My name is Febeh and I am originally from Cameroon, but I’ve lived in the DMV since I can remember. I am currently working towards my DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy). 

What led you to want to make a lifestyle change?

I’ve struggled with my weight since I was 11 years old. So my weight & PCOS are the two reasons why I decided to change my lifestyle.  I have had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome since I was 13 years of age.

About PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels. Women with PCOS produce higher than normal amounts of male hormones. This hormone imbalance causes them to skip menstrual periods and makes it harder for them to get pregnant. PCOS can contribute to long-term health problems like diabetes and heart disease

I was on medications to treat my PCOS for 4+ years. due to lack of knowledge I didn’t start treating my PCOS until I was 20 years old. After 4+ yrs I grew tired of swallowing 4-6 horse pills a day. I was also borderline diabetic and my weight got up to almost 300lbs. I decided enough was enough and took my health into my own hands.

So what did you do?

I then started off by doing strictly cardio 2-3 hours a day. I lost 56lbs and was finally happy with my weight but I hated how my body looked and after 2 years I gained all the weight back plus more. Despite being discouraged I didn’t give up on myself or my journey. I gave up all the medications prescribed to me by my doctors and decided to start a program called Stronglifts which made me fall in love with weight lifting.  I’ve been lifting weights since 2013 and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I currently workout 5-6 days a week. I train a different body part everyday and I do cardio 3-4 times a week. I prefer working out in the gym because it’s like a huge playground for me I never get bored.

How did you change your eating habits?

After losing the same 10lbs over and over for years I decided to try the keto diet February of this year. Keto is a low carb high fat diet. I did my research and it seemed to be the perfect fit for losing weight with PCOS. Some women with PCOS will tell you that they suffer from some carb sensitivity, so knowing that my body doesn’t like carb and that carbohydrates and sugar trigger my insulin to spike uncontrollably I decided to just give up carbs.

Where are you now with your journey?

My starting weight January 2017 was 266lbs. I was in a size 18 dress.  I refused to wear jeans because they were never comfortable for me but my slacks were 16/18.

I am current 228lbs and I wear a size 12 in dresses and jeans. Even went down two shoe sizes. 11-9.5

How long did it take?

Although I’ve been on my weight loss journey since 2010 my most recent transformation took 9 months of hard work and dedication to achieve.

What was the hardest part about your transformation?

Hardest part of this journey was doing it alone at times. Unlike many who can afford a trainer I can’t; and that meant being my own trainer and my own motivator. Also trying to balance being a full time student, with work and gym schedule was far from easy. I don’t drive so I would catch three buses after school to my gym then I would Workout for 2+ hours and then catch 2 more buses home. It wasn’t ever easy and still isn’t easy but I refuse to give up on myself or my health.

Your Instagram handle is “Breaking up with obesity”. Tell us 5 things you had to break from to achieve your goal

  1. Self doubt
  2. Seeking validation from others
  3. Self sabotage
  4. Excuses
  5. Emotional eating from depression

How have things changed with you in general

Who I am as a woman today has changed tremendously and it’s not because of how I look but instead of my strength. I am stronger physically, mentally and emotionally because of my weight loss journey. It’s taught me to be resilient in all areas of my life and to always pick myself back up when I fall short.

Who or what helped you along your journey?

GOD!!! I don’t want to say no one has helped me but I’ve been doing this on my own since I was 21 years old. I do my own research, write my own meal plan, calculate my own macros and use myself as a test dummy. I also have to say my family and friends who not only remind me of my goals but support each and everyone of my goals.

What might we catch you doing on your days off?

Playing in makeup. When I am not lifting weights I am usually beating my face.

What piece of advice would you give other women looking to start on their own lifestyle change?

It’s okay to not always like what you see in the mirror. It’s okay to wake up and not have a single positive thing to say about yourself because honestly somedays just suck. it’s not always easy to love your body but that does not mean something is wrong with you. HELL NO!! It’s not okay to shame yourself, it’s not okay to feed that self hatred, it’s not okay to compare yourself with others.

Connect with Febeh HERE

What has been your experience losing weight with a health condition?