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.
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.”