Some people have undergone hypnosis to 'cure' things like overeating and smoking
Some people have undergone hypnosis to 'cure' things like overeating and smoking

My son gave me a wonderful gift for my birthday; it was a kick up the backside.

He jumped on my bed that morning hugged me and presented me with gifts and a card containing a poem. The first line read: ‘Mum, your eyes are blue and you’re beautiful too’ and continued along this line filled with declarations of undying love and compliments. It was a lovely little ditty; it brought tears to my eyes. At just eight years old he’s quite the little poet!

‘‘That’s lovely darling!’’ I exclaimed.

‘‘Actually, that was my second attempt, the first poem started: ‘Your eyes are blue and you’re a bit fat too,’ but I thought the beautiful one was better.’’

‘‘Yes it was,’’ I agreed, heart sinking. And there it was, the kick up the backside I needed. It was then I realised the game was up!

You can happily fool yourself as your waistline expands that you don’t look too bad. You wear tops that could accommodate Chipperfield’s circus and think no one will notice. Now, even my son has observed I’m putting on weight.

It began at Christmas when hubby and I decided to start a diet in January accompanied by a wager that the one who lost the most by Valentine’s Day would pocked the money.

Facing a time of deprivation ahead we all but attempted death by chocolate over the festive season. Needless to say the dieting competition never got off the ground, we enjoyed the eating free-for-all so much, we have been at it ever since!

He still looks fit, but my peri-menopausal middle age spread has set in and I’m beginning to resemble a barrel.

At a recent trip to my GP I was told both my bad and good cholesterol counts are high and I really need to lose weight. It’s only a matter of time before I’ll have to resort to the big Bridget Jones pants. I need to fight the flab. I trawled the net in search of help and I think I may have come across my belly-busting saviour in the shape of Paul McKenna.

For me eating isn’t about hunger. I’m an emotional eater, if I’m sad I eat, if I’m happy I eat, I eat because it’s raining, you get the idea, so when I saw the title ‘Freedom from Emotional Eating’ on a book website with scores of good reviews beneath it, I made my purchase.

Many of us experience a situation in adult life in which the stress appears inescapable. For me it was caring for two parents with Alzheimer’s without help or holidays. The stress I felt was on a permanent basis and chocolate and takeaways gave me temporary relief from these feelings, but in turn created their own problems regarding my health. I learned this behavioural pattern of turning to food for comfort in times of stress and I’m finding it hard to break, even though I am no longer a carer.

I’m now under the hypnotic powers of McKenna. The book comes with a DVD and CD. It’s like having a private session with Paul including a hypnotic trance part. It’s actually a nice experience.

He takes you through each step of ‘havening,’ a technique that helps reset the brain.

It’s called havening because it produces in the patient a place free from trauma, a safe haven, to work on detaching the emotional aspect from negative events. It takes away the traumatic response from the memory that causes it so that you are no longer emotionally affected by it. This enables you to remove the underlying stress that causes emotional eating.

I’m in the initial stages of the programme. The first time I watched the DVD I actually did so eating a bar of chocolate (evidently I have no shame!) Amazingly, I found I couldn’t finish the chocolate (trust me this is a first for me!).

I’ve noticed too that I am sleeping much better. I used to lie in bed at night with thoughts racing through my brain, now I seem to be concentrating on how relaxed and comfortable I feel in my duvet’s loving embrace.

I felt extreme guilt as I approached the biscuit tin this morning and had to make a swift U-turn. Happy days! Could I at last have found a way out of my emotional eating vicious circle? I hope so. I can’t bare the thought of a life of nibbling salad and cottage cheese in order to reduce my weight, perish the thought!

So I shall devote myself to following Paul’s instructions religiously, lettuce pray to cheeses this works!