Teacher who binged chocolate every night transforms her body with hypnosis


A teacher who binged family bags of chocolates every evening and couldn’t jog to the end of her street has transformed her body with a £7.99 hypnosis app.

And Lisa Hodson is planning to run a half-marathon soon.

The 46-year-old gained weight last year after eating biscuits and snacks on-the-go and guzzling the same dinner portions as her 5ft 10″ runner husband Kevin.

Lisa, who is 5ft 8in, weighed 20st 6lbs at her heaviest – until a photograph of herself at her husband’s birthday in November 2019 almost brought her to tears.

The Blackpool-based schoolteacher, who is mum to Amy, 11 said: “It all started on my husband’s 50th birthday.

“I had hardly any photographs taken of me because I didn’t like how I looked, and I wouldn’t let people take full-length photographs of me ever.

“I had a photograph taken with him cutting the cake, and I absolutely hated how I looked.”

She said: “I just thought, ‘I look awful’.

“My next big birthday is 50, and I didn’t want to still be feeling like this then.”

And Lisa added: “Mentally I wasn’t in the best place either – I was in a very stressful job.”

Lisa waited until after Christmas to start her weight loss journey, and changed her job she found stressful, moving to a teaching role at another primary school.

Lisa weighed 20st 6lbs at her heaviest
Lisa weighed 20st 6lbs at her heaviest

She downloaded a £7.99 app called 12 Weeks to Wow ‘Virtual Gastric Band Hypnosis – Lose Weight Fast!’, and started off by “listening religiously every night, and sometimes twice a day” to the app’s advice.

Over the next year, she lost four stone three pounds, going from a dress size 22-24 to wearing a size 16-18.

“I’m still on this journey and I’m still running and I still want to lose more,” she added.

Lisa said before 2020, she would generally skip breakfast – only to over-compensate by eating an entire packet of bourbon biscuits, cereal bars or cakes during morning break at school.

“It was really detrimental, actually, because I would sit and I would munch my way through 10 biscuits at 11am, so I wouldn’t be hungry at lunchtime, and wouldn’t eat properly again,” she said.

She added: “And then I was really, really bad, eating a sandwich after school before another massive meal.

“I used to be really into fresh bread. I would eat four slices in a sitting with loads of butter and huge chunks of ham and cheese.

“I could eat half a loaf of bread, or quite happily munch through a whole baguette.”

She added: “I used to shovel it down, because I was always busy, and always on the run – but never literally.”

The sweet-toothed schoolteacher said her eating habits were also linked to her mental health – when she felt unhappy, she would try to compensate with food.

She said: “I would have a sharing bag of Maltesers, Minstrels or Revels that I never shared – I would quite happily sit and eat the entire bag to myself – or cakes.”

She added: “And I got into a habit of doing that every night, even after having a big meal.

“I would gorge myself on them to try to make myself feel better.”

She added that although her husband is a health-conscious runner and their evening meals were healthy, she would eat the same portions as him.

Lisa now runs regularly rather than snacking on chocolate

But using the hypnosis app in January 2020 helped Lisa learn to eat intuitively instead of stuffing herself with sugary treats every night, and by March she had already shed one stone.

By the summertime, Lisa, who admitted she could not previously even run to the end of her road, took up running with a little help from another app – Couch to 5k.

She said pounding the pavements gave her a new, healthy outlet when she felt stressed, instead of burying her feelings in a family bag of chocolates.

“I had always been quite sporty as a child, but it was always things like hockey, tennis, netball – I was never a runner,” she said.

“And I had never thought I’d be able to run for half an hour without stopping.

“When I first started Couch to 5k, running to the end of the road was an impossibility.”

She added: “Now, after a bad day, instead of coming home and thinking, ‘I deserve to eat a big bag of Maltesers’, I think, ‘I’m going to put my shoes on, and pound the stress away on the pavement’.

“And when I come home from a run, I feel OK.”

The hypnosis app, 12 Weeks to Wow, comes with a Facebook community of other users around the UK and globally who share their experiences – and Lisa said tapping into this support was crucial to getting her off the couch too.

Lisa said: “I started off by just going for a walk every day, with support from other people using the app – mainly women.

“Then I saw Couch to 5k, and thought, ‘OK, I might give that a go’, and so I did, and I joined the 12 Weeks to Wow fun run group, and the support was amazing.

“The level of support and encouragement and belief was brilliant, and I graduated the Couch to 5k at the back end of September, and it’s just gone from there really.”

She added: “I’ve carried on running, I’ve done 5ks, I’ve done 10ks, and in August, I’ll be doing the London half-marathon.”

Lisa said instead of inhaling food quickly during breaktimes, she now takes time to eat her meals slowly, which helps her stop eating when she’s full.

She also keeps a food log as part of her training, to see which foods work best as fuel for her runs.

Porridge breakfasts or yoghurt with fruit and occasionally a crumpet have now replaced her breaktime biscuit binges.

Lisa holding up a skirt that used to fit her

“Now I eat more slowly, I’m more conscious of what I’m putting in my mouth, and I don’t eat for the sake of eating anymore,” she said.

“It’s not unusual for me to leave things on my plate now, which, when I was growing up, we didn’t do.”

She added: “I’m in a position now where I just think, ‘I’ve had plenty to eat, I’ve refuelled my body, I don’t need any more’, and if I get hungry later I can have a bit more.”

Running also means Lisa has not had to give anything up, apart from huge portions and family-bag binges, to continue shedding the pounds.

She still treats herself to chocolate, cakes, bread and wine – but in moderation.

Now the mum is determined to stay on track not just for herself but also for the sake of Amy.

She said: “I look back through our family photo albums, which show my daughter growing up, and over the years I’ve avoided being in photos because I hated how I looked.

“It’s really sad that most of her childhood photos don’t have me in them.”

She added: “I want to be healthy, I want to be around, and encourage her to make healthy choices.”

Lisa still “dips in and out” of the hypnosis app, but doesn’t listen every day now because the advice is “embedded” in her brain.

But when she feels like veering back to unhealthy habits, she plugs in her earphones and listens to the app’s motivational wisdom overnight to “get back on track”.

She posted this photo on her running Facebook group and realised how much she had changed

She said: “Looking back, the way I used to shovel food in, it was almost like self-harm with food.

“It’s nice to know I don’t have to eat it all in one go, and stop treating my body as a bin.

“And it’s amazing to feel like I can finally be a healthy role model for my daughter and be a bigger part of her life as she’s growing up.”

And just as a photo inspired Lisa to lose weight, another has shown her how much she has changed.

She said: “I realised how far I came when I posted a full-length photo of myself on our Facebook running group, and it didn’t upset or scare me or anything.

“I was just amazed because just a year ago I would never have done it.”





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