Phenix City breast cancer survivor inspires others with amazing weight loss

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) – Felicia Copeland was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013.

She said doctors told her it was because of her high estrogen levels due to being overweight.

The Phenix City resident beat cancer then and opted for weight loss surgery. She said then life happened and the pandemic hit, but that’s when her motivation kicked in.

However, two years ago, coming into the gym for a workout was a hard feat for Copeland. She first started her weight loss journey in 2021 weighing in at over 500 pounds.

“I went to a weight loss doctor,” said Copeland. “I wanted to do surgery, I couldn’t walk, I had got real heavy, I took steroid injections.”

Before she could make it on the operating table, Copeland, her husband and son ended up with COVID-19 in 2021. Her husband died from the illness.

“That alone helped me to continue my journey,” said Copeland.

Since 2022, Copeland has been serious about her health, working out at Planet Fitness and eating right.

“I got on the treadmill; I started getting better with it. I even like to lift weights,” said Copeland.

And at a whooping 150 pound weight loss, people are noticing.

“Just seeing her come in here all the time and feel confident in what she’s doing, not a lot of people are able to do that,” said Phenix City Planet Fitness General Manager Leilanni Hernandez.

Copeland said the gym is now her “Judgement Free” sanctuary.

“I can come in, have fun and work out,” expressed Copeland.

And for October she’s wearing pink to honor Breast Cancer survivors like herself and for those who lost the fight like her sister Angela just a few months ago.

“She would come with me to workout, I bring in lot’s of family and friends,” said Copeland.

Copeland is inspiring many around her. She’s also tapped into making friends at the gym, saying it’s a community.

“In the beginning I was afraid, but now I’m not,” said Copeland. ”They didn’t judge me when I first started, they helped me.”

“To see her confidence grow, it’s inspired me to get up and get moving,” said Hernandez.

Copeland said despite her losses, she’s doing exactly what her loved one’s would’ve wanted to see. She said while cancer and weight loss have been a tough journey, keeping positive has taken her a long way.

“I’m gonna do this, I’m going to beat this, I can overcome this.”

Copeland told News Leader 9 she’s still working to lose another 60 pounds.

She is also advocating for women and men to so their self breast exams and and speak up if they feel something’s not normal.

This content was originally published here.

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