A woman who only ate ice cream and sausages for 20 years said that the sight of fruit and vegetables made her feel physically sick.
From the age of one, Courtney Baxter has struggled with a condition called SED (selective eating disorder) which meant that she could only stomach a diet of ice creams day and night.
Courtney, now 21, was such a fussy eater that the sight of vegetables or fruit would make her feel physically sick and cause her to have a panic attack. But after eating more than 7,000 different ice creams and never going to a restaurant, Courtney knew she had to take control of her diet. She has now finally ditched the habit thanks to hypnotism.
So after undergoing a two-hour hypnotherapy session, the teaching assistant has now been able to try a selection of new foods and is eagerly looking forward to her first ever date with her fiancé, Jared, after being together for seven years.
Courtney, from Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, said: “I always felt safe whenever I ate ice cream, as I knew it wasn’t going to make me sick or wasn’t dangerous in any way. “I used to eat ice cream nearly every day. Because of the amount of sugar involved it was causing me to have health problems.
“I wouldn’t eat anything else, except for sausages, but every time I even tried to have something new to eat I’d end up having a panic attack. Never have I been able to go to a restaurant because I’m so restricted – so me and my partner of seven years have never been on a date! It had been a problem for a while and I’d always wanted to do something about it, but I just didn’t know how to sort it – until I found out about hypnosis.”
From the age that she could eat solid food, Courtney remembers eating nothing but her restricted diet of ice cream and sausages. However, when even attempting to eat new foods led to her being sick, Courtney decided to stick in her ways. She said: “I felt useless. All I wanted to be able to do was eat fruit and vegetables and be able to have a healthy and balanced diet”.
“Everyone around me just put it down to me being a fussy eater, but that was until they’d see the physical symptoms even attempting to eat gave me. I missed out on a lot of social events – I couldn’t go to sleepovers because I wouldn’t be able to eat the food, and I’ve never been to a restaurant. Once I’d finally had enough, I researched what help I could get and decided to take a chance on hypnotism.”
Now, after having one therapy session on June 30, Courtney’s palette has expanded and she has been able to try a variety of foods. She said: “When I was in the therapy session I just felt really calm during it, and when I woke up and had new food in front of me, I wasn’t scared any more.
“I’ve now eaten a variety of fruits and vegetables, which were my biggest fear, and have allowed myself to try new foods.
“I’m really excited to go on my first proper date with Jared, considering we’d never been able to go to a restaurant before. I feel as though I am finally freed from my eating disorder!”
David Kilmurry, a cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist, said: “Courtney came to the Food Dr clinic to be hypnotised to bravely deal with her extreme food phobia – prior to the therapy she gagged as I asked her about vegetables.
“When I heard that ice cream was her ‘safe’ food I was astonished. Sweets are not a treat if you have them as a safe food, and the health risks are huge.
“I am so proud and pleased for her as she broke the ice with 15 new fruits and vegetables. I am really proud of her for breaking confidentiality to highlight the dangers of bingeing on ice cream and applaud the manner in which she has taken to the hypnotism.”