Woman eats first Christmas dinner after lifetime of just sausages and ice cream

Last Christmas, Courtney Baxter ate her first-ever Christmas dinner.

For years, the 22-year-old had eaten nothing but sausages and ice cream, including throughout the festive season.

She was diagnosed with selective eating disorder (SED) – a type of eating disorder where people have a lack of interest in food and struggle to try new things, leading to a very restricted diet of just a few items.

But after being hypnotised, Courtney, from Lincolnshire, started to overcome her condition and was able to try different food for the first time.

And just four months later, on Christmas Day, she managed to sit down and eat the same meal as the rest of her family on Christmas Day.

Teaching assistant Courtney tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I was just so happy to be sitting there, with my family, eating what they were having rather than sausages and ice cream.

‘I actually liked lots of it and I’m excited about doing it again this year.’

Courtney has lived with a very restrictive diet for most of her life – surviving on specific sausages from her local butcher and ice cream.

She says: ‘Growing up, it was a nightmare. Packed lunches were hard and I was worried about what people would think of it.

‘I couldn’t go out to parties and things because there would be nothing I could eat.

‘People think that it’s just picky eating but it’s not. I couldn’t eat other foods.’

As a child, doctors said she would grow out of it, but she never did.

They’d tried cognitive behavioural therapy but it didn’t work for Courtney.

Just before her 21st birthday, Courtney’s mum heard about a local boy who only ate sausage rolls, who had overcome the disorder with hypnotherapy.

Courtney adds: ‘She was telling me about it and I said: “Well if it works for him, why can’t it work for me?”

‘I looked online for the hypnotherapist and I found David Kilmurry, with practices in London and Coventry.

‘I just thought “I have nothing to lose here” and booked an appointment.’

Courtney travelled over an hour and a half to the appointment.

She says: ‘From the minute I started, I felt it was amazing. He accepted the condition and I struggled with people not understanding in the past.

‘He took me to some of the shops and we looked at some of the food they had to offer, then he took me back and we did the hypnotherapy for about 10 to 15 minutes.

‘I could hear what he was saying in that time but it was like I was completely unaware.

‘Afterwards, he brought through a plate of fruit. He said there was no pressure but I felt like the fear was just gone. I felt like everything had changed.

‘Before I couldn’t put new food anywhere near my mouth but I was happy to pick it up and have a small bite.’

After making progress during her first session, she decided to have another session as she felt that although she was willing to try new things, she didn’t want to add them into her diet.

Courtney adds: ‘Afterwards I went to Subway and ate about half a chicken sub sandwich. It was a really big step.’

After two sessions, Courtney slowly built up trying new foods and she started to eat more and more.

Within a month of her second session, she was able to eat full new meals.

Christmas last year was a big moment for her, and although she was excited, she was also nervous.

She says: ‘It sort of was the big thing. I was worried I wouldn’t like it or wouldn’t be able to try it but I wanted to feel the same as everybody else and be more included.’

But on Christmas Day last year, Courtney managed turkey, Brussels sprouts, mashed potato, roast potatoes and pigs in blankets.

‘I was so so happy. I could see my mum glancing over but no one said anything until the end because they didn’t want to put too much pressure on me.’

Since then, Courtney has continued to try more and more and it has allowed her to have new experiences like going for a meal out with her boyfriend of seven years.

In 2020, they’re going on their first holiday together.

Courtney adds: ‘When we went on holiday when we were younger, we would have to take loads of the butcher’s sausages with me so I could eat for the week. It was really challenging.

‘I’m so thankful to David for helping me and I’ve started to document my journey on Instagram, which has also been incredibly helpful. I’ve been contacted by other people who are struggling with SED. It’s been so nice to be able to tell them that there is hope at the end of the tunnel.’

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