughty weekend and it goes up a bit then it goes down in the week. It’s basically about healthy living and living within moderation.

‘I drink a lot of water now too. I probably wouldn’t drink half-a-pint of water a day.

‘It would be tea, coffee and fizzy pop. I tend to hydrate myself more. Sometimes you can mistake hunger for needing a drink.

Clare’s diet before

Breakfast – Multiples rounds of buttery toast

Mid-morning snack – Half a pack of biscuits and sugary tea or coffee

Lunch – Cheese sandwich, crisps, chocolate bar, fizzy pop

Afternoon snack – Crisps

Dinner – Family-sized Domino’s pizza or takeaway from McDonald’s or KFC

Supper – Chocolate pudding

Clare’s diet now

Breakfast – Overnight oats with fruit

Mid-morning – Rice cakes with soft cheese

Lunch – Chicken salad, pesto pasta salad

Afternoon snack – Fruit, apple and peanuts

Dinner – Homemade chilli, with salad, a sensible portion of rice and a Greek yoghurt dessert

‘Three or four months ago I had a diabetes test and it was clear, there was nothing.

‘I’m a lot happier now and I don’t want to be poorly.

‘On average, I tend to exercise five days a week and I do a mixture of cardio and weight training.

‘I do a lot of group exercise programs. That has been one driving force behind it, the support.

‘I did the Wolf Run with them, they always push me to do better.

‘My natural weight is around what I am now which is ideal. It’s like my happy place. It’s my sweet spot.’

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