At just under 5ft, she was a size 18, weighed nearly 12st and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. She also had dangerously high blood sugar levels.
The advice from her doctor was to cut out eating sweet things, but after a lifetime of failed diets, Maureen felt her life was not worth living if she could not have a slice of cake or a chocolate biscuit.
"Nothing worked. I'm the middle of three sisters and I have always been the fat one. I have always been conscious of my weight but I couldn't slim for long – I just didn't have the willpower," she said.
But she was shocked into action when she began to suffer memory loss and was told that this could be linked to her diabetes and her diet.
"I was becoming increasingly forgetful, leaving the cooker on, burning things, not able to remember anything," said Maureen.
"I was afraid that I was heading towards dementia or Alzheimer's.
"My doctor gave me some memory tests, which I couldn't do, and she referred me to a memory clinic.
"They were concerned about my very high blood sugar levels and explained that there was a link between high sugar levels and memory loss.
"I didn't know this but apparently when sugar levels are high, blood thickening occurs which reduces the amount of oxygen reaching the brain. This can affect memory and concentration."
Maureen knew she had to make a permanent lifestyle change. But she was in despair at simply being told what not to eat with no further nutritional guidance.
It was after reading an article about hypnotherapy and the virtual gastric band treatment – hypnosis that makes the mind think the stomach is smaller than it is – that she consulted Beverley-based hypnotherapist Linda Johnson.
That was six months ago. Today, Maureen is 9st 9lbs, a size 10 to 12, with a blood sugar level between four and six. She feels a decade younger than her 66 years, has a new hairstyle, new clothes and no problems with her memory.
She never eats cake, chocolate or biscuits and does not miss them.
Maureen did not know it at the time but Linda, a clinical hypnotherapist, knew all too well what diabetes could do to the body. Linda said: "I was really concerned about Maureen when I first met her because her blood sugar was so high and I have a family history of diabetes.
"My grandmother had type two diabetes, which led to her developing gangrene and having to have both legs amputated.
"My grandfather on the other side of my family had type one diabetes and died when he was 60.
"My godmother also developed type 2 diabetes.
"And yet we were a family that thought we ate really well – my grandfather had an allotment and we ate fresh food but we were also tempted by the cakes, the biscuits and the pastries.
"We don't realise what these can do to the body and how easy it is to actually eat well without these foods, which are basically nutritionally bereft.
"So, my gastric band therapy not only encourages the brain to think that the stomach is smaller, but also to take on the message that food is fuel for the body.
"By eating the right foods – proteins, high-quality fats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds to make sure we get all our vitamins, minerals and nutrients – the body is going to work much better."
Linda worked in the NHS and at director-level in the pharmaceutical industry for many years.
She developed a support programme around the virtual gastric band treatment that Maureen could incorporate into her daily routine.
It involved relaxation therapy, a healthy eating plan, and a simple exercise regime she could follow without going to the gym.
And there was another secret weapon. Linda taught Maureen the Emotional Freedom Tapping technique to drain negative feelings away.
"My husband has encouraged me all the way – and friends are amazed at the transformation," Maureen said.
"I can't tell you how good it feels to wear nice clothes and to feel and look younger."
Read more: http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/Hypnotherapy-cured-chocoholism/story-19681498-detail/story.html#ixzz2cbWn4xs6
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