Before and After PCOS – Catherine’s 110 Pound Weight Loss Journey

NAME : Catherine / BEFORE WEIGHT : 298 / AFTER WEIGHT : 188 / POUNDS LOST : 110
Catherine Lost 110 Pounds

I have been overweight ever since puberty started. I got diagnosed with polycycstic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) at the age of 13 and was told that this would make losing weight hard for me. When I left for university, I gained a lot of weight due to going out drinking a lot and eating fast food.

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HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?  I was very unhappy with myself. I put on a front of being a happy go lucky girl and was always quite popular but inside I felt like a failure and comfort ate every evening. I was always the fat friend, always the girl to have a laugh with but never really had any love interests.

WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?  In January 2015 I took a look at myself and decided enough was enough. I was shopping in the plus size area of every store and was so miserable. I decided to take baby steps and cut out the fast food and as the weight started to come off I was inspired to keep going.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?  I cut out fast foods and decided to just have one treat meal a week. I researched different diets and just decided to adopt a healthy lifestyle, focusing on eating fresh fruit and veg with every meal and cutting down on carbs.

HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?  It took about a month for people to start noticing. The initial 20 lbs came off very quickly, then it started to slow down. My body really started to change when I started training at the gym 4-5 days a week.

WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?  I live in Egypt in an expat community. The social scene means going out for dinner a lot, and fast food is everywhere. It was difficult to balance a social life with my regime.

DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?  Sometimes I feel like giving up, especially when I don’t get the results I want. However, the Instagram community has been really helpful at keeping me focused.

DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?  My weight loss has slowed down considerably as time has gone on, and as I am building muscle. It is disheartening but I keep going as I know it will come off eventually.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?  It has taken me 18 months to get to this point. I aim to reach my target in the next 6 months or so.

DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?  Going down dress sizes, being able to wear clothes I would’ve never dared to wear before. I can now go out without wearing cardigans or jackets everywhere, and feel more comfortable going to the pool or the beach.

WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?  I eat a lot of protein, meat, fish and eggs. I also try to fill a third of my plate with salad or vegetables. Before, I literally had no regard to what I was eating, I had fast food at least 4 times a week. Now, I make sure I drink at least 3l of water a day. Before, I drank a lot of fizzy soda drinks.

HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?  I go to the gym 4-5 times a week, combining cardio with weight training and toning exercises. I have a personal trainer who ensures I vary my workouts. Before, I wasn’t exercising at all, except for in my job as a teacher.


  1. Drink a lot of water. It helps to flush out your system and also improves your skin.
  2. Exercise regularly. Mix cardio with weights and invest in a personal trainer for a few sessions to get you into it.
  3. If you want a treat day – have a treat day. None of us can be perfect all the time.
  4. Follow inspiring Instagram accounts. Make your own Instagram based on diet and fitness. Post your meals to the account to keep you focused.
  5. Don’t beat yourself up. You deserve to be the best version of you.