I said bye double chin and hello cheekbones after dropping 3 dress sizes – I saved for Turkey op but found a cheaper way

A FORMERLY 23st woman who saved thousands of pounds for weight loss surgery has dropped three dress sizes naturally.

Megan Goldberger swapped going under the knife for exercise and healthy eating and, after losing more than 15 per cent of her body weight, she now feels better than ever.

Megan Goldberger cancelled her plans for weight loss surgery in Turkey

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Megan Goldberger cancelled her plans for weight loss surgery in TurkeyCredit: Instagram
Instead, she focused on exercise and healthy eating - and feels better than ever

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Instead, she focused on exercise and healthy eating – and feels better than everCredit: Instagram

The 26-year-old, who has 238,000 followers on TikTok (@meggoldberger) and another 18,000 on Instagram (@meggoldberger), said: “Other than the obvious dress sizes, my energy is way better, my sleep is better and I am so much fitter now.

“My face shape has changed dramatically as I said goodbye to my double chin and hello to cheekbones.

“I definitely feel more confident in clothes and I have found a new style after losing weight.

“But I do feel a bit odd without the extra layers of protection I used to have – so I’m still getting used to my new shape.

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“I keep having to reorder clothes because I still think I’m bigger than I am – they arrive and they’re too big.”

Megan has battled with her weight for most of her life.

She was a size 10 and buying adult workwear for school uniform by age 11 and was wearing size 16 clothes by the time she turned 16.

Despite being “super sporty” and playing netball, bullies called her “fatso” and “walrus girl” – and the criticism has continued.

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Since posting videos online, she has regularly been called a “beached whale” and “fat freak” by cruel trolls.

In a desperate attempt to shed some pounds, she started putting money aside for a gastric sleeve operation.

These cost between £8,000 and £10,000 privately in the UK, but are on offer in countries like Turkey for around £2,000.

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“I first started saving during the pandemic in 2019,” the plus-size beauty pageant winner said.

“I had put on a lot of weight during university due to poor mental health and stress and a friend of mine was also saving for the same procedure, so we decided to do it together.

“I was so unhappy in my body at the time and saw no way out of my binge eating disorder.

“I had tried every single diet, including the cabbage soup diet and was a returning member of Slimming World.

“This seemed like my only option as I couldn’t control my eating habits.

“I was pushing 23st in November 2020 so this is when I started to get concerned as I’m only 5ft 3in.”

She had several consultations with a clinic in Çerkezköy, and even joined a support group on Facebook to follow other people’s results.

But after reading about several horror stories online, including the deaths of several women following surgery abroad, she called it off.

My energy is way better, my sleep is better and I am so much fitter now.

Megan Goldberger

“I discovered that even though people were having the procedure, it wasn’t fixing the internal issues with food,” Megan, who describes herself as a “fat-fluencer”, said.

“I also discovered that you lose your hair due to lack of vitamin absorption and that I would likely be on medication for the rest of my life.

“I realised that even though you lose the weight quickly, this can mean you will later need loose skin surgery as well, meaning that I’d need more surgery down the line.

“Having never been under the knife, I started to get put off by the idea.

“Then after a conversation with my mum and hearing her concerns, I decided to go down the ‘hard’ route of doing it myself.”

Instead of surgery, she has worked with a nutritionist and personal trainer, and taken up hula hooping.

So far, she has lost 2st 5lbs and dropped from a size 26 to a 20, but she hopes that is just the beginning – especially as she wants to be a mum one day.

Mindset shift and hula hooping goals

“I just became so uncomfortable in my body, so I started using a weighted hula hoop I bought on TikTok,” Megan, from Bridgend, Wales, said.

“I set myself a 28-day challenge to lose as many links from the hoop as possible.

“I lost my first link (1in) within four days of hula hooping and eating well.

“My video of me losing my first link got 32.4million views so I started to post more videos and do live videos of me hooping every day.

“Over the 28 days, I lost 8lbs just before my 25th birthday.

“Mentally, I found it very difficult to notice a difference but physically I had lost 4in on my waist so felt amazing in my birthday dress.

“I hope to be a mother in the future and want to minimise the risks of pregnancy. I aim to be 16st 11lbs.”

Simple diet swaps

On top of her hula hooping sessions, Megan started a workout plan which involves one fully body session and one upper body session a week, plus a weekly dance fitness class.

She also gave her diet a much-needed overhaul, introducing plenty of protein and very little fat.

Instead of sugary cereals and deep friend snacks, Megan sticks to chicken, rice, fruit and low-calorie crisps.

And the whole thing hasn’t cost the earth. Weighted hula hoops are available for about £15, and her dance class costs £6 a week.

PTs in the UK cost between £30 and £60 per session, and fresh fruit, vegetables and meat can be significantly cheaper than fast food and ready meals.

Megan documenting her weight loss journey in 2023

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Megan documenting her weight loss journey in 2023Credit: Instagram
The social media star said: 'My face shape has changed dramatically'

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The social media star said: ‘My face shape has changed dramatically’Credit: Instagram
Megan, from Wales, in her fitness gear

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Megan, from Wales, in her fitness gearCredit: Instagram

Megan, a social media account manager, hopes to inspire others not to risk their lives by travelling abroad for cut-price procedures, and instead focus on simpler solutions closer to home, many of which are significantly cheaper and far less dangerous.

“I can’t believe I’m a size 20 after being a size 26 for so long,” Megan, who was crowned Miss Divine UK in 2017 and won Miss Pageant Girl UK in 2021, said.

“Getting used to my new body has been the hardest part of this journey, but my mindset has completely changed.

“I look after myself so much more and I have found a love for nutritional food – and I also now love to move for my mental health.

“If you want to lose weight, please do all the research possible before committing.

“I did not think natural weight loss was possible for me due to my relationship with food and exercise, but as soon as I got help from my doctors and put myself into private therapy, these issues were resolved.

“A gastric sleeve without physiological support will leave you with the same relationship with food, you just won’t have the ability to act on it.

“It is hard doing it naturally but I am so glad and proud that I have chosen this route. If I can do it anyone can.”

An average day of eating for Megan

BREAKFAST

High-protein breakfast wrap with sausage, bacon, scrambled egg and potato with tomato sauce

MID-MORNING SNACK

A small bag of vegan cookies (e.g. D*mn Good Cookies)

LUNCH

Thai chicken curry with rice, peppers and green beans

AFTERNOON SNACK

Low-calorie crisps (e.g. Properchips Sweet Sriracha Chilli Lentil Chips)

DINNER

High protein pizza (e.g. Goal Plan’s Cheeseburger Pizza)

EVENING SNACK

Protein pudding (e.g. Everest Chocolate HiPro Pudding)

DRINKS

Two litres of water per day, plus Diet Coke and sparkling water

Megan has been flooded with comments from people praising her approach, and her progress so far.

“The response has been very positive, and a lot of people have asked for advice on how I’ve done it and people keep saying I’m glowing and telling me how well I look,” she said.

But she still gets inundated with nasty remarks.

Most recently, Megan posted a video of herself changing her showerhead while wearing a baggy T-shirt.

“It got three million views but the comments were horrendous,” she said.

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“One man said I needed an industrial-sized shower just to fit.

“I try not to reply, but I can’t help but stick up for myself sometimes.”

The social media account manager wants to inspire others to lose weight naturally

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The social media account manager wants to inspire others to lose weight naturallyCredit: Instagram
'If I can do it, anyone can', Megan said

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‘If I can do it, anyone can’, Megan saidCredit: Instagram

How to lose weight safely

Losing weight should be a long-term commitment to healthier living, rather than any drastic measures.

The NHS tips – which can be adopted slowly – include:

  • Get active for 150 minutes a week – you can break this up into shorter sessions
  • Aim to get your 5 A Day – 80g of fresh, canned or frozen fruit or vegetables count as 1 portion
  • Aim to lose 1 to 2lbs, or 0.5 to 1kg, a week
  • Read food labels – products with more green colour coding than amber and red are often a healthier option
  • Swap sugary drinks for water – if you do not like the taste, add slices of lemon or lime for flavour
  • Cut down on food that’s high in sugar and fat – start by swapping sugary cereal for wholegrain alternatives
  • Share your weight loss plan with someone you trust – they can help motivate you when you have a bad day

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