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A 27-stone mum was so big she needed an extender belt to fit in a plane seat. Fearing she’d become an ‘internet meme’, she shed more than half her body weight.
While working as a pharmacy manager, Megan McCormack would skip meals, falling into the trap of gorging on sweets and crisps during long hours – often she’d scoff 2,500 calories right before bed.
At her heaviest, Megan tipped the scales at 27st 7lbs, and feared someone would take a picture of her size 30 frame and make her into a meme for her weight and height (6ft).
The mum-of-two was overcome with guilt when her sons, Landon, 10, and Braden, eight, asked why they’d never been to a theme park – it was because she wouldn’t fit on the rides. After enduring the ‘most embarrassing moment of her life’ in 2013, Megan knew she had to make a change.
Megan, from Lawton in Oklahoma, said:
I was really, really, really fat and really tall. I was very noticeable. I’m 6ft tall. I was sick of my own BS. I was sad. I couldn’t go out and do things like amusement parks. I’d walk into a restaurant and be horrified that they’d put me into a booth I couldn’t fit into.
I took a flight and had to get a seat-belt extension. It was horrible and the most embarrassing moment of my life. I was mortified. That’s not the case anymore. I get on the plane now and it’s more than big enough. The boys and I travelled to Washington state to see my family in July.
Having tried to lose weight on her own for five years (she managed to lose 120lbs, but soon gained half of it back), Megan decided to have gastric sleeve surgery in October 2018, committing herself to serious training at the gym five days a week.
A year later, she’s managed to shed a whopping 16 stone. Now a size 14, she recently enjoyed her first flight with the kids without an extender belt.
I’d worked so hard and I gained over half of [the weight] back, and not only that, I lost all that weight and was still fat. It was very frustrating. I chose the easiest, most basic route because it was the least risk and had the surgery on December 26, 2018. I was on a liquid diet for Christmas.
I was beyond anxious. I was scared, I felt a little bit of guilt over it. I’d always felt it was the shortcut and I know now it is not. If you don’t do the work, nothing changes.
At first I remember waking up in the hospital thinking: ‘What have I done?’ I was ill. It was pretty rough. I look back now and don’t remember the pain. It’s like childbirth – it’s painful but not bad enough that I wouldn’t do it all over again.
While she initially felt anxious at the gym, it soon became Megan’s happy place. Even when she doesn’t go, she still runs a mile or two at home, as well as lifting weights about four times a week.
Changing up her daily diet from skipping breakfast, snacking and big meals before bed, she now eats little and often, making sure to pack her meals with protein to keep her full and energised. ‘I do still have that grab and go lifestyle, but I put more thought into making it healthy,’ she said.
This summer, Megan was able to enjoy her new figure by going to a water park with her kids and felt ‘awesome’ when her oldest son Landon smiled at being able to fit his arms all the way around her.
My oldest son is absolutely adorable. The first time he hugged me and could touch his hands together, he looked at me and shouted: ‘Mum! I can wrap my arms around you!’ That was months ago and now he tells everyone. My youngest does the same.
I’m way more striped than a tiger, there’s white loose stretch marks everywhere, but lifting has stopped it getting too bad.
There’s still anxiety when I walk into something small and whenever I fit with ease, there’s such a relief. It’s hard to kill off some of those feelings. I love my new body, despite the expected transition that I don’t think a lot of people are prepared for.
Hopefully Megan’s journey can inspire others. Incredible stuff.
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