The following is an e-mail which I think is self-explanatory, and delightful.
Hope you are keeping well. Things all seem Ok, although I still feel like laughing aloud on occasions when I pick up a green salad and leave the bacon rolls on the counter. Had my first restaurant trip on Saturday and didn't feel I needed to be rolled out the door at the end. I even left some stuff on my plate. Still on the Guinness too. Simple pleasures...
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I'm not remotely new-age. I've no desire to swim with dolphins, almost threw up when I tried green tea and think yoga was the name of the bear who lived in Jellystone Park. Hypnotism was firmly in the hippy market as far as I was concerned.
As such, it took a lot for me to get in touch with Barry at the Mindsci clinic. To me, hypnotism was a form of psychiatry-lite for weak-minded folks who lacked the gumption to pull themselves together and get on with things. Thing was, I was weak minded. It just took me a while to believe it. Years of being told that I was 'big boned' and that I was just a 'big fella' had convinced me that my 19st / 20st weight wasn't a problem. It was part of my personality.
What really shook me into life were two separate things. Firstly, my long-standing significant other said that we should lose weight before we could consider getting married. Secondly, I have a long-standing medical problem with my leg and the weight I'm carrying meant that going under anaesthetic was likely to be a problem, when it got sorted out. The final straw came when I got a new job, writing for a glossy travel magazine. I saw myself in the pictures and was really put out at the way I looked in the pictures - about four stone heavier than I thought I looked. The time had come to do something about it.
Diets were the obvious answer. Atkins, Weight Watchers, Rosemary Conley, Scarsdale, D-Tox, Low-fat, High-Fibre and even just plain old deprivation had been tried and only yielded very short terms losses followed by the inevitable regain afterwards - the weak mind in action. As soon as I'd dieted for a couple of weeks, I felt that I deserved a treat and would grab a burger. Problem was that the treats tended to last until the start of the next diet. In search of a more permanent solution, I plucked up the courage and dropped Barry a line.
I first dropped by Barry's clinic in late October. I was skeptical, I left after two hours feeling no different and generally felt it had been a bit of a waste of time. I didn't eat for the rest of the day though. The next day, I ate nothing until 1 o' clock when I walked to the shops and bought a salad. Not because I felt I had to. I wanted a salad. And I'm not the sort of bloke that ever wants salad. Not when there are sandwiches, rolls, pasties, pies and toasties on offer. And so it has gone on. I was still a member of the Rosemary Conley diet club, so went and got weighed after the first week. I got rid of 3 pounds - my biggest weekly loss since joining in March. The next week I went again. I'd dumped another 3 pounds. And so it goes on. Incidentally, Barry also dropped a little pain management into the proceedings. My gammy leg was now much less of a problem. I was looking at being able to have surgery because my weight was getting sensible, but not needing it because my symptoms are under control.
The miracle for me though, is in getting rid of excess weight . The fact that I am choosing what I eat, not having it chosen for me seems miraculous. I am choosing to eat less, choosing healthier dishes but crucially not having to choose to diet. I'm eating what I want to eat. It just so happens that I now want to eat what is good for me. I told Barry on my follow up visit, "The best way to describe it is as a diet, but without the misery". He liked that. But not as much as me...
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