A potato addict who lived on nothing but fries, waffles and crisps for 23 YEARS has finally lost the chip on her shoulder – and overcome her obsession.
Alison McGregor spent two decades being so terrified of normal grub that the thought of trying something that wasn’t spud-based made her physically gag.
The finicky eater was unable to go out for dinner, indulge in Christmas roasts or even sit in a room while other people tucked into normal meals.
The only exceptions to her bizarre rule were bog standard ketchup, Petit Filous yoghurts and cereal – Wheetos or Coco Pops – with no milk.
Call centre worker Alison says her odd habit left her sluggish and unhappy – but though she wanted to try different foods, she simply couldn’t.
It was only when her doctor warned her that she could end up sick and INFERTILE that she opted for drastic action, and turned to hypnotherapy.
Amazingly, after a single session, the bubbly 23-year-old is completely cured and her new favourite food is the one she once found most repulsive – chicken.
Now she dines on proper meals and snacks on fruit and veg – a huge contrast to her strict former diet of McDonald’s chips, five packets of crisps a day and potato waffles.
Alison said: “From a very very young age I wouldn’t try anything new at all.
“Even the thought of having something new would make me gag – I literally couldn’t try them. I would smell foods and say, ‘No way.’
“My mum and dad tried to get me to eat other things. They would say, ‘She is fussy, she will be fine,’ but I never got any better.”
“I used to live on crisps, chips and potato waffles,” she added. “When I was a baby I wouldn’t even have milk on my cereal.
“I would eat a lot of McDonald’s – but only the chips. I would also have four of five packets of crisps every day.
“I would have all different flavours of crisps – Monster Munch, salt and vinegar, cheese and onion – but I would never try the real foods.
“I never drank water or anything like that, just fizzy drinks – I would have two or three cans of Coke every day.
“If my boyfriend wanted to go out for food he would have to get me McDonald’s and I would just get a large chips.
“Christmas dinner was the worst because I couldn’t eat any of it. I was just sitting there with a packet of crisps under the table.”
She added: “Sometimes I would sit down and try and make myself try different things.
“But I would feel sick coming up in my throat and think, ‘If I put that in my mouth I’m going to gag,’ and it would just make me worse.”
“I’m about five foot tall and I was about eight stone so I was never overweight but I was very sluggish and had no energy.
“People thought I was fussy but it was an eating disorder. It was ruining my life in a way.”
After reading an article about a man who lost weight after hypnotherapy, Alison turned to Google and discovered Jason O’Callaghan.
The clinical hypnotherapist and psychologist, who runs the D4 Clinic in Dublin, invited Alison in for a session.
He told her to lie down, relaxed her body and talked her through her phobia while she was in a semi-conscious state.
Alison, of Dublin, said: “Straight after the session he said, ‘Try something you’ve never had before’. So I went to McDonald’s and got a burger.
“I did one session and that was it. I went home and ate chicken and that’s now my favourite food.
“For my first Sunday dinner I had potatoes with all the stuff I’d never tried before – it tasted amazing.
“I still wouldn’t say I’m a big eater – I don’t like lots of sauces or fancy things, but I eat chicken and things like that.
“I snack on fruit instead of crisps and eat normal meals, rather than chips every day.
She added: “It has completely changed my life. I’m more sociable, I’ve got more energy and I’m happier. It’s the best money I’ve ever spent.”
Hypnotherapist Jason said: “Alison had a severe gagging reflex when she tried to eat new food it’s would appear at she was going vomit.
“It’s not a medical issue, purely a psychological issue. In other words it was a learned response from childhood.”
He added: “In Alison’s case it was life changing and highly effective. Her willingness to change that made the journey easier.”