A Sussex man has lost a massive SIX STONE in weight - after being hypnotised.
Exercise-shy John Bird, 57, told this week how he used controversial hypnotherapy techniques to go from a couch potato into an amateur athlete.
The hotel owner, from Langley Green, Crawley, says the death of his mother as a child led to him comfort eating in grief - a habit that saw him piling on the pounds.
At his heaviest, in his late thirties and early forties, John weighed close to 17 stone.
At 5ft 8in tall, that made him clinically obese, according to the NHS’s Body Mass Index chart.
But now John claims his brain has been ‘rewired’ to crave physical exercise and healthy food.
And the singleton, who now weighs just over 11 stone, says he has never been happier.
“Having not done any exercise in my life, I started at nothing and within five weeks I ran a half marathon, and a hilly one at that.”
He said the hypnotherapy “prompted a change from within, where wanting to go for a run became second nature.”
He added: “For the first time ever, I know what it feels like to be an athlete.
“And for the first time ever know what it’s like to feel ‘normal’, too, and not overweight’.”
The hypnotherapy involves a patient being placed into a state of deep relaxation, before the unconscious mind is ‘re-programmed.’
John spends half his time in Crawley and half in France where he runs an apartment complex.
He says he has tried a number of weight-loss programmes previously but none worked.
But all that changed when he met neuroscientist and nutritionist Victoria Wills, who offers hypnotherapy sessions as part of a ‘NuBeginnings’ weight loss regime. John underwent hypnotherapy during the course of a week at a Nubeginnings site in Devon.
While under hypnosis, John was told that when he ate fresh fruit and veg it would taste like the best meal he’d ever had.
And while John can’t remember everything about the experience, he says the results have been extraordinary.
During his stay at NuBeginnnigs, John did some long hikes. But when he returned to France, he suddenly had a burning desire to start running.
Within five weeks, he ran a half marathon.
“I almost cried with pride at what I’d achieved,” he said.
He’s now running, on average, almost 40 miles a week.