Ella's Weight-Loss & Fitness Journey

Written by Ella Enweonwu.

***Editor's note - It's the second day of the new year. Yesterday, we brought you motivation for Fitness Goals In 2016 where Solum shared her story. Today we bring you another motivational story by Ella - yet another fitness enthusiast - to aid you in your fitness goals. Read, and be inspired! ***

THE BEGINNING - I grew up as the chubby kid, chubby friend, chubby schoolmate… wait, who am I kidding? I was FAT! LOL!  I was constantly taunted about my weight and to make matters worse I was blessed with big hips and a generous behind. It was called baby fat as a kid and all the adults then said "she will outgrow it". Well, I didn't. Fast forward to when I had to stay at home for a year waiting to get into the university; the baby fat graduated to obesity. This time around people said "not everyone is meant to be slim". Hmm! At 17, I weighed about 75kg and by the time I finished university at 23, I weighed over 100kg! I am barely 5ft 3in, so you can imagine how all that weight made me look - ROUND! Don't get it wrong, I did try so many times to lose weight (especially trying fad diets and taking all manner of pills or concoctions) but somehow, I piled it on again and I gave up so easily when I wasn't seeing results fast. 

MY EYE OPENER- In June 2014, after series of tests in the United Kingdom, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome popularly called PCOS.  That was the first time I was hearing about it and I was truly afraid. Thankfully I was told it wasn't cancerous or deadly but it messes up with a woman's hormones. Sadly one of the side effects of PCOS is UNUSUAL WEIGHT GAIN and guess what? There is NO CURE for it. However, I was told that it could only be managed by losing weight. Hello???? How can I lose weight when the damn thing makes me gain weight? Of course this means that any effort to lose weight will be fought and I will have to put in twice the effort a normal person puts in. Phew! Was I ready for this stress? I took about two weeks to think about this and I eventually decided to try it out.

I began my weight loss journey in July 2014 weighing over 125kg and with a BMI of 49 screaming OBESITY. I decided I wanted a faster method so, I went with the Cambridge diet – just another sophisticated fad diet if you ask me. This diet involves not eating any regular food but their shakes, porridge, bars and soup. I really don't know how I survived the 2months I signed up for, but I managed to and lost a whooping 18kg in just those 9weeks! Yea the feeling of victory was good and I was beginning to love the new me. But it was short-lived. 

In September 2014 I suddenly lost my Dad. That loss was unbearable and I was in a huge shock. I became depressed and by March 2015 I had automatically gained nearly all the weight back (13-15kg) SIGH….

GETTING IT RIGHT - April 2015 I decided to start all over again but this time the right way. I began to read about the best and effective way to shed weight without gaining it back. I wanted something sustainable. My research told me it was exercise and eating healthy! Of course I thought that meant not eating certain foods but I was wrong. I realized I could eat ANYTHING and still get results. I saw people on social media (Instagram) doing it and I wanted to do it, and badly too. I started out by jogging 5 kilometers 4-5 days a week, then later registered in a gym. I later discovered the benefits of weight lifting and I incorporated that into my routine. NO, weight training doesn't make a woman look like a man (topic for another day LOL!). My workout now includes cardio and weight training 5-6 days a week.  I changed my method of cooking and way of eating- ate small portions, ate less processed foods, used little or no oil to cook even my soups or stew, avoided simple carbs, ate more complex carbs, lean protein, vegetables and tons of water!  Like the popular sayings – "WEIGHT LOSS IS 70% WHAT YOU EAT AND 30% WORKOUT" and "ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN"

PROGRESS - So far, I have lost over 29kg bringing my weight to 95kg. I know PCOS slows down my progress but I am still happy with how far I have come. I have another 20kg to go and I will be taking it one day at a time.

MOTIVATION - A lot of times people ask how I stay motivated. Well, to be honest I am my own motivation. I don't have a gym buddy so I do it all alone. It takes a lot for me to walk in this winter ( -4 degrees sometimes) to my gym but I still do it. WHY? Because excuses don't burn calories! Because I want to prove medicine wrong that women with PCOS can't really lose weight. To prove wrong, those that said that a girl with big hips and bum can't be slim. To prove to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. I can only do this if I show up every day and put in work. 

Another thing that helps is the way I see workout and eating clean. Before now I saw these as stress or some hard chore but now, I see it as a fun lifestyle and I can say one of my hobbies is working out. This is my life now and I am in love with it!

GAINS - I have lost a lot of weight and yet gained so much! My confidence is at its best. I am almost never sick and my hormones are almost normal.

REGRETS - Not starting this earlier! But hey, I am doing it now and I won't change that for anything. I am proud of my accomplishment and I now have knowledge of how to lose weight. Knowledge is power I tell you and I encourage everyone to read widely instead of believing myths that fly around.

PS - If you plan to start your weight-loss and fitness journey or have just begun, please take photos and keep track of your progress. They help with motivation. Also find a way to stay accountable, that's why I decided to share my journey publicly on Instagram and here. It helps me stay accountable and I also hope I can inspire someone out there.

*You can follow Ella's journey on Instagram @ella_az 
*She also blogs at redvelvetts.blogspot.co.uk

Below are some samples of meals she eats -

Grilled chicken breast with spinach, onions & peppers,
sauteed with a tablespoonful of olive oil

Grilled chicken breast, roasted Irish potatoes & sauteed veggies

Grilled chicken and salad with couscous
Water melon, avocado & egg whites

Home-made wholemeal wrap filled with veggies,
sauteed mushrooms & sweet peppers - no dressing. 
Grilled bacon with spinach & sweet pepper scrambled eggs
Fruit platter -
Honeydew melon, kiwi, strawberries & apples.
Strawberries, tomatoes, cucumber, egg, bacon &
turkey steak on a bed of  rocket leaves, spinach & chard
Moi-moi (steamed beans pudding), grilled salmon & veggies

Grilled chicken on a bed of salad


Are you inspired or yes? What are you waiting for?



  1. Inspiring, it's hard to start but when you get into it, it becomes easier.

  2. Replies
    1. Yes, she did try ...and still going strong. What about you? *tongue-out*

  3. My dear, I am PROUD of you. You are indeed a Brave. In fact, I am doing moon walk in my room to celebrate you.

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