Mum-of-two with ‘fear of food’ lived off cheese sandwiches for almost 30 years

A mother-of-two who is terrified of food has survived on a diet of cheese sandwiches for almost 30 years.

April Griffiths, 29, has baulked at the thought of eating anything other than a cheese sandwich for breakfast, lunch and dinner since she was a tot.

She's shelled out a fortune on hypnotherapy sessions in a bid to overcome her mealtime phobias, but nothing has ever been able to cure her of the obsession.

April, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, said: “Every time I attempt to try new things, I have a panic attack, my whole body begins to shake, and I am terribly nervous.

“The fear of choking and experiencing a different texture of food scares me and even though I have tried to eat pea-size portions of rice, pasta or vegetables, I have never been able to swallow it without throwing up.

“It has become very awkward for me to go out for meals with new people as I have to explain why I am ordering a cheese sandwich and it often becomes the talk of the table.

“When I first met my partner of nine years, Leigh Kendall, 34, I had to pre-warn him about my food phobia to save myself of the embarrassment on our first date.

“I chose a fancy restaurant that I have been before where they are ok with me ordering the usual, whereas I have been out for dinner before and they have refused which was awkward.

“Leigh used to always try and encourage me to eat something new but it is impossible, I think this will be my diet for the rest of my life.

“I am bored of cheese sandwiches and even with years of counselling, I am unable to overcome my phobia.

"Sometimes I have a cheese toastie to mix it up, but I must eat it when the cheese is hot because I start to gag when it cools down and the texture changes.

“It sounds silly but if I have sliced cheese I have to avoid thinking about it because the texture is completely different to my usual grated cheese sandwich.

“But I don’t have a panic attack because I know it is still cheese and I can eat toast as I know bread is safe to eat.

“I would love to eat a roast dinner, but I couldn’t face it – the vegetables, potatoes and meat all touching makes me feel sick.

“The only other thing I can stomach is crisps and that is the only excitement my taste buds get so I always pick a flavoured pack.

“I usually eat cheese and onion crisps or prawn cocktail and treat myself to sour cream pringles on special occasions.”

Despite her best efforts to eat something new, she has only once been able to overcome a panic attack after two hypnotherapy sessions in 2014.

But the online saleswoman was unable to keep up with the prices of the sessions meaning she was left with no choice but to return to her diet.

She alternates between sandwiches filled with Mature Cheddar and Red Leicester.

April who is mother to Charlie, two and Daisy, eight months says it is becoming difficult to feed her toddler as he is noticing she isn’t eating the same and he would prefer crisps for dinner too.

She now must eat after him in another room to ensure he doesn’t develop the same eating habits as her.

She adds: “When I was a baby and moving from milk to solid foods, my parents became extremely worried as I wouldn’t eat or vomit straight away.

"A lot of people say my parents weren't tough enough but that isn't the case, I am genuinely scared of food and always have been.

“They have had so many nights crying and stressing over it, they took me to our GP but there wasn’t anything medically wrong with me and there still isn’t – I have been told by doctors I am healthy.

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