Mother lost weight by ditching sugar and carbs for water and running
26th November 2020

Mother reveals how she dropped five dress sizes by ditching sugar and carbs and running FOUR marathons during lockdown after being ‘shocked’ by a photo of herself on a swing

  • Gemma Mortimer, 39, changed her lifestyle after seeing herself in a photograph
  • The mother from Brackley, Northamptonshire, ditched sugar and carbs from diet
  • Since August 2019 she has lost five dress sizes and has run five marathons

A mother managed to ditch her baby weight and drop five dress sizes after cutting out sugar and carbs from her diet and starting marathons during lockdown.

Gemma Mortimer, 39, from Brackley, Northamptonshire, decided to change her lifestyle in August 2019 after a photo was taken of her playing at the park with her children.

Having changed her relationship with food, Gemma now runs 21 miles every week without fail. 

She said: ‘I knew I’d put on weight after having the children, but seeing the photo was a big shock for me.


Gemma Mortimer, 39, (pictured) from Brackley, Northamptonshire, has slimmed down five dress sizes since August 2019

‘We’d taken the children for some fresh air. But as my husband snapped the photo, it turned from what should have been a cherished memory to me seeing myself properly for the first time and hating what I saw.

‘My husband was away a lot serving in the RAF, and whilst he was away, I’d usually go for runs to pass the time.

‘Since the children, I’d eat to pass the time and boredom whilst my baby was napping and my eldest was at school.

‘I had gone from eating when I needed to, to just snacking because I wanted.’

Having now taken up running, Gemma now makes sure she completes 21 miles every single week

Gemma said she started off by completing three runs a week and fitted her exercise in around her children

After visiting The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, Gemma claims she was able to turn around her relationship with food quickly, losing the weight in just six months.

Instead of snacking to combat her boredom, she was able to run as part of her lockdown daily exercise. 

‘To start with, I could hardly run around the block and there was no way I could complete a 5K.

‘But I have a competitive streak and I was determined to change it.

‘I averaged three runs a week, working it around the kids and stuck rigidly to the diet plan.

Gemma’s diet before 

BREAKFAST: Large bowl of sugary cereal with extra sugar on top

LUNCH: Multiple sandwiches with crisps and a chocolate bar

DINNER: Carb heavy pasta or potato dishes

SNACKS: biscuits, chocolate, children’s leftovers

Gemma’s diet after 

BREAKFAST: Green tea

LUNCH: Cambridge weight plan porridge

DINNER: Protein based, usually chicken, fish or egg, with a side of vegetables or salad

SNACKS: Four litres of water a day and on the weekend a handful of nuts 

‘My muscle memory came back – I built my distances up week by week and soon enough, my times shortened and I was able to run a 10K.

‘My personal best was 47 minutes.

I also decided, for extra motivation, I would run four marathons over lockdown, raising money for the NHS. 

‘Through April, I ran the four easily – so I ended up running five in just four weeks,’ she said. ‘I ran 30K and my best time was two hours and 43 mins.

‘Being able to fundraise and lose weight made me more determined than ever.’

And Gemma has continued to focus on healthier habits, cutting out treats and drinking plenty of water.  

‘I now drink about four litres of water a day, realising that before I was mistaking my hunger for dehydration,’ she said.  

‘Now, I treat myself only on special occasions, with something like a handful of nuts.’

One mistake Gemma said she made was mistaking dehydration for hunger, and she now drinks four litres of water every day

Initially Gemma wanted to run four marathons over lockdown to raise money for the NHS, but after easily completing her target, she ran an extra one

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