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Every maggot has a silver lining, apparently.

The way my hypnosis works is that over eight weeks I attend one personal session a week, an hour or so in a sweet smelling,warm room with my therapist, Mary. Such is my aversion to all things diet that it took some persuasion for her to get me fill out the food diary. I know they're useful but just to see one pinned to the fridge, again, rings loud bells of failure in my stubborn head. As I've said, confusion about the calorie content of battered sausages isn't the issue. I need is to stop the self-sabotage that keeps me from solving a problem that I know how to solve.

But I do the food diary and it is with this that we begin each session. We discuss how I am feeling and Mary says I can discuss any other issues that are going on in my life, offering some interesting techniques for dealing with anxiety. Sometimes we eat to stuff down other feelings. Sometimes we stay fat so we have something clear on which to focus our self-loathing instead of dealing with other issues.

Then she reclines my chair, covers me with a blanket and talks me into a quiet place. When I am in a half coma she replaces her voice with a new CD, the one that I will listen to twice a day for the following week, and slips out of the room. I am dimly aware of the movement and normally by the time she returns I am waking gently, zoned out and happy.

Week Three begins as gently as all the others but the phrase "aversion therapy" and the little zapper I have been given make me suspect there might be an edge. Suffice to say there are maggots and dog vomit in my favourite bad food and by the time Mary glides back into the room I'm lying on the Lazy-boy, wide-eyed and clutching the blanket. The softener is I don't have to shock myself when I'm going to sleep, just during the day.

My brother laughs heartily at the vision but suggests that with a bit of judicious editing I could use this week's CD for my own ends. Apparently, every maggot has a silver lining. Play it to Beloved while he sleeps, "There is dog vomit in your golf shoes."

Sunday Independent