Real life weight loss: How this Alabama woman lost 150lbs after family tragedies

After losing her mom, dad and brother, Renatta used food to comfort herself before taking control and losing weight

Brand New Me weight loss transformation
(Image credit: Future)

Renatta Keith, from Huntsville, Alabama, tragically lost her mum, dad and brother all within the space of four years. In order to deal with this chain of heartbreaking events, she turned to food. 

Renatta told her story to YouTube channel Truly, as part of a series of videos on dramatic body transformations called Brand New Me. Renatta said: "I started using food to comfort myself and to cope." She developed a very unhealthy lifestyle, filled with soda, junk food and drive-thru takeaways. This started to take a toll on Renatta's body and at her heaviest she found herself tipping the scales at 287lbs. 

She knew things were spiraling out of control: "When I looked in the mirror, I saw someone who was just really broken and lost." Renatta then had her lightbulb moment when a doctor told her about the need for spinal surgery and gave her a stark warning. If she didn't start to lose weight, there would be more surgeries on the horizon. 

 Watch Renatta’s inspiring story here:

Renatta said: "I knew that if I didn't change my mentality, that the physical didn't stand a chance." With this in mind, Renatta found help and support in the form of her trainer Brandon. Working together, Renatta lost an incredible 150lbs. Renatta and Brandon's relationship isn't just trainer & client - they have become friends for life. 

She keeps the image of her surgery scar close to remind her of the journey she's been on and to show just how far she's come. Renatta added: "I'm proud of myself and I'm sure my parents are too."

Renatta said “I hated exercise until I met Brandon. Having him in my ear telling me ‘you can do this’ really motivated me.” Even the best exercises for weight loss can be improved if you have a gym partner: one study found compared to those without a partner, participants with a workout buddy were more than twice as likely to lose a significant amount of weight within a year. It doesn’t matter if it’s a personal trainer, a friend or a significant other: partner up to lose weight quickly and effectively. 

Renatta can also be seen using the best elliptical machines and adjustable dumbbells, mixing up cardiovascular and resistance training in order to get results. While cardio training keeps you fit and is a great way to burn calories, adding in a resistance training element to build muscle will elevate your resting metabolic rate, enabling you to burn fat faster and remain healthier in the long term.