Nurse sheds 110 pounds on way to healthier lifestyle

25-year-old with PCOS shares story of how she ditched ‘unhealthy, self sabotaging lifestyle’

Melbourne, Australia, native Samantha Abreu is a nurse on a mission. The 25-year-old has dedicated the past year to a weight loss journey, and she’s already shed 110 pounds.

Losing weight is almost never easy, particularly when the weight loss expectations are in the triple digits. Abreu, however, faced an additional challenge: She suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome, better known as PCOS.

According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the condition can cause some serious health problems — especially for those who are overweight. Among many other symptoms, those suffering from PCOS often gain weight and develop insulin resistances.

“I began exploring this space when I was almost (265 pounds), dealing with obesity and other health problems,” she said on Instagram, speaking on her first experiences with health and fitness.

“I was struggling to see a future for myself in the middle of all of this too. This for me at the time looked like going on short walks and very slowly becoming a little more aware of what I was putting into my body while slowly healing my relationship with food and myself.”

For Abreu, the challenges started early.

“Growing up with obesity, then dealing with the health issues that came as a result of my unhealthy, self sabotaging lifestyle, and having joint issues in my right ankle as a result of my extreme weight made me view the world differently to how I do today,” she said on social media.

“I always thought I’d be the one on the sidelines watching everyone else be active, live healthier lifestyles. I remember being in primary school and wondering how kids my age had the energy to do things like after school sports or weekend sport. The idea of moving my body for pure enjoyment was so foreign to me, I just couldn’t understand why I was so different to everyone else growing up.”

Over the years, the nurse’s health issues continued to multiply.

“These thoughts got worse and my overall lifestyle became a lot worse when my ankle issues started hindering me from even living my day to day life,” she added. “I was wheelchair bound for a few months, I’ve had two surgeries and had rehab for a year long to just be confident in walking again. This again, led to even more weight gain.”

Today, at nearly half her starting weight, Abreu is dedicated to promoting healthy living. From “what to do after going ‘off track’” to “simplifying weight loss,” Abreu’s Instagram is full of health tips and inspirational messages that she encourages everyone on a weight loss journey to explore.

“So let this be a kind reminder to you (and to my past self) that you have a right to take up space at your fitness center,” she said.

“You have a right to go outdoors and move your body. You have a right to do all the things that lead you toward a healthier, happier life. You won’t look silly. This is your right. Do not ever let your shape or size ever stop you from getting your life back.”