THOSE who don’t believe in mind over matter should have a chat with Selby super slimmer Sonia Kelly.

Sonia, 40, claims her seven stone weight loss is down to her being hypnotised into believing she had had a gastric band fitted.

Now Sonia is halfway to her dream weight of 13 stone – and she didn’t go anywhere near a surgeon’s knife.

She tried having a “virtual gastric band” fitted through hypnotherapy and 18 months later the professional carer has dropped five dress sizes.

Sonia, who now weighs 19 stone, said she felt like she had a “new lease of life” after being introduced to an innovative weight-loss programme called the Virtual Gastric Band last year.

Sonia said: “I feel more confident and positive and I am starting to find things easier to do.

“Before, if I had to put on a pair of shoes and fasten the laces I’d find it very difficult to bend down, but now I can do it and it’s not a problem.”

The non-surgical technique uses hypnosis to retrain slimmers to be satisfied with smaller amounts of food and changes the attitude towards eating.

Sonia said: “I was a bit dubious at first, but it was actually very nice and relaxing.

“From the first session, it gave me a new attitude to food.”

Before she underwent the hypnotherapy, Sonia said she was eating extreme amounts of food. She said: “I love food, but chocolate was my big weakness.

“On a good day I’d eat two bars a day, but on a bad day I’d eat four or five bars. I don’t touch it now, just the thought of it turns me.”

When she went to hypnotherapist Sheila Granger in May 2010, Sonia had tried a number of different diets but none had worked and if she lost weight she would pile it back on.

She initially lost up to two stone in the first two months and regularly returns for a “top up” session with Sheila. Sonia said: “I’m proud and I’m pleased with the weight I’ve lost so far. It’s not always easy and I do still think about food a lot but nowhere near as much as I used to.

“I want to lose another six stone and for it to come off quickly, but I know it is achievable.”