This bride-to-be is hoping people will be seeing less of her on her big day.
Ann Vickers, of North Shore, is on a mission to shed the pounds and is using nothing but the power of the mind.
She had already lost half a stone since she first visited clinical hypnotherapist Russell Hoyles, but has now had a gastric band fitted.
Not just any gastric band – a ‘virtual’ one.
Ann has been seeing Mr Hoyles for a Hypno Band procedure. It works in a similar way to a physical gastric band – it awakens the body to the natural signals it sends to tell the brain a person has eaten enough.
By combining this with cognitive behavioural therapy, Russell – a mental health practitioner with the NHS and Social Services for over 26 years – says people can change their thought processes and their lifestyles.
Ann, 48, who is currently a dress size 16, aims to shed two-and-a-half stone to get down to a svelte size 10, for her dream wedding.
She will be getting wed to her fiance Alan Harding, in The Carribbean, in November.
The mum-of-two said: “I’ve tried other things before like Weight Watchers and I want to be looking my best for my wedding.
“I just wanted to try something different.
“I’ve found it fantastic so far. I got on with Russell straight away and trusted him. He is really nice.
“It’s like with anything – if you want it to work and are receptive to it, it will.
“I haven’t been getting as many cravings, I haven’t felt as hungry. I am determined to be a size 10 for my wedding.
“I am determined to be looking my best on the big day.
“We’ve been together for a long time, but we just decided to have a big wedding and to take all our family with us.”
It might seem a rather unorthodox approach to weight loss, but Russell’s methods have been employed by hospitals across the North West, including Liverpool and Blackpool at Spire Fylde Coast Hospital, and he recently launched a community base in Lytham to help people with weight loss issues.
Russell, who describes himself as someone who was a “fat kid” but went on to become lean and fit for life, said: “I would say I am a motivational clinical hypnotherapist.
“Losing weight using the hypno-band programme is a two-way street, but I can help people target foods like chocolate and develop an aversion to them, as well as teach people to learn the signs that demonstrate when they are full.
“However they have to be willing to work with me – there is no magic switch.”
* For more information, click www.russellhoyles.com