Client Stories: Lauren’s Visit
Client Stories, featuring Lauren D.
Every few weeks, Lauren will be sharing her weight loss journey with our readers.
This is part 2 of Lauren’s journey to weight loss using the GMBand. For part 1, please see the blog post here.
The night before I am due to fly to the clinic I am met with a mix of emotions. I am excited as I know this weekend is going to be the start of a new me, I’m anxious as I am going to be travelling on my own, I feel sad, guilty and selfish that I am leaving my daughter for the weekend to go away and do something for me, but most of all I feel scared. I’m scared this weekend isn’t going to work out as I hoped and I will remain the same old fat me. 4am, my alarm went off, today was the day. The first thing I did was jump on the scales, today was the day of change and I wanted to know my starting point 18 stone 12 pounds. What a weight but I vowed I will never see that weight again. I said my goodbyes and headed to the airport.
This trip was different to most, normally when I’m at the airport we celebrate our trip with a good fry up, today is different, I’m having to fast as when I arrive at the clinic in Spain I will be having some blood tests carried out. I went to Boots and picked up a large bottle of water and two bottles of diet coke. I am a diet coke addict, if I don’t consume it for more than a couple of hours, the withdrawal kicks in and I end up with the most horrendous headache. I was conscious by the time of my blood test it will be over 12 hours I will be without Diet Coke and I am likely to feel pretty rough this afternoon. A few hours later I arrived at Malaga Airport. I had decided to get the train to Fuengirola rather than a cab. It was really straight forward, just as the people at the clinic had said it would be. I walked across the concourse, brought the ticket and went straight down the escalators to the platform. As they told me Fuengirola is the end of line, so no thinking or worrying, you can’t really go wrong.
I am now feeling excited as today was to be the first day of change, the first day of my new life, or at least I hoped it would be. I walked from the train station to the clinic, which wasn’t far at all, I called the clinic and Martin helped me with the final steps as I couldn’t find the front door (my stupidity!).
Marion and Martin welcomed me; my first impressions were what lovely and down to earth people they were. I was instantly put at ease. First things first, the blood test. Marion and I walked to the special clinic. I felt I was gibbering utter rubbish due to my nerves but Marion humoured me and I soon settled my nerves. It took a little while for the nurse to take the blood as I knew I was dehydrated, drinking water was never my strong point. As soon as my bloods were taken I took a sip of my diet coke. Wow that felt good. I think Marion must have thought she would have her work cut out working with me. We arrived back at the GMBand clinic. I was given the option to go to the hotel and check in or start the treatment straight away. I was raring to go I wanted to start the treatment immediately.
My first impression of the clinic was how very professional it was. It was clean, modern, comfy and not too clinical. The first thing I noticed were the amount of certificates on the wall, these guys really know their stuff. We went and sat in Marion’s room. I sat in this huge comfy reclining chair and instantly I felt calm and relaxed. Marion explained she would be using various techniques over the coming days, she also mentioned that at times the sessions will be quite emotional and it is
important to be as honest as I can to ensure I get the most out of the sessions. Marion then said, ‘do not expect this weekend to end on one big finale as you will be disappointed, the whole weekend is what is important, not the final hypnosis session’. I didn’t know what she meant but I agreed to take her word for it.
Marion explained that we were then going to go through the clinics dedicated Forensic Weight Loss Questionnaire. She started asking me some questions around why I have ended up at the clinic and what I was hoping to achieve. As soon as I started talking I didn’t shut up! My main reason for losing weight was for my daughter. My own mother died when I was young and I made a promise to my daughter I would always be with her and she would never feel alone. Being the weight I am, I knew I can’t hold that promise, I’m at a risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, all because I eat rubbish. When I say I didn’t stop talking, 6 hours later we came to the end of the first session, I could not believe it. We had only just touched the tip of the iceberg with me and my eating habits. Some of the questions at the time I thought were unusual and unrelated to weight loss, later it dawned on me just how clever they were. I later realised that without me knowing it the clinics own version of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (TCBT) had been interwoven in the session throughout the day.
Thinking back to the previous hypnotist guy I had spoken to, he assured me 4 hours would have been enough, and that was for the complete treatment. I knew that after just four hours, there was absolutely no way I would have felt empowered enough to go home and be in the mind set of losing weight. We finished the first session with Hypnosis, I have to be honest I think I may have drifted off to sleep for a few seconds; it had been a very long day. But even the Hypnosis was different to what I had expected. Marion connected me to a heart monitor, she explained that this was to allow her to view the exact amount of relaxation I was achieving; it was all just so much more professional than I had imagined, no one was swinging a pocket watch in front of me. Before I left the clinic that night Marion weighed me, the computerised scales read 18stone 12 pounds, the same as what I was that morning so that was a relief.
Our next day started at 09:30, I was raring to go. I sat in the big comfy chair with a bottle of cold water and then boom Marion hit me with probably the hardest piece of information during that weekend. Marion had passed me the printout that came from the scales the day before. What I hadn’t realised was that those scales didn’t just weigh you they provided a full detailed analysis of fat and fat mass, also muscle mass and total bone mass, visceral fat, metabolic base rate and numerous other numbers, including the age of which your body is internally. That number just jumped out at me, as if it was in bright neon sign-writing, it wasn’t it was black and white but my god, it read 51. Fifty one! I am only 36. By eating all the crap over the past few years I had aged my body 15 years. The promise I had made to my daughter to be with her just felt as if I had told her a lie. In theory I would be dying 15 years early, how could I have done this to myself, to her. I felt disgusted with myself. Food was killing me. That single moment was I think the turning point, the point of change.
During the day Marion and I addressed various eating behaviours. It turns out when I was at home I wasn’t even registering when I was eating, how do I not know when a piece of food entered my mouth, I was constantly on food auto pilot, pour a drink, in goes a biscuit. I would eat for every emotion, happy, sad, depressed, lonely, achievement; you name it I would use food to help with my feelings. My relationship with food was wrong. With Marion’s help I was able to start understanding the bad choices and decisions I was making around food. I was able to start to put strategies in place.
The day whizzed by, we had spent 8.5 hours that day, just talking about me and my relationship with food. Who would have thought I could have talked for over eight hours about my obsession with food, not all food, sugar! I had realised my demon was sugar and I had to get off the merry go round of eating sugar. Once again I realised that elements of TCBT were being interwoven into our conversations. The day had also seemed a little like a science lesson, I learnt things about food, hormones and metabolism that no one had ever explained to me before. The day once again finished with a Hypnotherapy session, just as professional as before.
That night I went back to my room armed with lots of information on how sugar turns to fat and how sugar triggers the brain into thinking its hungry. I called my other half back home to share all the information with him. He then made the pledge that he would support me when I arrived home and we will do this together.
It was my final day at the clinic, I felt really sad that it was my last day and later that day I would be leaving. What would I do without my daily dose of Marion and Martin? I knew the last day meant I would be having my ‘Gastric Mind Band Operation’. I felt slightly nervous, I also wasn’t sure if I really needed it as I had a clear vision and focus and I knew what I needed to do when I left the clinic and when I arrived home. When I arrived at the clinic Martin took us for a coffee on the beach, it was beautiful, what better way to start the day. We walked back to the clinic, the morning was going to be spent with Martin, previously all sessions had been conducted by Marion, and so it felt slightly different.
Martin himself has been in my shoes, he understands what it’s like being fat and the daily challenges you face as a fat person. We discussed those. Martin has a way with words, he is totally honest, he doesn’t offend but he gets the message home. Martin asked me when I have time to breath. I said pardon? Martin then replied, well you eat when you’re happy, when you’re sad, to give yourself a pat on the back, for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, a snack, you’re constantly eating, when do you ever get a chance to take a breath?? I laughed, I really did, how ridiculous does that sound, I am genuinely forever eating, what a waste of a life. My time with Martin flew by, it was now almost 2pm, the ‘operation’ was drawing nearer.
I was then taken back to the other treatment room and Marion then took over the session. Marion explained we were going to look at some medical videos of a gastric
band procedure being undertaken, after all that is how I ended up at this clinic; I was originally considering a gastric band operation. I watched the video and was surprise just how evasive the surgery is. Marion then spent a good hour showing me scientific models of the body and explaining how the band controls the amount of food a person can eat and how it should prevent over eating. It turns out people are still cheating the bands, whatever next! Marion then showed me an actual gastric band, I was totally surprised what it looked like. It was so clinical, so man made, how could your body be able to cope with having that inside you?
After all this information I said to Marion,” I am really not sure I need the Gastric Mind Band hypnosis, as I now understand the changes I need to make”. That’s when Marion reminded me of one of the first things she said on day one. “Do not expect this weekend to end on one big finale as you will be disappointed, this weekend is what is important, not the final hypnosis session’. It all became clearer and the final peace of the jigsaw slotted into place.