A woman who developed type 2 diabetes after gorging her way to 17-and-a-half stone on gourmet sandwiches in her work’s American-style diner has managed to ditch insulin and drop four dress sizes – thanks to a £6.99 hypnosis app.
Previously fit and slender, Tracey Hoff’s waistline began to balloon in her twenties, when she landed a job at The Body Shop’s head office in Littlehampton, West Sussex, wolfing down fatty food in their stylish canteen, before snacking on crisps and sugary sweets throughout the afternoon.
Tracey, now 52, from Chichester, West Sussex – whose glucose levels, at points, soared to at least four times recommended levels – said: “I just got bigger and bigger.
“Eventually, a district nurse weighed me during a routine appointment in 2015, and I couldn’t believe it when the scales said I was 17st 7lb. I’d no idea I’d got that big.”
Developing type 2 diabetes – a condition often caused by being overweight, in which the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels, or the body cannot use the insulin that is produced – when she was in her early forties, Tracey’s health was on a downwards spiral.
Diabetes cure: Ms Hoff was carrying extra weight after the birth of her daughter
Doctors were finding my diabetes hard to control, it couldn’t be managed with just tablets
“Doctors were finding my diabetes hard to control,” she admitted. “Eventually, it couldn’t be managed with just tablets, so around eight years ago, I started having three large insulin injections every day.”
Her confidence in tatters, Tracey, who is sharing her story on World Diabetes Day, was determined to get fit.
But, also suffering with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a lung condition causing breathing difficulties, and cough syncophe, which causes episodes of unconsciousness when she coughs – forcing her to give up her job as a carer three years ago – exercise was difficult.
Determined to change, aged 50, Tracey joined a local slimming group – ironically, having been so slim as a child that her mum, worrying she was underweight, had sought medical advice – but found the focus on food led to too much temptation.
Recalling her experience at the diet group, Tracey said: “It was food, food, food all the time. All we talked about was what we could and couldn’t eat.
“Not only that, but they’d sell food there, too. It’d be right in your face, when you were lining up to go in, calling to me to buy and eat it while I queued.”
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Diabetes cure: The former-carer was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after her weight gain
Feeling like a failure, Tracey – who never lost her baby weight after having her daughter Emma, now 22, when she was 29 – worried that she would be overweight for the rest of her life.
Then, in summer 2016, she spotted an article online about a hypnotic gastric band app, and decided to try it.
Paying £6.99, she downloaded Virtual Gastric Band-Lose Weight Fast and finally achieved the results she had longed for.
Explaining how the app uses hypnosis to re-programme people’s thoughts about eating, single mum Tracey said: “It’s absolutely vital to follow the guidelines. The app tells you to eat what you want, not what you can.”
She continued: “It also says to eat until you’re no longer hungry, not until you’re full. There’s actually a huge difference, which took me a long time to realise.
“One of the biggest things I’ve learned is how easy it is to mistake hunger for thirst. Now, if I think I feel hungry, I’ll have a tumbler of water and wait 10 minutes. Usually, the feeling then goes away.”
Even though she hasn’t drastically altered what she eats, Tracey, who listens to the hypnosis portion of the programme in her sleep, said changing the way she thinks about food has been the key to her success.
Now, she is just over a stone off her 12st goal weight and wants to share her story, to help others struggling to shift the pounds.
Diabetes cure: A hypnosis app, Virtual Gastric Band-Lose Weight Fast, has helped her shed the pounds
As well as dropping from a size 24 to a size 16, she has been able to come off her insulin injections and, although her glucose levels are still a little above average, she has seen a vast improvement.
According to NICE guidelines, a type 2 diabetic’s reading should be between four and seven millimoles per litre.
“At my unhealthiest, my glucose readings would be around 18, but sometimes as high as 28,” admitted Tracey.
“Now they’re around nine, which isn’t perfect but it’s a huge improvement.”
Tracey, despite not being able to cure her COPD, said it has been far less burdensome since she has improved her general fitness.
She said: “Though my COPD means my lungs will never magically be fixed, losing the weight has improved my lung function, too, taking it from 49 per cent to around 55 per cent.
“Before, I was far too big. I could barely even walk. I’d push myself to eat until I felt physically sick, but now I know how to recognise when I’ve had enough.
“I take my time and chew all my food properly. It doesn’t take more than about six mouthfuls to stop my hunger.”
Weight loss: Tracey has lost a considerable amount of weight and is enjoying her new-found health
Now Tracey has high hopes that she will eventually be able to completely reverse her type 2 diabetes.
She continued: “It is possible to reverse type 2 diabetes and, hopefully, now I no longer need injections, I’m on my way to that.
“The hypnosis app is so easy to use. I’m in a Facebook group of other people using it and they’re all so supportive. This has been lifechanging for me.”
Sue Peckham, who along with James Holmes created the Virtual Gastric Band- Lose Weight Fast app, said: “The amazing weight loss results our app users achieve are primarily down to four easy to follow guidelines. This comes with a host of powerful hypnosis sessions that help to re-programme their way of thinking, allowing them to become more mindful about their eating.
“Our programme frees you from a lifetime of dieting by getting to the root of your problem and changing the way you think about food. It literally turns people’s lives around, as Tracey has shown with her fabulous success story.”
Dr. Vishal Shah, Medical Director at Thriva, said: “Obesity has long been linked to insulin resistance and diabetes. Studies have found that adopting a low carbohydrate diet reduces the body’s demand for insulin, and losing weight can increase insulin sensitivity, making it more effective. This all can lead to a reversal of type 2 diabetes.”