Twenty-three-year-old Sarah Jones has dropped an incredible six dress sizes in eight months after being hypnotised into believing she’d had a gastric band fitted. The 1.67-metre-tall bank worker is unrecognisable after drastically altering her shape from a UK dress size 22 down to a size 8 or 10. And she says her amazing transformation was totally painless and easy – because all she used was the power of her mind.

“I’ve been a bigger girl all my life,” she said, “and over the past seven years the weight has just crept on. I’d lost all confidence and my only release was going on holiday because no one knew me there.

“Friends were going out and eating what they wanted, but I felt left out and awkward.

“I was close to 100 kilograms and tried every diet going but I just don’t have the willpower to stick to them. I had even contemplated having gastric band surgery to reduce the size of my stomach. Then I got to the point where I thought ‘well I’m fat anyway I may as well just get on with it and eat what I like’.

“I was 22 and it felt like I’d given up.”

Embarrassed into action

Earlier this year, Sarah was jetting off on holiday and as she took her seat on the plane, she struggled to get her seat belt on.

“An air stewardess offered me a seat belt extension and I was so embarrassed. I thought, great, I’m the fat person on the plane who can’t fit in their seat.

“It was such a low moment.

“It was then I knew. I knew I had to do something about it. In a way I’m really glad it happened because that was the moment that turned it around for me. I was really upset about it and knew that realistically I couldn’t go on like this.”

During her holiday, Sarah was reading a magazine she’d bought at the airport and stumbled on an article about hypnotherapist Russell Hemmings who’d had amazing results helping someone else lose weight.

“I couldn’t believe it. And when I read on, I discovered that he was based in my hometown [Coventry, in the UK]. I’m a big believer that things happen for a reason and this just seemed to be all slotting into place for me. So the minute I got home I contacted him.”

Discussing the problem

During her first session at Russell’s clinic, Sarah says they talked about her weight journey, her weaknesses when it comes to food and how she felt about it.

“I have to say I was a bit apprehensive, but I felt so relaxed. We did a lot of talking and Russell really seemed to understand what I’ve been going through and everything he said made sense. I walked out of that first session knowing I didn’t want chocolate anymore. My family and friends will tell you, that’s just not me! It was unbelievable.”

Since then Sarah has had another three hypnotherapy sessions – one of them a gastric band hypnotherapy session, which tricks the mind into believing you’ve had surgery and a band has been fitted. Consequently you feel fuller much quicker and your mind is telling you not to overeat. She also listened to self-hypnosis CDs Russell had given her to take home.

“In the first week I lost more than three kilograms. In two months I had lost almost 13 kilograms. I didn’t do any exercise to start with because, well, I was just too embarrassed to go near a gym or a class.

“I just found I ate much less – and wasn’t the slightest bit bothered about it or hungry.

“Then as the weight started dropping off I felt able to start exercising. I’ve now joined a gym and go there for half an hour or so.

I enjoy running which I never thought I’d ever say!

“In eight months I’ve lost 32 kilograms. Which means I can now shop for clothes; something I really missed out on in my teens. Clothes look so much better on me now. Today I weigh 67 kilograms.

“On top of all of that, I’ve had a promotion at work and I totally put that down to hypnotherapy. I would never have gone for the job before, as I just didn’t have the confidence. I didn’t believe in myself before so why would anyone else?

“I’m so happy. I no longer feel that overriding need to eat or indulge in chocolate. I finally feel in control.”

What is gastric band hypnotherapy?

The procedure involves ‘tricking’ your subconscious mind into believing that you have had major surgery and that a band has been fitted to your stomach to shrink it down to the size of a golf ball.

The virtual surgery is part of a package of sessions, which also addresses eating habits and lifestyle. During the ‘surgery’ session, the client can hear operating theatre sounds and even smell the odours of a hospital. Clinical hypnotherapist Russell Hemmings says, “It is important to talk through all of a client’s issues surrounding food, so I can get a wellrounded picture of the person and what their day-to-day lives are like and what issues they have to deal with surrounding food. “I try to make the gastric band experience as realistic as possible, as it all goes towards helping the subconscious mind to believe what has happened. “When you consider the risks and the huge cost of having gastric surgery, hypnosis is a much safer – and cheaper – way to achieve the same thing. “Sarah looks absolutely amazing now, and the smile on her face shows exactly what it has meant to her life!”