Hypnosis helped turn Jacqui Adam’s life around.. by making her think she’d had a gastric band fitted
DEPRESSED and morbidly obese, Jacqui struggled to find size 30 clothes – before virtual gastric band treatment helped her lose almost 10 stone.
Jacqui’s virtual gastric band treatment was a huge success
JACQUI ADAM was at her wits’ end. She weighed more than 23 stone, was desperately depressed and couldn’t bear to leave her Greenock home.
“I felt like an old woman.
“I couldn’t walk upstairs in my own house without feeling exhausted,” said Jacqui.
Yet now, less than two years on, she’s virtually unrecognisable as the same troubled woman. Almost 10 stone lighter, she’s often to be found training for sporting events.
Jacqui’s transformation began with a meeting that she admits was “clutching at straws” and which she was certain would lead to another failure.
Reluctantly, she had gone to see a hypnotherapist to discuss a virtual gastric band operation, in the certain knowledge that it wouldn’t work.
In gastric band surgery, the capacity of a patient’s stomach is reduced when an adjustable band is inserted under anaesthetic.
The outcome means the patient can only eat small meals and will lose weight. However, the surgery is costly and carries some risks.
With a virtual gastric band, the patient is hypnotised into believing they have undergone the surgery and can only eat reduced quantities. They are also ‘reprogrammed’ to make healthier choices. It’s a cheaper and safer alternative to surgery.
“I felt as if I was beyond help. And I didn’t think this would work.
“I had nothing to lose so I thought I’d give it a go, but I doubted it would really do any good,” explained Jacqui.
“Even after the first session, I didn’t believe it would work.”
Virtual gastric band patients see Lyn for four sessions, the third of which is the ‘operation’.
At her consulting rooms near Houston, Renfrewshire, Lyn prepares her patient as if they were actually going under the knife. On the operation day, they arrive to find her in surgical scrubs and a whiff of disinfectant in the air.
“I sat down and was relaxed into believing I was getting an operation.
The NHS 24 service support administrator was delighted to start losing weight immediately.
Overnight, she replaced the fatty, sugary food she had been bingeing on with healthy alternatives, and the first few stones fell away quite quickly.
She started to enjoy watching her progress on the scales and began to trust the process.
Previously she didn’t eat fish or drink any kind of tea, and she found she regularly wanted sushi and green tea.
She said: “I’ve not had a bit of chocolate since then. It’s the strangest feeling because chocolate used to be my thing. I just don’t want to have it at all now. And I don’t have pudding now, or crisps.”
“I just began eating smaller portions and everything I was choosing was healthy stuff.
“But I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself at all. I still have Chinese food and go out for meals, I just choose something healthy.
“If I’m going out for something to eat, I have to look at the menu for quite a long time to find something healthy. I might have fish and potatoes, but without any butter.”
This new way of living is a revelation for Jacqui, 41, because it’s not a diet – it’s simply making healthy choices all the time.
“I don’t have to make an effort at this. It’s so different and it’s not going to stop.
“I’m going to be eating healthily forever,” she added.
Heavy since childhood, over the years Jacqui has tried just about every diet there is. Sometimes she achieved a little, by losing a couple of stone for a while, but inevitably, she regained the weight and added to it.
“I tried every diet under the sun. The Cambridge, Weight Watchers, Slimming World, Slimfast, cabbage soup… everything. Diets just don’t work,” she said.
So miserable, Jacqui just stopped trying and fell into a pattern of dangerously destructive behaviour.
At 5ft 7ins, her BMI was around 50, putting her well into the morbidly obese category with its associated health risks, including diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer.
Her life expectancy was reduced as a result.
“I didn’t want to be here any more. I was so depressed it was unbelievable and my weight was totally out of control.
“I was self-harming with food and it was hurting my mum to see me. I was in a destructive pattern of behaviour and I couldn’t see a way out. I was in a vicious circle.
“I didn’t want to go out the door because I knew I was obese.
“I didn’t do anything, just sat and ate. That’s all I did. It self-perpetuated.
“Every trouble and issue I had, had the problem of the weight on top of it.
“When a friend at work told me about hypnotherapy treatment, I agreed, but I was just clutching at straws.”
However, after the virtual gastric band procedure in July 2011, Jacqui’s life really began to change.
The first few stones came off fairly quickly and the rest followed steadily on behind.
She rapidly found she had far more confidence and plenty of energy.
In short, her passion for life returned and there was no going back.
“I’m not the same person as I was.
“These days, I’m often out running. Last year I even took part in a half-marathon. My mum and dad look at me and ask, ‘who are you?’ because the change is just so dramatic.
“I couldn’t even walk upstairs before, never mind doing 13 miles. I felt like an old woman and I couldn’t see a way out.
“Now my mental health is much better because I’m able to get out and about to exercise.
“And I’m seeing the weight coming off. I now feel like I’m back in control of my life.
“I’ve got so much energy and I’m always out. Every aspect of my life is so different.”
One of the biggest changes for Jacqui has been her shopping habits.
Previously, she loathed buying the size 30 clothes she needed to fit her. It was nearly impossible to find what she wanted in the High Street shops.
Jacqui was a size 30 before her weight loss treatment
Now she likes nothing better than visiting her local shopping centre to find she can fit into clothes in every ordinary shop.
She has taken the significant step of throwing out all of her ‘fat’ clothes, knowing, at last, that she won’t be needing them ever again.
However, Jacqui admits: “I love to go shopping, but I don’t buy too much, because I’m not finished yet. I’d like to lose another stone.
“But I’m now a 16 in every shop, which is a big deal for me. If I can get to be a 14-16, that would really be brilliant.
“I’m very competitive, so I’m not going to be happy until I’m into something that says size 14 on the label.”
It seems likely that it won’t take long for Jacqui to reach her goal and be able to treat herself to a new wardrobe at last.
“Going for virtual gastric band treatment was the best move and the best money I’ve ever spent.
“There’s no way I’d be able to do the things I do now and feel so good about myself without it,” Jacqui added.
Gastric Band Hypnotherapy in Glasgow. Contact: Linda Alexander on 0141 632 1440 and 07875 493 358, also firstname.lastname@example.org. £350 for 5 sessions.
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