Norwich ‘Chocoholic’ was barred

Ruth Hodds's 28-chocolate-bars-a-week addiction led her to put on weight. She tells Emma Harrowing how she gave up the chocolate and lost weight thanks to the 'therapy that turns people into chickens'.

Ruth Hodds raced after her two young children as they played in their house at Surlingham. Her energy levels depleting, she reached for her fourth chocolate bar that day and was met with the familiar sugar rush, giving her the energy to carry on her day.

She had woken up in the early hours to look after her daughter, three, and then her six-year-old was up and running around by 6am wanting breakfast. By 3pm Ruth was exhausted and always reached for a bar of chocolate to kick-start herself back into action.

Ruth's routine is typical of most parents who have young children, but her reliance on sugary chocolate had made her put on weight. She ballooned to 13 stone.

'I was addicted to chocolate,' says 33-year-old Ruth. 'I couldn't go through the day without eating at least four bars. I would even skip meals to eat chocolate instead. The sugar gave me the energy rush I needed to stay awake throughout the day.'

As Ruth gradually put on an increasing amount of weight, she knew that she had to do something to stop her chocolate addiction, but giving up her sugary treats was virtually impossible.

'I was shocked that I couldn't give up chocolate, after all I gave up smoking easily and so I believed that I had strong willpower. I was eating over 28 chocolate bars a week and knew I had to stop.'

Most Read

Little did Ruth know that a well-known technique that has recently turned people on television into assassins would help her lose weight.

Just as celebrity hypnotist Derren Brown tries to control people's minds in his TV series The Experiments, Ruth discovered that hypnotherapy can be used to help aid weight-loss from her friend Kerry Lagden who had trained to become a fully-qualified hypnotherapist in Norwich just over a year ago.

Ruth says: 'At first I was sceptical as I had seen hypnotherapists on television and thought that it was just a technique to get people to act like a chicken! But after just two 40-minute sessions I didn't want to eat chocolate any more. I am now nine stone and feel great.'

Hypnotherapist Kerry is quick to point out that hypnotherapy is not a miracle solution to weight-loss, but a therapy to help people think about their relationship with certain foods and aid their willpower to help them lose weight. The therapy can also help with other addictions, as well as phobias, unwanted habits and through pregnancy.

Kerry says: 'Many people overeat or become addicted to certain foods because of the relationship they have had with their food in their childhood. For example, you may struggle to only eat one biscuit and have to eat an entire packet because as a child you had a biscuit as a treat and so when you feel tired or low you reach for the packet in order to make yourself feel better.

'Hypnotherapy can undo this habit as by relaxing your brainwaves to a certain level you are able to absorb more sub-conscious thoughts and this can retune your way of thinking.

'It still takes a certain amount of willpower and you have to be willing to change your eating habits in order for the therapy to work.'

In the case of having hypnotherapy to aid weight-loss, before you have a hypnotherapy session Kerry offers a free consultation to find out the root causes of why you are overeating or eating the wrong kind of foods. You will then have a number of hypnotherapy sessions depending on how deep rooted your problem is.

Ruth explains: 'When you 'go under' you are still aware of what is happening around you but your whole body and your mind feels relaxed. Kerry talked about me walking into a room where there was a bar of chocolate on the table. She told me to take a bite out of the chocolate bar and eat it. Then she took me out of the room and then back into the room once more.

'During the consultation process Kerry asked me if there was a particular food I didn't like. There wasn't, but I did mention my dislike of children's runny noses! When Kerry took me back into the room the chocolate was still there but this time there was a thin veil of slimy snot over the chocolate.

'Throughout the session I could smell and taste the chocolate as I ate it. I could even feel my mouth moving as I imagined myself eating. I was amazed at how disgusted I felt and surprised that even after the session I didn't want to eat chocolate any more.

'Now I do eat the occasional chocolate bar but I feel more in control over how much I eat.'

For more information about Kerry's hypnotherapy treatments log on to or telephone 01508 538779.