No more hiding: Why I decided to take Ozempic and how it's worked for me

Even though it's nobody's business how we choose to lose weight, any mention of this jab certainly gets a reaction, writes Melissa Hoyer.

Because I’m a hopeless liar, I've decided to "own" my Ozempic experience.

With my doctor's health check, approval and ultimate go-ahead given, I embarked on — at this stage — a relatively short journey.

Like many of us I had put on a few kilos (nine to be exact) during the Covid pandemic and I had heard of Ozempic (bet you had too) — a prescription drug used for people with Type 2 diabetes.

It had also started being used for weight loss. And the controversy around that and the lack of stock that was available in chemists as a result, had seen it become the weight loss story du jour and totally understandably, as its use had many diabetics — who rely on it — up in arms.

During the covid pandemic I put on weigh but was by no means obese (left) now I feel much more svelte (right). Source: Supplied
During the covid pandemic Melissa put on weight but was by no means obese (left), but now she feels much more svelte (right). Source: Supplied

While it is nobody’s business how we choose to lose weight, just hearing the term Ozempic often infuriates those who assume it is an "easy option" when it comes to dropping the kilos.

I do not suffer from diabetes, but my BMI was such that my doctor did the legitimate tests and said I would be a candidate. Full disclosure here: I have never, ever been obese, a little chunky at times, but a slowing metabolism was telling a different story.

When I was carrying my extra post-pandemic weight I just felt blah about myself.

Having worked in media as a commentator and editor as well as hosting regular TV segments, it recently got back to me — unexpectedly — that I was, umm, "a little chunky" to be on TV. Yup. If only I was a bloke....

Melissa was a bit 'puffier' in the face six months ago (left) but is feeling much more herself recently (right). Source: Supplied

So I decided that something had to change and headed off to the doctor's office.

I wanted to share my story as opposed to hiding it. I thought long and hard about penning this (it will be a ripe gift for some trolls) but as the number of people using Ozempic grows, I thought it was timely to get a real report, from someone who put it into practice.

The active ingredient, semaglutide, works by mimicking the action of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which regulates insulin secretion. It slows down gastric emptying and regulates blood sugar levels and in doing so curbs appetite.

The tiny, weeny disposable needle (I made my stomach my choice of pin cushion) is not a magic pill. You still have to work at knowing which foods to eat, maintaining portion control and you have to REMEMBER to eat!

Melissa Hoyer in a red suit (left), black swimsuit (centre) and burgundy dress (right).
Melissa went from carrying a few extra kilos (left) to a much slimmer frame (centre and right). Source: Supplied

I was on Ozempic for nearly six months and lost nine kilo: lots off my tummy and my once puffy face and my legs, thighs and hips now seem nicely, but not painfully svelte.

"The Pen" (its colloquial term) measures out the exact 0.25 or 0.5mg you need each week and I never strayed. Don’t overdose! For the first four weeks you take 0.25mg before advancing to 0.5mg a week.

Now I feel much lighter, active and perkier. And I don’t even give a stuff who sees me naked.


  • I noticed a few kgs gradually melting away in the first four weeks. I just wasn’t that hungry and what I did prefer to eat was lean, clean and healthy.

  • The weight loss provided me with the motivation I needed to continue the ride to live a healthier lifestyle.

  • I won’t say no to a chunky bowl of pasta or pizza — but in moderation.

  • It has stabilised my blood sugar levels, helped stabilise my energy and any cravings throughout the day.

  • In the early weeks, I experienced some nausea, a little fatigue and some dizziness. That was early on, as my body was getting used to it.

  • Some days, I worked on the lounge all day, as it zapped me of energy and as we know, our body tells us the vitamins, nutrients and sustenance we absolutely need.

  • The cost of Ozempic is not insignificant, setting you back between $150 (chemist) and $450 (black market). (It was a big no to the latter from me.)

  • Chemists were running low on stock frequently when I was buying it and I ALWAYS made sure that I didn’t buy from one that was close to running out — those with diabetes need to be the top priority.

Despite some vitriol which will, no doubt, come my way after penning this piece, I’ve never felt better about my weight and body for a long time.

My mind is focused, I have a spring in my step. I feel calmer and just more "together". Oh, and I’m fitting into clothes that I never thought I would get into again.

Medically, my cholesterol and blood pressure is down and I have fortunately avoided the too-sunken-eye "Ozempic face" (I put that down to having my Eastern European dad's wider face).

Another take away: you have to work at doing some resistance training to get back or retain the muscle mass that does get lost when on it.

What about post-Ozempic-use weight gain?

For me, "the pen" gave me more of an awareness of my own eating habits. I don’t even feel like eating "a lot" of food, but always enough to give me the vitamins, nutrients and roughage I need.

I haven’t become a foodie goody two-shoes — I adore, eat and talk about my food much too much for that — but I feel so much better.

Melissa Hoyer in glasses (left) and standing in a red dress (right).
Now I feel much lighter, active and perkier, Melissa Hoyer says. Source: Supplied

Fortunately, I’ve never been a killer drinker. But since "the pen" surprisingly, I have minimal to zero cravings for alcohol, preferring loads of water. My skin is glowing. My eyes are white. How good is that?

I’m happy with me doing me. And what can be wrong with that?

And one final disclaimer: This is just my experience, not an endorsement. If you are considering any type of medication for weight loss you need to speak to your doctor first.

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