First of all, let me say, since the age of 12 my relationship with food was unhealthy. I’d always loved stodgy food, desserts, cakes and chocolate, and had little interest in green vegetables and fruit. I often asked for ‘seconds’ at school dinnertimes and rarely left anything on my plate at home.
It wasn’t until I had watched closely as my mother deteriorated and later died from Motor Neurone Disease that food became a bigger issue. I was 34 years old and losing my mother left a gaping hole in my heart and life. I had always been tied to her apron strings, so to speak. We went everywhere and did everything together. She was my trusted friend and confidante; I told her things no one else knew. We were best friends and I loved her to the core. Therefore, when she died there was a huge void that needed to be filled. I began to eat more of my favourite foods, often and in greater quantities. The weight crept on gradually whilst I struggled with various diets, one after another, in an attempt to prevent the inevitable.
Eighteen months after my mother died, my father passed too following a short fight with a brain tumour. It might sound dramatic to some but honestly I felt orphaned… at 36. Dad and I had become incredibly close in that year and a half and I discovered a deep love and respect for him that for whatever reason was hidden previously. I thought he’d coped so well after Mum died and I was very proud of him. I was looking forward to several more years with him (at least!) but very sadly it was never to be. I felt incredibly cheated to lose him so soon after establishing such a close bond with him.
I was thrown in to despair and turned to food to fill the void. Before long I was drowning in a binge eating disorder that saw me pile on 42 lbs in a year, and when I hit 13 stone (182 lbs) I could see no end in sight and was very frightened of what might become of me. To this day I’m not sure even my own family know how serious it became. They could obviously see the changes in my physical appearance – my size was hard to miss after all! Even my aunt shocked me once when she said “I never thought I’d ever see you so fat!” She was never one for tact, bless her. 😉
I’m pretty sure my family weren’t aware of the extent of what went on privately behind closed doors. For instance, it was not uncommon for me to buy a large granary loaf, toast each ‘doorstep’ slice, spread it with thick butter and jam, and eat my way through the entire loaf in one day. If there was food in the house I’d eat it, whether I had the taste for it or not. I’d eat my way through the contents of the fridge and cupboards until there was nothing left. I remember eating sixteen meringue nests and a tub of ice cream one evening and telling the girls at work the next day, laughing through my confession but inside crying silently ‘someone make me stop’.
Sometimes I’d eat so much and if there was still food in the house I’d try to rescue myself by emptying it all in to a dustbin bag, crushing it as I went, in an attempt to make it unappetising. Even that didn’t stop me, for later I’d revisit it and eat out of the bin bag itself. It was disgusting but there was no stopping me.
I figured if the food wasn’t in the house I couldn’t eat. So, for a period I bought only basics from the supermarket. This didn’t work either. I’d stop at the fish & chip shop or call the local Indian for a home delivery instead.
I never made myself vomit but I thought about it often and wished that I could. I knew though that going down that route would open up a host of other health problems and I was in enough trouble already.
I tried every diet in the book, Herbal Life, Slimming World, Slim Fast, the cabbage soup diet, Atkins, the white and green diet, the banana diet… oh dear, the list goes on. I even consulted (very expensively!) a Chinese Herbalist Doctor who gave me a massive bag of herbs to boil up and then drink the vilest tasting ‘tea’ you could ever imagine. I can only think it was designed to make me feel sick constantly thereby leaving me with little or no appetite at all! Not recommended and it was impossible to stick to anyway.
I joined Weight Watchers and liked their points system. It did put things in perspective for me and taught me how excessive my ‘points’ consumption had been for a long time. It soon became second nature to count WW points which made me conscious every day of just how much I was consuming. But I still couldn’t stop!
Having used a Paul McKenna hypnosis video for self confidence over 10 years earlier to enable me to relax and pass my driving test (successfully I might add!) I decided to try his Easy Weight Loss CD.
The great man himself – Paul McKenna
By the end of the first week, my attitude was changing towards both myself and food. I no longer craved my favourites but simply viewed all food as an essential fuel. I almost enjoyed the feeling of hunger. Since the moment I listened to the CD the first time, I felt in control whereas I’d been used to binges on a daily basis. I walked past mirrors and instead of turning away in disgust I noticed my good points and began to like myself. The CD not only taught me how to treat food and myself with respect but also boosted my self esteem and self confidence. I also noticed that when shopping for food I was able to ignore everything that wasn’t on my list, whereas previously I used to spend ages salivating over delicious desserts, pies and cakes whilst trying to decide what to put in my trolley. I found my visits to the supermarket where taking much less time and my shopping bills were less expensive.
I listened to Track 2 of the CD for 5 days of the first week and then once every 2 or 3 days thereafter. It gave me a buzz and totally relaxed me after a long hard day at work; it was a perfect way to unwind. In the first 3 months I dropped 19 pounds effortlessly! I’m serious, I did not even feel like I had to try – it was easy!
That was in 2004. In early 2009 I reached 9st 3 lbs (129 lbs). Please remember this all happened without any dieting! It was still second nature to me to count WW Points but more of an annoyance than a feeling of necessity.
Since using Paul’s CD my trigger to eat is the feeling of hunger. If I’m hungry, I eat – anything I like! Not a boring lettuce leaf or apple – I can have a cake or chocolate. The important thing to do is to eat slowly and consciously and stop when you feel full. If I’m not hungry, I don’t eat. I no longer have uncontrollable cravings. I buy just enough food to see me through the week and that can include a couple of treats. I never feel deprived. There have been the odd slips where hunger has taken second place when dining out several times over the course of a couple of weeks or going on holiday. Any accumulated pounds however have dropped off easily and naturally once the dining out has ceased or I’m back in my own territory.
It’s 4 years since I reached 129 lbs. People said I was too thin although I loved it! I do accept though that my ribs and hip bones made an appearance which isn’t always an attractive look. I allowed myself to put on 6 lbs (to pacify the worriers!) and now I fluctuate between a healthy 135-140 lbs. As soon as I reach 140 lbs I make sure I use the CD to keep me in check and drop a couple of pounds. Likewise, if I feel my will power slipping, which is very rare, I give the CD a blast for a few days or as long as I feel necessary. Today at 49 and 5 feet 6 inches, I am a healthy UK size 10.
The best thing is, I know I never have to worry about over eating again because Paul’s CD will always correct my thought process and attitude to food.
Without Paul McKenna‘s work I honestly wonder what kind of health and/or mental state I’d be in today and I can’t thank him enough. Wholeheartedly and with an absolute passion, I recommend Paul’s self help books, DVDs and CDs to everyone struggling with their weight, giving up smoking, phobias, self confidence, stress, etc. There is something to benefit each of you in Paul’s catalogue.
Keep an open mind and try it… you might just find it works!